Should your brand be using live video?

Valerie Turgeon April 24, 2017

After years of use, my frying pan has sizzled its last piece of bacon. For awhile, I’ve taken the “ignorance is bliss” stance on the harms of Teflon in non-stick pans, but I decided to finally buy a newer, healthier version without all that chemical stuff. Of course, I want the best quality for the best price, but search engines often present conflicting product reviews and an overabundance of options.

Choosing a new frying pan shouldn’t be an overwhelming process. Before I ended my search session, I visited a company’s website and was greeted with a video showcasing the pan in a beautiful kitchen as it sautéed peppers. I could practically smell them. I didn’t just see a frying pan, I saw myself making breakfast for my family, trying new recipes and cleaning it without hassle.

Videos are more emotionally compelling—they tell a narrative, and as a consumer, it’s easier to connect. As noted by Small Business, about 52% of marketers worldwide say videos have the best ROI, and shoppers who view a video in the pre-purchase stages are 1.8 times more likely to make a purchase than non-video viewers.

It’s not rocket science to figure out people love visuals. And now, videos are easier than ever to watch (lightning fast internet speeds—how could we live without thee?), and they’re even played automatically as you scroll through Facebook.

Benefits of streaming live video

Publishing original videos is a smart addition to a content marketing plan, but it’s live video that’s taking the content marketing world by storm—many sources have claimed that live streaming video will be the biggest trend of 2017.

First introduced in early 2015, the now-shuttered Meerkat live video streaming app became popular at the South by Southwest festival. Soon after, Twitter launched Periscope, which also features live video streaming. Also in 2015, Facebook Live was made available to exclusive celebrities and media companies, and was made widely available last spring. There are dozens of other live streaming services including YouTube Connect and Snapchat Live Stories.

The 360-degree video format is also a popular way to engage in a new, visual way. A case study by Magnifyre shows that a 360-degree video received about 29% more views than a fixed frame image, and double the viewers who watched the video in its entirety.

By the end of last June, half of the biggest media pages had used Facebook Live, and company pages were streaming six times more live videos than at the start. According to Facebook, people comment 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. Live video is also more likely to show up first in people’s timelines thanks to an algorithm that gives it priority.

DIY live broadcast

Live streaming presents an opportunity to compete with the likes of live television newscasts, sports, presidential debates, etc. Twitter even got the rights to stream ten NFL Thursday Night Football games last year (but for the price of $10 million).

Now, if your company wants to hold a Q&A session for customers or give a tour of your company’s office, you don’t need to secure a special spot on TV. Though, it is important to keep growing your social networks to garner a bigger live audience.

Just like any content marketing method, creating live video takes a lot of planning, but when it happens in real-time, it provides a more authentic view of your brand, and allows your audience to interact with you live, creating a deeper connection. Plus, people tune in longer on live streams than regular video.

Live video can be a low-cost, high-impact way to make these connections. They can be used for product launches, discussions, interviews, trainings and demos, events, behind-the-scenes footage, brand awareness and more. Take a look at a few of these live streaming examples that we love:

Kohl’s Chewbacca Mom

Live video can build trust with an audience through genuine, natural and, in this case, entertaining interaction. Stay-at-home mom Candace Payne shared her joy for a Chewbacca mask she bought at Kohl’s. Media outlets picked up the video, and it became viral (currently the video has 166 million views!) While this was a lucky instance for Kohl’s, the team quickly took advantage of the spotlight and sent Candace gift cards and some swag, and she followed up by posting more live videos.

Buzzfeed’s watermelon explosion

Shortly after Facebook announced the its live streaming feature, BuzzFeed launched a live video of two people dressed up in white hazmat suits stringing rubber bands around a watermelon to see how many it took before the melon exploded. Ooooooook, you might be thinking. While seemingly pointless, its combination of oddity and suspense enthralled viewers. This video was the turning point for live streaming—the 800,000 concurrent viewers could compete with prime-time TV, the first time BuzzFeed ever experienced such numbers. For comparison, CNN averages 723,000 prime-time viewers.

Chevy’s electric car launch

Chevy was the first automaker to use Facebook live video, and they used it to announce the Electric Chevy Bolt EV launch during CES. For fans who couldn’t be there, the live stream enabled them to view the product at the same time as everyone at CES. Viewers could feel that they got an exclusive look, furthering the trust build between Chevy and its consumers. The 25-minute video currently has 57,000 views, and a second video shows off a 360-degree look inside the car.

Jason Carr shares exciting news

A popular news anchor in Detroit, Jason Carr, recorded himself live in the back of a car after his final broadcast at a local news station. He promised viewers he would follow up, and he kept that promise (a great tactic to also use after a webinar or discussion). He maintained a level of suspense throughout the video. leaving viewers wondering, where the heck is Jason going? On the way, he answered questions people left in the comments section. By the end of the video, he revealed his location, and some big news—that he would now be reporting at a new station.

Callaway Golf’s office tour

To connect with the golf community and fans of the brand, Callaway Golf featured a tour of Arnold Palmer’s office in May, 2015. Led by Doc, Arnie’s friend and assistant, viewers get an inside look at all the memorabilia in the office and learn new things about Palmer as told by Doc. He also answered viewers’ questions. There are a few mentions of the brand throughout the video, but that is certainly not the focus.

3…2..1..And we’re live!

Starting out, you may not get the views that a few of the brands above received, but don’t be afraid to have some fun with it.

You don’t have to buy the latest and greatest technology to capture the highest quality video if you want to go live.

You can just use your phone or desktop computer (one of Facebook’s most recent live streaming features) to interact with your audience and show off a more personal version of your brand.

Valerie Turgeon April 24, 2017

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