James Alexander https://strataccess.com 8m 1,208
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There is a wealth of information available online on the history, benefits, and drawbacks of live streaming. However, it can be overwhelming for companies that want to dive into this new way of connecting with their audience.
In this article, you’ll understand what live streaming is and how you can use it effectively to disseminate information and build relationships with your target market. Read on to know more about the humble beginnings of live streaming, its gradual growth, and its use as a marketing technique.
The Rise of the Live Streaming Industry
The live streaming industry is currently a $70.5 billion industry in 2021 and is further expected to reach $247.27 billion by 2027. This massive growth in this industry is exacerbated by brand platforms using live streaming as an effective marketing tool to boost their business and spawn interpersonal lead generation.
However, live streaming didn’t start as a marketing tool. It began as groundbreaking new technology in response to people’s preference of live content versus pre-recorded media. According to studies, 80% of people prefer to watch a live broadcast than read a blog post.
Going live provides a lot of information to your viewers in a short amount of time, which is a great method to gain and keep their attention.
The first live-streamed event began on June 24, 1993, when Severe Tire Damage, a band whose members included a couple of computer scientists and engineers, collaborated with their colleagues at Xerox PARC in California to broadcast the gig live.
They employed a specialized network known as Mbone (multicast backbone) that could be seen from as far as Australia. This was the first time audio and video were streamed live simultaneously.
In 1997, RealNetworks released RealVideo, one of the first commercial live video streaming programs. Before the advent of the internet, live streaming did not take off, and remained an experiment that required more successful cases.
The real genesis of live streaming began on November 8, 1999, when George Washington University in Washington, DC, hosted the first-ever presidential webcast.
[email protected] Network and the Democratic Leadership Council produced the webcast Third Way Politics in the Information Age. The webcast was an online discussion where former President Bill Clinton and his participants discussed various topics in response to questions submitted by over 50,000 internet users who checked in to the chat.
The nature of this event is a similar precedent to what we know today as modern live streaming.
Enter the Gaming, Tech, and E-commerce Giants
Live streaming peaked thanks to streaming giants YouTube and Twitch, followed by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; it was primarily utilized for entertainment and broadcasting. Later on, e-commerce titans Mogujie and Alibaba used it as a digital marketing tool to increase sales and reach a worldwide audience rather than a target demographic limited by location.
Since then, live stream e-commerce has exploded in popularity in China, with sales anticipated to exceed $60 billion this year. In China, 37% of online buyers (a whopping 265 million people) made purchases on live streams in 2019, before the start of quarantine.
Tips on Using Live Streaming to Expand Brand Reach
Below are some tips small businesses or startups can try to incorporate live streaming into their strategies.
Add it to your marketing plan
The easy access to further propelled the live streaming industry’s steady increase. Marketers use live streaming to leverage its benefits in boosting one’s customer base, reducing marketing costs, and creating audience interaction. About 28% of marketers are investing in live streaming as a verified marketing method.
The way marketers communicate with their audiences is evolving, thanks to live video. Hosts may now develop deeper consumer ties and respond to questions in real-time through live streaming. It’s a new way of communicating that attracts viewers in a way that other marketing tactics cannot: it is immediate and authentic.
Furthermore, live streaming generates profit from patronage income, ad share revenue, pay-per-view, and paid channel memberships. However, knowing how to plan and use live streaming in your marketing strategy is only the beginning.
You should know what type of live streaming content (e.g., Q&A interviews, product demo, live events) will benefit your business more and expand your brand’s reach.
With so many live streaming services available online, it’s now just a matter of choice where to broadcast your live stream. Find out who you’re trying to reach and where they are. You should also consider what kind of business you’re running. You can utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, or any other app with an international user base to reach your worldwide audience.
Additionally, because live streaming recordings can be downloaded or watched for later viewing, businesses no longer have to worry about selecting the most appropriate time for a live stream. You can share a link to the live stream video on your social media platforms to keep those who didn’t get to tune in live.
Partner with influencers to gain brand trust
One of the ways live streaming can garner more attention and generate leads is by combining it with influencer marketing, where artists or influencers host the stream to promote your brand and boost your sales.
Livestreaming hosted by artists or influencers is one of the most common marketing techniques businesses use nowadays. It enables influencers to forego formality, connect with their audience authentically, and engage users in the storytelling process.
This type of brand promotion is less direct and aims to build personal connections with viewers, thereby building trust, boosting consumer happiness, and elevating the viewers’ experience.
Before you decide to combine the two, it’s crucial to research which artists or influencers will be a good fit for your business or product based on your target market. Assess the popularity of the influencer among your audience and in locations where you plan to broadcast the live stream.
Influencers or artists with a large following can create more leads and increase sales because their followers are already prospective clients.
Brand recognition through live streaming is determined by the number of views. Therefore, a live stream must have many spectators and a significant increase in essential metrics like sales and revenue to consider a live stream a success.
Almost all businesses nowadays use live streaming as an effective marketing technique, so how can your brand be heard, seen, and set apart from its competitors?
It’s vital to remember that a live broadcast’s impact isn’t limited to choosing the right media platform or hiring the right person to host it. A fresh new idea might go a long way toward capturing and sustaining the audience’s attention.
The success of live streaming lies in its authenticity, and the more original the idea is, the more influence it holds. Ask yourself what makes your brand unique, then work with a content producer to develop that uniqueness to be broadcast to a global audience.
Using live streaming as a video marketing tactic has numerous advantages. Its advantages are even more evident now that the pandemic has put most countries on lockdown, with prospective buyers turning to online shopping within the safety of their own homes.
At the end of the day, your live stream’s originality, purpose, and content strategy will determine how you can make your live stream more engaging for your viewers and profitable for your organization.