Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How to Build a Successful Brand Using Live Streaming Services

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First things first, if you really want to invest your time reading this on how to increase your brand awareness through live streaming services, there’s a high chance you’ve already made up your mind. This is why I’ve already considered you’re aware how powerful social media can be, and how profitable it can be for companies and business owners. It ultimately led you to thinking about your brand and how you could take it to the next level – am I correct? Whether the wording may differ slightly, the thought process was pretty much the same. This is a very fitting thought and decision given the rise of social media and influential marketing over the years. It’s a change in trend of traditional marketing methods of flyers, television ads, and newspaper ads, and the beauty of this is the effectiveness can be easily measured. Live streaming service or video marketing is particularly a new, untapped area for most companies. You wouldn’t want to be left behind now, would you?

Benefits of Live Streaming for Brand Building

Live streaming is the most recent technology trend, which is the broadcasting of one’s own and others’ videos live to an engaged audience. It can be used on smartphone apps such as Meerkat or Periscope, or the highly popular social media Facebook recently and YouTube. This can be a very useful tool for brands or influencers, as it allows your audience to see the person behind the brand and gives off a more personal impression to your audience. Live streamed content can reach new potential customers, providing content that they may have never seen before, and it offers a new way of consuming content for existing customers. The main idea of live streaming is to offer viewers the opportunity to interact and ask questions to the streamers. Viewers tend to find this very appealing, as it’s a way for them to give feedback and also get answers to what they have asked. On the other hand, it is also a very good way of building a new brand by getting some feedback on what customers are after and what they are lacking from current brands today. This hasn’t been done through broadcast TV, so it’s a new marketing technique and perfect for online brands and businesses that are after personal and customer interaction. The most significant advantage of live streaming is that it can be the most cost-effective marketing tool. Social media is a free platform and with the use of live streaming apps like Facebook Live, this is essentially free advertising. With starting businesses, investing money into paid advertisement can be very risky. It can be difficult to target the classic market and there are no guarantees of attracting new customers. Live streaming can reach a wide variety of people and gives off a potentially global reach. The cost-effective nature of live streaming means a low-risk investment with potential high return. This sort of approach has been used by smaller charity organizations, with an aim to not only reduce the spending of their marketing expenses but also to take a further personal approach and interact with their donors and potential new ones.

Increased Reach and Engagement

Coming from the standpoint of social media, users on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are statistically more likely to watch a live video compared to one that is not live. On Facebook, live videos have 300% higher engagement rates, and 80% of Instagram users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. With the integration of social media and live streaming, this creates a cost-effective way and a large opportunity for brands to access a wide audience of consumers to engage with.

The rise of the digital age has caused traditional print and imagery media to suffer drops in engagement due to the demand for online digital content. People love content and they love to consume it fast. This is why live video has such a high engagement rate and a wide reach – it satisfies both the demand of consumers who want to be intrigued by engaging content, and it allows the host to interact with the viewers, creating more interest.

In a recent study, 80% of respondents would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% of respondents said they would prefer live video to social posts from the brand. This is great considering that there has been a decline in the numbers reading blogs and static posts created by brands – now more than ever, it is important to create engaging content.

Live streaming allows a brand to increase their reach and engagement with consumers. Currently, live video has proven to be the next step in online video marketing. It has shown to produce the most viewer engagement and interest. Consumers are more likely to watch a live video compared to an on-demand video. This is due to the live video appearing more candid and the viewer is able to interact with the host in real-time.

Authenticity and Transparency

For tech company Epiphan Systems, the decision to live stream company meetings with an interactive element from viewers proved to be a worthwhile venture. “Our customers loved the experience of ‘being there’ at our company meetings and were able to provide their input on the spot,” says Marketing Coordinator Ilina Rosokova. “We received various comments as well as free advice on issues that interested our customers and were able to identify a more direct and transparent means to communicate our business strategy.”

Aside from authenticity, it has already been established that live streaming provides the means to interact with a brand audience in real time. By allowing open channels of communication between brand and consumer, the option is then given to conduct activities such as live Q&A sessions or special events in which the audience can directly contribute to content. This approach embodies transparency as it opens brand activities to public observation and input.

In an interview with Paul Slack, Director of Global Marketing for UPS, when discussing a campaign in which UPS used live webcasts to build a stronger brand interaction with small business owners, says that “the live aspect represents the ups and downs of what happens in business every day. That realism and real-time interaction creates much stronger ties to the audience.” This suggests that the genuine nature of live streaming allowed UPS to depict a more sincere vision of how they can be of service to their consumers.

Live streaming presents the opportunity to showcase a brand in a true light to the public. Because the format is ‘off the cuff’ and typically unedited, it is an ideal medium for conveying a message in its most authentic form. Live stream audiences are generally more receptive to the human traits of a brand, and thus a more genuine communication can kindle a stronger connection between brand and consumer.

Authenticity and transparency are the basics for any online marketing communications. However, it is often the case that marketers may have to compromise their integrity due to the constraints of the corporation that they represent. With the traditional structures of online marketing, it can be very difficult to go against the grain in an attempt to deliver a more heartfelt and sincere brand message. In such cases, the effect can be detrimental as marketing messages may come across as insincere and the brand may suffer damage to its reputation.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Live streaming is a rare tool to pull in new customers and keep existing customers excited about your brand.

The audience of engaged users is vast. Live stream viewers watch an average of 26.4 minutes which is a long time in marketing. With this in mind, live streaming is an effective and personal way to demonstrate your product while providing assurance to customers. E-commerce companies have taken advantage of live streaming for product demos. This allows customers to ask questions during the demo for a more detailed understanding of the product. Graphs.net states that 30% of Periscope users have watched a live broadcast of a product review and 21% have posted a product review or made comments on products during a live broadcast.

Considering video is the highest engagement medium, video that does not require heavy production or advertising is a marketing goldmine. Live streaming can be used across the buyer’s journey, but is most cost-effective for customer engagement. Hubspot highlights the potential of live streaming to engage current customers. “Because it’s so new, there’s an opportunity to really stand out from the crowd,” said Delight. “You could use live streaming in so many unique ways, from customer support and Q&A sessions to webinars and the sky’s the limit. It’s the latest and greatest way to captivate people.”

With organic reach decreasing on social media, companies are looking for ways to reach engaged users while keeping costs down. Luckily, live streaming is a low-cost marketing tactic that often results in high engagement. In our survey, marketers and business owners were asked to rank the relative cost and effectiveness of a variety of marketing tactics. Of the tactics listed, they ranked live streaming as the third most cost-effective method. Only blogging and email marketing were deemed more cost-effective.

Strategies for Building a Successful Brand with Live Streaming

Define your brand identity Before you launch your first live stream, you must understand what your brand stands for. What are the core values of your brand? What message do you want to convey to your audience? What is your brand’s voice? What do you want to be the impression in people’s minds when they think of your brand? You must have the answers to these questions if you are going to effectively use live streaming to build your brand. It can be helpful to define your brand identity in writing. This way, when you plan your live streams, you can ensure they are on-brand and effectively communicate what your brand is all about. Live streaming can be a great way for your audience to get to know your brand if you make the very essence of your brand a focal point of your streams.

Live streaming is not a magic bullet for your brand. It cannot instantly create brand success. But, with the right strategies and perseverance, you can use live streaming to connect with your audience in a way no other platform can. This connection can help to build brand trust, credibility, and loyalty. Here are some strategies for building a successful brand using live streaming.

Define Your Brand Identity

A very useful and popular technique to help define your brand identity is through brand pyramids and brand onion models. Now, even though this method is more suited to companies with larger budgets, it is still possible for small brands to come up with something similar. The essence of this is to provide a clear map of your brand and identify different values of your brand. This can prove to be an essential tool in explaining to others what your brand is all about. Once you have a clear idea of your brand and have begun creating a brand image, you must evaluate it and ask, “Is this consistent with our desired brand image?” Always remain active in ensuring your brand image is consistent and continue to adapt it. Brand image can be constantly changing, and with a developing market, you may find that you need to update the image of your brand to stay in touch with current trends.

Brand identity is crucial when it comes to creating a successful brand, and it may take some time to develop. It is who you are, how you present yourself, and what people are saying about you. Consistency is the key to success when it comes to brand identity, and the more consistent you are, the more likely you are to be remembered. You need to think about your brand as a person and build your image around this. What is your brand personality? You may think, “Well, it’s just me, they know who I am.” However, this is a common mistake with small brands. People don’t know who you are, and it is unlikely that they will invest time finding out.

Plan Engaging Live Streaming Content

Showing your Work – If you’re an artist, designer, programmer, or anyone else who creates things, showing your process can be very interesting for your audience. Explain what you’re doing as you work and answer any questions people might have about it. This can also tie in with other types of content such as tutorials or Q&A.

Discuss/Debate – Do some research and form an opinion on a current topic or event and talk about it on stream. Explain your thought process and why you feel a certain way. Be open to hearing different perspectives from your audience, even if they disagree. This can lead to a healthy debate but always be mindful to avoid arguments turning into heated conflicts.

Interviews – Having a guest on your stream can be a great way to create interesting content and tap into a new audience. Prepare some questions or topics in advance and have a casual conversation. It’s usually best to let the interview flow naturally but having a general plan will ensure you don’t miss any important points. (Note: avoid doing recruitment interviews during live streams unless you don’t mind the interview being public)

Tutorials – Teach your audience how to do something that they would find useful. Show your process, walk them through it step by step, and answer any questions they might have. This can be anything from teaching a skill (like drawing), how to use a piece of software (like Photoshop), or even how to make a certain dish.

Instead of just “winging it” every time you want to go live, it’s important to have a strategy in place for what you’ll cover so you can provide the most value to your audience. Here are some general ideas for different types of content you can create, but don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with your own:

Promote Your Live Streams

For time slots at least a day in advance, post an announcement on Twitter with relevant hashtags, an invitation on the Steam groups event system, and a news post on the Twitch landing page for the game being played. For Twitter posts, don’t be afraid to post multiple times over the course of a day or two. Many of our viewers only check Twitter at certain times of day. A regular news posting for streams happening on specific days of the week can increase viewership through reminding potential viewers that may have wanted to watch but forgotten.

One of the primary mistakes that content creators make is to assume that an audience will spontaneously generate around a new set of live streams. When you put on a new live stream, generally your regular viewers will be doing other activities while waiting for notifications and begin generating viewership a few hours in. With new or lower profile live streams, expect to have to seed your audience by promoting the event.

Interact with Your Audience

In the end, it’s the viewers who will provide the best direction for your live stream. Whenever you get the chance, ask your viewers for feedback on your content. Things they liked, things they didn’t, and what they want to see. By involving your viewers in the development of your stream, you make them feel like they have a vested interest in the content and will likely keep them coming back for more. Offering incentives such as giveaways to viewers who provide feedback can also be an effective way to get viewer participation in the development of your stream.

Live streaming offers a level of audience interaction that cannot be matched with traditional prerecorded video content. As a live streamer, it’s important to understand that the interactivity of the medium is a huge draw for viewers. Embrace this and take the time to communicate with your viewers. By providing quality responses to their comments, questions, and general statements, you will prove to be more personable and likable, creating a deeper connection and understanding from the viewer to you, the broadcaster.

Case Studies of Successful Brands Using Live Streaming

Nike is one of the most popular brands utilizing live streaming. Nike regularly live streams product releases and interviews with athletes. Using live streaming for product releases gives viewers a chance to see how popular the product is and ask questions directly to the producer. This is a great way to build brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. A viewer is more likely to buy a product after seeing others’ positive feedback on the product. A huge benefit of this would be the Nike Kobe 10 live stream, where Kobe Bryant and CEO Mark Parker talked about his new shoe and the influence behind the design. A great example of an interview would be Serena Williams and CEO Mark Parker talking about the Serena inspired NikeCourt flare, where Nike fans can ask Serena anything they like and hear the passion she puts into the product. Live Q&A sessions are a great way for customers to ask questions in real time with a higher chance of having it answered. This makes the customer feel more valued knowing they can directly communicate with a company. A prime example of live Q&A sessions would be with EA Sports. EA Sports streamed a live Q&A while revealing information about their new games to ensure the community liked the changes and to reassure them there would be constant support for any issues. This was a very successful way for EA Sports to connect with the customer and make aware of their continued support. This helps build brand loyalty and community as customers feel their word is valued and it helps sell the idea that their current product is something they won’t want to miss out on. EA Sports also plans to use live streaming to give updates on patches and to interact with the community playing the games doing live troubleshooting. This is a great support tool and will satisfy their customers with live support from developers. Another console game company, Grinding Gear Games, hosts bi-weekly live streams where they interact with the community doing patch notes, Q&A sessions, boss fights, and giving away prizes. The action starts at Path of Exile content 30 mins in for those interested. This is a great way to connect with the community and it can bring in more customers who see the stream and like what they see.

Brand A: Leveraging Live Streaming for Product Launches

The beta was eventually released and streamers were given access to put their hands on the game. The closed beta helped bring more traffic to the directory page, and the timing of the live stream announcement kept the SimCity game in the minds of potential customers, creating greater expectancy for the beta. During the closed beta, a few streamers were loaned servers and allocated beta keys to give away to their viewers, marking deep integration of the Twitch community with the SimCity game. The beta keys were a hot commodity and it peaked interest in the game across the Twitch community as streamers and viewers vied for a chance to try the game. This was one of the most successful forms of driving interest in a game through live streaming as it kept the SimCity game fresh in people’s minds and helped form a strong correlation between the Twitch viewers and the game.

In 2007, video game publisher and developer, Electronic Arts, leveraged live streaming to create intrigue and excitement about an upcoming game. During their weekly live stream, the company unveiled SimCity and announced that they would be releasing a closed beta for the game. These announcements were impromptu and were made while the product manager was playing with new features in the game. Twitch.tv saw a 50% increase in weekly unique visitors to the SimCity directory the day of the announcement. This increase can be attributed to an announcement on the live stream and was a clear indication that the live streaming community now had a new method of promoting their product and driving more traffic to the games directory page.

Brand B: Building a Community through Live Q&A Sessions

The sessions themselves act as a direct way for the product staff to receive feedback on specific recent changes to the product or to get a general idea of what the community thinks on a certain topic. This is essential in shaping the future of the product and the community as a whole, considering the great impact it has with only a small time investment. It’s not uncommon for some very dedicated members to offer the staff donations to spend extra time answering just their questions, as they very much value the insight their product staff can provide. Live streaming has provided an effective way to do this, and it’s something that these members will remember and look forward to in future sessions.

As the community grows around these events, there are more and more questions being contributed by an increasing pool of regulars. These people only attend these sessions to ask their questions but end up staying for the duration since all other questions posed and their answers are typically very insightful. A transcript of these sessions is typically emailed to the product staff to act as guidelines for any changes they decide to make, as it’s an effective way of showing what the community really wants to know about and what’s important to them.

To build a community around their product, Brand B regularly conducts live Q&A sessions on the internet. This is usually done weekly, where viewers can come and ask any question they want regarding the product or the staff. Live streaming has been integrated into a new website design to give it more prominence and make it easily accessible to visitors. This has the indirect benefit of providing steady updates and an easy way for visitors to stay informed on when the next session will be. The admin of the site can also easily embed a live stream from any popular video site into news posts to inform visitors of impromptu Q&A sessions. This integrated live streaming approach has been very effective in informing the regular visitors of when these events are taking place and how they can get involved. This has increased the volume of Q&A attendees and has been an overall great success for the company.

Brand C: Showcasing Behind-the-Scenes with Live Streams

If you have ever seen a GoPro video, it is highly likely that you have seen a behind-the-scenes look at how certain footage was shot, whether it be an extreme sport in an exotic location or something totally out of the ordinary like a dog dressed in a GoPro fetching a ball. It is these videos that add depth to GoPro’s brand and reaffirm to their audience that GoPro isn’t just a wearable camera company; it is a lifestyle. GoPro has used live streaming with great success in the past, most notably with the launch of their drone Karma, a product they had encountered some setbacks with. With the use of live streaming, GoPro had a 2-hour-long session taking viewers through everything Karma-related, whether it be the history of the device, the features, the components, and assembly. It was all covered. This Q&A style stream gave viewers a better understanding of the product and assurance that it had finally reached the point of release. This transparency is not possible with edited video, and GoPro recognized that and executed it well.

Live streaming is continuously emerging as one of the most effective content marketing tactics today. Although it may seem like a daunting task to start, live streaming presents incredible opportunities for brands to engage with their audience in a more direct and organic manner. One thing to remember is that live streaming is not scripted nor is it staged. It is a platform that prides itself on transparency and personality, and there is no better way to exemplify to your audience who you are and what your brand stands for than showing them first-hand how you operate. This rings especially true for GoPro.

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