[Column] Jennifer Feaster: Why we believe live streaming is a gold mine for brands in 2021
Live streaming brought China $6 Billion USD in sales within one day and while some companies are still not sure whether they should give it a try, others are increasing their revenue by millions in the blink of an eye. Here is everything you need to know about live streaming and what it can give to your brand in 2021.
Live Streaming Explained
Unlike regular marketing videos, live streaming does not have that overly produced look and it focuses on live interaction instead of a blunt promotion. The topic of a live stream can be anything from a behind-the-scenes look and a preview of the upcoming product to some tutorials and Q&A sessions.
It can also be a live political talk, a music performance like the one John Legend did during the lockdown, or live events arranged by companies like Red Bull.
Because of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, many companies had to level up that creativity game to reach their audience in new ways. Live streaming helps creators and brands arrange a sort of face-to-face meeting with their target audience, giving their viewers a chance to ask questions and get answers in real-time, which instantly improves the customer service experience.
Compared to other types of online marketing, this interactive nature of live streams and chats helps develop a stronger sense of brand awareness, generating higher engagement and sales conversion rates. What’s more, it is easier to embrace storytelling, build a strong online presence, and engage the audience.
For a live stream to be successful, the content has to be entertaining, educational, and approachable. Your target audience should have a good reason to tune in and listen to the messages you want to deliver. There are lots of platforms to choose from, including YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and many others, depending on where your target audience is most active.
Live Streaming Results in 2020
Live streaming has already proved itself to be a viable strategy for many companies. In 2020 alone, it brought multiple brands billions worth of revenue and global recognition. Here are some of the highlights.
During the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in China this year, live streaming generated $6 Billion USD in sales. 33 live streaming channels made over $15 million USD in sales and another 500 live streaming channels — $1.5 million USD.
Luxury fashion brands decided to try live streaming and it helped them make up for their offline sales losses: Bottega Venetta, an Italian luxury fashion house from Milan, sold 230 bags in 10 seconds, while another luxury goods company, Salvatore Ferragamo, gathered over 3.2 million viewers.
Bon Appétit, “a highly opinionated food brand that wants everyone to love cooking and eating” with 5.83M subscribers on YouTube, launched a live stream called “Variety Show”, which helped them raise over $130K, garnered over 1 million views, 21K Likes, and over 1K comments. Their show was a particular success because of its high relevance: being confined to their houses, many people took to their kitchens, working on their culinary mastery. This innovative format helped Bon Appétit keep their audience engaged and raise money to help frontline healthcare workers.
Why Do Live Streaming?
To Establish Your Brand
According to a recent survey conducted by Hubspot, 90% of customers say videos help them make buying decisions. To be more precise, branded content, videos, and live streams help 70% of YouTube users choose a specific brand and their product.
To Maximize Your Reach
As a rule, pre-recorded and staged videos do not get such a large reach and positive response from audiences as live streams do on YouTube. At this point, Facebook and YouTube users prefer live videos, which is why they also rank higher in searches and reach more people.
To Build an Emotional Connection
Our AGE Media team believes that ‘You can buy views but you can’t buy love’ and it is this personal connection that people crave to establish with their favorite brands. Showing unfiltered and non-staged content can help build that unique bond. Adweek highlights the importance of “a lasting emotional connection”, claiming that 70% of consumers who “feel a connection to a brand” will usually spend twice as much as those who don’t.
To Erase the Gap Between the Digital and Physical Presence
The digital and physical presence control brand success, with the former growing more influential by the day. Making sure that the brand’s physical and digital worlds align and stand for the same values is crucial for a unified brand image. Holding frequent live streams can help brands and individual artists bridge this gap.
To Create Real-Time Brand Engagement
It is a sure way to get high engagement and learn about the needs of your target audience. There is the option of having a live stream and a live chat simultaneously, answering the questions the audience might have directly. This type of online marketing helps turn one-sided talks into engaging brand-customer or artist-fan conversations.
Live streaming is here to stay: it is a cost-effective medium helping companies establish their brand, maximize reach, connect with the audience, and monetize live videos, to say the least. With all that in mind, there is one thing AGE Media can say for sure: we will be making the most of live streaming in 2021.
Jennifer Feaster is Co-Founder at AGE Media and a seasoned media innovator, helping brands, creators, publishers, and artists get their message heard and reach a wider audience to make a difference. Digital pioneer with an eye for talent and a love for creative storytelling, teaching people and brands how to grow revenue and appeal to their audience the way successful YouTube influencers appeal to theirs.
Jennifer runs, together with Henri Lessing, an international MCN and booming YouTube Agency. Guiding creators, artists and brands in their YouTube adventure, from production to distribution since 2012. With the focus on building a loyal fan base through strong organic growth and setting up new revenue streams.