by Aaryck Enriquez
“I’m going to stream this live," she said.
The person in front of me – probably named Becky, looked like a Becky – was sitting on the grass like me and was watching the annual Fourth of July fireworks like me. Unlike me, however, she was streaming the fireworks live on Facebook on her dinner plate-sized iPhone with the brightness settings set to supernova. It was bright and distracting. Yes, even with the fireworks going off.
Personally, as a consumer, I don’t care about Becky’s live stream of the fireworks because
a. It looks terrible.
b. Fireworks are one of those “you had to have been there” sort of things.
c. Becky doesn’t understand Facebook. Stop it, Becky, Minions™ make terrible
Yet, as a consumer, I am excited to see businesses livestream their content because livestreaming adds a depth to an online presence and gives the audience more content to see! Despite my distaste for Becky’s use of livestreaming, it’s actually amazing for marketing and you.
Wait, what is livestreaming and how does it benefit me?
Livestreaming is a video that is distributed to your choice of web applications and it’s, well, live.
With a direct access to the business, consumers are given immediate engagement through live streaming which helps strengthen your brand. The content you put on there is up to you as you can use your smartphone, tablet, or even a Canon “It Costs How Much?” Mk III camera.
The uses of livestreaming that are trending are webinars, how-to videos, behind-the-scene looks, interactions with the audience for those applications with user-comment functions (Facebook Live), and a live broadcast of an exclusive event. These uses give the consumers a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that isn’t felt anywhere else in marketing which may lead to a greater incentive to buy!
It’s already here, so try to embrace it.
Look, the older I get, the less I like new things. I don’t know what it is - maybe my spirit animal is a grumpy old man - but it’s getting harder for me to like new things.
When Periscope was first introduced, I scowled at it and dismissed it. When Facebook Live was announced, I “Gran Torino’d” the news and demanded it to get off my lawn.
Needless to say, I am the perfect example of what not to do.
Instead, you should embrace this trending form of marketing because video is the fastest growing medium on mobile platforms, and mobile platforms are the fastest growing media in digital marketing.
Be Interesting, Helpful, and/or Informative.
In order to ensure your audience sees your content, your livestream has to be interesting. Going live doesn’t mean your content is Emmy-nomination worthy. Prepare well in advance because being prepared ahead of time will help create better content, therefore, leading to your success.
To create interesting, helpful, and/or informative content, I highly recommend setting some goals with your audience in mind. For instance, you may want to create more traffic to your store or you may want to show an example of how your brand is associated with great quality by showcasing it with a live stream. After your goals are set, create a plan to execute. This could be a lot of things but make sure that whatever you do, it leads to meeting (or surpassing) your goal. Don’t ever lose focus of your goals and audience!
Once the plan is created, practice. Practicing before going live will help you be interesting, helpful, and/or informative because then you’re not as awkward in front of the lens and you can fix minor issues like whatever that creepy guy in the office is looking at on his computer in the background.
When you’re about to go live, take a deep breath and be yourself. Going live allows consumers to see the (almost) real you and the real brand. This is an opportunity to shine with relevant content that can help create incentive to buy!
It May Not Go Your Way – At First.
Live streaming is the new niche of digital marketing. It’s a frontier yet to be fully explored and you may not get it right the first couple of times, and that’s okay. You’ll be forgiven if minor mistakes happen - like if some knucklehead makes inappropriate comments on your livestream. What will make a difference is how you handle those certain mishaps and respond appropriately. Remember, consumers are looking for a brand they can trust (see: previous blog post) and livestreaming is a great tool to help build that trust with your audience.
So give live streaming a shot! Don’t be like me, embrace it! If you’re nervous, remember that a lot of other businesses are experimenting with this form of marketing, too. Don't jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late because you might’ve missed out on some great conversions to sales, or even worse, Becky could’ve learned how to livestream better than you.