In an age where establishing a reputable brand means maintaining a tightly controlled online presence, livestreaming offers a more authentic look into a company’s operations. Livestreaming attracts customers and strengthens customer relationships as well. A majority of customers say product videos are helpful in the decision-making process, and companies are responding. However, heavily edited photos and videos can sometimes distance a brand from its audience by making content look inauthentic. Livestreaming works best when it is authentic.
A multitude of platforms offer livestreaming, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope (Twitter’s own version). Given the influence of Facebook and Instagram alone, the potential reach that livestreaming offers is significant.
The Key to Livestreaming Success
Being genuine is the key to livestreaming success. There is a fine balance to be achieved: preparation for a livestream, including rehearsal, is essential. But on the other hand, it is important to shy away from being so over prepared that your livestream looks like a slick sales pitch. No customer will be won with a video of a script-reading salesmen, and so achieving a creative, engaging, and possibly interactive video is paramount.
Livestreamed content offers an exciting range of choices. They include:
- Behind-the-scenes tours.
- New product reveals.
- Company events.
Brands that have used livestreaming video include:
- Dunkin’ Donuts, who used it to promote its sweets for Valentine’s Day last year. The video included how they use their test kitchen to create new products and showed customers how they created a large donut-shaped wedding cake.
- EA Sports Madden NFL broadcast live from the NFL draft, which enabled them to connect with their customers watching one of the biggest NFL events of the year.
Perhaps the most outlandish livestreaming stunt (in the works) is Taco Bell’s “Love and Tacos” campaign. On Valentine’s Day, Taco Bell announced renovations to its flagship Las Vegas location—more specifically, a wedding chapel on the second floor where they will hold ceremonies for those unique couples who opt for the $600 Taco Bell wedding packages. In celebration of the renovations, Taco Bell also revealed a contest for the most obsessed couples already thinking about getting married. The couple with the best love story, and most obvious love for Taco Bell won a wedding at the Las Vegas location, all expenses covered. The wedding will be livestreamed for the world to see in June.
Livestreaming presents its share of challenges, such as:
- Quality. One of the biggest challenges to livestreaming is ensuring a high-quality livestreaming session. As anyone who has ever tuned into a sports game, political debate, or any other popularly shared live event knows, buffering can be an issue. If a video is pausing every other second to load, you can lose viewers quickly and annoy them.
- Timing. Choosing an effective time to stream is another challenge. The ability to analyze a customer base and when the majority of them are most likely to tune into watch is essential. However, most platforms have remedied this problem by offering the chance to save livestreams to watch at a different time. While viewers lose out on that special “in the moment feel” unique to livestreaming, the opportunity to still tune into a unique video is certainly a great feature that can help expand viewership.
An effective livestreamed video allows a company to strengthen the relationship it has with its customers in an authentic way. Livestreaming can offer the feeling of a candid, unscripted look into how well-loved products are made, or give faces to the people who work at a given company. While some technical issues have yet to be overcome, livestreaming can be a potent way to reach out to a customer base.