Our technological landscape and how the public interacts with it are in a constant state of evolution. This can be both an opportunity and a source of frustration for marketing teams. A current example of this is the emergence of live streaming.
Over the last few years, the public has grasped hold of the media as a primary source of information and entertainment. This has been especially true during the events of the COVID-19 pandemic. One report found that between April 2019 and April 2020, there was a 99% increase in hours watched of livestreamed video. While this represents fertile ground for marketers to engage with new demographics, not everyone is clear on how best to utilize it.
Let’s dive a little deeper into how livestreaming can open you up to new audiences.
Know the Platforms
Live Streaming doesn’t just come in a single flavour. There are various approaches to the practice, most of which can be defined by the platform they’re hosted on. As such, the first step is to look at what type of live streaming and platform fits best with your goals.
Some of the most popular and accessible platforms include:
According to a recent study, 73% of Twitch users are under the age of 35, with the majority in the 16-24 bracket. That’s not to say there isn’t still a significantly older audience for this live-streamed content, but you’re more likely to organically reach younger viewers. In terms of content, there is a wide range of streaming styles on the platform. However, the most popular tend to be long-form gaming playthroughs. There is also some success from live-streamed creative process videos, like live drawing or crafts.
Facebook and Instagram Live
Though both Facebook and Instagram are operated by the same business, there are some distinct differences in their approach to livestreaming. Instagram Live is intended to prioritize users that are active on mobile devices. And it only allows streaming videos shorter than an hour. This makes it most appropriate for product reviews and question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions.
Facebook Live, on the other hand, allows for videos longer than an hour and is designed to be broadcast and watched from both desktop and mobile devices. It’s more appropriate for longer, more engaging videos that show events, tutorials, and news items. The audiences involved are relatively similar in age — the majority tends to be under 35 on both platforms. However, it’s important to note there is a larger presence of older and higher-earning populations on Facebook than on Instagram.
As a platform prioritizing mobile video posts as standard, TikTok can be a great marketing resource if you want to open your business up to new, primarily younger audiences. The live streaming option is not limited to time and there is an option to receive “gifts” from viewers; which is a good tool if collecting charitable donations is part of your marketing strategy. However, from a discoverability standpoint, it can be more effective to work with established influencers here. Indeed, if you’re new to the platform and have less than 1000 followers, the live option won’t be available to you.
Plan Your Content
You don’t need to create a strict script for your content. However, you should map out the “beats” you need to hit at certain points of the content. Allocate spots for your intro, specific talking points, opportunities for calls to action, and prompts for live interactions with your viewers. One mistake digital marketers tend to make is ignoring live-streaming analytics. Look at the type of live content your demographic enjoys and pay particular attention to the points in live videos they engage with and when they click away. This can help inform your future live streams.
Don’t be afraid to seek guidance in approaching the planning of your live-streamed marketing content. It’s a relatively new approach and most professionals are still struggling to get a handle on it. Refreshing or updating your knowledge of some of the basics of digital marketing can be helpful here. You can take classes that help you utilize Google Analytics to better understand what your audience responds to. You can even brush up on design approaches relevant to the contemporary landscape. These are useful tools to ensure you have a more informed relationship to planning, executing, and assessing each stream.
Even those who pursue live streaming as their primary form of video content rarely treat it as the only element in their toolkit. You’re more likely to see it as a part of a wider brand. Or supporting other forms of content on various platforms. To reach new audiences, you need to consider how live streaming can be integrated as an agile resource in your wider campaign rather than a separate item you’re experimenting with.
This often comes down to altering your thinking. Don’t just treat live streaming as another platform to exploit. See it as a method to help you address the various challenges you’re facing in your go-to-market strategy. Review what elements are stumbling blocks in your campaign. Whether this is communicating the value of your company to your consumers or encouraging them to overcome their reliance on older products. Consider how live streaming can be adopted alongside other tools such as blog posts and social media content. To give consumers the information and guidance they need to engage in a more meaningful way with your business.
Live Streaming is one of the newest forms of video content in our digital landscape. It is fast becoming one of the most popular. You can best start using it by gaining a deeper understanding of how your target demographics use it and committing to planning that ensures greater quality. Remember not to limit it to being a disparate part of your campaign. But integrate it to help address your wider challenges. By taking a considerate approach to your live streaming, it can be a boost to your marketing toolkit.