Should your business start live streaming? With the expected $224 billion live streaming industry in 2028 and 80% of live stream viewers also preferred watching a stream from a brand than read its blogs, your business must consider live streaming to compete with succeeding businesses.
Businesses that succeeded at live streaming
- Bottega Venetta who worked with Austin Li to sell 230 bags in 10 seconds, and Salvatore Ferragamo whose live stream on WeChat garnered over 3.2 million viewers.
- Kuaishou live streamer Xinba whose 11.11 broadcast broke platform records, bringing in 3.2 billion RMB (USD 500 million) in sales.
- In 2020, luxury jeweller Cartier who not only joined 11.11 for the first time, also hosted its first jewellery show on Taobao Live during the 11.11 festival, sharing with online viewers an offline exhibition it was about to launch in Shanghai and unveiling more than 400 timepieces and jewellery items, including a necklace valued at RMB90 million (USD28.3 million). Their live stream attracted 770,000 viewers in just two hours.
In 2021, the live streaming industry is believed to have reached $70 billion. One Taobao streamer even reportedly earned $49.7 million in a day while one of the biggest live-streaming platforms, Twitch, has nearly 30 million visitors a day. With the live streaming market forecasted to grow to $223.98 billion by 2028, according to a new report by Grand View Research, live streaming for businesses are becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Why has live streaming become so popular?
Live streaming is convenient yet has such power to build authority, engagement, and authenticity. Not to mention, its affordability enables influencers and salespersons to get up and running quickly (even at home) and reach out to potentially millions across the globe.
More exposure. More reach.
On many platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, live videos get an advantage over videos on demand. The platforms push this kind of content forward and put it above others. With live streaming videos, you can reach more people because of the increased exposure. Since viewers spend 8x more watching live videos, they can be longer, which gives people more time to find and view your stream.
Unique interaction with customers
Live streaming offer brands and businesses an opportunity to interact with customers, unlike any other medium. It establishes a connection with customers and gives them a personal experience with the brand by:-
- Interacting through comments in real-time.
- Answering questions right then and there.
- Allowing purchases directly.
In the past, companies were untouchable and impersonal, and that was OK. But, in today’s market, consumers want to identify themselves with the brand. They want to get to know the business and the people behind it. A live video makes a company reachable and shows its personality.
“I have seen business owners create elaborate backdrops, incorporate storytelling, wear costumes, and even open oysters to reveal coloured pearls live on camera,” she says. “Business owners become mini-celebrities as the host of their shows; they are the trusted source to their customers.”
Katie Miller, a Square account manager who has worked with hundreds of retail business owners as they start, run, and grow their companies, says that retailers are increasingly turning to live streaming because it’s an efficient, engaging way to show off products and the personality of the business.
Live streaming boasts 3 main benefits which are likely to stay for a while:
- Lead generation. With an endless possibility of live broadcasting ideas, businesses have a chance to reach out to more people who aren’t even leads yet. Instead of sticking to the old-fashioned way of contacting an established list of people via email marketing, live streaming can lure people you didn’t even know might be interested. Some viewers may have simply chanced across your live content which they find engaging. As they stick around feeding on your entertaining content, they may subconsciously turn into customers of your business.
- More views. With the convenience of smartphones, more and more people are deliberately choosing to access the Internet using their smartphones rather than desktops or laptops. People can watch live videos while they’re on the go, at work, over lunch breaks, waiting for a meeting, DURING a zoom meeting or even relaxing on the couch at home while battling the complacency to shower.
- Limitless opportunities. With live streaming, there are a plethora of excellent ways to interact with your audience, no matter your niche. Don’t assume live streaming is not an option for your industry or audience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the popularity of live streaming services for business, making it a marketing avenue that once was a novelty is now a necessity. Streaming videos can be fun, not to mention a powerful tool in the hands of businesses. In the past, almost no one had the power to broadcast. Now, we can all do it, empowering all kinds of businesses, big or small to leverage live streaming to succeed.
How to achieve a successful marketing campaign with live video, is a personal question. It involves strategy, marketing, and business knowledge that is impossible to generalize. However, learning from the examples of others is a great way to spark your creativity.
Hopefully, this essay has inspired you to learn more about live streaming and helped you to consider if it can help your business!
If you’re interested in more business-related blogs, feel free to check out my article on “Why Going Green Can Make Your Business More Profitable”, exclusively on Vertical Template.