Live streaming is a gutsy new publicity trend that’s helping thousands of companies reach a millennial audience. It’s risky, because there are no do-overs when you’re live streaming, but when it works it really works.
Of course, as with any piece of content, the real challenge is coming up with clever uses for the medium.
Here are some winning ideas you can use to step into the world of live streaming:
1. A Look “Behind the Scenes”
Offer your audience a VIP pass to the inner workings of your company, such as the behind-the-scenes look into the Royal Opera that the Guardian offered its readers back in 2013.
2. Live Event Coverage
If you can’t attend a live event, the next-best thing is live coverage. Red Bull streams so many live events that they actually have a live stream calendar set up for your convenience.
3. Influencer Interviews
Last year Nestle connected with a number of influencers for their #FirstDayOfSummer campaign. They reached out to early Periscope adopters, such as actress Olga Kay, to promote their products.
4. Live Charity Stream
This is something I see individuals doing a lot more than brands, and I can't figure out why. It gives you exposure and helps out a great cause. On 5 September 2015, my favorite YouTube personality (@Markiplier) raised more than $200,000 for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. This is only one of many live streams he did last year.
5. Live Product Demos/Launches
In 2013, using live webinars to showcase their products boosted Adobe’s conversions by 500%. Your results might not be that drastic, but there's definitely something to be said for seeing a product in action.
6. Special Announcements
Southwest Airlines made one of the best uses of live streaming I’ve ever seen, by live streaming their operation control center during a blizzard. Sharing breaking news as it’s happening keeps your customers informed and will earn you their attention, if not their patience.
7. Q&A’s with your customers
Even the Birmingham Mail is using mediums like Facebook to host live Q&A sessions. It’s a great way to interact with your audience and find out which burning questions they want answered.
8. Customer Support
Brandlive is just one of many companies practicing what they preach. Not only have they published an ebook on the rising star that is live streaming, but their customer support is an live chat experience.
9. Celebrity Guest Stars
General Electric has been on point adapting to new mediums like Vine, Snapchat, and Periscope. They even managed to score some scientific celebrity personalities like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Sally Le Page, and Bill Nye.
I’m still hung up on the Mr. Robot debt deletion campaign, which ‘deleted’ $100,000 of debt in real time using Twitch. The promise of free swag is a great way to keep your audience tuned in and hooked on your content.
Why Brands Need Live Streaming
I’ve talked about why brands should embrace live streaming before, but here’s a quick recap:
1. Live streaming gives you instant credibility – you show authenticity and build trust in your brand.
2. Live streaming connect you to your customers – you get instant feedback and they get a VIP look at the inner workings of your company.
Don’t underestimate the value of adding an authentic human element to your digital marketing. Today’s customers are drowning under a tidal wave of advertising all trying to get them to buy, buy, buy. An authentic experience that shares something interesting might be exactly what your brand needs to stand out.