Video content has become pivotal to social media success. In fact, 75 million Americans watch online videos each day, and nearly 40 percent of all video is being watched with a mobile device. The latest evolution of online video, live streaming, capitalizes on social media users’ appetite for online videos and increasing preference for mobile devices — and the asset’s growing popularity has pushed brands to utilize it for their own social efforts.
Currently, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are the top social platforms for live stream video. When done correctly, live streaming can communicate to your audience in a way other types of content simply can’t. Since more than one-third of your possible viewers will be watching from a handheld device, being timely and relevant is more important than ever for brands — that’s where the “in-the-moment” experience of live video comes into play. Now, let’s look at some of the top reasons you need to add live streaming to your brand’s content mix:
Staying relevant and up-to-date is a constant test because social media is always evolving. Through the use of live video, your message will be heard without any delay in delivery. Unlike with a photo, your audience for a live stream can feel as if they’re actually there with you at that exact moment, so they tend to spend longer watching live videos than other videos. For example, Facebook Live videos are watched more than three times longer than other videos.
2. Higher Engagement
Because social users are watching live video longer, the opportunity to boost engagement is much larger. Facebook Live videos, for example, tend to receive more than 10 times as many comments as other videos, so your audience is actively communicating with your brand and other viewers. This open dialogue during live streams strengthens relationships and promotes continuous engagement.
3. Instant Gratification
Your audience wants to know that they’re being heard and appreciated by your brand. Live streaming allows immediate, two-way conversation with your followers. This interaction strengthens the overall relationship between brand and customer. After all, it’s easier to have a relationship with a person than it is a logo.
4. Brand Humanization
By using live video content, brands are able to take on human qualities their audience can directly relate to. For instance, a live stream of a customer explaining their experience with the brand allows the audience to interact, ask questions and put themselves in that person’s position both pre- and post-purchase. This humanization of the brand is stronger with the use of live streaming than with any other type of content because the audience receives real-time response and communication with the brand. This removes the breaks in connection and provides a perception of brand vulnerability that social users can relate to.
5. Community Creation
Not only does live streaming allow your fans to interact with your brand, it allows your fans to interact with one another. On Facebook, users have the option to comment, react and even share live streams on their personal pages. This variety of real-time engagement and interaction creates the perception that the social users are all part of a larger community, and being part of a community keeps people engaged and brand loyal. In fact, viewers are nearly two times more likely to buy a product mentioned during a brand’s live stream.
These are just a few of the benefits of going live on your social media channels, and at the end of the day, live streaming is going to be around for a very long time. It needs to be a part of your tool kit, or you could be missing out on big opportunities to expand brand awareness, grow following and increase brand loyalty.
A Live-Streaming Success Story
For The Brandon Agency’s client Bay View on the Boardwalk, Facebook Live videos are frequently used to support the resort’s content strategy. An example would be live streaming the short walk from the resort’s pool deck to the beach along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Such a post allows the audience to experience the convenient location of the resort, witness the current condition of the Boardwalk and virtually put themselves in Myrtle Beach for a moment. During the Facebook Live stream, audience members typically ask questions, comment with excitement about their upcoming trip or praise their past experiences with the resort. We strengthen the resort’s relationship with its social fans by engaging back while streaming: responding with excitement about meeting a future guest, answering questions and encouraging past guests to return in the future.
If you’re ready to give live streaming a try, we can help you do it right! Contact us today, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn — we can help you “Go Live” and take your social media channels to the next level.