Whether because of the pandemic or a yearning for more authentic content, the rise in popularity of live streaming content is undeniable. Live streams are a unique and popular way for consumers to engage with influencers, but it also represents unique challenges to the brand or agency looking to include live streaming in their Influencer Marketing strategy, especially as they keep in mind trends for 2022 about live streaming.
The Benefits of Live Streaming for Brands
“Instagram and Facebook reported big gains in livestreaming during the early months of the pandemic, while hours watched on gaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming increased throughout 2020.”
“Livestreaming has been a popular way for consumers to engage with influencers, attend virtual events, watch video game content, and more recently, discover products through live shopping. [It’s] still an exploratory format for marketers, but influencer marketing is a central component, as creators and celebrities are partnering with brands for virtual events, gaming, and live shopping.”
For gamers and non-gamers alike, live streaming offers audiences opportunities to:
- Interact in real time with richer visual and voice content.
- Form communities around common interests like music, sports, etc.
- Participate in charity events.
- Get up-to-the-minute information on breaking news.
- Ask questions directly of brands.
And for brands and agencies, live streaming through influencers can also offer multiple opportunities, like:
- Forming connections with respected “weblebrities,” gaining “street cred” with their audiences.
- Responding directly to audience members’ questions in what they perceive as a more relaxed environment.
- Growing their audiences, bringing in audience members who prefer this method of interaction.
- Reducing costs since live-streaming demos, trainings, or other events to multiple audiences simultaneously, even across time zones, can save travel, lodging, and security costs.
That being said, there are quite a few ways to live stream. For brands, deciding which platform to live stream on and what to live stream can be daunting. So, let’s answer all your live-streaming questions right here and now.
Which Platform Should I Live Stream On?
All successful Influencer Marketing campaigns start with solid goals, as you probably know. Keep those goals in mind as you select which platform to use. For example, if your goal is reach the female 30-year-old to 50-year-old market for a campaign promoting your LASIK services, consider offering a few influencers the chance to stream their procedures, as Kleiman|Evangelista Eye Centers of Texas did. As our influencers will attest, their streams on Snapchat gave their audiences a bird’s-eye view and eased misconceptions about the difficulty of the procedure.
Here’s a quick list of the topic live-streaming platforms and what works and doesn’t for each of them:
|Platform||Brand Awareness Streams/Topics That Do Best on This Platform||Pros and Cons|
|YouTube||News, gaming, sports||Pros: more tools for creators (e.g., Premieres, live chat moderation tool, etc.)|
Cons: Some would say that Facebook Live is better because people are already there interacting anyway.
|Twitch||Gaming, although topics like music, art, and food topics are gaining popularity||Pro: can stream for long amounts of timeCon: No live chat moderation tool. Also, viewers need|
|Q & A’s, how-to’s, exclusive interviews||Pro: big audience. Streams are accessible to all Facebook users. |
Con (or Pro): Facebook monitors live streams and can interrupt it if there is a violation of its community standards, such as violence.
|IG Stories Live||Day in the life, behind the scenes||Pro: lots of eyes. Plus, live content is always displayed at the very top of users’ feeds. And the question box, which makes sifting through questions in real-time easier.|
Cons: As soon as the video ends, it disappears. No replays.
|YouNow*||Almost anything goes||Pros: new, so all kinds of opportunitiesCons: new, so smaller audience. Also no live chat moderation tool.|
*YouNow is a live streaming startup. Its creators call it “social television,” or where YouTube, The Gong Show, and American Idol meet.
Are There Opportunities for Live Commerce With Live Streaming?
SocialMediaToday.com predicts that live shopping will be a key element of focus across various platforms, primarily because of its success in China, where “live commerce” has risen some 280 percent between 2017 and 2020.
YouTube intends to capitalize on both that trend and the rise in in-platform e-commerce. The platform began testing a new feature that will allow viewers to shop for products directly from live-stream videos. The feature will initially launch with just a few creators and brands, the number of which will expand over time.
Definitely not one platform to be left behind, Facebook also ran “Live Shopping Fridays” from May to June of 2021. Live streams with beauty and apparel brands such as Sephora and Abercrombie & Fitch allowed consumers to ask questions of brand representatives and buy products in real time.
Wrapping It All Up
The long and short of it is that many live-streaming opportunities exist. As you consider live-streaming activations as one “slice” of your Influencer Marketing strategy “pie,” consider also the kinds of content that would appeal to the live-streaming audience, a somewhat unique market segment.
Looking for more marketing trends? We’ve got you covered with these hot topics:
- 2022’s Social Media Trends and What They Mean for Influencer Marketing
- Trend Watch: Augmented Reality and Influencer Marketing
- Trend Watch: In-Platform Social Media Ecommerce Trends for 2022
- Trend Watch: Short-Form Video and Influencer Marketing
- Trend Watch: Omnichannel Integration and Influencer Marketing