In terms of mass media, video is king to consumers. While not all video receives the same amount of attention from consumers, as a whole, Americans spend a combined total of over A BILLION hours a day watching videos. Needless to say, video can be of great use to your business for advertising and marketing efforts. What about a live feed though? Seeing that social media sites don’t seem to be a passing fad, it may be time to consider using live streaming tools for your business.
While a decent amount of options exist, we will save that for another time. This article addresses the question of “WHY”? In my opinion, if you do any B2C business, then live video is worth a hard look. One of the most important aspects of branding is giving your customer something to relate to. There is a reason why businesses large and small try to use lifestyle shots that match everyday use of their products…it works! If your customers can see your product incorporated into their daily lives, the chance of a purchase goes up. This is pretty common knowledge, so many decent sized companies are sure to keep this in mind when creating advertising assets. If everyone in your industry is already doing this, how do you stand out…Live Video Streaming. I’m not saying this is going to fast track your business to the ‘Fortune 500’ ranks overnight, but it can help increase and maintain sales. Adding this tool to your belt is a good move for several reasons.
If shows like MTV’s Catfish have taught Internet users anything, it’s to be cautious with your trust online at the very least. Would you buy something from an online retailer that had no images to be found of the product? I would not, and I’m willing to bet most modern Americans think the same way. If you can’t see what the product looks like and do not personally know the seller, then you have no reason to trust that you aren’t going to lose your hard-earned money by making this purchase. Live video goes a step further and allows for an un-edited view of your information by the consumer. Assuming you aren’t whipping shackled employees in your feed, at bare minimum, you will be able to personify your business in the eyes of the consumer and help build a relationship. When customers are able to see actual people working on what they are trying to buy, it can help dispel negative preconceived ideas they may have about the company while giving them the confidence to invest their hard-earned dollar. By creating an association between actual employees and your company, you are giving viewers the sense that your company cares for people like a person does and, in turn, personifying your business.
Building trust in your product
Typically, within days of a new product release, knock-offs can be found for sale online from foreign manufacturers at a lower price. Due to copyright and patent laws not being the same around the world, not much can be done about these companies. One way though, is by using live video streaming. You may not be able to stop the sales of knock-offs, but you can build confidence in your product by showing why yours is not only better, but worth the extra money. When you have a live video stream of your product’s production, you are giving they viewer a ‘backstage pass’ to their purchase that helps them feel more informed as to what they are buying and how it benefits them to spend more for the ‘real thing.’ If you show employees that have been in other videos or streams it can help guide viewers to root for employees similar to a character on their favorite TV show. When a potential customer begins to ‘root’ for employees, you are developing a long-term relationship with them and possibly a ‘brand champion’ in their social circle.
There are many ways to spread the word about an event or product to your target audience. You can use paid ads, social posts, mailers, email, and more. While pre-recorded video works well to get the message out, a well-planned live video can take your marketing effectiveness to the next level. In pre-recorded video, you are limited to a set time which can limit information. With live video, not only can you make sure you get all of your information out, but you can encourage audience participation. The more a potential customer participates in something, the greater the anticipation for the actual event or product. It’s similar to why talk shows have done so well, people like to feel accepted and like they are a part of something. Even more than being included, people like to feel that they are better than others (not enough to get shunned for it, but right before that). There is no reason (unless maybe you’re homeless) that anyone should get as excited as people do for free event t-shirts other than the fact that they like to believe that they are more special than others that did not get one. You can use this to your advantage with live video since it allows for participation. If others see that people are winning prizes or gaining “exclusive” information, it not only builds anticipation for the event or product, but motivates them to spread the word about the info they received or about what was won. Just like in grade school, “facts” can make the transition to rumors quickly. As long as you have specifics about your event or product readily available for view, the hype built by a fact expanding into a rumor (via exaggerated descriptions) can help build anticipation further.
Have you ever seen a company’s CEO or even product line and thought “I want to work with them!”? While this is probably due to great branding and marketing, it is still great for sales and hiring. With live video, you can go a step beyond in the eyes of your audience and verify that the work environment is what they imagined it to be, giving you a greater choice of talent for hire as well as inspiring an increase in brand confidence. Even those that may be out of your price range, may be willing to take a pay cut to be happier at work.
All in all, ‘Live Video Streaming’ can be a great tool for any B2C business, when used correctly. With the proper consultation of a marketing/ advertising specialist, live video can help improve how your business is seen through personification, building trust in your product/service, building anticipation, and bringing in more talent. Live video can be a great tool to spread the message of your business and develop lasting relationships with customers when done right, and is worth the consideration at the very least.