For brands and retail marketers, live online video can be a powerful hook to grab—and keep—customers’ attention to boost brand marketing efforts. According to industry experts, a prerecorded online video will hold consumers’ attention for about two minutes, but live streaming video can keep audiences engaged for 20 minutes or even longer. The trick is to make those live streams must-see experiences or viewers won’t tune in, let alone stick around to make a purchase.
So what can marketers do to ensure live video events will draw and delight target audiences and, ultimately, help drive revenue? In a recent webcast, Fritz Brumder, CEO and founder of Brandlive, a live interactive video platform for brands and retailers, and Stacy Nawrocki, director of product marketing for IBM Cloud Video, offered some savvy advice for marketers large and small.
1. Tell the story of your brand or product
“No matter what type of product you’re creating, simple or complex, there’s a story behind why you are making it,” Brumder says. He explains that live streaming can help you “scale that story,” using the power of video, to potential customers around the globe. Adding live online video to an e-commerce site, for example, is like having “a live retail store” because it helps online customers to experience your brand and learn your story, Brumder says.
2. Live stream your product launch
When your company wants to unveil a new product, make it an event — and an opportunity to interact directly with and educate customers in real time. Luxury boat company MasterCraft did exactly that to introduce its highly anticipated NXT 20 boat. Professional wakeboarder Zane Schwenk hosted the event, presenting in-depth product details and answering viewers’ questions live. Everyone tuning in could also get pricing and dealer information during the live stream.
3. Help influencers advocate for your brand
“Who are the key influencers having a big impact on your brand?” Nawrocki asks during the webinar. “And how can you use live video to personalize messages for those influencers?” Look to Maker’s Mark for inspiration here. The small-batch bourbon producer created an exclusive, holiday-themed live video event that included a virtual whiskey tasting for 50 mixologists and bartenders representing the company’s top accounts. Brumder says this approach helped Maker’s Mark educate those influencers on how to talk about the company and its “Ugly Christmas Sweater” promotion with customers in an on-brand way.
4. Identify partners to co-promote brands
Co-op marketing campaigns aren’t a new concept, but two brands partnering for a live stream event gives the strategy a fresh twist. It can also help attract a bigger audience to the event. “Brand A has a good list, Brand B has a good list, and by doing something together, everybody wins,” Brumder says. For example, Ace Hardware recently teamed up with Weber Grills for a live stream event around the Fourth of July weekend. To kick off the summer BBQ season, grilling experts shared recipes, demonstrated grilling techniques, discussed the merits of different grill types and more.
5. Know your customers and appeal to their interests
Live streaming can help marketers build community around their brands by creating fun events that appeal to their customers’ interests. For Osprey Packs, which makes high-performance bags, backpacks and other gear, music was the key to engaging their customers. The company live streamed a series of musical performances at its headquarters featuring musicians — like progressive bluegrass band the Lil’ Smokies — who are also real-world users of Osprey’s travel products. With this strategy, Osprey showed that it understands and cares about what its customers like, beyond its products.
Marketers and brand retailers can get inspired by these ideas and experiment with others when launching, or evolving, their live streaming program. This can result in engaged prospects and memorable brand marketing, increasing recognition and trust in the brand. For marketers looking to start driving lead conversions, though, check out this How to Increase Conversions with Online Video white paper. It includes strategies to boost sales funnels and bolster ongoing video marketing efforts as well.