Live streaming is a digital trend that has recently emerged especially in the E-commerce market. This phenomenon refers to the delivery of video and audio that is simultaneously recorded and broadcasted in real time to an audience. What started as a social trend in 2014, live streaming quickly became a business strategy in the following years. Live streaming’s success in business is closely associated with user engagement as it represents consumers’ interest levels. And if leveraged correctly, this produces monetization opportunities for businesses. Businesses are widely adopting live streaming as it creates a sense of community among consumers.
Despite live streaming being in the early stages of mass adoption, its rate user adoption and participation from social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram are driving businesses to also include this in their marketing strategies.
- Over 50 percent of marketing professionals worldwide agree that content encompassing videos have the best return on investment (ROI). This because live streaming boasts brand engagement by the virtue of high user engagement.
- Cisco has reported that video traffic will comprise over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. This is a driving point for businesses to adopt live streaming into their strategies, as it promises a high level of interaction and engagement between the company and its consumers.
Live streaming mainly banks on 2 criteria for its success:
Potential customers are able to see not only what the products actually look like, but also how they are when being handled.
|A strong human connection is built during a live stream between the company and potential customer that may lack in online retail|
How is a live streaming session conducted?
Before merchants can start having live streaming sessions on a particular platform, they would first need to have an account which legally binds them to the brand. Most big brands today have their own live streaming platforms. These include Shopee LIVE, LazLive and TaoBao Live making it easier for merchants to organise their live streaming sessions.
Usually, merchants are to fill up a request form in which specific details will be reviewed. This is to ensure only reliable retailers sell products on their platforms. Merchants are then put through a training session for an introduction to the platform and the features it offers. Finally, merchants are free to sell their products and have live streams to garner as much attention as possible to their products.
4 applications of live streaming
- Events – annual customer / developer forums, launch of new products
• Apple Inc and Microsoft are two tech giants that have used live streaming to host their bi-annual developers’ conference.
• During Covid-19, many companies resorted to holding their annual shareholders meeting via a live stream. This may soon become a norm for the future.
• Alibaba owned online retail brands such as TaoBao and Lazada are highly dependent on live streaming to promote their products.
• Smaller retailers have used live streaming to engage with the customer communities, solicit feedback. Most have seen sales spike during live streaming events.
• Gaming boasts the maximum number of concurrent live streaming audiences with a high level of interaction between gamers.
• Amazon’s Twitch garners over 15 million users daily and has over 27,000 partnerships with influential live streamers.
- Customer Support
• Brands that use social media as an approach for communicating with consumers find that answering questions during live stream sessions is a highly effective method in ensuring customer satisfaction.
• Banco Bradesco SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA, Brazil’s top private sector banks have participated in live stream events to offer support for their customers during the pandemic. Santander Brasil’s CEO Sergio Rial had over 241,000 views on his live stream as he discussed Brazil’s economic outlook.
- Live streaming is one of the most cost-effective ways to enhance a business’s marketing strategy with reassuring results. (Companies using video have 41 percent more web traffic than those who do not.)
- Live streaming promises accessibility which is the seed of building a wide network of brand awareness and trust. It helps reach new audiences, especially millennials who do not read much of newspapers or watch television.
- The improvements in technology and the integration of Artificial Intelligence into live streaming platforms will help develop new used cases for deployment of live streaming across varied business processes.