by Jayson DeMers
Live video marketing has become a sensational trend in the online marketing community. Thanks to the introduction of Facebook Live and a number of competing social mediums, brands are working harder than ever to bring valuable, interesting live videos to their customers.
But what is it that makes live video successful, and how are brands using live videos to their benefit? As we approach Small Business Saturday, it’s important to learn marketing tactics and strategies from the brands who are doing it right.
Why Is Live Video So Popular?
First, let’s examine why live video is so popular in the first place:
- Video appeal. First, there’s the basic appeal of video. The general population tends to prefer visual content to written content, because it’s a more basic form of interaction. Thanks to faster Internet speeds and mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to watch videos, so they’ve become even more popular as an online medium.
- “In the moment” value. Social media users also love to feel “in the moment,” and live videos give them that perspective. Rather than seeing a recorded event, they want to experience something vicariously and immediately.
- User engagement and instant feedback. Live video also opens the door to live feedback, such as user-contributed questions or comments, which adds a layer of engagement to the experience.
Brands to Serve as Inspiration
If you’re not sure how to play up live video’s advantages, or if you’re looking for inspiration in your own campaign, look no further than these shining examples of live brand video marketing done right:
Buzzfeed doesn’t sell products or services like most businesses, so it doesn’t have any new products to launch or any services to show off in a live video. Instead, they make money through advertising and specialize in getting attention with content. Of course, that’s the angle they used in a live video they streamed back in April—an early example of Facebook Live in action. In the video, two people put rubber bands on a watermelon, one by one, to see how many it would take before the watermelon burst. The video unfolded over 45 minutes, and despite its ridiculous premise, it ended up attracting over 807,000 viewers at its peak in popularity. Why? Because Buzzfeed piqued viewers’ curiosities, and kept escalating the tension—literally and figuratively—throughout the video.
2. Grazia UK.
Grazia is an Italian women’s magazine, and Grazia UK is an international subdivision of it. Back in June, Grazia UK went to Facebook’s London headquarters for a collaborative partnership to put together what they called their first “community issue.” Throughout the week of the collaboration, Grazia UK live streamed multiple events, giving users a behind-the-scenes view that made them feel like they were a part of the event. But the most successful video was a roundtable debate concerning Brexit. Live debates are almost always popular, especially when they involve audience participation; and of course, this one did. Users could submit questions, live, over social media, and feel like they were an integral part of the debate throughout its runtime.
3. Dunkin Donuts.
Dunkin Donuts relies on visuals to sell its products—it’s hard to resist the idea of having a donut or coffee when you see one—so it’s only natural the brand took advantage of the sweets-heavy Valentine’s Day season with a live streaming video. In it, the brand explored its “test kitchen” for viewers, showing how it creates new products and creations, ending with a finale that involved the creation of a gigantic, donut-themed wedding cake. The video attracted more than 36,000 viewers, which may not seem like much—but consider the fact that these people weren’t watching sports, or news, or something funny; they were watching a cake get made.
4. Tough Mudder.
Tough Mudder is a brand of endurance events, similar to obstacle-riddled marathons, that challenges its participants in a number of physical ways. It’s also known for its proud brand evangelists and sense of community. Back in June, Tough Mudder live-streamed a training event featuring Coach T. Mud, a vibrant personality who explored what it took to run through the endurance event. Because the brand relies on physical participation, this was a great way to get non-locals involved with the brand and show potentially interested participants what kind of event they might be in for. Throughout the video, you’ll hear references to the event’s descriptions, as well as short promotions of Tough Mudder training programs and other materials—a perfect balance of real content and brand promotion.
Tastemade is a brand that makes exceptional use of video to inspire viewers’ appetites, and draw new users in. One of their most successful live video efforts was actually a live version of a pre-recorded series—the Tiny Kitchen series that uses miniatures to cook miniature versions of food. The video has ended up with more than 3 million views as of the time of this writing, and Tastemade continues to use live videos to engage its audience.
Hopefully, these examples should give you a bit of inspiration about your next live streaming event, or if they don’t, they’ll at least provide you direction in determining the most important elements for success in live streaming. The popularity of video as a medium of online content isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so the quicker you can jump on the trend, the further ahead of the competition you’ll be able to get. If you’re looking for more ideas on content to live stream, see 7 Ideas for Live Streaming Content.