Getting a leg up on the competition has always been the key to success in business, but gaining, and keeping, that competitive advantage is more important and more challenging than ever. In the era of social media and e-commerce, the marketplace has truly become a global one.
That means that you’re no longer tasked to keep pace with the mom-and-pop store down the street or the big box chain across town. Now, you are quite literally competing with millions of online rivals for the attention and the dollars of your target audience.
So how do you cut through all the online chatter and capture the interest of your ideal customer? Now more than ever, the answer may well lie in live streaming.
Why Live Streaming?
Every digital marketer knows by now that the pivot to video is real and it is happening. In a 2020 article published in Forbes, it was estimated that, by 2020, video content would make up 82% of consumer online traffic, more than 15 times that of 2017.
As a business, you need to be where your audience is. And right now, that place is on video. OneStream Live can help you get ahead of the competition by giving you the ability to live stream your events, products, and services to your target audience.
The report also stated that consumers watch more than five videos on their digital devices each day, which accounts for the ascendance of video-focused platforms, such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram above the old stalwarts, like Facebook and Twitter.
So, video is king, and that means that your competitors know it. Hence the flood of video content being uploaded every day. In February 2020, for instance, it was estimated that more than 500 hours of video were uploaded per minute on YouTube. This staggering figure does not even account for the myriad other platforms currently gaining popularity with online audiences.
Herein lies the challenge. While there is an immense demand for online video content, the supply of that content is similarly immense–and growing. That means that distinguishing your company from your competitors will require you to do something new.
With live streaming, you can capitalize on the video craze while taking your marketing to the next level. Live streaming offers an innovative option for giving your target audience the video content it wants while also providing viewers with a shared experience, something they can’t get with pre recorded video or archived material. In the process, you’re cultivating a marketing approach that strongly differentiates you from your competitors.
Live Streaming as Engagement
Perhaps the greatest advantage of live-streaming is its capacity to engage your audience. This can take many forms. You might, for example, host an online music concert or comedy performance. You might hold a contest or giveaway, with your branded products serving as the centerpiece of the event.
You may even livestream a community service event, such as a national park cleanup or a charity food drive, which your audiences can watch, participate in through chat and video conferencing, and even donate to in real-time. This can be a particularly powerful way to both serve your community and solidify and promote your brand as a socially responsible enterprise.
The key, when choosing what kinds of events to livestream, is both to understand what your target audiences want and to experiment. Try live streaming a variety of events to determine what attracts interest and gets your target audience engaged, excited, and invested in your company.
Consider the Look and Feel of the Livestream
As important as experiences and events may be, not everything you livestream has to be an extravaganza. After all, sponsoring major events can be financial and logistical burdens, and they may even become fatiguing to your audience after a while.
So be judicious and intersperse your mega-events with more modest endeavors. For instance, you might livestream a weekly roundtable with company executives or guest speakers. This can allow your customers to interact in real-time with your company, partners, and guests.
Such lower-key but still highly engaging regular events are a terrific way to build a social media presence that is second-to-none.
A particularly important aspect of this, though, is to be deliberate and strategic in the look and feel of these events. Try to ensure that everything from the formatting to the messaging to the aesthetics of the livestream aligns with your brand.
This means paying close attention to details, from the ambient music you may use to the kinds of backgrounds featured speakers will use. Doing this will inevitably involve a good deal of planning, preparation, and collaboration to ensure that, when the livestream is up and running, everything fits with your purpose and there are no unfortunate surprises that might undermine your brand.
In today’s video-saturated online world, it can be enormously challenging to get ahead of your online competition. Live Streaming, however, offers an innovative and engaging way to stand out from your chiefest rivals, capturing both the interest and the allegiance of your target consumer. The key is to use your livestreams to engage your audience and provide experiences and opportunities that your competitors simply can’t match.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor