Let's talk about live streaming

Rose Bates

by Rose Bates

As of now, YouTube is the second most frequented website in the world, outperformed only by Google itself. A staggering 3.25 billion hours’ worth of video content is consumed on the site every month, providing an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to reach potential and existing customers. Video advertising as a whole, across platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Twitch represents one of the most potent forms of modern digital marketing.


A few key stats worth paying attention to… 

  • According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2018, average daily mobile video usage has grown from under 10 minutes in 2012 to just over 30 minutes in 2018.
  • Wyzowl marketing statistics suggest that 64% of businesses that use video believe that it has directly led to increased sales conversions.[i]
  • Bluleadz marketing statistics state that 74% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product subsequently bought it.[ii]  

The rising tide of Twitch

The live streaming giant, best known for its popularity among video gamers, now has over 100 million active users, and over half a million viewers each month. From 2012 to 2017, Twitch’s popularity grew immensely with average global daily streaming hours rising from 6MM to 18MM.

Millennials make up the majority of audiences on Twitch, meaning brands whose products are marketed towards young people have the opportunity to reach a higher return on investment by marketing on the streaming platform. Brands such as KFC and Duracell identified a crossover between key customer demographics and Twitch’s viewership. Duracell hired Twitch influencers to broadcast a multi-camera live streaming marketing event from their accounts. Subsequently, the company received 187k views from 150k unique viewers with 355k minutes watched and 4.8k chat interactions.

Twitch often lends marketing campaigns a sense of authenticity which hinges on the popularity of a well-liked and trusted streaming personality. An advertisement may come in the form of a sponsored video, a pre, mid or post-roll read out, or simply paying a streamer to wear an item of branded clothing. Many companies also take advantage of the platform’s chat functionality.

For instance, Old Spice held an interactive campaign involving a character in a forest that viewers could ‘control’ for three days, leveraging live chat functionality to engage customers. The company explains, "This man we have placed in the bounteous grandeur of nature is contractually obligated to do everything you, and millions of other Internet users, tell him to do."[iii] This is one example of the unique opportunities live streaming can offer.

Marketing with #NoFilter on Instagram Live

Another prime example of a live streaming platform offering a world of opportunity for modern marketers is Instagram Live. Due to a recent algorithm update, Instagram posts are now displayed based on popularity rather than chronological order. According to Later.com: “people now see 90% of posts from their friends and family, instead of 50% when it was the chronological feed.”[iv] This means users will see more posts from accounts they interact with on a regular basis. This is good news for businesses if users already interact with their public accounts regularly, but presents challenges when trying to attract new customers.

It’s no surprise then, that brands are reaching out to popular influencers whose viewership aligns with their customer base. Specifically, ads featured on an influencer’s live stream can maximise a brand’s chances of getting eyes on their content. This is because Instagram positions live videos first on the story boards, meaning the live streaming influencer accounts will be one of the first things users see when they come online. 

Like Twitch, Instagram live features chat functionality where influencers and brands can communicate with their followers and get to know their customers. This creates an intimate relationship between seller and buyer, mutually beneficial to both sides. I 

A trend worth investing in 

These are just two of the most powerful video marketing platforms available today, capable of helping businesses engage customers in inventive ways. Companies like Duracell and Old Spice have shown the potential benefits that live streaming video marketing can have, providing real-time interaction with potential or existing customers for increased engagement and conversion. However, it may not all be sunshine and rainbows. Some companies may be a little apprehensive about placing their marketing performance in the hands of independent creators. Watch this space in the future as we consider the potential risks of influencer marketing. 

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