Image credit: Pexels
Live videos have become a massive trend in online retail. There are a few reasons behind this curious development. First, social media facilitates broadcasting in technical terms: it’s never been so simple to go live! Second, brands want to engage with regular and potential customers often. Streaming turned out to be a versatile and efficient tool for this aim. Third, Covid-19 made drastic adjustments to the way eCommerce brands interact with consumers.
As marketers, it is important to stay informed on the different live stream options and trends. Let’s review five popular ideas for live streaming that you can apply to your content plan.
Wholesome practical videos are a win-win for every brand since people like to become more knowledgeable and skillful for free. After all, it’s fascinating to watch others creating something.
The brand Anastasia Beverly Hills launched a how-to series on Instagram called “Time to learn,” where hosts showcase various products and makeup tips. Judging by the number of views, these videos are appealing to the audience.
Screenshot taken on the official Anastasia Beverly Hills Instagram account
These videos not only improve brand awareness but can also have a direct effect on sales when the brand adds the shopping tag feature. This is an opportunity to buy products featured in the video straight away. Basically, users are redirected to an online store where they can place an order. A very low proportion of brands in the US have already obtained an Instagram Checkout option to sell directly.
Thus, the success will largely depend on how your website performs on smartphones. Speed and usability that are compatible with mobile apps are crucial points in this case. The good news is that such a goal can now be achieved by transforming a site into a PWA. Take a look at some impressive progressive web apps examples in online retail and other industries.
2. Online Events
There is room for maneuvering for brands when it comes to online activities aimed to entertain and educate followers. Let’s briefly name some ideas:
- Art, DIY, yoga, ballet, or dance classes;
- DJ sets and parties;
- Meditation sessions;
- Q&A sessions.
Have a look at the screenshots below from Mango’s Instagram. Being an apparel brand, Mango does not solely focus its attention on the apparel but expands to relevant content that fits the values and tastes of its audience. The marketing team is focused on creativity, relaxation, sustainability, and other similar matters that nicely complement the primary fashion topic. This is all about added value for customers.
Screenshot taken on the official Mango Instagram account
3. Product Presentations
While fashion and cosmetic brands occupied IGTV, tech giants prefer to launch streams on YouTube. For instance, Apple, Tesla, and other brands launch parties to introduce products and technologies to everyone interested and those who want to be the first to know what’s new.
For instance, live videos by Xiaomi (in the screenshot below) have hundreds of thousands of views. There is one more obvious reason behind the popularity of streams: the atmosphere of such events. People feel like participants of something epic that is happening in real-time, regardless of their physical location. Moreover, they can share thoughts and emotions with other users.
Screenshot taken on the official Xiaomi YouTube channel
Many brands work with influencers in order to exchange audiences, attract more active prospects, and build their reputation. Influencers do not need to be celebrities or preeminent people. Brands have found success in balancing Macro and Micro-influencers. Micro-influencers may target a more niche audience while keeping costs down.
So, look for people who know everything about your type of product. Correspondingly, their endorsement of your products will be very valuable for their followers.
The forms of live-streaming cooperation could be different: a tutorial, webinar, or interview. For instance, Puma (see the screenshots below) features both public figures and healthy lifestyle professionals. The brand created an interesting concept: experts (a yoga therapist, an athlete) train famous people (Cara Delevingne, Pamela Reif).
Screenshot taken on the official Puma Instagram account
5. Live Shopping on Facebook
Fun fact: In China, more than 30% of the population watched shopping streams at least once in 2019. There are several platforms that blend features of social media and an online store. The biggest of them is Taobao Live, owned by Alibaba Group.
But let’s return to Facebook: they recently conducted a series of experimental broadcasts with selected beauty and fashion brands. During these shoppable live videos, shoppers could:
- Watch product demonstrations, see new collections, listen to discussions on trends, and get useful recommendations;
- Ask questions about featured items;
- Get exclusive promo codes (look at the screenshot below from Abercrombie & Fitch’s Facebook page);
- Purchase mentioned goods right during the stream. The order placement and payment can be made without leaving the platform.
Facebook underlines the benefits for brands as well. Businesses can:
- Tighten links with customers;
- Get feedback from the audience;
- Create a new type of content that entertains, engages, and helps to improve conversions;
- Obtain a new selling channel that provides a seamless customer experience.
Screenshot taken on the official Abercrombie & Fitch Facebook page
Live streaming on social media has significant potential in terms of impact on your sales. More and more business accounts on Instagram are using shopping tags. The whole eCommerce world waits for Instagram Checkout to become widely available; then, users will be allowed to purchase without leaving the app. Facebook has already begun to hold live shopping streams. It’s reasonable to expect that these tendencies will only be evolving.
Besides this, live videos are a powerful means of interaction with consumers. If amplifying brand awareness, building trust, and upbringing brand advocates are parts of your marketing strategy (surely, they are), then invest some time and money in streaming.
About the Author: Kate Parish
Kate Parish is the CMO at the web development company Onilab. She has more than eight years of experience in eCommerce Digital Marketing. Kate’s strengths are SEO, branding, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.