Last month Facebook launched its live streaming option and the world is going crazy for it. With an audience getting more and more blasé and demanding toward the content offered by the brand, originality and reactivity has become key to attract attention. The growing number of applications like Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope or newcomer Facebook that are based on instantaneity and short lived content is a reflection of our society. We live in world in which a laughing woman dressed as Chewbaccacan become an instant worldwide phenomenon and be forgotten two days later. Your audience lives in the moment and you should too.Implementing a solid real time marketing strategy requires both planning and a certain taste for risk…
The genesis of real time marketing
Real time marketing first appeared with Twitter feeds, its constantly refreshing feed demanded content that was highly reactive to events happening around a brand. Everybody remembers, for example, Oreo’s post during the Superbowl black out in 2013. The brand reacted almost instantly with its “you can still dunk in the dark” tweet, making the most of a high-visibility moment in a humorous, engaging way.
Engaging in this way involves both genius and risk, you need to make sure that your brand won’t offend anybody or be perceived as opportunist. The best example of this risk is the recent death of pop legend Prince. Many brands decided to take advantage of this globally trending tragedy. For most brands, the result ended up being a general backlash—apart from one brand that actually had the legitimacy to communicate around his death. Automobile brand Chevrolet was a favourite of the singer, who even wrote a song about a “little red corvette”. To celebrate Prince’s life and work, Chevrolet tweeted a caption reading “Baby, that was much too fast”, a lyric from the song, with Prince’s dates of birth and death. This tweet felt more like an homage than the marketing move it really was.
Twitter also instigated the live coverage of events, which gave audiences access to otherwise restricted events.
After Twitter, Snapchat was the second social media to bank on instantaneity, with their content available only for 24h. With this time limitation comes a sense of exclusivity. The Snapchat story module is made in such a way that your story will appear only if you record content, so that when your content does appear it is a nice surprise for your followers. Luxury brands especially understood the opportunities that this format offered. Brands like Gucci often hand over their Snapchat story to key ambassadors during brand events. In fact, a few months back they let their newest ambassador, Oscar winner Jared Leto, give viewers a first glimpse of their new campaign on this social media platform. The short videos gave the audience the feeling that they were getting a peek behind the scenes of the incredibly exclusive fashion brand.
Live streaming a new step in real time marketing and how to take advantage of it
Twitter and Snapchat paved the way for more spontaneity in brand content delivery, but the rapid development of live streaming instigated by platforms such as Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope—and boosted by newcomer Facebook Live—is taking it to a whole other level. Where Twitter and Snapchat gave users only a glimpse of brands’ behind the scene, live streaming made them live the whole experience
Brands are now able to cover their events live on social media, engaging their audience in a genuine way without all the technical biase involve in the making of regular brand content. Most live streams are done from a phone, making them look raw and unscripted and increasing the feeling of exclusivity for the audience. And that is what you should be aiming for.
A few steps for live streaming success :
- Give your audience exclusivity: The most important perk for a live steaming audience is to feel like VIP. They want to go where they have never been able to go, and see what really happens there, without the heavy editing that brands usually use on video content covering event. They need a taste of the dream. When Dior followed Bella Hadid, their newest beauty ambassador, it made audiences feel like they were hanging out with their best friend before she walked the Dior runway.
- Promote your live stream: Yes, your event is live, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t tease it beforehand. By promoting it, you will create anticipation and desire for your content.
- Plan what you can: Previous to the live streaming event, make sure to be well acquainted with the schedule and choose an angle to follow. Storytelling is key. You need to be clear about what your goals are, and you don’t want your host to go overboard because they don’t know what they have to do. Give them general guidelines on what they should be talking about, who and what should be featured, and—perhaps most importantly—what should not be included.
- But learn to let go: Once the live event is underway, your host has the tiller. You’ve chosen them for a reason and if your pre-event preparation has been done well, they will know what to do. The more spontaneous your live event is, the more engaging it will be. Your audience will stay tuned as long as they think that they will miss out if they don’t. They want to be surprised, and they like it when they feel that everything didn’t go as planned.
- Engage, engage, engage: Periscope and Facebook Live allow your audience to leave comments on, or below, your live video. Those comments—good and bad—need to be engaged with as much and as cleverly as possible. Your host needs to be briefed well on what they can and cannot say. It is those interactions that are key to your audience involvement. If you answer them, it makes your audience feel considered and can enrich your live content.
- Live streaming for lasting content: Just because your content is recorded live doesn’t mean that you can’t make use of it afterwards. Facebook, for one, allows your followers to re-watch live content, along with the live comment feed, after the streaming, allowing you to ensure that you engage as much of your audience as possible. An entertaining live stream can become an engaging video. To this day the most watched live video featured 2 Buzzfeed employees making a watermelon explode thanks to elastics. The video is 45 minutes long and has 900 000 views on YouTube. So investing in quality live streaming is investing in a content that has more than just momentary potential
- Be aware of legal issues: Finally, in live anything can happen, and people that you feature might not all have given their consent to be filmed, so make sur your legal team has got you covered.