As live video streaming has been growing more popular among consumers, the effects have been spilling over into business applications. Forty-four percent of executives hosted live streaming events in 2015, a Brandlive survey found. Twenty percent plan to test live streaming events in 2016. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said that live streaming will be an important part of their marketing mix in 2016, and 20 percent said it will be “very important.”
Live video streaming gives businesses the power to combine instant voice communication with simultaneous visual display, a combination which has many useful applications for internal, B2B and B2C communications. Here are a few ways businesses are using this new technology that illustrate why you should consider adopting live streaming as part of your company’s social media strategy.
Among executives in Brandlive’s survey who are already using live streaming, the most popular application was delivering training videos through live events. For training, live streaming confers the advantage of being able to include visual aids and live demonstrations with presentations. For example, camera provider Go Pro uses live streaming to train its sales representatives, which has resulted in a 400 percent increase in sell-through for stores participating in the program.
Marketing was another popular live event application cited by Brandlive survey respondents. The White House grabbed headlines in 2013 when it partnered with Google Hangouts to deliver a live streaming fireside chat in town hall format. The event proved so successful that since then the White House has used live streaming for daily press conferences and other events. Using a variation on this tactic, Samsung created buzz for its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge by sponsoring an Oscars backstage event. Social media shares drove traffic to the live feed, illustrating that broadcasting behind-the-scenes live streaming can be another effective marketing tool.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 16, 2016
Live streaming can be useful for demonstrations, not only for training purposes, but also for product demonstrations in ads and in customer support videos. For instance, BMW introduced its M2 coupe with a 24-hour teaser live-stream video that only showed the front of the car, prompting viewer demands to see the rest of the car. The campaign attracted 5,000 viewers at less expense than a television ad would have cost.
Another example is San Francisco’s Benefit Cosmetics. It does live streaming tutorials every month for 33,000 followers, using customer comments to drive traffic to the demonstrations.
Live streaming could be the future of customer service delivered through social media. Social media platforms are increasingly becoming an important customer service tool, with Twitter recently adding customer service direct messaging features to keep up with the demand. By adding live streaming support to social media live chat, brands can put a human face on their customer service conversations, giving customers the opportunity to talk face-to-face with a real representative instead of texting a faceless person with a Twitter handle. Live streaming can also be used by companies to deliver internal tech support and other types of support.
Another emerging application of live streaming is facilitating virtual meetings and interviews. Cisco has been using live streaming to cut down on the costs of company meetings. Companies can use live streaming for meetings, promotional interviews and hiring interviews, cutting travel time and costs while increasing efficiency.