What are the benefits of going live using social technologies right now?

There is so much content out there on the internet, and more is being created every moment.

One shocking statistic is that every minute over 500 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube. Who has time to watch all that? I mean, where would you even start?

The answer for most people is simple, the newest first. Fresh content is addictive. There is certainly a place for older ‘evergreen’ videos and articles, but social media feeds and content conversations around the internet are sorted by: New.

Table of contents

One of the best ways to capture this spirit of newness is by going Live. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Zoom and Houseparty are just some of the big internet names embracing this phenomenon. With ever, refreshing their various feeds for new information, inspiration or, let’s face it, a little distraction. Now is the perfect time for your business to go live and meet your audience wherever they are, on their terms.

Live streaming on social media helps your brand reach a large and engaged audience.

Who is live right now?

Many creative and community institutions have already embraced the new streaming landscape during quarantine. Religious services are already being held online, along with the various community outreach programmes these institutions offer.

Entertainment and music venues have been feeling the pinch especially hard, as it is an industry with traditionally low margins, and artists relying on regular gigs for their next paycheck. Clubs across the world have taken to the web to keep people entertained, as well as supporting artists.

Isol Aid

Isol-aid has been supporting and promoting local talent on Instagram.

A great example of this is Isol-aid, a weekly online music festival. Since mid-march they have been streaming their events on Instagram. It works by showing 20 minute sets, back to back, from Aussie artists. They encourage viewers to donate to Support Act a music charity aimed at helping people in the music industry who are suffering financially. Globally and nationally there are lots more of these online-only experiences keeping the scene alive.

What kind of live content can businesses create?

As a business, it can be quite daunting to try and create live content. However, audiences can be more forgiving than in other forms of media. A little scrappiness can be expected; it all lends to the true live experience.

Thinking creatively can produce honest and compelling content. Users are 6x more likely to interact with live content than other forms of media. So with less foot traffic, what ways can you keep your business top of mind?

Competition Time

Everyone loves the chance to win.

Going live with a competition has all the ingredients of captivating content. Urgency, audience involvement and a possibility of reward. The contest itself could be simple; trivia, guess the object or a “comment to win” that pushes engagement. Just make sure you follow the competition rules of whatever platform you are on.

The prize could be one of your own products or services. This means your live stream can double as a product launch to promote your brand. Delaying the announcement of the winner gives you time to tell people about the great product they could win, or you could use the time to tell the story of your brand and interact with customers.

This can be combined with any other strategy to bring extra engagement to live streaming events.

Behind the scenes

Another great way of engaging people with live streaming is to give them an AAA tour to parts of your business that would not normally be customer facing. Part of the allure of the behind the scenes tour is understanding all of the background work that goes into your business. Give your audience a sneak peak at the machinery behind your product, or the teams that make it all possible, and they will have a new appreciation for what you do.

If your work environment is an office, then show your customers who they are dealing with everyday. A look into the hip offices of a start-up can give a 3D understanding to everyday interactions. Just make sure to show that it’s not all beanbags and table tennis or they might get the wrong impression.

There are loads of ways to do your behind the scenes tour. I love this example from a small garden center in the US. It’s lo-fi, genuine and packed full of information and promotes offers that the business is currently running. It also answers lots of questions that customers may have at the moment. Show that you are open for business with a live video.

Teach us something

Live streaming doesn’t necessarily have to be on a social media platform.

You can use other popular web conference services such as Zoom or Skype to invite your customers to online lessons, webinars or classes. This is something that lots of businesses have pivoted to do, in order to keep their customers happy and loyal during the quarantine. This model works especially well if you provide a service that’s easy to get on camera. Think of dance, fitness and yoga studios that are currently moving all their classes online.

You can also combine this with an interview with an expert, influencer or celebrity who endorses your products to gain further reach and authority.

One Aussie business that you wouldn’t quite expect to be going live is Brix Distillery. Now their tours and events have been cancelled they have taken to the web and are offering cocktail making courses in time for Mother’s Day. They even send you custom cocktail kits so you can follow along.

Brix Cocktail Making

The guys at Brix give us the perfect mother’s day present during quarantine.

You’re live in 3…2…1!

With these examples we are sure you will find inspiration to go out and start creating live content for your brand or business. Like all new things, experimentation and analysis, are the best way to move forward.

As a small business, your online reach will be local, and that is exactly what you want. Find out what works for you and use this time to reach out to your customers, let them know that you are still there for them using one of the most engaging mediums that you have at your disposal.

Embrace the DIY nature of live streams and people will be able to relate to your brand as more than just a business but a part of the community.