The Increasing Role of Live Streamed Video In Experiential Marketing Activations
Your brand is in the process of planning the perfect event, and you’re left with a choice: to stream or not to stream? Great question. The simple answer? It depends. There are pros and cons to live streaming, and we’re happy to walk you through both sides! But first, is it “live streaming” or “livestreaming”? The AP style guide will accept both, so that works for us (although we prefer “live streaming”). So, what qualifies us to talk about live streaming? We have many successful live streamed events under our belt, most recently the Mixer Anniversary Domino Build. Each stream presents unique challenges, but the opportunity to reach a larger audience than the physical space can handle is often the deciding factor.Why should I live stream my event? Let’s use Coachella as an example of the incredible potential reach of live streaming. The festival drew 24.5 million live views in 2017. In 2018, Coachella live views grew to 41 million. After last year’s cancellation, Beyonce’s Coachella performance was highly anticipated and drew a peak audience of 458,000 simultaneous global viewers making her set one of the most streamed videos of all time. Reach a larger audience at a low cost. It will almost always be cheaper to acquire a video viewer than to get people to buy tickets to an event. All that’s truly required to stream is a social account and an Internet connected device. We recommend reserving some budget to hire professionals. This will remove some of the risk of going live, and ensure that your stream looks its best. Right now, audiences around the world are consuming video at historic rates. The majority of the population prefers visual content to written content. It’s easier than ever to watch videos, as our devices and Internet connections now have better streaming capabilities. Gaming conferences such as E3 know their audience well, and are providing numerous entertaining streams throughout the week of the E3 conference. Why limit your event reach to the number of seats in a venue? Coachella has been live streaming for eight years. It’s past time for other brands to catch up. When should I skip the live stream? If it’s an exclusive, high cost event. Your paying audience may not be happy that the rest of the world can view the event for free, especially if the value is the same for both audiences. Make sure you’re not stepping on your paying audience’s toes. Avoid live streaming just because you can. Low quality video due to a weak Internet connection or cheap camera paints your brand in a poor light. A live stream with no purpose or value will be obvious to the consumer. As live video grows in popularity, consumers will be better educated on quality. If your live stream has no value, skip the live stream and focus on executing your next activation with enough value to live stream. If you decide to live stream your experiential marketing event, here are a few tips we recommend: Test, test, and test. Make sure your technology is working before the event, and have a backup plan. We’re dealing with technology, and things could go wrong. Run some tests and rehearsals in advance. Live footage can’t be edited, so have someone ready to kill the stream at any time. If something goes wrong, pause or cut the feed and start it up again when everything is back in order. Plan as much as possible in advance, and make sure the area you are filming is clean. With a live stream, your audience will see everything that happens. Did your top executive trip when taking the stage? Let’s hope you don’t have to see that GIF on social media for the next few days. Anything can happen on a live video, so preparation is key. Make sure your talent is well prepared, know your surroundings, and don’t make rehearsals an afterthought. Expand your reach with digital ad spend or influencer marketing before the event. Don’t forget to tell your audience that the event will be streamed. If influencers will be present, work out a deal to have them promote the live stream. Remarketing ads targeting your site’s visitors are an inexpensive way to add to your stream count (you only pay when they click on your ads). You’re spending part of your budget to be able to show your event to an audience, reserve some to multiply that audience with these inexpensive ads. Social promotion is a must as well; make sure your social team is on the same page. Provide Value and Engage the Audience. Having a chat function, exclusive discounts for viewers, and opportunities to interact with influencers are a few ways to add value to your live stream. Q&A’s are another great way to add value to a stream. As marketers, the question we must constantly ask is “How can we provide value?” and a live stream is no exception. Hopefully with these tips, you’re ready to take on a live stream for your next event. Our highly experienced team is always happy to answer questions, and help you decide if live streaming is the right choice for your next experiential marketing activation.
Hit us up! We’d love to partner with you.