The Rise of Livestreaming: Why People Watch, and How Brands Can Benefit
Very recently we entered the year 2019, and it goes without saying that most of the world is connected via the Internet.
It is obvious that as we enter further and further into the digital era that we are not only keeping track of what is happening around the world but are also sharing our thoughts, ideas, and experiences with our friends, family, and followers.
It seems that social media platforms which we use on a regular basis, whether we are talking about Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, just to name a few, are some kind of checkpoints in a large system of information which is an important part of our global village.
From a Daily User’s Point of View
To put things into perspective of what I am talking about, we need to look at our daily habits of interaction on the Internet.
The people and pages we follow, the news we read, the videos we watch or better yet the never-ending source of new information which are presented to us by simply tapping a screen or clicking a button share one important thing – an audience.
Seems logical enough right? Yet again sometimes we forget that we all play a part in a large stage show called social media. Some play the roles of the main actor; some are just a part-time attraction, while most of us are innocent bystanders.
Behind the Scene
Now you may be wondering who is behind all this, who are the people who make content for us to watch and enjoy? That is a difficult question to answer if you keep in mind that anyone can post anything they want on their social media profile at any given time.
Having said this, and knowing the hard climb into Internet stardom and gaining mass popularity in general, when we talk about the main actors of this so-called show program known as the Internet we could list them by several categories:
- YouTubers – vloggers, gamers, informative content creators, fashion and make-up tutorials, podcasts and many others could be included in this category.
- Famous actors, singers, musicians – their fans want to know everything about their day-to-day life and get news about their new projects.
- Great thinkers and writers – these are reserved for people who appreciate their work, and want to learn more about them.
- Politicians and businessmen – coming from someone who is a great deal interested in politics, I can assure you that there is no better way to be in touch with the latest news concerning politics than to watch and read tweets right from the source.
- Sportsmen – this needs to be included in the list because of a large audience that these people and their matches attract.
Why do people actually watch live-streams?
In my previous explanation, I wanted to point out some key elements of what makes someone or something popular to provide a better understanding of why people actually watch that content.
Now my main goal is to pinpoint what kind of content is shown through live-streams and how live-streaming changed the course of social media altogether.
There are two major reasons people watch live-streams:
- Keeping up with the world – as our world is changing at a very quick pace, being in sync with all big events is much easier if you tune in right when those events take place and not waiting to hear about them later on through some other information channels.
- The down-fall of Television – knowing that you can find more content and live-streams on the Internet than your TV channels much quicker and easier than ever before.
How does this change the game?
It is obvious that with the option of live-streaming you can tune into any program, podcast, football match and so on, at any time and place whether you are using your phone, laptop or computer.
This option attracts people and gives them the opportunity to keep track of all their interests and get the content that they want to see all in one place.
I’m now making a list similar to the in the previous introduction but with some changes, pointing out the categories of content rather than the actors themselves:
- Gaming – you may be shocked to find out that internet gaming has one of the largest audiences in the world and platforms like YouTube and especially Twitch offer lots of live-streams at any given time of players playing all kinds of games.
- Social media – we are all aware of both Instagram and Facebook stories and live videos, and the importance of views and followers because they show the relevance and reach of the content.
- Podcasts – there are many different types of podcasts depending on the content itself and I’m going to make a short list of some of them:
- Sports matches – I’ve mentioned them before and believe they are an important group of content due to the fact that there are not only many sports events every day but also a large number of fans who want to watch their favorite team or athlete and how they perform.
Now that we talked about why people watch live-streams and what is popular in the internet community, it is time to dwell deep into the question of how to use live-streaming to present your product to the viewers.
We had an introduction about the viewers and consumers perspective and by doing so we made a foundation about the subject of branding products on live-streams.
Whether you have just started out as a young entrepreneur or maybe you are a part or in charge of a big company, you need to know a little bit of consumers’ psychology – what makes a person buy a product when they watch a live-stream and see some kind of advertisement for that specific product?
I will be giving a more detailed answer to this puzzling question later but for now, I wanted to make a short list of things that can be advertised via live-stream. Keep in mind that there are various types of things that can be branded and presented so I will try my best to put them all in the following groups:
- Websites – whether we are talking about the promotion of sites for companies in development or just standard site advertising, the principle is the same – the website needs to be at least somewhat connected to the content being viewed.
- Products – branding your products that you want to sell don’t strictly need to be associated with the content and this is done by either signing contracts with the person or group of people that are making the stream giving your product a shout-out or maybe even reviewing it.
- Events and shows – this one are simple, if you are organizing an event you can pay the streamer to give it a shout-out, maybe even getting the streamer to be part of the event to attract more visitors.
I know this list isn’t full of information about the exact types of products and websites that can be branded, but knowing the fact that there is so much out there that can be advertised during a live-stream I will make it up to you by giving specific examples of the way all of this works.
Examples for Branding a Product
1. Gaming Community
Yes, I’ve mentioned gaming before and now I’m mentioning it again – games make a lot of money both for the developers who make them and to big companies who advertise their products through them.
How it works is you enter a live-stream, you see the streamer is wearing branded headphones and using branded computer equipment, he is drinking some branded energy drink and so on. It sounds silly but this gets viewers interested in the product which the streamer is using and they want to buy it because they believe he is using quality products.
We all know the gamers are paid to use, wear or even drink specific brands, and this creates an illusion to the viewers that the brand is a good one, which more often than not turns out to be true because big brands that do these kinds of advertisement are known to be the best of the best. It’s more about boosting the name of the brand than tricking people into buying it.
Also, gamers get paid to advertise certain websites which either have some link to the games they are playing or are simply useful for learning, reading, making music etc.
Gamers don’t seem to care too much about what they are advertising because they either need the money from the ads or they already got money from competing in gaming events so keep that in mind if you are planning to start branding your products on live-streams.
2. Sports Matches
Someone would think that I am a sports fanatic due to the fact that I’ve already talked about sports events twice in this discussion but now it’s time to explain at what I was getting at the whole time.
When you watch a live stream, for example, a football match, you are sure to spot advertisement wherever you look. Whether it is on the jersey of the team, or below the grandstand, big companies tend to pay a lot of money for their products to be advertised at these big events.
I’m going to do some of the advertising myself and mention the classic example of Nike and Adidas.
Now it doesn’t matter if you are a fan of Nike or Adidas or even neither, these brands are living proof of how much profit there is to make when you are a company for sporting equipment and how to effectively present your product to the world of sports.
3. Social Media
If you ask me there is no better way to market your product if you are a company in development or an entrepreneur than using the benefits of Instagram or Facebook live videos.
Some people became famous for having lots of followers on Instagram and more often than not you can see those people advertise all sorts of products like beauty products and clothing brands.
Due to the fact that live videos are a common practice in both the world of Instagram and Facebook, this can be a great way to present your product to some kind of an audience, because you have to start somewhere.
The good thing about social media also is that lots of celebrities use it and we already talked about how their fans want to find out everything they do in their life. This can be used to your advantage if you are a big company and big companies actually do it all the time by letting famous people wear their brand of clothes for example, or use other kinds of products.
I’ve left podcasts to be the last example simply because there is a lot to talk about and a lot of things can be branded by paying the streamers for advertisement.
Not to mention that podcasts are a great way to even present your product or website altogether by maybe having the streamers review it or talk about the features of the product in some part of the stream.
Maybe you want your website for language courses to be advertised, for example, you could get in contact with a podcast streamer and ask him to advertise your website at one point of his show.
Now depending on the price or even the interest of the streamer you will either succeed or fail at this, but since you are a small company and there are lots of streamers who are willing to present any given product, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right streamer for the job.
On the other hand, if you are a big company known for your product and it’s quality but want your brand to have a greater reach to the audience I’m sure that any streamer would be glad to take your offer to advertise it because it benefits them too.
Again I’m going to advertise a brand, specifically a website, in order to give you a better example of what I’m aiming at. I want to mention Skillshare, it is an online learning platform where you can learn a wide range of subjects and languages and also teach online and earn money.
Now I’ve seen this website being advertised in all sorts of videos but never really took a chance to visit it, but that’s not important. What’s important is that everything depends on the type of product which you want to advertise and where you should do the actual advertising.
If you want to present your website for learning languages as we mentioned, you should try to find a podcast where they talk about linguistics or where the podcasts are in different languages for example.
The same goes for big brands, for example, Nike should try to find a podcast where they talk about what is ”cool” and ‘’fresh” now for the younger generation due to the fact that teenagers like to spend a lot of money on expensive sneakers.
Use these examples as some kind of retrospect of what type of product can be advertised in which live-stream.
HOW TO START USING THE POWER OF LIVE-STREAM
From Ideas to Profit
We talked about why people watch live-streams, how companies can use this to market their product and also gave some examples of specific brands that made it big time.
If you also want to make it big and earn a lot of money and you consider starting a company, or you already have a company but want to make, even more, you first need to know three things:
- Ideas, ideas, and ideas – you see I changed the famous Hilton phrase a little bit, but I did it to get you to pay attention to the most important thing when it comes to business, because without a new idea, chances are you won’t be able to attract the audience you want to attract.
- Startup capital – you’ve got to invest in your idea in order for it to become a reality, nothing ventured nothing gained.
- Knowing the market – and better yet knowing your consumers, this is where live-streaming can be used to get a better perspective of what is being watched and what viewers most pay attention to.
That being said, now we can move on to some tips on how to start a business, and efficiently place your product on the market of live-streaming.
You have your idea, you have some cash lying around waiting to be spent, you did some research on the market, and the question is – what now?
Things tend to get a little complicated around this part mainly because lots of ideas have failed due to the lack of innovation or poor marketing, but an important thing to remember is that you have to keep trying.
You need a group of experts who can make your idea into a reality and also present your product the right way, doing it by yourself is a slippery slope because it takes a lot of time, energy and money to do this correctly.
When you finally get your idea to work and the product is finished, you will be faced with the ultimate task of branding your product correctly. This is where I think that live-streaming can help you substantially in achieving your goal.
Get to Know Your Consumers
I can’t stress out this enough, in order for you to do well in marketing you need to know what your buyers want and at which specific groups of people to aim your product.
You need to do some homework on:
- Knowing the age group of your buyers and what kind of live-streams they watch.
- The region where a specific group of viewers lives and in which languages they watch the stream.
- Common interests of the viewers because a large portion of them will be interested in your product if it has something to do with the stream they are watching.
- Types of streams and who the streamers are because it will be easier to find that one stream that suits your needs.
- Number of streams with similar content due to the fact that if your product is being advertised on multiple streams, chances are you will earn a lot more money.
The Benefits of Live-Stream
There are huge benefits that live-streams have to offer to brands who want to advertise their product, and I’m going to list a few of them:
- It is cheaper than television – TV commercials are very expensive and can cost you a fortune for just a couple of seconds of airing.
- Timing – if you have a contract with a streamer you can choose when to advertise your product, this is usually done at the beginning or the end of live-stream.
- Advertisement during live-stream breaks – some live-streams have commercial breaks like TV programs, creating space for advertisement and this is a lot cheaper than TV ads as we said already said.
Live-streams give you the flexibility and the resources that you need in order to have your brand be presented in a way that both benefit your brand and the consumers. You place your product on the market, the streamer gets paid and the buyer has more information on your product and will be more willing to pay for it.
I wanted to summarize all that has been told in this article by saying that there are no limits when it comes to marketing a product through live-stream mainly because live-streaming has been on the rise relatively short, but that just means it will be a more useful and efficient tool for advertising in the future.
Keep track of all that has been said, explore the market, and get to know the viewers, find out to which group of people to present your product, watch the streams yourself and analyze their reach in terms of views because the most popular stream will help you introduce the audience with your brand.
All in all, the way to success is right at your fingertips, literally, it is up to you how you will use the resources given to you and how will people react to your product. The marketing world is full of ups and downs and you must not lose hope even if you are struggling in the beginning.
Now go out there and use the power of live-streaming to your advantage and achieve your goal. If you fail, which I hope you won’t, you can sit back and watch your favorite football team live and at half-time think about your next new idea.
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