The December release of yet another feature in Instagram and its parent company Facebook, presents a great opportunity for B2C marketing. Instagram and Facebook ‘live’ allow users to, at any time, broadcast live video to all their followers on those platforms, automatically notifying those followers that a livestream has begun. By having livestream notifications be opt-out rather than opt-in, marketers can reach a much wider audience, while the actual viewing of the livestream remains opt-in, making sure that all viewers are interested in seeing what the company/individual is livestreaming. Users can live-comment and react to these livestreams, increasing the potential amount of interaction between the streamer and the audience.
Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious behind-the-scenes Facebook live stream amassed 8.2 million views, notifying viewers that the movie will be ready soon and built upon existing anticipation. The stream had a personal tone to it, allowing fans to feel a level of connection with a celebrity that they could not achieve otherwise. Live videos are direct and unpolished; there will be no editing before it is posted on social media, they are happening as your audience sees them, and if your core demographic can relate to any noteworthy event occurring at your company or even if you have something to say to your core demographic in any sense, that represents an opportunity to go live.
Fashion brands, models, athletes and musicians have all been using Instagram Live to a very high degree in conjunction with the Instagram story feature, which allows users to post short videos or pictures that will automatically keep playing in sequence until the user backs out (another opt-out function involved in the process) to engage their core base of followers. Yves Saint Laurent, a high fashion brand, livestreamed a party with all their models and many celebrities attending, creating a feeling of “FOMO”, fear of missing out, amongst those watching while also advertising their new collection.
Livestreaming events at locations close to your followers can lead to an even higher level of interaction, knowing that a brand you like is livestreaming some sort of event at the mall near you, can draw one to the mall even if they had no intention of doing so beforehand. This can be extended to trade/industry shows and events, letting your customers know exactly where your booth is and letting them know what you are offering them exactly at that event. In addition, advertising new products that consumers are excited about (or as is often the case with musicians, new music) “live” creates a loyal base of followers who will watch your livestreams and interact with the brand often as they are afraid to miss anything cool/important that the livestreamer might share and as they want to be the first in the know about any new cool clothes/electronics/music or whatever their social circles are all interested in. This “insider” feeling, exclusive to those who decided to partake in the livestream, fosters brand loyalty and increased consumption of the brand.
In the future we may see companies offering special deals to those who watch their livestreams as an extension of the already prevalent offering of deals to those who interact with the company on other platforms. These are just a few examples of ways people have been using Instagram and Facebook Live to create better relationships with your core demographic, build awareness and anticipation for new products, and convert awareness/interest in your products to actual purchases.
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