From demonstrating intricate products in real-time to broadcasting webinars and conferences, live streaming is a natural progression of an ecommerce business’s video marketing. It is an important tool for engaging customers.
The technology behind live streaming is not necessarily new. In fact, nearly all media transferred over the web is “streaming,” meaning that it is delivered in a flow or steam so the client device can begin playing the content before the entire file is transferred. This is how we watch YouTube and Netflix videos, for example.
Live video is also not new. Live video conferencing software has been around for years, and anyone reading this article is probably familiar with live webinars or online seminars.
The difference with what we now call live streaming is that it is being widely distributed via social media, and it is this distribution model that has made live streaming a powerful marketing vehicle relative to its cost and the effort it requires.
So how can your ecommerce business use live streaming to reach and engage potential customers?
1. Product Demonstrations
I have written about an experience I had at a brick-and-click retailer in September 2017. This retailer stocked a product called the Orca Rocket beverage koozie, which sells for about $30.
The Rocket had been on this retail chain’s physical shelves for more than a year, but very few sold.
By chance, one store employee sent Rockets to the retailer’s booth at barbecue festival.
At around 11:00 a.m. Saturday, a festival goer asked about the Rocket and a store employee working the booth began demonstrating how it could be converted to hold a bottle or a can. The demonstrations continued, and by 2:00 p.m. this retailer had sold a year’s supply of Rocket koozies out of its booth.
Shoppers hadn’t understood the item’s value until they had seen it in action.
This was an example of how a demonstration can drive sales. This same retail chain has since done product demonstrations via Facebook Live. In some cases, sales were made within moments of the live stream’s release.
For your live streaming campaigns, consider demonstrating and explaining relatively complex products. Your business may get a boost.
2. Product Introductions
In a similar way, live streaming videos can be used to introduce new products or extensions of your product lines.
If your ecommerce business has just brought in a new line of snow boots for winter, take a few minutes to show them off via Facebook Live.
For example, Vibram has developed an awesome new sole technology called Arctic Grip. These soles are available on a few brands of shoes, and they stick to ice for a far superior performance in the winter.
In November, retailer Active Endeavors posted a short Facebook Live video describing the Arctic Grip sole. This is a great example of using live streaming video to show off your store’s wares.
3. How-to Tutorials
How-to articles and videos are among the most successful forms of content marketing. When your business helps potential customers complete a task or learn a new skill, those shoppers may reciprocate with both purchases and loyalty.
Live streaming may allow your business to take how-to content to new levels with live, interactive broadcasts. For example, imagine you have an online pet supply store. Your store could schedule a live puppy training class with a well-known trainer. Your store could promote the event for a couple of weeks, and during the live streaming broadcast, the trainer could not only demonstrate dog-training techniques but also answer questions from the audience.
Or if you had an online kitchen supply store, you could schedule a series of live-streamed cooking classes: “This week make a grain bowl with black rice, red quinoa, red cabbage, yams, charred nuts, fried Cotija cheese, and a tahini dressing.”
4. B-to-B Webinars
Similar to live streaming a tutorial, business-to-business sellers can use live streaming services on Facebook or YouTube to serve up online webinars and seminars.
While this might not be a novel way to share material with your business’ audience, it could be a novel distribution model. Your company may find that it is easier to get more viewers on Facebook or YouTube than it had been when you broadcast your event on a dedicated webinar platform.
5. Brand Building
Your ecommerce company can use live streaming to share your business’s philosophy and brand character. In some industries, shoppers will buy from your business because they like your company, share your company’s worldview, or appreciate how your company gives back.
Live streaming is a nearly ideal platform for educating consumers about your business. For example, if you have employees who volunteer or otherwise serve local charities, why not use a live stream to show off some of their efforts?
If your business has a fun office environment, share some “behind the scenes” video streams. Or if your company takes political stands, use live video to discuss why that is part of your company’s culture.
Inexpensive and Effective
Live streaming is a new tool for your ecommerce marketing. It can be relatively inexpensive, and yet very effective. Make live streaming part of your ecommerce marketing.
Please link to your live streams in the comments, below.