John Koetsier, writing last week in Forbes, gave the example of Hometalk — a community platform for DIY-ers — who has seen their watch time jump significantly due to their use of live video. Hometalk also noted that half of their viewers (+8 million) regularly watch more than one live show.
As we start 2020 and embrace all of the beautiful, magical tech disruptions in front of us, it's important to understand the full gravity of the tools already at our disposal. While live streaming may have been for early adopters and savvy growth hackers in 2015, it's earned its spot in almost every marketer's regimen in 2020.
Understanding the value of live social videos
People crave the community and reality that live streaming provides. There aren't any scripts or fancy effects. You get to see people and brands interact in meaningful ways without all of the "movie magic."
Live video removes the aura of fake that permeates pre-created content and gives users a chance to really dig deep and connect with brands on an emotional level.
Yes, there are going to be mistakes. And some moments in the stream may be a little boring, but that's okay! There's a reason that Twitch's "IRL" (In Real Life) category draws in hundreds of millions of unique viewers every hour. All of those hiccups, silent moments, and on-the-air mistakes feel real, authentic, and, well, human.
Live streaming in 2020
In 2018, Neilson found that 42% of people had watched live-streamed video content. That same year, Conviva found that live video content rose by 65% — making it the fastest-growing content medium. This growth carried over into 2019, with both Twitch and YouTube experiencing massive growth surges.
In other words, live streaming is bigger than it's ever been. So 2020 should be the year that live streaming gets its place in the marketing playbook.
So, let's put this all together. Live videos hold consumers' attention longer, keep them more engaged, influence their purchasing behaviors, and help them connect with brands on a deep, emotional level.
So, why (according to MediaKix) are only 35% of marketers actually using them?
Why live streaming matters for marketers
We're starting to enter a dangerous territory with live streaming. It's no longer the differentiator. Most brands should have a live streaming strategy today. This isn't cool, future tech that you can ignore while it goes through its awkward stages — it's a necessity. Live streaming matters in 2020.
Facebook, YouTube, IG, and Twitch all have solid, user-packed live streaming capabilities. Twitter is entering the fray this year as well. You have plenty of choices when it comes to where you want to live stream. The important thing is that you do live stream. It's not even expensive or time-consuming. There's free software you can use to stream on Facebook, and live videos are far cheaper than traditional edited video content.
Don't sleep on live streaming this year. Put it in your arsenal and practice. If you don't, your competitors will.
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