Live streaming has grown significantly in recent years, and Facebook Live and Instagram Live have quickly risen to the top.
We’re all visual creatures, but people especially love social live video. Native Facebook videos (meaning ones filmed and streamed via the platform) enjoy nearly double the engagement of video shared from YouTube and Instagram, and a significantly higher organic reach. Facebook itself reports that users watch live videos 3 times longer than non-live video, speaking to the in-the-moment appeal of these types of content.
Social media opened the doors between us normal people and our favorite influencers, brands, and celebrities. We could vicariously participate in their lives, engage, and connect. Live video lets us do all of that – in real time.
Live streaming makes your brand feel real. It’s an opportunity for you to be less polished and more authentic. You can show the human side of your team versus the scripted, commercial side.
43 percent of consumers told Hubspot they want to see more video content. Give your fans the video content they want by taking a tip from these brands.
1. Grazia UK: Host A Debate
Italian’s women magazine Grazia UK live streamed multiple events as they put together their first community issue at Facebook’s London headquarters.
One popular event was their Brexit roundtable, where Facebook followers could engage real time by asking questions and sharing their own opinions in the comments.
The video has 74K views to date.
Is there a topical event your brand can host a discussion around?
2. Buzzfeed: Throw A Crazy Stunt
In perhaps one of the finest examples proving that they know how to make anything go viral, BuzzFeed filmed two employees trying to make a watermelon explode with rubber bands.
The 45-minute video has over 11 million views to date. Whether this says something about people being bored at work on a Friday afternoon or the actual quality of storytelling, it does lend credence to the idea that going viral is more accessible than some might think.
Can you pull a similar stunt with your product?
3. Dunkin’ Donuts: Offer A Peek Behind-the Scenes
While you might think of stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts on your way to work every morning, it may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you’re shopping for Valentine’s Day.
The company sought to change that with their holiday-themed Facebook Live video.
The video, which captured them constructing a massive wedding cake made of donuts in their test kitchen, has 44K views to date.
Besides its intended use, are there creative or surprising ways you can use your product?
4. Tough Mudder: Hype Your Upcoming Event
Tough Mudder organizes endurance events, obstacle courses, and mud runs across the country. If they’ve never done one before, people can be wary of signing up because they don’t know quite what they’re in for. And once they register for their first event, those nerves don’t necessarily go away.
Tough Mudder tackled two birds with one stone by filming a coach leading participants through a training course. Showing them exactly what to expect gets people excited to sign up, and amps up those who have already registered.
The video has 51K views to date.
Is there any anxiety around your product that you can address with live video?
5. Airbnb: Live-stream Your Event
Don’t let the live video stop with promoting your event – take it to the event like Disney did.
Disney partnered with Airbnb to create a Treehouse to host the premiere of The Jungle Book. They then live-streamed from the red carpet, where fans watched the cast and crew get interviewed.
The video has 112K views to date.
What events can you share with your fans, from company meetings to VIP parties?
6. Tastemade: Start A Video Series
Everybody loves something cute and adorable, and something is instantly cuter if it’s in miniature form.
Tastemade’s Tiny Kitchen series taps into that, where they create miniature versions of food.
The video has nearly 4 million views to date.
Consider creating a video series for your brand. Perhaps it’s a weekly product tutorial, a regular interview with a team member, or something creative like Tastemade’s approach.
7. Tim Coppens: Share Exclusive Content
With its visual focus, fashion is a natural fit for Instagram. The fashion industry is also known for its focus on exclusivity.
Designer Tim Coppens recognized that, and chose to offer only one option for remote viewing of his menswear collection. Fans could see it live in Florence at Pitti Uomo, or watch through Instagram Live.
Are there exclusive events your brand attends? Give your fans virtual access with live video.
8. Modcloth: Announce Your Pop-up Store
Vintage-style clothing retailer Modcloth went live from one of their pop-up stores to give fans a peek at their in-store offerings.
Videos like this encourage fans to come whenever you host a pop-up, boosting sales, and help new ones discover your company when the video is taking over their news feed.
The 15-minute video has 83K views to date.
Does your brand attend trade shows, conferences, fairs, or festivals? Encourage more foot traffic with a live video.
9. Beyond Yoga: Try Before You Buy
One of the biggest challenges facing online clothing retailers is hesitancy to purchase, and a higher rate of returns if they do. Yoga apparel brand Beyond Yoga minimizes those risks with a simple Instagram Live.
They filmed a yogi wearing their gear throughout an entire session, taking their product from a static website image to a real-world view, where customers can see how the fabric fits to the body and handles sweat.
How can you present your product in a live video to help it feel more real to customers?
10. J. Crew: Offer Freebies And Giveaways
J. Crew regularly offers exclusive deals through their Instagram Live videos. Users have to click through the Instagram link, and it only lasts for a limited time – as long as they’re still streaming.
This tactic rewards your most faithful followers, and encourages more casual fans to find value in following your brand.
Why not host your next flash sale with a live video?
11. Target: Break Records
Target partnered with Gwen Stefani to film the first music video ever created for live television. It aired during the Grammy Awards, and Target shared it simultaneously on Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Periscope. That’s one way to make a commercial break a lot more interesting!
Browse the Guinness World Records site. There may be a kooky record your brand can break.
12. Chevrolet: Launch A New Product
Every year, the CES tradeshow sees many a product launch. Brands like Chevrolet seized the opportunity to up the ante and give their fans a sneak peek.
Whether you had a pass to the show or not, you could watch live as the latest 2017 Bolt EV model was unveiled.
The video has 58K views to date.
Show fans you care about their opinion by launching your next product on Facebook Live, rather than behind closed doors at a stakeholder meeting.
13. Benefit Cosmetics: Show Fans How To Use Your Product
Benefit Cosmetics often streams live product tutorials on Facebook. Many how-to beauty videos cut out the boring parts,which means users have to pause the video it if they’re following in real-time.
With a live video, there’s no such need. Viewers can get ready in the mirror along with Benefit employees, as if they’re putting on their makeup with a new friend. Benefit really leans into the friend angle, calling the video “Tipsy Tricks” and pairing it with a glass of Rose.
The video has 59K views to date.
Bring your brand down-to-earth with a casual product tutorial featuring employees.
14. Starbucks: Show Off Your Humanity
Starbucks held an event in honor of National Voter Registration Day in Queens, NY. The video first followed several Starbucks representatives and volunteers explaining why voting mattered to them, lending a human touch to the brand, and then segued into a live stream of the main event with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and rapper Common. Ahead of the event, Starbucks encouraged users to submit their questions, building hype and getting them to stick around until the end to see if their question was answered.
The video has 171 views to-date.
Does your team regularly volunteer? Consumers like to support brands who care about the same causes they do.
15. Shopify: Work With Influencers
Influencer takeovers make your brand exciting. They show your fans that influencers think you’re cool, and that you’re willing to let loose every once in a while (making you seem even cooler).
Shopify frequently lets some of their more successful brand name clients take over their Instagram account. By filming a day at the office, these brands exemplify the kind of success other customers can hope to have with the ecommerce platform.
What influencers can you work with to create a fun live video experience?
16. Martha Stewart: Partner With Another Brand
If anyone knows how to sell while she cooks, it’s Martha Stewart. In this Facebook Live video, Martha prepares viewers for the holidays with some outdoor decorating ideas, every so often subtly (or not so subtly, given the CTA banner at the bottom) reminding fans how they can buy each product at Home Depot.
This video copies many of the same sales techniques you might see on QVC, but the live nature of the video, the use of social media, and the real-time tutorial lend it a more authentic feel.
The video has 588K views to date.
Just as you partner with other companies for promotional opportunities or webinars, consider working together on a live video.
17. Kohl’s: Provide Value Without Pushing Your Product
Sometimes promoting your product is not about showing your customers how they can use your product, but how you can help them in other parts of their lives. For many, the New Year signals it’s time to get back in shape.
As part of their #GetActiveWithKohls campaign, Kohl’s partnered with Tone It Up to give their Facebook audience a live workout video they could follow along with. The timing was perfect, considering Kohl’s holds plenty of New Year’s sales on fitness gear and apparel.
The video has 35K views to date.
Just as your social media feed shouldn’t be filled with posts pushing people to purchase, neither should your live video. Mix it up with video that gives your customers value without expecting something from them in return.
Making Live Video Work For Your Brand
Ultimately, live video is all about giving your fans an unique reason to follow you. Whether that’s an exclusive promo code, extra behind-the-scenes footage, or a launch party with influencers, your fans will be on the lookout for whenever you’re streaming live.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com
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