July 16, 2018
Comms Best Practices
/ by Cision Contributor
Incorporating live video into your marketing mix has proven to be an excellent way to reach customers on a more personable level. However, while many brands may be doing it, very few have really mastered the art of livestreaming.
Live video is, without a doubt, the medium that audiences prefer to receive branded information. According to Livestream.com, 80 percent of people like livestreams over blog articles, and 82 percent prefer it to traditional social media posts. To keep people both invested and entertained, your message, and the overall, feel must be compelling and have characteristics that are strictly your own.
One of the best formats to keep your audience engaged is live question & answer (Q&A) sessions. This approach has been shown to boost engagement by up to 82 percent.
Even though including a Q&A segment seems simple and straightforward, there are many strategies that can help to improve your results. Let’s dive into the details.
The host of a video plays an immensely important role in the perception of the entire production. On television, many hosts are synonymous with their show. Jeopardy would not be the same without Alex Trebek, nor would Wheel of Fortune have the same appeal if Pat and Vanna left. While the host of your livestreams may not have the same level of celebrity as these TV hosts, they still play a big part in the branding of your organization through their demeanor.
For example, America’s Test Kitchen live Q&A videos are hosted by various chefs who are highly knowledgeable about their craft and can offer viewers great advice. Each host brings something different to the table in terms of their personality, but they all help to support the overall brand voice by simplifying complicated recipes and answering questions about food and cooking.
Be sure to establish a clear brand voice for the host(s) to follow before you record. Your host’s language and demeanor must be on par with your messaging. Since a live Q&A session cannot be scripted, your host must understand your brand and design questions and responses accordingly.
A livestream Q&A does not have to be a “one and done” type of deal that only exists as long as cameras are rolling. In fact, it is the perfect time to encourage your audience to engage and dig deeper by promoting other content.
Interactive content is a great engagement driver, but many marketers find it difficult to implement. You most likely will not be able to answer every single question that is asked or respond to each comment, so not everyone is able to get involved.
In such cases, especially if you’re a B2B company or sell technical products, you might prefer running a live webinar by inviting only a targeted audience (maybe just your customers). This way you have a recorded archive of your interaction with them, and those who couldn’t attend it live always have the chance to come back and refer it.
Adding livestream extensions into your video makes it much easier to increase the level of engagement by allowing each viewer to participate. Interactive elements can be easily added into livestreams through specific extensions that embed them right into the video. Audiences can vote for live polls through “smart mapping.” This means they can simply touch or click on the screen to enter their vote, which is perfect for a side by side vote to gain valuable feedback.
This concept goes beyond just the traditional chat room style interaction that is typical of most livestreams. It also makes it much easier for your audience to share their opinions and get in on the action.
According to a Social Media Examiner report, there are four psychological elements that make us more attentive when consuming video content:
Generally speaking, humans are inherently curious creatures, and we also tend to crave something that no one else has, or that very few people have because it makes us feel important. We also want to feel a connection with other people who share the same interests or experiences as us. And finally, being recognized makes us feel important and heard, so we are much more likely to pay attention and be engaged.
The reason why live video works so well is that it fulfills all of these desires. It shares information and content with the few people who may be watching, making it an exceptionally authentic learning experience. Hosting live Q&A sessions also builds a sense of inclusivity and community among viewers, which encourages them to share their thoughts and opinions. It is also the perfect opportunity for your brand to fulfill the desire for recognition and personalized content, as the audience can chime in with real-time input. People tend to perk up when someone mentions their name. Be sure to mention the names of audience members who ask a question, thank them for their input and recognize their participation for even better engagement.
Sephora’s “Ask Me Anything” livestream segments do a great job of incorporating all five of these elements into each video. They invite big names in the beauty industry to an informal interview session where they answer customer questions.
Since they are experts, it creates a very exclusive event with information that viewers can’t get anywhere else. It is also a chance to connect with other people who love the same things they do. They also answer fan questions that are posted live during the stream to boost engagement and create a two-way experience.
The purpose of content marketing is to provide your audience with the exact information they are seeking. Hosting live question and answer sessions during video streaming is the perfect chance for your brand to address your customer’s most burning questions in real time. The nature of this tactic makes it inherently engaging, but in order to get those levels even higher, marketing teams should have a plan beyond the stream.
Live videos are a great way to catch your audience’s attention. But, hosting engaging Q&A’s that build the opportunity for interaction and conversation is the best way to keep it.
Make sure that the entire conversation stays true to your brand by choosing an engaging host that creates a memorable experience. Use it as a lead nurturer to promote further learning by linking to additional content within your website. Tap into the psychological side of things by understanding engagement motivators and using them to your advantage during the livestream. And finally, make it as easy as possible for your audience to get involved by exploring extensions that build interaction.
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With more than10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.
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