What exactly is live streaming and why should you do it?
The Jarvis ML team recently attended The Lead Innovation Summit in Brooklyn, New York. The conference covered the future of tech within eCommerce. Of the varied topics, live streaming stood out as a popularly attended discussion.
The conversation was moderated by Marie Driscoll, Managing Director, Luxury & Retail, Coresight Research – and the panelists included:
- Gabby Hirata, President, DVF
- Andrea Moore, SVP, Digital, Ecommerce, & Consumer Insights, NEST New York
- Jill Scalamandre, CEO, Beekman 1802
The session description read: “As brands look for alternative strategies for digital customer acquisition, live streaming has suddenly become all the rage.”
But let’s break down why we think live streaming should be your next channel of focus and how to optimize it.
Live Streaming Overview
Live streaming lets you share video content with your customers – but in real time. It creates a unique opportunity for you to interact with your audience in a recognizably authentic way, given the inability to re-run or do post-production editing.
Going live takes nerve!
Live streaming isn’t new by any stretch (hello QVC and HSN), but eCommerce strategies have evolved with changing consumer behavior and changing technology. Be it on Facebook, Instagram, or our own websites, live streaming is a tool that offers merchants immense power to engage in ways that consumers of 2022 crave: genuinely connecting with their favorite brands.
Give your consumers an opportunity to connect with your brand
Ben Harris, the COO of Rag and Bone said retail allows the consumer to connect with the product, while DTC allows them to connect with the brand.
I would argue that live streaming is the best of both worlds. By live streaming the manufacturing, designing, packaging, or use of specific products or lines, you familiarize your customers with your goods. But this organic and authentic medium creates a direct connection for shoppers to your brand and brand values. You open up a real lens to showcasing your team, culture, and operations.
Gone are the days of overly precious social media – we’re all craving authenticity from our favorite brands.
Live Stream like a pro
Below we list out some of the best takeaways from the panel discussion from July 2022. These tips come from the 3 speakers (named above) and their experience leading teams that have successfully deployed live streaming as a channel to their customers.
- Post with Consistency: Create more opportunities for your customers to see who you are and what your brand stands for. Infrequent or one-off live streams doesn’t appear as authentic as staying in touch with audience regularly.
- Intentionally Build your Audience: Promotion and distribution through your marketing channels – emails, SMS push notifications, and normal social posts – is important to inform your consumers when to tune in. “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply here (nor in many places). You have to work to grow the audience!
- Optimize Promotion Channels: Use optimization tools to grow your audience. A machine learning intelligence engine – like Jarvis ML – can provide the right content to shoppers at the right time to encourage viewership and engagement.
- Show Your Emotions: Whether via tone, subject matter, or point of view… work to create an emotional connection with your customers. You know they are real people that want to feel like they know and connect your brand: make it easy for them to know what you’re about.
- Real Employees, No Actors: Give a true behind-the-scenes lens into your company and brand. Use your people who truly embody your brand. Your employees should be the face of the live stream. Not only will they sound more authentic, but customers can tell what’s fake.
- Host on Your Website: Host the live stream on your own website if you have the infrastructure. This way you have more control to link to the products right from the streaming page, post pricing on the live stream, and capture more information about the audience. Keep the most-relevant information available for the full live-stream – for example, pricing or promotions – because you never know when someone will tune in or jump off.
- Keep it for 24 Hours: Keep your live stream posted on your channel for 24 hours after airing. This allows the stragglers who didn’t get the initial notification to catch up after the fact. You get visibility with them, and possible down-stream conversions.
- Don’t Give Discounts During Live Streams: It’s not recommended to give discounts during a live stream. If a precedent for discounted goods is set, customers will begin to expect it. Don’t feed the beast! The goal of livestream is to build connection and brand loyalty with your customer base.
If you aren’t already using livestream, it’s a medium worth trying. But remember, it does require an audience to engage.
If you’re looking to build or expand your live stream audience, Jarvis ML helps create brand loyalty by discovering and modeling individual customer intent, and then activating this data in personalized and relevant brand experiences throughout the buying journey. By converting more traffic to purchases, and more customers to repeat buyers, your subscriber base grows and your reach strengthens.
Reach out to our team to have a chat about all things eCommerce: whether live streaming, conversion rate optimization, or how machine learning can help grow your operation predictably.