The idea of appearing on camera in front of potentially hundreds of viewers may seem daunting, but there are many benefits to live video for small business owners, writes CEO of marketing consultancy Stratton Craig, Darren Clare.
Content is key to getting your business noticed online. One of the biggest content trends for 2017 that owners can easily use to engage with their customer base, while increasing traffic and driving sales, is live video for small business.
Live video for small business is taking the world of content marketing by storm. In its first year, users of Periscope – the Twitter-owned live video feed – watched an average of 110 years of content every day.
Facebook users currently watch more than 100m hours of video combined, every day. So, what are the benefits, and why should live video for small business be encouraged?
(1) Give your target audience an insight into your business
Making it personal is the key to effective content marketing, and what is more personal than putting a face to your brand?
Consumers subconsciously look for a reason to establish an emotional connection to a brand so they can connect to the reasoning and promise behind a product or service.
When consumers are able to get to know and engage with a brand on more than a typical brand-to-consumer level, trust levels increase and consumers will be likely to come back for more.
You can create an emotional connection between your brand and your target audience using live video.
Perhaps you can do a “meet the team” live video on your company’s Facebook page or live Instagram video or, if you want to give customers a deeper insight into a specific member of your team, owners can produce weekly Q&As with team members from various departments.
This will build trust, increase engagement and show customers, as well as potential new customers, that you’re a real small business. By giving your audience this deep an insight into your business, you’re showing your honesty and openness as a brand.
(2) Show your customers how your products are made
This is great for small manufacturing companies and retailers. By creating a live video for consumers and streaming it across your small business’ social media platforms, not only are you allowing them to learn something new, you are promoting your unique proposition at the same time.
Social media users love to feel ‘in the moment’, and by giving them an insight into the behind the scenes of how your products are made, viewers will feel they’re seeing rare footage that their peers are missing out on.
Live streaming will increase customer engagement through the opportunity for instant feedback from customers with questions and comments. It could also attract new customers if viewers see a high-quality video and engaging content.
3) Launching new products
One of the huge benefits of live video is that it is a form of free advertising and is highly targeted to your audience. Live streaming is therefore a great way to launch a new product.
Users will feel like they’re the first to find out about the new product, so will be enticed to tune in. At the same time, using a new platform to launch your products will also portray you as a forward-thinking brand.
A great early success story of live-streaming the launch of a new product is Doritos. The brand used Periscope to host a chance-based game show to promote their new “Roulette” crisps, which allowed Doritos to position itself as a young, savvy brand for millennial viewers.
If your small business isn’t yet at the stage of launching new products, you can adapt this so that you’re live-streaming your visit to an exciting location, or if you’re having a meeting with an exciting person.
As a small business owner, diving into the world of live video might seem a bit overwhelming. If you’re worried about having no viewers tune in, use Google Analytics to find out the time of day your target audience engage with your brand the most, and start creating a buzz about your live video before you broadcast.
Live video for small business is fresh and new, and is swiftly becoming a powerful marketing tool.
By using it to give a deeper insight into your business, showing behind the scenes of how your products are made or streaming your new product launch, company owners are increasing the potential of driving more traffic and sales.
Darren Clare is CEO at London-based copywriting and language consultancy, Stratton Craig.
Read more about the two new Instagram business tools recently announced for small brands.
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