And we are live in 3…2….1…..
The Live stream is now mainstream. Once considered the preserve of gamers, sports events and pop stars, lives streaming is now throwing up a whole range of possibilities for B2B marketing. And as ever, digital China is leading the charge.
As most Chinese internet users skipped the desktop and went straight to mobile internet, China has a habit of early adoption for all things online and in particular, mobile-based e-commerce and entertainment platforms. Spend any time at all on public transport in China and you will see for yourself as your fellow passengers spend the duration of their journey shopping, watching sports or catching up with news and soap operas on their mobile devices. Now, as channels like Twitch as well as more famous names like Facebook with Facebook Live and Twitter with its Periscope app, gain momentum alongside the Chinese players like inke and kuaishou, the West is catching up with the East in how it consumes its media and spends its time online.
Tuning in to the latest live stream is a big part of this. According to the ‘big 4’ advisory company, Deloitte, live broadcasts will have generated $545 billion in direct revenue in 2018, with revenue from live streaming making a significant contribution. The same report also suggests that China, where membership of streaming sites has “soared”, and where audiences are already comfortable paying to view video content, will remain the largest market for live streaming with viewers reaching 456 million. Forecasts for the US market paint a similar picture with revenues from live streaming subscriptions expected to have doubled during the period 2013 to 2020. While this doesn’t necessarily mean consumers will pay for B2B live stream content, it does mean that live streaming as a channel is increasingly relevant for B2B marketers around the world and that B2B audiences are increasingly willing to take part.
The Brandigo team has been advocating the value of live streaming to B2B marketers for some time and you can see the results it can generate very quickly. For example, we are currently supporting the Food is GREAT campaign being rolled out across China by the UK Government, and this B2B campaign has already made smart use of live streaming to raise awareness of the campaign and push its key messages to a wider audience beyond the activities taking place in Shanghai and Beijing. This video features highlights from a live stream broadcast at a major trade show held in Shanghai in November, and we estimate that an audience of 5 million from across Mainland China and beyond tuned in to the live stream of the Food is GREAT showcase event for Chinese F&B professionals that our very own China President, Mike Golden, took part in as a member of the expert panel.
For B2B marketers the challenge is to view live streaming as a part of the marketing toolkit that you can reach for on a regular basis, not just for product unveilings or virtual tours of your latest exhibition stand. Here are a few suggestions to think about:
- Regularly hosting Q&A sessions with your customers, or webinars that add value to your products or services can be an effective way of using live streaming to regularly engage with your customers. These can focus on training customers to get the most from your products and services.
- Interactive interviews with your company’s experts and opinion leaders, presenting your latest piece of killer research or market insight.
- Even just giving customers and stakeholders a ‘peep behind the curtain’ with a tour behind the scenes at your office can bring you closer to your target audiences and drive traffic to your website and social media.
With all the channels available to B2B marketing professionals, in China and the rest of the world, live streaming is something to be embraced. We would love to hear about your experience with live streaming so please leave us a comment, and get in touch to talk about how live streaming can give your B2B marketing a boost.