In an age of content overload, brands are capitalizing on the fleeting, ephemeral nature of live video to stand out. Content with an expiration date – like the kind provided by SnapChat and Periscope – is becoming increasingly attractive to millennials.. With the ability to disrupt users with opt-in notifications, live stream videos are fast becoming the most effective way to cut through the noise of the media world. By demanding your attention right-here, right-now, fans and followers will drop everything to tune in to a brand’s video.
While the live video technology has been present for many years now, the quality was always subpar – even with a “good” 3G connection. Not to mention the fact that viewers had to watch the content natively on sites like Ustream. Now, in 2016, live streaming apps like Periscope, Facebook Live and YouNow are leveraging the latest advancements in data compression technology to serve dynamic live content to the now 4G-equipped consumers.
Facebook and Twitter have now integrated live video directly into their feeds, making it easier than ever to find, view and share live stream content. Until now, live stream content was primarily consumed on traditional TVs. This year, we’re beginning to witness a major shift towards mobile. Facebook just announced a deal with the NFL to broadcast Thursday Night Football, a move that will attract a huge audience and mobile advertisers with it. And, if the rumors are true, and Sheryl Sandberg is flying around with a briefcase of cash intended to entice influencers to use Facebook Live, surely they have plans to monetize their live stream platform soon.
While brands and marketers are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into YouTube TrueView video ads, their engagement rates pale in comparison to sponsored live streams. We’re seeing first-hand engagement rates often in the 12% range (on videos over 10 minutes long). Compare that to the single-digit retention rates that YouTube’s TrueView offers.
The high retention rate isn’t the only benefit of live stream videos. Live stream videos feature interactive, dynamic content with great production value. Skilled influencers can truly captivate viewers, essentially rendering them “captive” to brands. And what’s an impression when you’ve got a captivated viewer? An impression is a passive form of influence, but a captivated, tuned-in viewer is infinitely more susceptible to a brand’s marketing message.
Ultimately, live stream videos are successful marketing tools precisely because they don’t offer one-sided broadcasting. The best live stream videos take full advantage of the medium’s interactive, conversational and ephemeral nature. And the brands that can tap into that will reap huge rewards in 2016.