Isn’t everything better when it’s live? As consumers in both a monetary and media sense, we love it when things are marketed to us as live — a live lobster tastes better when cooked, and a reality TV show finale always keeps you on edge when it’s live. Seeing things happen in real time further breaks down that suspension of disbelief we all have within us. We know we aren’t really at those football games on TV, but we put ourselves in the seats anyways — live TV makes that a little more possible.


That’s the overarching idea of live video and marketing. It puts digital media consumers in the fast lane, and information is also a commodity best served fresh. Video gaming conferences often attract millions of viewers to their live streams because people love to see things and grab onto information right as its happening.


Need some statistical proof? In 2015, E3’s regularly broadcast live stream brought in eight million users in the first 12 hours.


New Live Possibilities


Several months ago, Instagram brought us the idea of Instagram stories, or short videos that can be shared with followers that then disappear 24 hours later. This took a note from Snapchat, a social app that is widely known for deletable pictures and short video snippets. Now, as of about a month prior to this article, Instagram has gone a step further and is offering live Instagram Story possibilities.


Other platforms were already doing this, namely Periscope and Twitch. Periscope is an app that allows users to stream via a computer or smartphone, and Twitch is mostly used for live streaming desktop applications. Instagram is already a widely accessible social media, sometimes known as being part of The Big 3 (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).


Facebook beat Instagram to the punch, however. Facebook Live is a way for users of the powerful social media platform to share their thoughts, opinions and stories live with all of their friends. A main difference here is that Facebook Live videos are archived in a sense, while live Instagram Stories are still deleted quickly after they’re recorded.

What This Means for Marketing


First we’d like to offer what we think is pretty sound advice: just because a new marketing technique is available doesn’t mean you have to dive in head first. It’s always good to eventually join the bandwagon, and ASAP, but live marketing offers some unique challenges to be considered.


Understand that live streaming from a marketing perspective shouldn’t be frivolous. “But my great-aunt live broadcast her cat getting a bath; why can’t I create a Facebook Live event about my business?” No one’s saying you can’t — we’re saying your live event has to have some meaning behind it. A silly Instagram post can get you visibility and likes, but a live stream must be more meaningful.


Why? Live marketing is much more grand and powerful. When something is going to be streamed live, you’re putting it on the same plane as the Super Bowl or the Survivor finale. Big events are live streamed, not simple day to day ideas when it comes to business.


Our advice is twofold — scheduled streaming or big event broadcasts. Scheduled streaming can include more mundane ideas and promotions, but the fact that it’s live and scheduled makes it something worth watching and waiting for. On the other hand, bigger events like a Q&A session or a year end projection report require more gravitas and are worth creating a bigger to-do over.


In that same vein, let’s ask ourselves this big question: will live marketing ever be something I should focus on heavily? Likely no — but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking advantage of when it makes sense to use it.


Looking for more ways to improve your marketing strategy? While new ideas are always good, learn how you can also repurpose your marketing content for the New Year