Connecting brands and fans – wake up to the creative potential of livestreaming
People’s lives were turned upside down during the pandemic. Many were cut off from the things they loved doing in life. A large proportion were sports and entertainment fans looking for new ways to connect with their passions during lockdowns.
Community building and fan engagement consequently experienced a quantum leap forward as options such as live video streaming surged in popularity. Consequently, esports revenues are expected to reach $1.38bn this year, and the global video game live streaming audience is projected to grow to 1.41 billion people by 2025, according to research from Newzoo.
Looking beyond esports, numerous music and other entertainment events are now live-streamed, and sports franchises are looking to take the lessons from the pandemic to connect more closely with their fans.
Brands are in a great place to benefit from pandemic learnings
This trend is contributing to a booming creator economy, which is changing the dynamic of brands, fans and followers interacting with each other – paving the way for the total livestreaming industry to be valued at $184.3bn by 2027 in a report from ResearchAndMarkets.com.
There’s a clear opportunity here for brands to explore where the pandemic made an impact on content quality and creativity, and how both creators and viewers demanded more from virtual experiences.
As Zach Bosin, vice-president, product marketing at BlueJeans by Verizon, the video collaboration platform, says: “In a world where instant gratification has become an expectation, having a live video strategy is no longer just a novelty, it’s proving to be an essential tool in the marketing stack.”
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A better experience
One factor behind the growth of video live streaming is enhanced technology, leading to improved experiences for viewers. For instance, the solutions provided by the BlueJeans virtual events platform and its new production tools, BlueJeans Studio, now enable fan communities to connect simply and securely with brands, and to share high-quality video content complete with built-in Dolby Voice capability for stunningly clear audio.
Brands can also learn from sports organizations that have worked to offer better interactive experiences for their fans. For example, Phoenix Suns basketball team has teamed with BlueJeans to provide an interactive “second screen” experience that provides new ways for fans to watch and engage with their favorite team and brands across the NBA.
Then, using BlueJeans Events, the Suns deliver additional streamed video content to interact with in real-time. Using polls, chat interactions, “hand raises” and other platform features during games, the live content includes interviews with NBA legends and insiders, contests, and promotions for the Suns and its partner brands.
These personalized touchpoints used by the Suns are evolving to become more creative and frequent – techniques that should prove valuable to brands in other categories looking to build closer connections with their audience.
Bringing brands and fans together
A strong example of this emerged in March this year from Skittles, the Mars Wrigley-owned confectionery brand. Skittles decided to launch a live-streamed "apology tour" to say sorry to fans for replacing its lime flavor with green apple back in 2013. A move that proved highly controversial among committed consumers of the product.
The Skittles campaign, on the back of the original lime flavor being reintroduced, included an activation on video game streaming service Twitch, and a partnership with Nascar driver Kyle Busch. Its 'Apologize the Rainbow' ad was live-streamed on both Twitch and TikTok – allowing disgruntled fans to interact – and it brought the activity into the physical world with a 'Lime is back' artwork on Kyle Busch's car at the Nascar Cup Series race in Austin, Texas.
Skittles is an excellent case of a famous brand using livestreaming to enhance its advertising by building connections with fans, introducing a touch of humor, and creating a hybrid model that also uses physical elements such as billboards and live event activations. It also shows the potential for livestreaming to showcase a product launch or, in this case, re-launch.
Enhancing the shoppable experience
Brands are also using live video streaming to make the e-commerce experience more dynamic and entertaining for shoppers. For instance, in the UK, sports brand Ellesse launched a live-streamed shoppable TikTok concert featuring the musician Zara Larsson. This built on the insight that both generation Z and millennials buy into the brand experience as much, if not more, than the products themselves. The e-commerce functions of the livestream meant that while audiences were watching the concert, they could purchase any of the Ellesse looks showcased by Larsson and her back-up dancers.
From building regular engagement with fans through enhanced livestreaming, to streaming of product announcements, and using live video to improve the e-commerce experience, it’s clear that brands are in a great place to benefit from pandemic learnings and changes in audience behavior.
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BlueJeans by Verizon empowers the most creative organizations in the world to deliver interactive, live streaming experiences that engage and inspire their audiences. With industry-leading scale, robust security controls, and broadcast quality production tools, BlueJeans puts the power of a professional video studio in the palm of your hand. Learn more at www.bluejeans.com.Find out more