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Miguel A. Gonçalves photo

Miguel Afonso Gonçalves
– Copywriter & Travel Blogger –

A live-streaming is not an invention of the post-pandemic marketing model, but it has been one of the main discoveries of brands and consumers in this period, so, unsurprisingly, it integrates all the traditional lists of “current digital marketing trends” of various magazines and publications specialized in the area (10 online trends for 2021 – Marketeer (sapo.pt) or Seven Digital Marketing Trends For 2021 (forbes.com)).

Miguel Afonso Gonçalves
– Copywriter & Travel Blogger –

A live-streaming is not an invention of the post-pandemic marketing model, but it has been one of the main discoveries of brands and consumers in this period, so, unsurprisingly, it integrates all the traditional lists of “current digital marketing trends” of various magazines and publications specialized in the area (10 online trends for 2021 – Marketeer (sapo.pt) or Seven Digital Marketing Trends For 2021 (forbes.com)).

So what is the real power of a live stream?

Allow me to start the debate with a brief historical review of this phenomenon. Before we think about brands, let’s think about people, the history of communication and entertainment.

It is undeniable that much of the success of the different technological innovations linked to this means of communication – be it radio, television or even the Internet – has been based on the instantaneity and proximity of communication, but one should also remember that, since always, large audiences have gathered around live broadcast events.

The statistics of recent decades prove it, referring us to the main moments of the sports calendar – World, Olympic Games – or historical events – the attacks of September 11, the funeral of Princess Diana, among others. The following image illustrates this idea, with data on television broadcasts with the highest audience in the United States in 2020 (where nine of the ten broadcasts took place live):

Having proven the greatest predisposition to events with live streaming by the general public, let’s see how this idea can apply to the communication and marketing strategies of brands. What tools do you have at your disposal? What has been implemented? How successful? And what’s still to come?

Humanizing the brand

Previously, in an article published on Jelly’s blog, we saw how the video format has consolidated itself as a useful tool for any brand’s marketing strategy – with a particular focus on social networks.

Live-streamings, benefiting from the video format, enjoy the same advantages already presented, as well as others. The humanization of the brand is undoubtedly the most important of all, because not only is this the best opportunity available to brands to achieve high levels of interaction with their consumers, or potential customers, but it is still the one that allows us to effectively show a face, empathy, and emotions to the brand-public relationship.

And why is the humanization of the brand such an important point? In recent years, chatbots have also been pointed out as relevant means in the field of marketing. From a “macro” point of view, it can be said that chatbots are the main rivals of live-streaming, in the sense that both have the same kind of practical solution to solve certain problems – FAQs.

However, the human factor continues to be the one that shows the most transparency, credibility, trust, and empathy to the relationship, indicators that help brands to retain customers – and may even lead them to the status of “brand ambassadors” – and subsequently generate a possible greater financial return from strengthened relationships. But the range of advantages of live-streaming doesn’t stop there.

New business models…

Expert publications suggest that social networks and live-streaming platforms themselves have become tools for buying and selling products. In parallel and with increasing regularity, the designation “live stream/video shopping” has emerged in the trends and approaches of brands to the current global context.

It should be noted, moreover, that according to a study by Vimeo – one of the main video distribution platforms – 82% of users of these digital tools prefer to watch a direct provided by a brand, rather than traditional promotional posts, or even that 80% of audiences would choose to watch a live-streaming rather than read an article on a blog (Why a Live Streaming Strategy is a Must-Have for Marketing).

And new audiences

It has never been easier to reach new audiences. During live broadcasts, many brands have taken the opportunity to connect both to experts in certain areas – related to the market in which brands are registered – and to media figures who bring their followers to the brand’s universe. It is one of the best organic ways to attract traffic to the brand’s channels and integrate a vast number of people into the network of potential customers.

For everyone: B2C and B2B

According to the latest investigations by the Content Marketing Institute (Livestreaming Tips Every Content Marketer Needs to Hear (contentmarketinginstitute.com)), “the number of B2C content marketers who resort to live-streaming tripled  between 2019 and 2020 – 13% vs. 35%.” And if, on the one hand, it is normal to think that brands that operate in the B2C segment tend to be pioneers in the adoption of new tools and marketing strategies, on the other hand, in this particular case, the change was well received simultaneously in the B2B segment.

Being inserted in a more traditional and conservative segment, as a rule, brands that act in the B2B segment have always relied mainly on face-to-face events as mechanisms of the humanization of brands. The pandemic context, however, has revolutionized this idea and digital media have contributed a lot to this. It should be seen that in the last year, there has been the dissemination of webinars, video calls, interviews, among others, in a strictly business environment, without following the logic of one-to-one.

The video format had already been touted as one of the formulas of excellence for effective communication of brands, but the opportunity to do so live revealed the full potential of creating meaningful relationships between brands and consumers, as it undoubtedly is its most genuine, authentic, credible and empathetic format.