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Why Live Streaming Works

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Live streaming has captured the imagination of social media marketers and brands everywhere.

So, why has the format been so successful?

There’s no denying that live owes much of its wide-spread adoption to a simple, yet impactful advertising campaign – thanks, Facebook.

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Credit: Sonya Mann, www.exolymph.news/2016/12/13/facebook-live-montgomery-bart/.

But clever marketing aside, there’s so much more to the story than billboards and adverts.

It all starts with reach

The secret is out. Facebook live streams perform better and tend to have a much larger reach than other forms of content.

Why? Live streaming is just one of the many ways Facebook is plotting supremacy over its competitors.

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Moreover, enticing both brands and content creators to go live with their content means more ad space for Facebook; pre-rolled ads already in the pipeline.

But there is another more psychological reason why engaging live streams continue to hold attention over more passive and generic content.

Anticipation and the fear of missing out

Successful live streams often generate an element of anticipation and FOMO to capture and retain attention among Gen Z and millennials.

Take our boohooMAN balloon for instance, which generated 2,069,811 impressions and 934,115 engagements to feature in the top four most engaged branded live streams of all time.

Audiences tuning in to watch the live stream knew the balloon would burst in real-time, but it was impossible for anyone to pinpoint when and how the act would play out.

Whereas someone may skip or watch part of a generic video, live streams can hold attention for in excess of ten minutes through suspense.

Audience interaction brings videos to life

Anticipation aside, live streaming has made real-time audience interaction possible, thus bringing branded content to life.

There is also something self-gratifying about being able to affect a situation in the immediate present; such scenarios tap into our inherent selfishness and want for control.

Case study: Social Chain x hungryhouse

To truly champion live streaming, brands must find a way of combining compelling content that goes deeper than engagement.

One effective way of achieving these KPIs is to incentivise a live stream. According to research, 65% of social media users engage with brands through competitions.

A recent example of successful live streaming for brands is our Valentine’s Day live stream for hungryhouse.

The activation combined an incentive with a quiz format to make for the takeaway app’s best performing Tuesday ever.

In total, the stunt reached an audience of 1,397,689 to achieve 189,593 views, 96,484 comments, 89,856 clicks and 757 page likes.

The future of live streaming

Social media continues to overtake television as a preferred media source for both millennials and Gen Z.

At present, statistics show that 0 in 10 Gen Z consumers would keep their TV if left with only one media device.

What’s more, 60% of media consumption already takes place online among this age group, a figure which will increase as 360-degree video and virtual reality become more mainstream.

Want to find out more about how to win at live streaming once and for all? Email info@socialchain.com for more information – we’d love to chat.

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