xposure is everything for a business. The more people that know about you, the more people that have you as an option when they’re looking for a product that you can offer. It’s simple but its a concept as old as business itself. However, the market is more saturated than ever, with each brand using the relatively new technology the internet offers to get the word out about their business. With so many places competing for ad space, only the truly memorable efforts tend to stick out. But a trend for businesses to live stream their offering has come to take over cyberspace and make some businesses stick out just enough to be recognized.
We first reported streaming as being a phenomenon a little over five years ago with Netflix customers streaming one billion hours of content in a single month. While live streaming has businesses streaming themselves live from a location rather than a customer watching a pre-loaded movie, the trend is nonetheless just as important, as some businesses are drastically boosting their exposure with the help of live streaming. Going back even further in our archives, you can see that YouTube began to offer live streaming services back in 2010, which played a role in the rising popularity in services such as Twitch, where live gaming has become a career option for some people.
In much the same way that countless gamers have become known with the help of the live streaming service, businesses have been able to spread the word about themselves by making live appearances on multiple platforms, with the most notable being Facebook. So, in an effort to shed some light on the trend, here’s our list of the top seven businesses that have benefitted the most from live streaming.
This isn’t going to be a big surprise for anybody familiar with their work as Buzzfeed has led the pack when it comes to most things technological. Despite this, Buzzfeed continues to remain relevant with the help of live streaming, as they not only stream their world-famous skits but also make efforts to raise awareness about events and causes and to put out very genuine opinion pieces that are relevant to news breaking within the hour. Although Buzzfeed doesn’t offer a physical product, they have always used this tactic to raise their views, and it seems to be working, as their videos always seem to be making the rounds on Facebook.
As mentioned above, Twitch has made live streaming as popular as it is today but it doesn’t stop with watching people play games for the sake of seeing the gameplay and their personality. Charity drives are also streamed to raise money and, in one instance, the people watching the game were also the ones playing it. The most famous example of this is the “Twitch Plays Pokemon” phenomenon that broke the Guinness World Record for most people playing a single-player online video game, with more than one million participants. This takes the concept that many online gaming sites run with and multiplies it; whereas an online casino brand might get eight people to play a game of multiplayer roulette, Twitch managed to get the population of a medium-sized city to beat a game that was nearly 18 years old.
In a show packed with plenty of their delectable dunkin’ delights, this donut company put on a stream that had the company displaying their “test kitchen”, where the company invents new products. It’s a simple concept but one that garnered an excess of 36,000 viewers. That’s 36,000 more chances to bring in hungry customers looking to satiate their sugar fix or to check out Dunkin’ Donuts’ expansive but intuitive website.
A direct competitor to Dunkin’, Starbucks threw their hat into the ring with a video that showcased the company at a Queens, New York location. The event took place on National Voter Registration Day and, like many of the live events, expertly showcased the grittier, true-to-life feel of everyday life. This underproduced vibe was employed to make Starbucks feel less like the corporate business that it’s so often seen as and more like a part of the community. Starbucks has a large section for its online community at the bottom of its homepage and regularly showcases its products on Facebook to get its customers thinking of coffee – not that most people need the reminder, considering the chain has more than 22,000 locations.
While Martha Stewart might not have the prettiest site when compared to some of the others on this list, she has nonetheless had her fair share of technological advancements since her start as a stockbroker in 1967. It’s not surprising that the craft and cooking superstar would make a live appearance on Facebook, considering her stint on television back in the day, but the hostess managed to team up with Home Depot in the video, as all the products she was using in her tutorial were sold by the company – a win-win for both parties and a reason for other businesses to stand beside Martha in future endeavors.
In an “ask me anything” video, viewers can literally ask the hosts whatever they want. Companies and celebrities have been putting on AMAs for a while now on Reddit but, eventually, the question-filled content expanded onto Facebook. Makeup company Sephora took the opportunity to hold their own AMA where customers would question how to most effectively use certain products. Not only would existing products be shown in these videos but new makeup would be shown to enhance the effectiveness of other products. It’s a tactic that showed customers they cared about the present while securing the company’s future.
Kohl’s took the highly popular topic of exercise and showcased their love of it to the world in a Facebook Live video that featured fitness company Tone It Up. The video took place in the resolution-packed New Year’s and featured exercises people could use to shed some weight. Kohl’s might not be known for fitness but, when people lose weight, they’re going to need new clothes. Where would the people that succeeded go besides the place that helped them? It’s another video that, in a way, secures the future of the business running the live stream by ensuring a group of people will need their product soon.
With the trend getting more popular and companies spending more time and resources perfecting what the world sees of them in a live format, there’s no telling what business, big or small, will be invading our feed. We just know we’ll be seeing them. If enhanced reactions made such an impact on the market, imagine what these live videos are doing to pave a new way for businesses.