Ways To Make Live Streaming Sales Work For Your Business
Live streaming is not a new concept to most of us, and definitely not one that will die out soon. In China, even before the COVID-19 lockdown, live streaming has been burgeoning in China, with almost 300 million viewers of e-commerce live streaming every day.
Live streaming is free, accessible, and interactive. As a business owner, you have no time to waste in hopping on this growing trend. Here are some tips to help you succeed in live streaming.
1. Selecting the Right Platform to START!
The biggest question for those who want to start live streaming is usually: “Which platform should I use?” With the many platforms out there, your decision will depend on your objective of doing live streaming, your experience level, and your target audience profile.
Using Facebook for live streaming is generally suitable for all businesses and easy for beginners. It has over 2 billion users, is easy to use and the quality of the video edits are not as important in your success.
Most importantly, Facebook is the only platform that allows for sharing of live streams on the same platform. In a world where sales and viewership is driven by word-of-mouth and recommendations, the ability for viewers to share a Facebook live stream for other users to easily join will help your videos gain traction.
If your target audience is the youth segment (younger Gen Z and Millennials), you should consider Instagram and Tiktok, which is more popular among this group. These are great platforms to build your brand and gain followers.
Youtube has one of the biggest reaches. At the same time, the competition is made up of filmmakers, professional video-editors and huge Youtube influencers. Additionally, your video will not appear on viewers’ feeds unless they are subscribed to you.
2. Getting the Basics Right
(i) Setup and equipment
A professional setup will definitely yield results in terms of video quality. However, this does not necessarily equate to better content quality, nor will it actually ensure more people will watch your videos. Nowadays, any smartphone camera quality is great, and since you probably already have one, there is no extra cost. All you need right now is a phone with a good camera, good wifi, and a host. Perhaps if you want better lighting, an attachable ring light will be enough.
(ii) Building an audience
You need to attract viewers and gain fans who will continue to watch your videos. 30-40 viewers would be considered pretty good for a start. After a year, your live stream viewership should be in the hundreds range.
If you are a relatively new business and do not have a large social media following, there are still ways to bring in viewers. You can invest in advertising to promote your live stream sessions, collaborate with other businesses or social media influencers, and do sharing in relevant community groups.
(iii) Content and hosting skills
What viewers are more attracted to is your content, and your ability to hook them in to the live stream.
While ideally your viewers should stay for the entire session, don’t be disheartened if they come and go – this is perfectly normal! One tactic you can try to make them stay for the entire duration is to have a game where the host drops clues periodically, and the viewer has to note down the clues to win a prize at the end of the session.
3. What is the Right Duration per Session
The length of a live stream is something to take note of. If it is too long, you risk viewers getting bored and leaving early. If it is too short, there may not be enough time for new viewers to join your live stream. Some of the popular live streamers in Singapore average 1-2 hours per session.
The duration of your live stream depends on what you are doing. If you are selling items such as clothes, a longer stream seems to be more suitable as you are able to engage more,. A live stream purely for entertainment could be shorter to capture the attention span of viewers. The perfect duration for your live stream can only be found through experimenting and watching your viewership metrics.
4. What are the Types of Concept which tends to be More Successful on Live Stream
Essentially, consumers buy products they can see. What’s great about the live stream is that the products can be shown according to viewers’ wants, in real time. Questions about the products can be answered, and products can also be tested live for viewers to see. This can increase credibility and attractiveness of what you are trying to sell.
Here are some concepts which tend to gain more traction among viewers.
(i) Product Showcasing
Displaying the products you have in stock and are selling will definitely be able to appeal to wider consumer preferences, as one of the many on display may catch their eye. Lay out your merchandise in an orderly display for viewers to see. The host will pick up each item and describe its features. This way, viewers are able to see the variety of products, as well as uniqueness of each design.
Consumers are also more likely to buy a product if they know exactly how to enjoy it. That is why there are food tasting booths all around grocery stores, promoters at electronic department stores, and mannequins in clothing stores.
Hence, for products such as clothing, food, and electronics, a showcase of how to use the products and their benefits is very effective. There is also a credibility in showing the product being used live with no edits, so viewers know exactly what they are getting.
(ii) Live Auction Sales
Live auctioning is another popular concept that is exclusive to live streaming. Hosts literally hold an auction for multiple products, and viewers comment their bid on the spot. Here, the excitement of bidding and seeing the next product to be auctioned keeps viewers hooked.
In order to do this, a suitable system of bidding needs to be established, as well as a team to take note of the bids. Otherwise, it might get messy, with viewers and the live streamers alike getting frustrated.
(iii) Expert Interview
For products that have scientific properties, such as vitamins and skincare, an expert interview might be suitable for your live stream. In these videos, viewers are able to get their questions answered on the spot, and the products can be marketed directly to current viewers’ wants and needs.
This is highly effective if the host is able to capture the audience’s attention through debunking common myths, coupled with high engagement to keep viewers hooked.
5. Engagement is King
Now let’s talk about how to keep your audience engaged so that they will watch more and buy more. When a viewer watches a live stream, they want to feel connected to your show. Interact more with your viewers and make them feel like they are part of the show. Address them by name. Acknowledge their comments. Ask questions. A spike in comments and shares will affect the algorithm of any social media in your favor, bringing you closer to the top page. Find ways to let your viewers participate in the action – you can try games and contents with small giveaways – and your viewers will be engaged enough to keep watching and buying.
If you are hosting the live stream yourself, you will need to learn the art of reading your audience. With experience, you can sense the interest level in a particular product, and know when to move on to the next product before the viewers get bored. Don’t be afraid to ask the viewers directly, “Are you interested in this?”. They will be glad to respond to you.
6. Most Important Tip: Consistency is Key
Just as practice makes perfect, live streaming requires consistent time and effort to increase its effectiveness.
Once you start your live stream, aim to have 1 show a week, and slowly increase it to 2 to 3 shows a week. It will take time, but don’t give up. Someone may watch your live feed for just 5 minutes each time, but if he has repeated exposure, he may eventually become your regular follower. You need to endure long enough for your right audience to discover you.
If your numbers are plateauing, do not be afraid to implement new strategies to attract viewers to your live stream. Change up your concept, hire an influencer, or create an ad campaign!
Find what works for you and your business, and start to grow your company through live streaming.
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Benjamin Reuben Chong — Founder Next Level SG
Benjamin Reuben Chong — Founder Next Level SG
Benjamin has years of experience in Singapore’s Digital Marketing space and is working with Enterprise Singapore on the Digital Marketing Programme to help retailers expand their businesses. He has spoken on the Social Ecommerce disruption to organizations like Exabytes, DSTA, and in conferences like eCommerce Fest 2020, and Rocket Pitch. Currently Benjamin is at the forefront of Live Stream Selling and recognised under the Singapore Certified Management Consultant Scheme (SCMC).
Husna Alkhatib — Digital Marketing Specialist Next Level SG
Husna Alkhatib — Digital Marketing Specialist Next Level SG
Husna is currently under Next Level SG, providing advice to retailers on how to create successful ad campaigns, and aiding them in the implementation of Live Stream Strategies. Specialising in digital marketing, Husna is experienced in optimising client experience, from planning and executing custom campaigns and creatives, to UI/UX prototyping. At present, Husna is looking into consulting and aiding businesses as Singapore moves into the new digital age of Live Streaming.