Command Attention: Social Event Marketing Strategies That Actually Work, Part III

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So, in Parts I and II of this event marketing Master Class series that is the companion to our recent Boosting Conference Engagement with Live Social Media webinar, we looked at the why and how of live social sharing. Now, I want to zoom in on one particular aspect: livestreaming.

Once again, we’re going to start with the “why”. First and foremost, livestreaming is hot, hot, hot. Like Beyoncé hot. Carolina Reaper hot. Large Hadron Collider hot. Well, you get my meaning. According to Research and Markets, the video streaming market is going to be worth an astounding $70 billion dollars by 2021. 78 percent of online audiences are already watching Facebook Live videos. Instagram Live commands an audience of almost 234 million people.

Any way you slice it, livestreaming is booming and more importantly, it’s here to stay. The question then becomes, how will you capitalize on it? Do you even know where to begin? No? Don’t worry, that’s what you have me for.

Ask Not What Event Marketing Can Do for Livestreaming…

YouTube

The OG in the video hood.

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself: is livestreaming going to boost your audience engagement enough to make it worth your while? While your response is going to depend on your unique circumstances, the answer for most organizations and brands is going to be a resounding, “Yes!”

In today’s social media world, rich media – and video in particular – is king. If you need proof, just look at the video world’s OG, YouTube. The number two social media platform worldwide, YouTube draws 1.58 billion active users to its channels each and every month, and that number is only going to get bigger from here on in.

Video’s capacity for meaningfully conveying non-verbal information and presenting rich content quickly makes it a powerful vehicle for prompting people to take action. Add to that livestreaming’s ability to forge a two-way connection with viewers, and you’ve got a powerhouse method for engaging your audience.

Livestreaming’s other great aspect? It’s not that hard. A smartphone and an Internet connection and you’re in business. Easy peasy. And after you’re done, you’ve got a wealth of rich media content that you can leverage over and over again.

…But What Livestreaming Can Do for Event Marketing

All those data points and statistics I just threw at you sound awesome, if a bit esoteric, amirite? Right now, you’re probably thinking that you want to hear some real-world proof points. Ask and ye shall receive.

Interprose worked with a professional industry association that boasts a global membership. The association’s flagship event is its annual members meeting and conference, but only approximately 10 percent of its far-flung membership is able to actually attend the event in person. Recognizing that a large portion of its audience simply wouldn’t be able to be in the room, we launched a cost-effective video streaming campaign. Staffed by association volunteers armed with livestreaming-ready smartphone rigs, we took to Facebook Live to share video from nine different sessions over the course of four days. To say the results blew everyone away is an understatement.

Our nine live videos generated a mammoth aggregated audience of more than 100,000, resulting in 18,000 combined video views, Likes, shares, and comments. Our broadcasts reached viewers in Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, the U.S., and beyond. Responding to and interacting with viewers in real-time, we were able to capture and address questions, provide updated event info, and deliver a valuable, meaningful experience for those members who couldn’t be onsite.

Afterwards, we regularly promoted the archived videos throughout the year, extending their shelf life and value, and maintaining a high engagement level with the group’s membership. Not bad for an association with a highly specialized membership population, eh? In this case, livestreaming was definitely the right way to go.

Livestreaming: Event Marketing’s Secret Weapon

Facebook Live

Not necessarily the livestreaming gear we’d recommend.

If you’re on the fence about whether livestreaming is the right choice for you, I would strongly recommend that you do consider adding it to your event marketing mix. It’s a secret weapon that can put your event engagement over the top – the power and influence of video is too important to ignore. And my guess is that it’s going to become a de facto part of how events are presented to audiences, if it isn’t already.

In our next installment, we’re going to share best practices and things to avoid, and offer a comparative look at the various video platforms you have to choose from. We’ll also cover some gear options, and help you figure out which one is right for your individual situation.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already checked out our previous installments, I urge you to do so. You’ll find Command Attention: Social Event Marketing Strategies That Actually Work, Parts I and II here and here. And if you want to check out the on-demand version of our Boosting Conference Engagement with Live Social Media webinar, you’ll find it here.

See you on the big (or small) screen!