Why Your Small Business Needs To Embrace Livestreaming

By now, you probably realise that livestreaming is the next wave in social media. Usually when a sudden change like this comes along, there can be resistance from small business owners.

There’s that initial risk assessment: “Is this just shiny object syndrome?” and “How much time and money is this going to take to implement?”

It’s good to think about these things. That’s why I thought it would be helpful to discuss some of the business benefits you can take advantage of when it comes to livestreaming.

Enables Marketing In The Now

When it comes to livestreaming, you can literally click a button and be good to go. Sure, you can plan out your content but the audience can take that conversation in any way they choose.

You are essentially marketing in the now which can be really powerful.

Sometimes in business,  we can get a little too caught up in planning ahead for a future that we forget about the present moment.

On any livestreaming platform, you have the attention of your viewers in that moment. You are providing them with the most valuable gift of all, attention and presence. It shows you care rather than tells them you do. That goes a long way in building trust.

The other big benefit here is that you are communicating your message with the right people and getting instant feedback on that message. That’s powerful not only for the consumer who you know is hearing what you are saying but also for you in terms of market research and testing.

Small business often complain about time and the struggle to do things like market research. Live streaming can solve your problem by just clicking a button and getting it done. There’s no need to worry about scripts, how you look, equipment or anything like that. Just show up and care.

Transparency

There’s no hiding behind a screen when you live stream. People see exactly who you are and how you react. That may seem a little daunting but it’s usually the slip ups and distractions that build the greatest relationships. You are being you and that unfiltered honesty is attractive to everyone. Often these moments create shared memories that bring you and your community together.

The other great thing about embracing transparency when livestreaming is that it builds a huge amount of trust within your audience. They can ask you anything or say anything and your reaction, regardless of what it is, will speak volumes. It’s a chance to really show what your brand is about and why your community should buy into you as a person or you as a business.

Many competitors aren’t willing to make themselves vulnerable and put themselves out there. That automatically creates a barrier between them and their customer. If you’re the one to knock that barrier down, you win.

Extension of Customer Service

For years social media has been used as an extension of customer service. It has taking a tradition offline experience restricted by dates/times and made businesses accessible 24/7.

It also means that we can limit those long on hold calls with awful music ;)

The unique advantage of using livestreaming in this way is that a) it’s transparent and so other people are able to see how you deal with customers. This is hugely valuable in gaining credibility and trust. The only time you would be worried about this is if you weren’t confident in the customer experience you are providing.

The other big advantage though is that it’s in the moment. You have the ability to create instant solutions for people. This may not even be one person, you could be helping multiple people at once but they have the unique customer experience because you are talking and engaging with them in the moment.

The great thing about livestreaming is that you can repurpose your content too.  If your customers aren’t all on the specific platform you’re broadcasting from, you can edit the video down to provide the answer in a native format on other platforms. This may even encourage more people to check the platform out.

Community Building

It’s amazing just how quickly deep and meaningful relationships can be built through live broadcasting. That’s because the content being shared is so real. People tend to be more relaxed than if they were at a business meeting. It’s just the context of livestreaming regardless of the platform you choose to broadcast from.

Livestreaming just has a much more intimate feel . When you’re watching, it’s like you are having a conversation or sharing an experience in the moment together.

That makes a really great platform for building a community. The fact commenters get to know one another and interact with each other only adds to that. It essentially creates a little family and their connection strengthens yours.

You are able to nurture that by engaging with everyone and building on that community feel too. Growing an engaged community is becoming more and more difficult due to the noise on social media.  Pretty much all the livestreaming platforms make it so simple in terms of setup and design that  community building still works really well.

This is especially true when you take time to give and engage first.

Market Research

The easiest way to increase sales is to create a product/service that you know your customers want. You can figure out exactly what that is on on a live broadcast or rather, a series of broadcasts.

You can ask questions, get feedback, test ideas and generally bring your community into the whole development and delivery process. When you do this, you show you genuinely care, you gain the emotional investment of your community and you end up with a solution that is going to sell.

By bringing you community along for the ride and making them feel valued and listened too, you gain the buy in instantly. The buy-in for anything is always the hardest part.

This will save you time and money,  gain you respect, credibility and ultimately it provides a huge reason why people should invest in you… because you’ve invested in them.

It’s Fun

Sometimes we can get so caught up in ‘business mode’ that we forget to have fun.

Livestreaming is an interactive, gamified platform. It’s fun.

The conversation flows and it doesn’t have to be serious all the time. You can show your personal side and other interests. You build trust and give people a greater insight into who you are. At the same time, it provides you  to just be you, relax and be real.

You can do this while still marketing your business. After all, people do business with other people they know, like and trust. People trust real people who share the same ups and downs, fun and randomness as them.

The ability to create friendships can really make business enjoyable and ensure you are always attracting and working with like-minded people. That in itself adds huge value to your business because you can then show up as your best self.

Now you might be thinking

“This sounds awesome Chloë but I AM TERRIFIED of  video!”

Believe me. I hear you. I was too 

(I mean TERRRRRRIFIED! ) 

but it was actually livestreaming that helped me get over that.

If you struggle with video…

If you’re not entirely comfortable with the video recording and editing process or simply don’t have time for it, livestreaming can actually help.

Stick with me here while I explain.

A lot of the time the struggle with video comes from the fact you are doing it by yourself and can’t see the audience on the other side. While you can’t ‘see’ an audience with livestreaming, you know they are there. You are getting instant feedback and that makes it easier to react too and carry on the conversation. Your focus is on them rather than the fact you are recording yourself talking.

You’ll often add more value too because you are focused on the content and audience as opposed to yourself. Plus, that feedback is enabling you to build on the conversation in a way that is more valuable for your audience.

 So what do ya reckon, ready to give livestreaming a go?

Maybe you already have.If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Much love from my heart to yours,

Chloë x