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How To Convert Live Video Viewers Into Customers

In today's mobile-first world, live video serves as a way to connect directly and instantly with the followers you have acquired on your social channels. This article explains how to increase the ROI of live video through identifying a single call to action, advertising your live event, showing off your product/services, and interacting with those who tune in.

Integrating Metrics into Your Run-of-Show

The next question you need to ask is, “How do I integrate these metrics? How do I integrate these ideas into my run-of-show and regular streaming opportunities?”

First you need to figure out where it will most organically fit. If it’s a promo code, the most organic place is actually not in the last 35 seconds on screen saying, “Oh, and this promo code is available for you, our viewers, who stuck around for 55 minutes.” Keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, that Minutes Viewed is a vanity metric. If you can convert someone in the first two minutes of your live-stream, why would you not try to do that?

What I would do is I would ask the client, “Why don’t we reverse-engineer this program to address, where are we going to put these moments of conversion? Where are we going to put these opportunities to convert inside of our run-of-show so that we have a regular opportunity to get these people on board?”

There are three common places to do it. The first is right after the introduction. You might say, “At the end of this show, we are going to be taking your questions, but right now, we are going to provide you with this promo code, especially for the people who have tuned in today. Thank you so much for tuning in today.”

You can also put it in the midpoint of the show and you can put that into the wrapup. Don’t limit yourself to doing this only once; in an hour-long show, three times is the minimum that I would suggest for putting in a promo code or a request for an email address. Five times is the maximum.

You don’t just have to do this in video or via your talent. It could also be a ticker. Many other graphical functionalities enable you to have that promo code running throughout the entirety of your livestream that would make it possible to do this.

On scenarios in which promo codes work especially well is product launches. If your client is launching a new product, you might try doing promo code-oriented programming on the launch. I might script this into a show by saying, "For the very first customers who are celebrating our launch with us, we are providing you with this promo code." Again, remember to make it a specific promo code that is trackable to that specific livestream so that you know how effective the promo code was.

Other good placement opportunities for promo codes are holiday and seasonal how-tos. We did a campaign with the NFL about getting ready for an NFL party, and the entire livestream was full of new products for the beginning of the season, from napkins to Tostitos chip campaigns to home decor items. There were lots of different ways to bring a how-to, 20 minute livestream together in this setting.

Promo codes also work well in influencer interviews and general featurettes or testimonials where you’re working in partnership with somebody who has a lot of brand validity with your audiences. We’ll actually create a longer tail on a promo code in an influencer video by creating a custom promo code for that influencer conversation.

Recently, we were working with a book publisher and they wanted to have an influencer, a mom who is very famous online, promote a book in a livestream.

She was given a specific promo code to be able to advance in that livestream and then she continued to use it on social media for a week thereafter. Giving the promo code a longer tail connected it to the longer campaign. Giving different people in your network specific promo codes that they can track within the network is especially important as well.

Email Acquisition-Oriented Programming

All brands want to collect emails. Some things that actually work really well for live programming that allow you to do some email acquisition are behind-the-scenes tours. We’ve done a lot of behind-the-scenes tours with tourism and hospitality clients. These are livestreamed tours where the approach is, “Let’s go view the penthouse” or “Let’s talk about some of the things that you would experience as a guest at this hotel” or “Let’s go up to the bar upstairs and have a drink overlooking the city skyline.”

These types of videos are great vehicles for email acquisition. To leverage them we run a promotion, or a contest. For example, “We’re going to be giving away one free room in this penthouse tonight. Provide us your email address and you’ll get entered into that drawing.” That is a great way to start building an email list.

If you don't have a sexy hotel that you can show off, maybe you've got a live event, or a big conference that you or your client sponsors. Actually, one of the biggest missed opportunities in the world is when conference sponsors neglect to ask if they can livestream the session or panel that they’re sponsoring, because there might be a person speaking at that panel who has a robust social media following. That is a great way to get more people engaged with your brand.

How do you get email acquisition from that? We have partnered with folks to say, “If you provide us your email address, we’re going to give you a piece of bonus content with this relatively famous person” Or, “We've got a white paper on the topic that we just discussed in this event that you will get for free.” Or, “We have a free demo for you if you provide us with your email.”

Really, it can be anything that's going to lead people to make people want to give you their email. and It’s not good enough to just say, “It’s an event. Let's livestream it.” It has to be a good event that is interesting for folks outside of the room.

Also consider doing giveaways and promotions. Of course, if you want to give away a 20% discount on, or a single license to your (or your client’s) product or service, both of those represent good opportunities to get email acquisition.

With one of our clients, a high-profile group of leaders in Washington who were going to be giving a talk, and we were streaming it. The email acquisition hook from the livestream was, “If you provide us with your email, we will invite you to a VIP only Q&A livestream with these people tomorrow morning.”

We were surprised by how many signups we got from just that little event. It wasn’t as highly produced of a livestream as the big event. It was just a simple phone-based live-stream, which made it feel more organic. It was also a low-cost way to get more email acquisition.

E-Commerce Case Study

One product company we work with is mostly an e-commerce brand (Figure 2, below). They sell about $100 million in product online, and they do a quarterly livestream that’s very seasonal in that it’s tailored to the summer, the fall, the winter, or the spring. Because their product aligns to those seasons, it works extremely well for them, and the regular cadence of their livestreams is very important to establishing a relationship with their audience.

Figure 2. Subject of our e-commerce KPI case study

We use a promo code as our driving KPI for that livestream. The program generally rolls out new products, so they will wait to roll out this new tea for that quarter. In a typical livestream for this company, we roll out the new product, we do a little cooking segment, we talk about it, and then we offer a promo code.

The show runs about 12-15 minutes, depending on the topic. Then we do a lot of re-cutting of that live show for other marketing collateral to support that product launch.

The results of this, as shown in Figure 2, is that 9% of viewers use that promo code. The livestreams draw an average of about 20,000 viewers. For this compant, 9% converts cover the costs of the streaming three times over, but the bigger value is that they’re continue to building an audience that understands that new product launches come out in these videos. This drives engagement for their Facebook page, where they have generally been losing audience otherwise.

It is not unusual for brands to see their Facebook following decline in the last year. In 2018, many brands stopped getting organic on Facebook. The algorithm changed, and unless you had millions of followers, it became extremely difficult to reach your audience on Facebook. Roughly 2% of organic posts were getting through to the newsfeed, and people were not getting that engagement.

By setting up a quarterly livestream with an expected date and a scheduled time, our client has been able to increase and re-engage some audiences that had gone somewhat latent for them on their Facebook page. This is why streaming on a schedule with actionable KPI targets is important to do.

B2B Software Case Study

Another example is a B2B software company (Figure 3, below). We do a monthly livestream with them, and that monthly livestream is on an exact cadence. It takes place the first Thursday of every month, and they’re driving KPIs and email acquisition because they know that if they can reach out to people through a regular email campaign, they’re going to get someone to convert to be a purchaser.


Figure 3. This B2B software company converts viewers to purchasers through monthly livestreams.

The program generally features a live chat with thought leaders in their industry. Sometimes it’s a person from their organization, but it’s often someone outside their organization who’s in the sphere of influence of their business, a thought leader who’s really driving some aspect of the industry forward.

The program always wraps up with an invite to access new features. But you can’t access the new features unless you provide your email address. That’s how we bring people in.

This company has the size of their email list in six months with this one program alone. They’ve grown their subscriber base from a pretty paltry 22,000 to almost 70,000, and they’re continuing to grow the list, using this metric to extend their reach.

One thing that I found really interesting with this client was that existing customers started adding more seats based on that email campaign, because people would say, “Oh, I want to access those new features.” Then they discovered that someone else inside of their organization needed those new features, and they added two more software licenses to their package overall, which is, of course, generating a different kind of value but obviously a value nonetheless.

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