How can live streaming enhance your eCommerce brand

A couple sitting behind a desk, preparing for a live streaming session

by Helen Khan

December 27th 2022

Published in Social Media

6 min read


    We know live streaming isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been around since the early 90s. And most brands we speak to have tried it already. However, are you streaming the right content? Let’s find out.

    Something we often hear from eCommerce brands. Traditional marketing tactics aren’t hitting the mark. They aren’t living up to expectations. Static posts used to be all the rage, and posting pictures of your products was enough to win potential customers. But with over 200,000 million businesses on Instagram alone, it is becoming continuously harder to stand out.

    When live streaming launched on Instagram in 2016, brands jumped at the chance for a new method to attract new customers.

    Live streaming presents an innovative way for brands to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of the curve in their marketing strategies. With its ability to connect and engage with audiences in real-time, live streaming offers many opportunities for businesses to elevate their brand presence and foster meaningful connections.

    However, suppose a brand has ‘gone live’ on social media; it is often only on one channel at a time which usually doesn’t convert – the viewers either watch the live stream or click off to the store.  

    This blog post will explore how live streaming can be leveraged effectively for your eCommerce brand.

    Jimmy’s Iced Coffee set us a challenge.

    To have an interactive live shopping channel across all platforms streaming at once.

    These out-of-the-box thinkers asked us to create a QVC-style shopping channel to stream live across their social channels and website. They requested spinning wheels, discount banners or other call-out messages overlayed on top. We had live-streamed events before for various clients but never at this level. The challenge was set.

    By utilising the live stream on social media and their website, potential customers received all the value added by the live stream and simultaneously benefited from the discounts and offers. By doing this, we further encouraged conversion directly through the live stream on their site.

    And it was incredibly successful for the brand, with a significant uptick in monthly sales from that one event (even Dame Judy Dench called in!), becoming one of our most memorable moments as an agency. Watch the highlights here!

    Here are some ideas of what to live stream and why:

    Hosting or attending events.

    Promoting an event is any company’s most apparent use of live streaming. If you are hosting or attending an event on behalf of your company, hosting a live stream can give your audience an access-all-areas pass, should they not be able to participate in the live event.

    It’s also a great way to show the company’s more personal, social side, especially if you have invested in your event – you want to show the world just how great it was! If you’re attending a well-known event, use their hashtags in the live-stream promotion to reach an audience who may not have stumbled across your brand.

    Breaking news, product launches and special announcements.

    You’ve spent time perfecting your product, and now it’s time to launch. The hype surrounding a live stream announcement on your social accounts allows you to be as mysterious as you like, get people to tune in to find out more, and enable them to share their excitement with you.

    Launching via a live stream allows you to answer any questions and thank everyone for their comments individually and personally – every band’s dream. Live events can also work for special announcements, breaking news and competitions, making your audience feel involved.

    Showing behind the scenes. A man in a stockroom taking photos of his products in boxes.

    Behind the scenes.

    Traditional marketing only showed their audience the polished, refined and well-thought perception of their brand. With advances in technology, more people want to see behind the scenes. What is it like to work for your brand? Are you genuinely as fun as you market yourselves to be? Then allow your audience to tune into the live stream, get a walkthrough of the office, a glimpse into the production line or even the creative process. Giving your audience a backstage pass to your company makes them feel involved, closer and more personal with the brand, and it works even better if you have an excellent office to film in, as we do!

    Conversations with your customers.

    Modern technology, such as live streaming, allows you to talk directly to those paying attention to your brand. By hosting a live stream where you are conversing with your audience, you can answer any questions they have, discuss things they believe will improve your company, and, in general, get their opinions all in real time. Users will feel much more comfortable commenting on a live stream than responding to a survey. Be sure to mention the users’ names when you answer them to make them feel more involved and, in turn, increase your engagement. Take this example from Grazia Magazine, building a ‘community edition’ of the magazine based on their audience’s opinions on Facebook Live.

    A woman looking at her phone with ? and ! speech bubbles coming out of it to represent customer enquiries.

    Customer support and FAQs.

    Brands are starting to get on board with ‘townhalls’, a re-occurring day and time in which you can do a live stream Q&A session. By setting a specific day and time, users can tune in at those times to ask their questions, knowing they will get real-time answers. This is better than online chats, as other users can see your response and are less likely to ask the same question. It also gives you a face to talk with, which is much more favourable to some who don’t like ‘robotic’ online chats.

    Interviewing someone with influence.

    If your company is prominent within the fashion or cosmetic industry, interviewing an industry influencer on live stream is a great way to get plenty of engagement and interest. Influencers have a huge following, so not only will you engage your audience, the influencer will bring plenty more from their following. This content is a great way to promote your content outside the standard paid social advertising. Getting an influencer to endorse your product makes your company appear more legitimate within the industry and approved by those whose opinions matter.

    A man and woman sitting on a sofa being filmed during an interview.

    Collaborate with other brands.

    Suppose your brand has the chance to work alongside other brands. In that case, a live stream collaboration will pull in both brands’ audiences and promote to a much wider audience than a solo live stream. Partnerships can be great if you have an event coming up that you and other companies are sponsoring and promoting.

    Live streaming is growing slowly, with companies starting to include it in their marketing strategies. Facebook is currently in trials to include 15-second adverts after 5 minutes of live streaming, a great way to jump on board without creating live-stream content yourself. Twitter has created a lot of partnerships to enable them to broadcast live videos and boost clips shown through its platform. It will broadcast NFL, NBA and NHL games and Premier League UK highlights. As it becomes increasingly popular, innovative ways to market your company will increase further than the above-mentioned opportunities. 

    If you want to be a trendsetter, not a follower, then maybe it’s time to start going LIVE. Let’s discuss how we can help your brand incorporate live streaming into your marketing strategy.