7 Ways Live Video Can Put Your Ecommerce Biz Into Overdrive

Matthew Stafford Jul 13, 2016

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’ve been paying any attention lately, you know that video content is the web’s biggest thing since…well, ever, really. That it’s expected to account for 75% of ALL web traffic by 2020. That mobile video watching increases by 100% or more each year, and that 92% of mobile video viewers share what they’re watching.

The web’s video-on-demand capability allowed people to watch what they wanted whenever it was convenient. Now, mobile video made any time convenient.

And that means live video watching is making a comeback.

Periscope boasted more than 2 million daily active users at last count. Facebook Live is already maturing and growing by leaps and bounds.

More people turning to live video watching means live video streaming can be a powerful part of your ecommerce marketing strategy. If you know how to use it.

We’ve got seven approaches for you to try.

Live Product Demos

What better way to use video for your ecommerce business than to show off your products? And a live demo shows confidence, transparency, and trustworthiness in a way that pre-recorded and edited video doesn’t even come close to.

This works with any product that isn’t a completely bland and interchangeable commodity (the kind of thing you shouldn’t be selling anyway). Got a multi-part product like fishing tackle, makeup kit, skin care system, or the like? How about an item with loads of different features like a piece of software, and appliance, or gadget? Use a live video to show everyone everything—or keep it brief with three highlights per video and turn it into a series.

Informational products work well with live demos, too. Show people what they’ll get inside your ebook or at each lesson in your course. Give them a sample of your expertise and your skills as an instructor. Live engagement is an excellent way to sell ANYTHING that pertains to your personal brand.


Provide a Personal Shopping Experience

Choose a customer or two and offer to assist them as they select from your products and complete their purchase. Provide advice, encouragement, and explanations as necessary, and help them make the right choices for their unique situation.

Talk about the problems you’re solving and how they’re being solved.

And of course, live stream the whole thing. Schedule it ahead of time, spread the word, and turn a personal shopping experience into a public display of your customer engagement skills and your products. One glowingly happy customer can inspire dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others, and live video lets you reach out to them all at once.



Show Off Your Office

You don’t have to limit the personality to your brand. Show off a bit of what makes you you, too. Whether you work out of your home, a warehouse, or a traditional office space, spruce things up a bit and take your live video viewers on a quick tour.

Let them see that you live and work just like they do—it’s amazing how easy that is to forget about the people we do business with, especially when it’s ecommerce or another online venture. Give your customers a reason to relate to you completely outside the products you’re selling, and they like you more, trust you more, and purchase more.

Pets are an Internet goldmine, too, so if you have a lab or a tabby roaming the halls be sure to provide an introduction. Family members can be hit or miss—-we’ll leave that up to you.

Put Your Assets in Action

As we mentioned above, better mobile devices and networks made live video more convenient for viewers. Mobile is a big reason live video is undergoing a meteoric rise right now. And mobile video also makes it easier for you broadcast anywhere, any time.

That means you can show customers your products in their “natural habitat.” If you happen to stumble on someone using your product—or if you set something up ahead of time—you can whip out your phone and start streaming to your fans. Outdoor products, kitchen products, apparel, you name it. If people use it, make some live videos and show the world.

These videos aren’t product demos, where you explain everything in fine detail. The idea with this type of video is to show the real consumer experience that goes along with your product. Make it lively, fun, and short, and that will make it memorable, too.



Announce Contests (and Winners)

Contests are an effective social media strategy for attracting new customers and engaging old ones. Live video lends itself perfectly to the excitement. Put the two together, and you’ve got a bang-up plan for driving views, engagements, and conversions.

Pre-announce your upcoming contest without revealing anything too specific, and let everyone know when and where the details will be revealed. Make sure your contest lives up to the hype, too—disappointing your fans will harm your brand. If this is just a monthly email winner or something similar, you might want to skip the live video announcement of the contest itself.

No matter what the contest is, though, using live video to announce the winner lets you share the bounty with everyone. Instead of just one happy camper, you get a group of fans sharing in the moment and, once again, engaging with your brand. So much better than a static post as they scroll through their feed.



Have a Live Product Face-Off

Ready to go toe-to-toe against a competing product? Nothing says you have faith in your own offerings like a live face-off.

This is one live video option where we STRONGLY recommend several rehearsals beforehand. You want to make sure you’ll actually come out on top before you show it live (yeah, it’s cheating a little, but do you think reality TV is real?). Tons of commercials have seen great success with their “Brand X” comparisons—pick a Brand X to go up against your best products and let the video tell the rest of the story.



Quick Q&As

Answering questions live is another great way to inspire confidence and trust in your brand. It shows that you really know what you’re talking about and aren’t afraid of some potential criticisms—and it gives you a chance to put the naysayers at rest, if there are any.

There are plenty of ways you can take questions live during your video broadcast, too. Twitter, Facebook, you can even take emails and phone calls if you want. Pick the platforms already popular with your users, and put them to work funneling questions to your screen. If the questions are publically available to everyone watching, too, such as on your business’s Facebook page, that boosts the transparency and trust even further.

Facebook is even unveiling two-person live video broadcasting soon, so you can be interviewed by someone—a customer, an influencer, or anyone at all, anywhere at all. Make your Q&A fully live and fully broadcast at both ends and really boost your engagement!



General Live Video Tips

In closing, here are a few pointers for ALL of your live videos.

    • Make a backup. Store a copy of the actual video file somewhere, don’t just leave it on the platform you used for live streaming. You can reuse them as is, edit some down or mash some together, and do a whole lot more with the video content you’ve already created.

    • Hype your scheduled broadcasts. Live video is a whole lot less fun if no one’s watching. Let your customers know when you’ll be broadcasting well in advance, and keep reminding them—then don’t forget to show up on time.

    • Be spontaneous. Scheduled broadcasts are great, but so are on-the-fly moments where you whip out your phone to check out something cool. This can include any and all of the above formats.

    • Practice. If you’ve never been on video before, make a few practice runs that you watch in the privacy of your own home. Maybe with a strong drink. There’s often a strong cringe factor to get over, and you might also catch and correct things like talking too fast (or too slow), phony hand movements, and other things that can make it harder for your audience to engage with you.

Most of all, talk to your customers like they’re, you know, people. That’s what social media is all about. Live video just gives you the most direct way to do it.


About the author

Matthew Stafford

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