We talk about it all the time, which is good, because it’s important. But, are there some businesses where telling a story isn’t as easy as it looks? Sure. Are there businesses where a good story isn’t going to help you sell? Nope.
Everyone should be using live streams. Period. How you use this medium, however, is really going to depend on what you sell and who you sell it to. There’s more here than just telling stories.
The first thing you truly need to understand is that the face of marketing is changing because business, at it’s heart, is evolving. Facebook is at the heart of this shift.
Yes, storytelling is important, but you can use Facebook live for much, much more than that.
Small business is taking over the world
Just a few short years ago it felt—to many—that starting a small business was impossible. Choruses of “The market’s saturated!” and “I don’t have the money to start a company” rang out quite loudly.
Ecommerce has truly changed the game.
Ecommerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website. 51% of Americans prefer to shop online. (Source)
First, shopping became way easier for people. They no longer had to go out to a store to get what they needed. But then, people began to realize that there was more to this whole online shopping thing. Now they didn’t even have to go to a particular shop for an item.
There were a myriad of wonderful options right at their fingertips.
In case you missed it, the news is reporting on the regular that brick and mortar locations of big brands are shutting down. It’s happening everywhere you look.
JCPenney. Gordman’s. The Limited. Sears. Macy’s. Wet Seal. Abercrombie & Fitch. BCBG Max Azria. American Apparel.
These aren’t small players in clothing retail…. And this is just the beginning of the end.
From a marketing perspective, we can make some assumptions about what this means on a large scale for commerce in general.
- Modern consumers are looking for convenience. Going to a brick and mortar location may be enjoyable, but it’s not convenient.
- All the incentives in the world (i.e. discounts, reward programs, etc.) can’t keep a brand connected to their buyers.
- The combination of ecommerce and improved communication (think social media) is putting the big brands out of business.
- Per the above, there’s an opening in the market for any small brand that can provide real value.
- No brand can afford to simply have customers. They must create community.
How do you create that community AND excitement for your brand when you’re an ecommerce brand? Well, I’m glad you asked….
Start thinking about more than just storytelling with Facebook live.
“In November 2015, Facebook hit 8 billion video views daily (TechCrunch), doubling its figure of 4 billion from April 2015. This means that Facebook video has seen 100% growth in only 6 short months. At this rate, it’s going to surpass 16 billion views by May 2016.”
You can’t ignore this.
So what should you do? Take advantage of it.
Give them something they don’t expect
Unwrap or open something on your live stream. I couldn’t tell you why people love this, but they do. Must be something to do with our natural curiosity.
Example: There’s a jewelry company out there that opens clams live on Facebook. A person will pay anywhere from $60 to $200 for the pearl inside without actually knowing what they would get. Then, everyone would tune in to see the unveiling occur.
There’s a certain level of excitement involved for the person who threw down cash, naturally. But the utter suspense has plenty of other people hanging on the edge of their seats—these little videos have started going viral.
Party time!!! Buy an oyster and we willOpen it live. We'll reveal Color size and approx value. You get whatever is in the oyster and we can ship Your pearls loose or you can purchase jewelry from our site that we can set and send out your new beautiful piece . http://store10301002.ecwid.com/ Please pmThe Larue page with any questions you might have. Our parties are about fun and community! We have awesome people here. Hope you decide to join the Larue Pearl party family! (LPP fam). Thanks for watching!! 🤗🔮🤗💎🤗🔮🤗🔮 #pearlparty #pearlparties #laruepearlparties #facebooklive better than #netflix #hulu #livefacebookparty
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Why did this happen? Well, there’s value in entertainment. Use that to your advantage by thinking of fun, unique ways to showcase/sell your wares via a live stream.
This business isn’t any different than every other jewelry business. They sell the same stuff as everyone else who sells pearl necklaces.
However, they came up with a creative way to get people intrigued in their brand and what they sell.
It goes deeper than just the mystery though. Unveiling something or creating something live gives your community an intimate, inside perspective into your company. They can see the care and quality that goes into everything you do.
Give them what they need
One big reason prospects don’t buy things they claim to want is because they’re not sure how said things fit into their lives. So show them. Do a tutorial or a how-to video.
Giving tutorials on how to style clothes, dress up decor, or even simply how to use a product are super helpful. I’m not proud to say it, but I watched an hour long live stream of a magazine’s editorial staff trying a new type of curling iron.
Yup. That really happened.
This seriously works for any and all businesses in ecommerce. You might have to get a bit creative when thinking of ways to use or style your product, but isn’t that the fun part?
The few of us out there in the marketing profession tend to get a bit verbose. We like to tell everyone why our stuff is the shit. Ideally, we would be using language to show them instead. Now, however, we can actually physically show them.
Why wouldn’t you jump on that bandwagon?
Give them something they didn’t know they needed
The best part of a live stream is that it can be anything you want, no matter how outlandish it feels.
“Build it and they will come.” – Field of Dreams
Movies from the late 80s aside, the quote above actually holds some weight. So….. Create something.
This is the same concept the unwrapping, just in reverse. People love, love, love to watch as things come together. Make a video of your product being produced! In fact, you could even do the same thing as the jewelry business…. Have a customer purchase a mystery item and then put it together in front of their eyes.
That won’t work for every ecommerce business, for sure, but there’s a lot of potential with creation.
Give them answers to their questions
Facebook live is unique in that it’s not only happening in real time, it’s interactive. If someone has something to say, they simply leave a comment. You can ignore those comments and do your demonstration or you can make them a part of your presentation.
You can do a simple Q&A or you could take things to the next level and make your live stream truly special.
Make your event really interactive by having a guest. Go the extra mile and make it a forum or a round table!
Whatever you choose to do, be sure to check the comments and speak directly to your audience. Nothing is more engaging for a user than the ability to get your attention when they aren’t physically with you.
Value means lots of different things. Stop waiting for things to be perfect. Don’t wait until you have the perfect equipment, the perfect set up, or the perfect plan. The best way to find out what’s going to work for your audience is just to start doing.
Facebook live is a great way to figure this out. More than that though, you can use Facebook live streams to connect with your audience in a way that was never possible for ecommerce brands in the past.
Business is flocking to small brands for a reason: the big guys just can’t keep up with us. Make sure you’re staying ahead of the game and come up with a Facebook live strategy today.