What we see now can be called an era of live video. According to Cisco, 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video by 2020. Video content falls into the latest trends of digital marketing, such as personalisation, brand humanisation and the consumer demand for an in-the-moment approach. No one knows how long it will last, but the fact that you should be involved is undeniable.
If you are less interested in trends and more interested in profits, you’d probably be wondering; what value can it potentially bring to your company? Many digital marketing developments are unaccountable, but when it comes to adding live video to your company’s marketing strategy, the benefits are right here.
In the past couple of years, we've witnessed live video feature being added to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. The launch of Instagram Stories in 2016 has drawn the line - video content should be an integral part of your digital strategy.
In January, TechCrunch announced that Twitter is to implement Explore feature, the main purpose of which is to provide a primary spot for Twitter’s livestreamers. Furthermore, on 24 January, Instagram has offered businesses the opportunity to launch advertising in their Stories service.
Big brands, an especially interesting example here is retail, have always stood at the forefront of addressing the newest developments in advertising. Below the line marketing, print media, and TV and radio advertising channels appear to have exhausted themselves.
As a brand, you have to go in the direction your potential customers are going. Since video is now an immense part of almost every social media platform, let’s take Instagram as an example and look at what figures we can gather from there.
What was going on with Instagram marketing before Stories advertising opportunity? Here’s a quick round-up:
- Instagram Stories has approximately 150 million users engaging with it on a daily basis.
- 70% of Instagram users follow a brand (with Stories bringing in more engagement - every fifth story leads to a direct message from a viewer).
- Instagram’s monthly audience includes roughly 600 million people.
- Instagram's Advertising platform has brought about $1.5bn (£1.2bn) in 2016.
- Three out of four US brands with more than 100 employees are to use Instagram marketing in the upcoming year.
- According to Credit Suisse estimations, Instagram will generate over $3bn (£2.4bn) in ad revenue in 2017 - up 96% in comparison with last year (SproutSocial has calculated that the figure will increase up to $5bn by 2018).
What impact has Instagram Stories had?
Now, let’s look at how Stories affect Instagram’s audience engagement rate.
We have recently looked at some big brands’ historical data on social media, using SEMrush’s Social Media Tool. Dior, Netflix and Louis Vuitton were the brands we’ve analysed. What you’ll see below are graphs that indicate the amount of daily audience engagement with the brands’ posts on Instagram & Facebook.
19 January shows an incredible spike in engagement. What was so special about that day? That day Louis Vuitton announced live streaming of the newest Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall-Winter 2017 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Once there was a mention of a live video, the engagement has more than tripled.
Netflix keeps announcing the streaming of its Series of Unfortunate Events on Facebook and therefore gets higher engagement as well.
A similar trend can be witnessed, when looking at Dior’s Instagram account. The post that received the highest monthly engagement had to do with an announcement of Instagram Story and Dior Live on Snapchat from a fashion influencer, Chiara Ferragni. According to Social Media Tool, the engagement tripled as we’ve seen in the Louis Vuitton’s case.
Felipa Monteiro, the head of digital marketing at Mulberry UK, has confessed on Instagram's blog: "Our recent campaigns, which included a stories link, received five times more clicks to site and engagement when compared to the average seen across our other social channels."
Retail spend in non-traditional channels
What we saw above is that companies are willing to spend impressive amounts of money in non-traditional marketing channels. Digital marketing is already providing advertising opportunities that outperform the ones that used to be in place when this new channel wasn’t in its best shape. If TV advertising used to be the most significant source of income from ad placements, live video can be the ‘it’ thing for our new digital era.
With the development of live video as an advertising channel within digital marketing, the calculation of its value is quite clean cut. To continue with Instagram’s example: the ad in Instagram may lead you to the company's Instagram account or to the landing page right away. Thus, Instagram ads can result in increased traffic or even direct sales from your Instagram account.
What's the deal with Instagram Stories, then? Instagram has promised to feature new insights on analytical metrics for businesses (Stories Insights): you'll be able to calculate reach, impressions, replies, exits and, probably, introduce direct links to your page. Moreover, the price of advertising is not a fixed one (unlike Snapchat, for instance), but is dependent on your impressions; basically, the more targeted your ad is, the more you are bidding to pay.
Thus, with expenditure that can be quite easily calculated and possible reach you can evaluate, with the additional comprehension of how, on average, many visitors can turn into potential paying customers, you can count the outcome.
A version of this article originally appeared on MyCustomer sister site BusinessZone.