Video has long been king – remember that little thing called television?

It’s been around for decades longer than social media! However, the launch of YouTube in 2005 created an appetite for bite-size video content that catered for every possible audience. Since then, video has evolved into live streaming prompting advertisers and brands to take notice as social media sites start to prioritise the platform.

Live video content appeals because it has ‘potential’; the potential to surprise as well as the potential to go wrong. This knife edge of unpredictability excites audiences and as a result it’s perceived as ‘authentic’, regardless of the hours of planning that have gone into it. People can react to and interact with the content in real time giving them the satisfaction of being part of something bigger.

Live video is more important than ever as people increasingly want content here and now, and brands are able to capitalise on this. News is instantaneous, people can easily stay in touch, and brands can communicate with more of their audience than ever before.

The current live video climate

Currently Instagram and Facebook’s user experiences put the platforms at an advantage in the world of live video because it’s very clear when someone you follow goes live on these platforms. And although Twitter has seen the value in video all along with early investments in Vine and Periscope, the social platform’s USP has long been confused and perhaps not even live video can save it at this point.

Meanwhile, Snapchat, the king of the temporal experience, somehow has failed to make live streaming work well so far. Currently, most users prefer the Stories feature and advertisers are shying away from live video ads on the platform.

There’s no denying that live video opens up a whole host of opportunities for brands; and for those who do it right, the engagement and amplification results can be remarkable.

Looking for inspiration?

  • Xbox often live streams previews of its upcoming or current games, the brand certainly has a wealth of products available to appeal to a gaming audience. 
  • Benefit regularly live stream makeup tips in their regular segments including Tipsy Tricks and Brow Hour.
  • YouTube Live collates all its current live streams here.
  • Snickers recently attempted to amuse consumers with a live Super Bowl ad and 36 hour pre-game show but according to CEO of Ace Metric, ‘ironically this ad might have benefited by having more frequency for the viewers to appreciate the comical storyline’.
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