David McManus / 21st August 2018

Emergence of live video

The idea of appearing on camera in front of potentially thousands of viewers can be intimidating, but with a successful strategy, brands can find success in live video.

It’s now cheaper and simpler to employ professional grade video, however, brands can deliver compelling and authentic content through live video, in order to build a strong brand connection with consumers.

We’ve selected 3 advantages of live video that brands need to consider in their social media marketing strategy.


Cost effective

To execute a live video, all that is required is a durable internet connection and a camera of good quality.

The popularity of live video has soared. Live video is no more expensive than conventional video marketing, yet gives video content an authentic feel. Professionally produced videos are advantageous for more significant projects, but for social media, live videos offer an authentic and cost effective alternative.

In addition, using an influencer for your live stream can add value to your low-cost endeavour, offering instant access to a highly engaged audience. Furthermore, an influencer can expand the reach from the brands own fans and followers, without the stress of creating a professionally produced video.


Gives your audience an insight

Consumers subconsciously look for a reason to establish an emotional connection to a brand. Live video is an easy entry method to do this. When consumers establish an emotional connection to a brand, trust levels increase. 

By creating a live video and streaming it across social media platforms, not only are users learning new information about the brand, but the brand can promote a unique proposition at the same time.

Social media users love to feel ‘in the moment’. By taking users behind the scenes, they feel like they’re seeing rare footage that their peers are missing out on. The brand can then promote a unique proposition and use the feedback to drive traffic and sales.


Launching new products

A further benefit of live video is that the content is highly targeted to the brands audience. Live streaming is therefore a great way to launch a new product.

Live video opens the door to live feedback, such as user-contributed questions or comments, adding a layer of engagement to the experience.

Users will feel like they’re the first to find out about the new product, so will be enticed to tune in. At the same time, using a new platform to launch your products will also portray you as a forward-thinking brand.


Examples of live video platforms

Facebook Live

The arrival of Facebook Live changed the playing field for content development in the online world. Facebook recently stated that live videos can drive 10 times more comments because of the real time connection between users. This connection between users can turn into a true source of traffic for your Page. Live videos simply drive more engagement and if you promote your content well, can keep users coming back.

Tip: Create a 10 to 15 second long mini-trailer for your live videos. Sharing this with your followers in advance of the broadcast will let them know when you are going live.


Instagram Live

Instagram live videos are a part of Instagram Stories, so you will always find them at the top of your screen while using the Instagram app. This gives brands the opportunity to interact with Instagram audiences in new and exciting ways, directing the audience towards key offers outside the Instagram platform.

Tip: If you choose to save your video to your Instagram stories, you can archive your original promotion of the broadcast. Next, post a new update to let followers know they can catch your live video for the next 24 hours.


Examples of brands using live video

Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics often streams live product tutorials on Facebook. Many how-to beauty videos cut out the boring parts, which means users have to pause the video if they’re following in real-time. With a live video, there’s no such need. Viewers can get ready in the mirror along with Benefit employees, as if they’re putting on their makeup with a new friend. Benefit leans into the friend angle, calling the video “Tipsy Tricks” and pairing it with a glass of Rosé.



Buzzfeed sells no products or services, so has no opportunity to launch anything in a live video format. Instead, they make money through advertising and specialise in getting attention with creative content. Of course, that’s the angle they used in a video on Facebook Live. One by one, Buzzfeed employees placed rubber bands onto a watermelon, to test how many bands it would take before the watermelon burst. The live video lasted over 45 minutes, and attracted over 800,000 viewers at its peak. By provoking viewers curiosities, Buzzfeed produced a captivating live experiment.




Tastemade is a video network that offers food and travel related programming for online audiences. The brand used Facebook live to inspire viewers appetites, and draw new users in. One particular live effort was a series called ‘tiny kitchen’, where miniature kitchen appliances were used to cook miniature versions of food. As of today, the series has over 5.2 million views.



Like all branding and marketing efforts, live streaming should be all about forging an emotional bond with the customer. By offering relatable, informative and entertaining video in real-time on users’ social media feeds is a great way to do exactly that.