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4 Brands Using Livestreaming for Growth

We’ve all heard that statistic. “Video will account for 80% of global internet traffic by ~2020,” they say. Maybe the claim is accurate, maybe not. But we don’t need to wait until 2020 to see the trends that are showing us the true power of video. Statistics on video begin to seem too good to be true once you get to social media. Sites like Youtube and Facebook are steadily ramping up their video initiatives, using livestreaming for growth. YouTube has over 1 billion users (1/3 of the internet user base), over 500 million hours of video are watched on the site each day, and over 300 hours of video are uploaded each minute. Statistics like these do well to show the growth of VOD and OTT video production, but Facebook demonstrates the reach of live video in particular.

Facebook announced their live streaming feature, Facebook Live, to the public last year and it has taken the platform by storm. Since the rollout in April 2016, Facebook paid publishers and influencers/celebrities over $50 million to use Facebook Live. What’s more, Google searches for a “Facebook Live Stream” have risen 330% in the same time period. Due to the “live” aspect and it’s exclusive nature, livestreams are driving much higher engagement across sites around the web.

Brands and marketers are taking notice of these behavioral insights and creating live video initiatives to support their products and increase recognition. Below we’ll highlight 4 major brands who are using live video for growth in this new marketing landscape.

 

Red Bull

“Alright, I know the whole world is watching now.”

Those were Felix Baumgartner’s last words before “skydiving” from a height of 128,000 feet in 2012. Felix nor Red Bull probably realized that those words would usher in a new content motion for their company, but it has. After seeing a marked sales increase after “the mission to the edge of space,” Red Bull has become a major player in Live. There is a dedicated live events page on Redbull.tv where one can view schedules for upcoming events that will be streamed, as well as view the replays of events passed. Red Bull realizes that the footage from these events can be repurposed into commercials and social media videos, increasing marketing $’s through traditional ads and brand recognition.

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Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart has been a 1-woman brand for decades. After 20 years of cementing your audience, finding ways to reach younger generations can be challenging. Although her digital audience doesn’t compare to that of her day-time TV show in the early 2000s, her team is focused on the engagement aspect.  “It’s efficient and economical…You can let loose and have fun. There’s no teleprompter. I miss my daily show but not the expense or difficulty of making it,” says Stewart. Most of Martha’s streams are shot directly from an iPhone, highlighting the “economical” nature she mentioned.  For someone who is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 76, Stewart seems to have found her recipe with live.

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Tough Mudder

You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a group of grown-ups jump out of an ice bath, only to run directly into a maze of exposed and very live electric wires. Until recently, you may not have been able to see such a thing without being a participant at a Tough Mudder race near you. The “race,” a 10-12 mile obstacle course, is more of a race against the endurance of your will power than against any other participant.

The hardest part about convincing people to participate in a test of will such as this is just that, convincing them. The Tough Mudder has turned to live video to spread the word to the masses. In their “High-event recaps” of races, Tough Mudder gives potential participants a first hand look into how much fun you can have while challenging yourself. CMO of Tough Mudder Jerome Hiquet highlights the massive engagement rates they’re seeing on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube Live. “Right now the main channels are Facebook, where we have five million-plus followers, YouTube, where we’ve had over 30 million views, and our website, which currently receives nearly two million unique views each month. When we post a video on Facebook, we regularly see over one-million views, with 30 percent of those being for 30-seconds or more.” Tough Mudder’s goal is simply to get people familiar and then let the FOMO force them to buy a participant’s pass, driving their ultimate goal of ROI through video initiatives.

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UFC

The UFC has been plagued by internet piracy for many years, seeing most of their major fight cards illegally rebroadcasted on dozens of websites. After being tied up multiple in anti-piracy legal battles with major companies such as Periscope, the UFC decided to rollout their own streaming service, UFC Fight Pass. It was billed as a way to “watch UFC events live online and on virtually any device.” This was was the company’s first major push to solve the piracy problem. At a monthly price of $9.99, it’s a reasonable price for the avid UFC fan (A typical PPV costs $50-$70).

Although the service crashed during arguably the most important fight in the UFC’s history, McGregor Vs. Mayweather, it’s a great first step to getting ahead of pirates. As technology progresses, bandwidth costs will continue to decline. Delivering content straight to the consumer will only get easier for the UFC. With the increased reliability will come more subscriptions and less opportunity for piracy to thrive, (you guessed it) increasing ROI on every PPV event.

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