Live video has become the creative canvas for digital marketers

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Digital marketing has become a world where data often overruns the creative process. A/B (or even A/B/C/D) testing every element in a campaign sometimes becomes the obsession, relegating the ideas to simply more variables to test. Many marketers crave creativity, big ideas and innovation.

Well, jump into the live video pool, folks, because this is where the innovation is happening today.

With the growth of live video, that process has been turned on its head in just the past couple of years. Brands are innovating across many elements of communications and campaigns.

From internal launch planning to massive live e-commerce events, the real-time nature of live video not only allows for more feedback on these efforts, but also — for some brands — more (calculated) risks to be taken. The proverbial safety net of prepackaged, highly planned content, once the inhibitor of innovation, is gone. And it is exhilarating again to be a marketer!

Disrupting digital marketing

Live video has become the creative canvas for digital marketers to embrace new means of delivering branded content. Don’t believe it? There’s a new live campaign happening every week that challenges what we thought we knew about the space. Some of the more recent examples:

Capitalizing on the real-time nature of the NCAA Tournament, Snapchat brought fans creative ways to trash-talk rivals through the platform all throughout the first two rounds. They could also add custom, geotagged snaps from all 64 campuses — bringing local flavor and fans in on the action as many early games came down to the wire.

Twitch, Amazon’s livestream platform, continues to diversify itself as a portal for unique video broadcasts. The latest example was its live stream of all 23 seasons of Power Rangers — a project backed by Twitch, to bring itself into the wider conversation around the film’s arrival in theaters in late March.

Jewelry brand David Yurman paid Elle to unveil its new line live on the publication’s Facebook page, in an event that was hosted by Instagram stylists.

And those are all just examples from the past few weeks.

Unbound by the fears of getting the editing just right or the messaging perfectly worded within preproduced content, these events come off as authentic and honest. In the case of the Power Rangers stream, which only features the show’s full library, the uninterrupted feed is a novelty that users can pop into and out of as they please.

Are there huge Power Rangers fans who will find a way to tune into each and every one of the episodes from all 23 seasons? Sure. Those super-users aren’t the risk here, though. It’s who else will bother to tune in. Without live streaming, the cost and planning needed to go into that sort of event could be crippling for any brand — especially a growing one like Twitch.

There is innovation going on elsewhere in digital marketing. Pre-produced video still provides opportunities to connect and share with customers through a visual and interactive medium. In-person marketing initiatives have shown themselves to be game for new ideas, but they’re tethered by geography. Even something that seems completely confined to one user’s device, like last year’s Pokémon Go craze, is based on where you are and the number of people (other users) you’re with at the time.

It’s time to go live

Live experiences have become the showcase for how marketers can cultivate active, captive audiences. Plenty of brands are already on board, but there are still more holdouts left across every vertical.

With the easy tools at everyone’s disposal today, there’s no excuse for companies to sit it out on live. Failure to jump in and give it a try has become comparable to handing your competition a distinct advantage.


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.




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