Consumers are yearning for connections more than ever before. The 2021 World Happiness Report notes that over a century of research has proven how crucial social connection is for well-being. While physical separation curtails the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it may narrow our sense of social connection.
As a result, we’ve been forced to adapt. It may seem like an oxymoron to social distance yet still feel physically connected, but that's our modern-day, pandemic-influenced evolution. And live streaming could be one of the solutions.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau projects that livestream generated sales will reach $120 billion worldwide in 2021. Furthermore, the Bureau notes that live-streaming is the closest many retailers and brands have been able to come to physically connecting with their customers during the pandemic. For instance, Estee Lauder hosted more than one million virtual try-on sessions globally in the first quarter.
CVR has seen additional evidence for how live-streaming or virtual events are fulfilling a need to be connected and conduct effective business even in the B2B space.
Our partner, Allison Transmission, is a leading designer and manufacturer of conventional, hybrid and electric vehicle propulsion solutions. Prior to COVID, they hosted regular in-person plant tour customer days to provide customers with an inside view of Allison’s manufacturing facilities, education sessions and the ability to get behind the wheel of Allison-equipped vehicles. In 2020, we created a virtual Allison Experience Day that had over 680 participants, 15% more than the number of in-person attendees visiting Allison over an entire year. A mix of live and prerecorded video with seven different sessions of content kept the audience engaged and satisfied, evidenced by the overall 4.6 out of 5 post-event survey score.
As live-streaming continues to grow, differentiating the experience to create audience engagement is most paramount. Three keys to stand out include:
1.) Ask your audience what they want.
Before your event, send a survey asking your customers for their input. Give them the opportunity to rank their content interests, express their challenges, provide questions, etc. This ensures the event content can align with customers’ preferences. During and after the event, ask for feedback and ratings. Providing opportunities for live Q&A also adds interactivity and helps to balance out pre-recorded content.
2.) Go live from different locations.
Staring at the same background, people or slides for more than an hour can be draining. Incorporate speakers or content from different spaces to get a change of scenery, literally. And having these participants talk to each other encourages connection no matter the distance.
3.) Use the power of virtual touch.
This 360-degree view of The Allison Transmission 3000 Series allows viewers to click and move the transmission however they please. When it’s not possible to physically touch the product, add virtual touch through augmented reality technology.
See more examples of live-streaming and video to help differentiate your next event.