Live video streaming has recently become extremely popular on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.  While it isn’t suitable for every brand, there have been many early adopters that have absorbed this into their marketing strategy both quickly and effectively.


The core benefits of live streaming are:

  1. You only need a smartphone and online connection and you can broadcast, anywhere and anytime. 
  2. It places the viewer in the moment – whilst content can be rehearsed prior to the live stream – anything can happen on going live.  It is authentic.
  3. You can engage directly with an audience – conversations, questions and debates are happening in real time.  It creates community and an urgency as people want to see, contribute be a part of it before it finishes.
  4. Conversations and amplification continue to grow as people hear and engage with the content post live stream.


2016 saw several brands jump right in and use live video streaming as part of their marketing campaigns. For example, both Grazia UK and Tough Mudder used live video to give their audience exclusive behind the scenes access to their brands. Grazia UK teamed up with Facebook in London to create a ‘community issue’ of their regular print publication, including live streaming a range of events, memorably a live debate about Brexit. Tough Mudder, meanwhile, used live video to show would-be participants what completing one of their events required. The video showcased Coach T. Mud undertaking one of their grueling courses. 

IN 2017…

In 2017, these early forays into using live video to give audiences added value content have been capitalised on. 

The NFL recently used live video to create further engagement with their global audience when they streamed the Combine trials. “We offered a live-streaming video with a suite of exclusive hosts and analysts dedicated to that feed only, and that feed covered all of the events at the Combine,” explains Chief Content Officer Jordan Levin. “If we were going to commercial breaks on the network, for example, you could go to our live video feed and through connected-TV devices, through our mobile product, through You could watch this live feed, which had all the activity occurring on the field live.”

It isn’t just sports brands that are using live streaming to bring exclusive content to their audience. E.L.F Cosmetics partnered with live stream channel, YouCam Live, to help bring their activities at the SXSW festival, in Texas, America, to their audience. The live streaming of events by the brand opened the opportunity to those that couldn’t physically attend to see, and interact, with the festival in real time. 


The ability for live video to create an ‘of the moment’ connection with audience is appealing, especially for brands whose products are communication. Tony Robbins, self-improvement mentor, best-selling author and entrepreneur, has used Facebook Live to speak directly to his audience.  ‘Facebook Live is one of my favourite tools at this stage. We get three-quarters of a million people [watching]. It’s like having your own show.”

The spontaneity of live video means it is accompanied by a sense of vulnerability, something that viewers respond to. Experian, the credit checking service, use live video to engage their audience, with a different topic for each session. By offering their audience real time advice on financial matters, Experian are positioning themselves as market leaders in their industry. 

Using live video can add a different dimension to a marketing strategy. If done well it can connect people ‘in the moment’ and involving, and engaging, the consumer through an immediate and direct dialogue.