This article is part 3 in a series on connecting your brand to your communities. Last time we looked at ad targeting and experience management as a way to calibrate your brand compass and use data to connect to your community.
Today we’ll cover livestreaming via social media – TikTok in particular – as a fun and high touch way to engage your community and bring them your brands offerings.
Why Go Live?
Livestream shopping is on the rise. With rising investments from Amazon, YouTube, and TikTok – the big platforms are betting on the ability to create unique and rare shopping experiences for customers. There are also a handful of platforms emerging to cover specialized categories – like clothing, shoes, collectibles, etc. – where even mega big-box retailers like Walmart are hosting live shopping events.
TikTok just recently launched livestream shopping in the United States. Now you can sell directly to customers through a store connected to your TikTok account. How it works: Your brand’s fans and followers are notified when you go live, and when they queue up the livestream, they will see a shop button at the bottom left of the screen. Here, your followers can peruse the items that you have up for sale, and you can feature specific deals and discounts and then, of course, provide a direct link to your sales page.
Brands would be smart to capitalize on this trend.
Upgrade your KOLs
A winning strategy on how to do this is to engage your KOLs and give them a new platform to connect to audiences. After you have found and connected to your community – see our previous post on targeting through platforms like our Adtarg here – you can upgrade your relationship with your KOLs by knighting them as potential live streamer sellers. Now when you begin to cultivate relationships, you can give them another option of how to engage with your brand. You can have the KOL feature your product on their own livestreaming account for exposure and then offer them an affiliate code where they can earn a commission and also provide a discount to their audience. Or, if you want to do your livestreaming in-house, you can hire KOLs with livestreaming experience to come be hosts on your own platform. This adds credibility to your brand. You can invite them as guests to talk about different products and trends. Treat it like you are creating a TV show or podcast! You can feature the products but not make them the center of attention and then later go in for the hard sale. Either way – by recruiting affiliate live streamers or by inviting them to talk to your audience – you create a win-win scenario for the KOL and your brand, giving you increased brand coverage by tapping into their audience in a fun, engaging and meaningful way. Plus you have a lot more control than just shipping out your products for reviews hoping that the KOL will get back to you or be favorable with their feedback. In others words, think of this as a great way to get close with your KOLs and build those close bonds.
Our Best Strategies for TikTok Livestreaming
1. Repurpose Content
Platforms like TikTok will save your livestream to your devices. One tip is to comb through the footage and cut clips from your favorite moments – maybe an unexpected comment or interaction with an audience member, or even a blooper. These make fun clips that you can post later as short video that both get a laugh as well as underscore your brand’s offerings.
2. The Hosts with the Most
Choosing a host is a key decision. This person will be the face of your brand on your channel. Best to find someone relatable to your community – someone your audience will identity with. You have a range of options here. It could be the product developer or designer themselves, the CEO or founder, or you can hire someone to represent your brand, a brand ambassador.
3. Spruce it up with a Digital Overlay
One way to look extra professional is to create a cstomized backdrop for your stream. Not only does this make for a cleaner presentation for your live stream but you can also do handy things like display prices right on the screen when viewers first log on – giving them an immediate impression of what you’re up to and hooking into their attention without them having to spend too much time figuring out the conversation. You can also get creative by creating different environments for your product suites – living rooms, kitchens, etc. – based on the theme of your brand. Here you can express the visual identity of your brand while still streaming on another platform like TikTok.
4. Be Authentic – Show Your Fans How the Sauce is Made
Another way to get your fans and community more invested in your brand is to bring them into YOUR world. You remember in our previous post we talked about the world of your brands story. Well, here you can literally bring them into your world – your physical store, the laboratory or production room of your company, your warehouse, etc. Many successful live streamers go live right from their own IRL shops and show you all their merchandise, right as it comes out of the box. This kind of “welcome into my world” shows a level of intimacy and authenticity that customers in your community crave.
5. Interact, Interact, Interact
By far the most powerful to engage your community is by having more in depth interactions with them. Livestreaming lets you easily talk in real time forging real bonds and connections with customers in the moment. You can also ask them questions to learn more about your community – consider this a kind of direct form of customer feedback or surveys. After all the best form of feedback is a live conversation.
TikTok livestreaming and live stream shopping are an exciting new trend that give you another opportunity for high touch engagement with your community. You can interact directly with people and build brand loyalty and you can also strengthen the bonds with community leaders by inviting them into the fun.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to go live!