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Is Live Streaming the Next Big thing for Marketing?

Blend Images - Colin Anderson/Getty Images
Blend Images – Colin Anderson/Getty Images

The content world is going mobile, and digital video is no exception. In 2015, brands like GE, Doritos, and Dunkin’ Donuts all experimented with live streaming ads. The total spent on digital video jumped from 2.4 percent in 2013 to 4.4 percent by mid-2015, according to eMarketer’s Q2 2015 State of Video. And apps like Periscope and Meerkat pushed live streaming video straight into the social media spotlight. Will 2016 the year that live streaming officially becomes a must-do for marketers?

The Explosion of Online Video

Online video exploded in 2015, especially among so-called “Trailing Millennials” aged 14 to 25. People are now spending more time with digital video than social networks and digital radio:

  • People spent an average of 1 hour and 55 minutes with digital video in April 2015, compared to 1 hour and 44 minutes with social networks and 40 minutes with Facebook.
  • Trailing Millennials are the first age group to watch more shows on digital devices than traditional TV screens.
  • Viewers love long-form original content (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) and user-generated live-stream (e.g., Periscope).

3 Companies Crushing the Live Stream Video Competition

1. GE: “Drone Week”. Always a trendsetter, this past July GE launched “Drone Week” on Periscope. The company broadcast live video of GE drones flying from coast to coast, providing a “drones-eye-view” of GE’s least accessible facilities producing the company’s jet engines, locomotives, wind turbines. Fans could interact with the brand on Twitter by using the @GEDronePilot account and #DRONEWEEK. “Drone Week allows us to showcase five different sites and five industries to give people a really cool perspective and peek at some of the stuff they don’t see often but does have an impact on their lives,” GE’s director of innovation Sam Olstein told Fast Company, which likened the successful campaign to “Shark Week for science and social video nerds.”

2. Doritos: “Roulette Bags”. Last summer, Doritos introduced a limited-edition “roulette” bag game (one out of every six chips were super spicy). To drive interest in the game, Doritos launched a #DoritosRoulette digital campaign, including live giveaways on Periscope. Livestream viewers were randomly selected as contestants and a host spun a roulette wheel to give away prizes. The game played out over multiple social media platforms with promotional videos on YouTube, a team game on Twitter, and winner announcements on Vine.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts: “DD Summer Soundtrack”. To promote its iced coffee with Millennials, Dunkin’ launched the five-concert “Summer Soundtrack” series with promotions across seven social media platforms, including Periscope. Dunkin’ live-streamed the concerts via Periscope and included links to exclusive content, custom artist playlists, and behind-the-scenes content. The brand also used Spotify to drive engagement on its microsite,

What’s Next for 2016

In 2016, live-streaming campaigns will become an increasingly important means for connecting clients with their target audience, be that tech geeks nerding out over jet engines or Millennials partying poolside. The successful campaigns run by GE, Doritos and Dunkin’ Donuts underscore the importance of being active on multiple networks for a synergized social media presence that supports a unified marketing campaign. It’s not enough to just hire content writers: agencies need a diverse team with a strong background in digital video and live streaming, too.


Erin M  ghostwrites extensively on behalf of B2B companies to support their content marketing and thought leadership campaigns, and her clients range from major Fortune 500 companies to small business startups. When not crafting custom content solutions, you can find her adding stamps to her passport, scuba diving, or perfecting her secret cheesecake recipe.

Guest Author

By WriterAccess

Freelancer Erin M

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