Livestreaming has taken the world by storm in 2022. From Twitch and TikTok to Instagram and YouTube, just about every platform out there is pushing live video content. And with good reason. Live video content is experiencing explosive growth in the numbers of both creators and viewers.
One industry that is leading the charge is the sports industry. In 2021, 474 million people tuned in to live e-sports broadcasts. But the impact extends beyond viewership: livestreams convert. In the US alone, the livestream e-commerce market is set to more than triple: from $11 billion in 2021 to $35 billion by 2024. We’re seeing similar trends take shape around the world. If you want to get in on the ground floor of this change to the interactive video cloud, the time is now. We’ll show you how to get started.
Interactive Video Cloud: What is it?
Before we talk about the interactive video cloud, let’s first define the term.
Interactive livestreaming is exactly what it sounds like: a live video that offers ways for the viewer to interact with the video. The best of these videos are hosted “in the cloud” (i.e., hosted on a set of distributed, yet connected servers around the world, instead of one dedicated server) which allows them to scale to big audiences around the globe with ease. So the interactive video cloud is a cloud-based interactive livestreaming platform.
interactive video cloud is a cloud-based interactive livestreaming platform
In other words, the interactive livestream is the online event you’re hosting. The interactive video cloud is how and where you host it.
What is the Difference Between a Livestream and an Interactive Livestream?
The major difference between a livestream and an interactive livestream is that the former is a one-way conversation, and the latter is a two-way conversation. A standard livestream lets the audience passively observe the content in front of them. An interactive livestream lets the audience participate and influence the livestream.
How does an audience interact with a live video?
The exact modes for interaction/engagement vary by platform (we’ll get into a more comprehensive list a bit later in the article) and include things like reactions, chat, polls, voting, and shopping.
These interactions happen in real time, and thus, have the ability to directly influence the video content. For example, if a video’s host (the person who is on camera throughout the livestream) sees that the product they’re showing is generating a lot of interest, they can linger, answer questions, and optimize the video. A static video/one-way conversation doesn’t have such insight or flexibility.
What interaction options exist today?
The options for widgets that offer interactivity to viewers are changing all the time as more and more businesses think creatively about applying this technology in their own contexts. With a powerful interactive video cloud, the possibilities are limited only by our creativity.
As of today, you can create a livestream that offers these options and more:
The audience can talk to themselves and the video host through a chatbox. They can ask each other questions, support each other, create friendly competition, and more through the live chat window.
The audience clicks on an emoji that matches how they feel about what they’re seeing. They can leave a heart, smiley face, angry face, sad face, and more to quickly express their opinions.
Viewers can rate a product, service, or anything else you’d like using a 5-star rating system. These ratings can tally in real time. For example, “How would you rate our spring collection?”
Adding trivia questions that coincide with the content on the screen lets the viewer play along with what they’re watching. For example, “Which one is our company value statement? Choose from the 4 options below.”
Viewers can choose from a selection of options to vote for their favorite (or least favorite) of the list. For example, “What color will the post-NFL Championship Game Gatorade shower be? Red, Blue, Yellow, or Purple?”
Viewers can make a guess about how something will play out just before it happens. For example, “How long until someone scores the next goal?”
The most popular livestream widget of all is the e-commerce widget. You can create a shoppable video through the interactive video cloud. This allows you to time the livestream so that the video host (the person on camera) talks about/shows off a product at the exact time that the e-commerce widget pops up. This allows customers to watch, ask questions, and make a purchase from the livestream.
How Can Businesses Benefit from the Interactive Video Cloud?
While influencers make use of these tools without much thought, there are a lot of businesses looking to dip their toes in this daunting new world. But the livestreaming game is different for businesses, so let’s talk about it.
The Interactive Video Cloud: Interactive Livestreaming Explained for Businesses
To set the scene, let’s talk briefly about the difference in experience between static and interactive video for business purposes. It’s much like Newton’s first law of motion: an object in motion stays in motion. A resting object stays at rest unless there is significant external pressure.
In a static video, the audience is sitting back from their screen in a resting state. Whether you’ve set up a video ad or host your own video content, any action you ask of the viewer (like making a purchase) requires them to take action. They need to set down distractions, move closer, grab the mouse, and/or move their hand to tap on the screen. In all likelihood, that click then takes them away from the content they were enjoying. And that’s assuming they watched closely enough to notice the call-to-action (CTA) in the first place.
If, on the other hand, you have the audience tapping, clicking, and watching intently from the beginning, the purchase CTA is less of a hurdle.
The possibilities for businesses and interactive livestreaming are endless. Here are some examples by department to inspire how you can apply interactive livestreaming technology at your company.
Sales: Host Online Shopping Videos
Shoppable live videos are in their infancy, but they have already proven their potential in Asia. Taobao sold $7.5 billion worth of merchandise during the first 30 minutes of their interactive livestreaming event. Markets around the world took notice, and now you can create the same style of event for your customers. Show off products and wow viewers as they play, shop, learn, and willingly engage with your advertising method.
Marketing: Offer a Creative Way to Interact with Your Brand
A favorable brand reputation is one of the most recession-proof business assets you can have. Creating fun and tangible ways to interact with, learn from, and enjoy your brand can cut through the competitive noise and solidify that reputation in the minds and eyes of existing customers.
Customer Support: Create a Memorable Customer Experience
Product launches, product updates, seasonal changes, rebranding, etc., are all situations that trigger customer support phone call avalanches. What if you could turn these changes from a customer support nightmare into a unique and fun event for your customers to enjoy? Train them on new features, show them what’s possible, and get real-time feedback with interactive livestreaming.
HR: Host Employee Training Sessions
Having a team that can step up to the plate, solve problems, think from other departments’ perspectives, and work together is easy to accomplish with a solid cross-training program. Through the interactive video cloud, training is easier, more fun, and can reach your team across the globe.
Leadership: Help Your Global Team Feel Connected
But don’t stop your team building at training – host online holiday parties, company announcement events, and more through the interactive video cloud.
How Can I Get Connected to the Interactive Video Cloud and Host an Interactive Livestream?
Our next article will feature a list of interactive video cloud platforms comparing the pros, cons, features, and pricing between the options. Stay tuned for that article, or if you’d like to see it in action today, head over to liveryvideo.com.
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