Managing Director TERRITORY Influence, a leading full-service influencer marketing agency activating 4 Mio creators for brands in Europe
People used social media more during Covid-19, according to Bazaarvoice data published on Digital Commerce 360. Because the pandemic pretty much paused in-person, out-of-home activities such as shopping, concerts and parties, people have increasingly sought virtual get-togethers to socialize and interact. Instagram recently released a feature called Live Rooms that caters to this trend; it’s a live broadcast featuring a split screen for up to four people and interactive panels for other participants.
Comparing The Functionality Of Instagram Live Rooms And Clubhouse
Some of you may have already been exposed to a very similar functionality on the hyped, audio-only app Clubhouse, where people can join a live talk show. The difference is that the adoption of Clubhouse is still limited by its invitation-only model, while Instagram enjoys universal appeal and global reach. Instagram users can also start or participate in a live session from any device or operating system, while Clubhouse was previously only available on iOS (although an Android version was recently released). And unlike Clubhouse, Instagram Rooms work with video as well as audio, which offers a broader range of marketing applications for brands. Even though only four people can talk in an Instagram Live Room, millions of viewers can watch the show live. The platform also encourages community interaction, as viewers can write comments and send emojis.
So, now that we’ve explored the functionalities of Instagram Live Rooms and compared them to the feature’s predecessor (and potential role model), Clubhouse, let’s look at some ideas for how innovative marketers can leverage this new tool to engage with their consumers.
Four Ways To Use Live Rooms In Your Marketing Strategy
1. Host Exciting Q&A Sessions
Q&A sessions are often real audience magnets. The viewers help direct the content and flow of the conversation. These interactive discussion rounds draw in audiences based on their promise of authentic, educational and informative real-life communication. Q&A sessions also allow marketers to gain new and exciting consumer insights by directly interacting with their audiences. But before you get started, do adequately prepare your session with a clear structure so as not to drift away from the actual topic. And since Live Rooms allow up to four speakers, think about who to involve. Maybe you can invite one of your star influencers or official brand ambassadors to boost awareness for your session to help ensure strong audience participation. Maybe you can invite an expert or key opinion leader on your topic to provide additional credibility and answer tricky questions. Or maybe you should invite your founder or CEO to talk about the history and heritage of your company. The possibilities for an entertaining and informational event are endless.
2. Do Real-Time Product Testing
Potential customers want to experience your products or services and see your brand in action. And what is more suitable, authentic and convincing than testing products live in front of the camera? Whether they sell beauty and hair care products or consumer electronics, Instagram Live Rooms allow brands to showcase their benefits and advantages directly to many viewers. My tip: Let one or more nano-influencers use your products live and leverage the credibility of real brand-lovers. Also, during such a session, viewers can ask questions about the products and give you feedback via chat: It’s a dialogue at eye level.
3. Host Live Shopping Events
Combine Live Rooms with Instagram Shopping to facilitate a seamless online brand and shopping experience. With Instagram’s Live Shopping feature, you can sell your products or services during your live sessions. How does it work? Simply add a link that allows viewers to add products directly to their shopping cart. But be careful to select a host who can keep the audience engaged while convincing them to purchase. Most companies I’ve seen experiment with live shopping are using social influencers to host their shows due to their ability to attract audiences, as well as entertain them live. To give it an even more personal touch, you could mention and thank the customer for their purchase in the live session. This can add a sense of appreciation and closeness to the session.
4. Host Educational Events With Experts
A Live Rooms educational session could be perfect if you want your brand to address a specific niche topic or if you are selling complex products or services that potential customers need more explanation to understand. During a live session, you can inform attendees about certain services, product benefits or background stories in detail. Topics like health or sustainability often require an explanation grounded in fact to prevent issues like greenwashing or misinformation. Use the expertise of niche influencers to communicate such topics to your community in a more trustworthy and professional way. Another reason this is a great way to use Live Rooms is that attendees can ask questions and hear you discuss them at any time during the event.
Live Rooms can help facilitate a personal, direct interaction and dialogue with your consumers, experts or influencers. I believe the new tool offers unlimited possibilities for interactive marketing, and brands can give their creativity free reign to authentically reach and interact with highly engaged audiences. If you have not yet done so, go brief your team, run a pilot and see if the tool could benefit your company.