As social media’s newest frontier, livestreaming narrows the gap between influencers and followers like never before.

On Facebook, people comment 10 times more on live videos than on regular, on-demand videos, according to company stats. Although Twitter-owned Periscope currently owns the largest stake of the livestream market — it hosted 200 million livestreams in its first year — Facebook Live and YouTube Live are quickly gaining ground.

The “face-to-face,” real-time visual content essentially hands a V.I.P. pass to the online community, allowing influencers to fulfill a heightened demand for personalized content and create more intimate interactions with their audience.

Couple those perks with the fact streaming has overtaken live TV (that is, U.S. consumers are more likely to stream entertainment online than watch live TV) and the verdict is a no-brainer: The red-hot social space should become a top priority for marketing teams seeking a foothold among youthful audiences in 2016 and beyond.

Case Studies of Brand-Influencer Livestreams

Brand-influencer live campaigns may still be in the beginning stages, but they boast an early track record of success.

Google

For the 2016 Olympics, Google sent 15 of the top YouTube influencers to Rio where they broadcasted footage of the Games to their young, devoted social media fan base across the world. The mega-search engine said the online personalities would cover “everything from their own commentary of the Games’ celebrations, from the first victory to the last defeat, to long days around Rio on bike rides.”

The content creators harnessed YouTube’s new mobile livestreaming to give audiences eyes and ears on the ground at the events in Brazil, racking up tens of thousands of views.

Among the stars were Liza Koshy, Ben Brown, Brodie Smith, Chloe Morello, Caeli and native Brazilian Felipe Castanhari. Besides quite possibly ushering in a new form of journalism (the influencers did in fact have journalist press passes), Google brought home gold for its viewers by customizing the Olympics experience with one-of-a-kind, engaging influencer videos.

Nestlé

Last summer, Nestlé Drumstick became one of the first brands to partner with influencers to run a Periscope livestream for a social media marketing campaign. The ice cream company aired its own broadcast of “iconic summer moments” during its #FirstDayofSummer trend, while four Periscope social stars captured their versions of the festivities, which included beach hangouts, backyard barbecues and a trip to the amusement park.

The brand’s videos garnered over 5,000 views and 50,000 hearts, in comparison to the influencers’ 1,500 views and 64,000 hearts. Since Periscope is owned by Twitter, Drumstick boosted the campaign’s reach with Promoted Tweets and an additional 100 Twitter influencers to tweet about the ice cream.

Wendy’s

In mid-June 2015, Wendy’s teamed up with self-proclaimed “Internetainers” Rhett & Link to promote its #SipMeUp campaign for FruiTea Chillers. The campaign design was simple: After users answered a few basic questions about their favorite food, color or music, the influencer duo would perform a personalized, 30- to 60-second skit or song in real-time via webcam with the user on the other end.

The video was then published to YouTube, though users had to have a direct link in order to watch it. This allowed users to catapult viewership by sharing the video across social media after it was filmed. In addition, behind-the-scenes footage was streamed live on Periscope.

Ironically, the biggest problem the campaign ran into was its excessive popularity. Wendy’s servers couldn’t accommodate the volume of users hungry for the one-to-one videos, so people were booted from the queue. Despite this setback, the campaign was a smashing success.

Identifying Signs of Success

Livestreaming taps into two major wellsprings of social media that experts believe will make it successful. First, it is the quintessential remedy for today’s generation’s need for urgency, also known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). By enabling users to share moments with filmers “face-to-face,” livestream cuts out the delay between when an event happened and when it was posted on social for the world to see. With Millennials and iGen’s insatiable appetite to stay in the know, livestream represents a highly sought-after, important niche that’s been a long time coming.

The second benchmark is engagement. Livestreams are not idle — far from. An influencer can actively interact with his or her audience (and vice versa) in real-time, making the experience highly intimate and personalized. Unlike live TV coverage, where viewers are merely sideline spectators, social media livestreaming is a two-way street; viewers can post comments and talk with the influencer to steer the course of that feed.

Why Livestream?

Livestream delivers plenty of perks for marketers. Beyond being a freshly evolved form of active engagement, it builds consumer trust in brands, and more personal interactions mean greater brand loyalty.

Many companies are catching on, too. In a Brandlive survey, roughly two out of three brands ranked livestreaming video as “important,” “very important,” or a “top priority.” The majority of the companies already creating live video content are using it for training purposes, while the lion’s share of those planning on livestreaming this upcoming year said they’ll utilize it for consumer panels.

Broadcasting Q & As with influencers, product launches or back-stage footage — these are the kinds of livestream marketing options that, while still in the early stages, present sky-high potential for growth.

Launch your own Livestreaming Influencer Campaign

Since live streams are raw and unscripted, it can present a PR challenge, as a simple slip of the tongue can leave brands in hot water.

For marketing teams wanting to avoid these scenarios, Trending Family offers a specialized roster of influencers who are thoroughly vetted and excel at creating wholesome, family-friendly content.

Want a stake in social media’s newest frontier? Contact Trending Family to start livestreaming!