Live streaming has become a widely used marketing tool in all walks of life. For retailers and e-commerce businesses, livestreaming allows store owners to continue to engage shoppers without having to bring them to the storefront.
Think of it as a virtual shopping spree. Instead of potential buyers browsing the seemingly endless shelves in a clothing store, live audiences can see the company’s latest products through the screens of their mobile devices. They can ask questions, interact directly with brands, and make purchasing decisions in real-time. From a business perspective, live streaming can accelerate sales and build brand loyalty.
To generate successful streaming, brands need to choose the right host. Powerful live shopping hosts lead the entire virtual event with personality and purpose. They need to engage with audiences, convince them to respond to CTAs, and switch easily between segments. The host also sometimes had to think on the spot.
Luckily, our team at Switcher Studio has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for being a live shopping host. We want to steer your business in the right direction and make sure your next live event will keep your audience excited.
Do: Relevant and knowledgeable
The first step to becoming a successful live shopping host is to become a familiar or knowledgeable person in your industry. To build customer trust in your brand, you need to understand what you sell and why it matters. It’s also important to confidently answer their questions.
According to Propeller, 70% of purchases are for a specific problem. A DemandGen report shows that 95% of customers choose to buy from companies that provide relevant content at every stage of the buying process. As a shopping host, you need to focus on the relevance of the products you sell to your audience. Direct knowledge of the industry is a plus.
Many companies hire industry influencers and key leaders to host their livestreams. Bloomingdale’s, for example, invited Jimmy Choo’s creative director Sandra Choi to represent the department store chain at a virtual event. Because of her status in the fashion industry, viewers were able to immediately trust Choi as a host. She is also a relevant public figure that audiences want to see. This collaboration, in turn, boosts sales and keeps customers engaged until the very end.
45% of live audience Say they’re willing to pay to watch live video content from their favorite team, speaker, or artist. Keep this in mind and see the value of credibility.
Don’t: Be a Seller
Just because you know your stuff, doesn’t mean your livestream has to look like a sales pitch. As a live host, you want to act like you’re giving advice to a close friend. This means sharing your thoughts on the product by first relating to the customer’s needs.
The more information you can give your audience about your product, the better. You try to give them everything they need to make their own buying decision. Change your mindset and think about your role as an audience leader in the sales process. Even if a customer decides not to buy what you sell, you’re still building a real relationship with them. Don’t count – 56% of customers say they retain “acquired” their brand. Your genuine interest in helping customers doesn’t go unnoticed.
Do: Maximize your airtime
Whether you’re on air for 15 minutes, an hour, or more, it’s important to make the most of your time. This means organizing your show content before going live. Keep viewers engaged throughout the livestream by arranging special segments and sales. Find out what happens next and keep viewers watching (more on that later).
As a live shopping host, you run the entire show from start to finish. If you create an outline of how you want the show to go, it will help you maintain the status quo.
Don’t: write scripts
There are things like overpreparation. When hosting a branded livestream, don’t try to script the entire show. This will make your dialogue less real and your audience will notice.
Organized plans, bulleted lists, and other notes are a great way to prepare when you’re online. They will keep you organized without making your language seem unreal.
Do: Try Multimedia
When you’re hosting a live broadcast, interactive media elements are critical to audience retention. Platforms such as Switcher Studio provide A variety of functions Bridging the gap between brand and customer. Interactive media elements include chat boxes, polls, and on-screen CTAs. With today’s technology, viewers can even buy products directly from the live broadcast!
In addition to interactive elements, there are many other forms of multimedia that can take your hosted show to the next level. Get creative by recording pre-recorded clips, inviting remote guests, and sharing your screen. Just make sure to keep your brand in mind at all times.
In the context of e-commerce, showcase pre-recorded content of your products and ask your customers for their opinions through surveys and mini-games. Guide them through the sales journey by engaging them with every piece of content you share.
Don’t: keep still
82% of viewers Prefer watching live videos from brands over social media posts. This is due to streaming’s ability to engage viewers in real time.
As a live shopping host, the last thing you want to do is create a one-dimensional feed. Unfortunately, hosting live broadcasts directly on social media prevents brands from using the media content. There is also no way to use brand equity and create CTAs that directly drive customers to buy the product.
However, Switcher Studio and other apps give brands the customization tools to bring their streaming dreams to life. The platform integrates directly with today’s major live video platforms, including Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch and LinkedIn. Users can also save their feeds and edit small content for other social media channels like TikTok and Instagram. The possibilities are endless.
DO: Create incentives and facilitate communication
You want to entice viewers to watch your live stream to the end. From new product previews to surprise giveaways before they go off the air, let your brand’s followers know your livestream is special. You can do this by teasing these incentives via social media before the event.
Beyond that, make sure you encourage your audience to contact you. Let them know they can ask questions, raise concerns, and discuss products with you in real time. This direct communication is itself the driving force behind watching streaming.
When answering your audience, be sure to answer their questions with honesty and empathy. Be real and try your best to solve their problems through positive thinking.
Don’t: Give Canned Responses or Ignore Your Audience
Don’t make your tips or customer responses look like spam. Canned responses are predetermined responses to audience questions that may seem unreal and lack the empathy that customers seek when interacting with you.
The worst thing you can do is ignore your audience. Whether that means not responding to comments or discussing their concerns with them, your brand will earn a bad name with this mindset. Always put your customers first and let them know you are in their corner. At this point, you’re not just a landlord – you’re their trusted friend.
Featured Image Credit: Author provided; thank you!