Ever since the beginning of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, influencers had to come up with new tactics to keep their followers engaged. Many influencers all across Asia, and especially in Thailand, started sharing live stream influencer content. This resulted in a massive turn up in the number of live views on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
But these days, as the restrictions slowly disappear one by one, businesses start to get back to their routine. Societies are gradually gaining their previous shape and there’s high hope that we can soon do things the way we used to. But what happens to the influencer marketing habits we’ve developed during the lockdown? Or to be straight, will influencers back away from live streaming?
What makes live stream influencer content different
Live streams are real-time. This means that you can see the content as what it is; with no edits and alterations, and even further, with the ability to communicate with the influencer on spot. Consumers consider This type of content to be “authentic” and it attracts their interest towards the brands. Authentic content has a strong impact on most viewers and according to a study, 86% of customers claim it affects their feelings towards a brand. This is where influencer marketing in Asia barges in.
Before this trend grew across Asia, influencer marketing was almost entirely focused on pictures and videos; taken offline, edited, and posted maybe days later. But right now we are facing the phenomena in which influencers are shifting their strategies to live streams. This way, not only the viewers can see them in their most natural form, but they can also interact with them in real-time through comments and question boxes. By being able to communicate with the influencer, the followers feel more connected and seen. This is the reason live stream will presumably stay popular even after all restrictions are gone.
Live streaming has its challenges
Live stream influencer content now need to overcome a new obstacle. With the vast lockdown all across Asia, naturally, more time is spent on social media. In return, there’s just more content created every second, and influencers must find a way to stand out among them.
Pictures and short videos, posted the way they always have, don’t require much engagement. You could just take a look, like the post, and scroll to the next. But live streams work differently, considering how long they are, and how they are based on interactions. Influencers must find ways to keep the viewers engaged and focused on the content they’re sharing.
With all the challenges influencers and influencer marketers are facing, still, the statistics show that 93% of marketers find this type of content to be effective for consumer engagement. Whereas, about 70% find the traditional content useful for this purpose.
Live influencer marketing
Influencer marketing in Thailand saved many brands during the pandemic. Now, combining it with live streaming might have done even more good. This new strategy increases the cost-effectiveness of marketing, and it didn’t go unnoticed by bigger brands.
For example, the Chinese major brand, Alibaba, employed around 100,000 influencers to promote its brands and products on several social media apps that let the creators monetize the live content, including Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, and many others. This strategy is not new for Alibaba though. This e-commerce company began this network way before the start of the pandemic.
How the platforms are evolving
As influencer marketing gets trendier every day, social media platforms need to adapt to this new need too. Many platforms added new features to make marketing easier and more convenient. For example, Instagram added a new “shop” tab to its interface, so brands and influencers can now post “shoppable content”. Meaning that they can tag the product on their posts or even on their Reels.
These features are not only found on Instagram though. Tiktok, one of the most popular platforms in Asia and Thailand, is adding shoppable live streams to the app.
These days, live stream shopping is the latest trend in Asia. This trend offers a real-time and in-store shopping experience for the customers and e-commerce companies have attained it. Unlike the West, this phenomenon has already found its place in the Asian influencer market. For instance, in December 2020, Tiktok, by recruiting popular influencers on the app, launched a fashion live stream in collaboration with Walmart.
One of the many reasons why this strategy is effective is that the customers look up to these influencers. Many of them get their inspiration by following their content. Now if the influencer joins them in their shopping, not only it would be more convenient, but it can make the experience more joyful.
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