Is live video a viable marketing tool for finance brands?

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Spoiler alert - it is
By Samantha Thorne, contributor. 7 September, 2017
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A survey conducted by Livestream and New York Magazine found that when it comes to brand content 82% of people prefer live video to social posts, and 80% would rather watch live video than read a blog. We spoke to Mike Delgado, director of social media at Experian about the growing popularity of live video and why they have incorporated it into their own social media strategy.

Why live video is so compelling

For years we’ve witnessed the rise of authenticity, user-centricity and the push for brands to communicate in a more natural and human way. “Live video provides an opportunity to listen to your community and answer in real-time. It’s not about you, it’s about letting your audience tell you what’s on their mind and what’s important,” says Delgado.

Worlds apart from the carefully planned and highly polished video content that you see in traditional marketing, live video lets brands be more relatable and accessible to their audiences.

With new platforms emerging all the time, the ways in which audiences behave online is constantly changing. However, what remains constant is the need for brands to be honest and real, and to meet customers where they are.

Live video is a way for financial services brands to do both, because:
1. There’s nothing more authentic than real-time, unpolished interaction.
2. Live video consumption is growing by the day, which presents a huge opportunity for brands to build a more genuine connection with their audience.

It’s also no secret that Instagram and Facebook algorithms favour live videos by showing them higher up in people’s feeds.

Millenials are the largest consumers and creators of live video content.

Live video and millenials

Millenials are the largest consumers and creators of live video content, with stats showing that 63% of millennials have watched live video and 42% have created it. And when it comes to video in general, Millennials are three times more likely than baby boomers to watch video on mobile, and four out of five millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision.

It therefore makes sense to use live video to engage your millennial segment, especially in the world of finance. Live video is well-suited to their needs in that Millenials are digital first, they’re always connected, they don’t respond to salesy or inauthentic advertising and they expect genuine relationships with brands.

In short: once millennials feel connected with a brand, they generally remain loyal, with more than half of the millennials polled in this study saying they were quite loyal or extremely loyal to their favourite brands.

3 examples of finance brands using live video

If there was ever a time to experiment with live video, the time is now, with many finance companies having already launched successful live video campaigns.

1. Avidia Bank’s live Q&As on Periscope

Avidia Bank hosted multiple Periscope streams as part of their social media strategy to promote cardless cash. The live video streams were hosted at different times of the day and at different locations, featuring relevant finance industry professionals as part of their Q&As.

In conjunction with other social media activities, the team increased mobile app enrolments by 13%, doubled their Twitter following and achieved a 83% positive sentiment for Cardless Cash.

2. Mastercard as an early adopter of live video streaming

Mastercard is an example of a company who leverage newsworthy events, user generated content, and influencer marketing for their live video content. One campaign, entitled “Priceless Surprises,” gave entrepreneurs the chance to win $15,000 by pitching their best idea in 60 seconds or less. All 180 videos were live streamed on Meerkat over 3 days.

A recent campaign “The eclipse through a child’s eyes” was centred around the August 2017 solar eclipse. Mastercard donated 50,000 pairs of eclipse viewing sunglasses for schools in the ‘path of totality,’ hosted a viewing party for 600 students, handed out 600 annual student memberships to a science centre, and livestreamed the eclipse to the MastercardLive audience. The livestream was promoted across other social platforms with the hashtag #ThatsPriceless.

3. Experian’s #CreditChat

Experian’s popular livestream #CreditChat was created to help everyday people understand personal finance and become more financially capable. #CreditChat started off as a regular Twitter chat almost five years ago and is now streamed live every Wednesday afternoon.

According to Delgado, the team have different KPIs depending on the channel, but the next goal is to start creating live 360 videos to provide immersive experience for those with VR headsets.

Delgado stresses, “The key again is not to create 360 video just for the sake of making a 360 video, but to honour the viewer’s time by making it fun and engaging no matter where the person is looking. We still have a lot to learn.”

How can finance brands use live video?

If the team tasked with your finance company’s social strategy take the above behaviours, generational inclinations and statistics seriously, then you can improve brand credibility and connection in a myriad of ways through live video.

Some examples of what to include in your live video streams:

  • Live video showing a ‘behind the scenes’ side to the company
  • Live Q&A events with influencers and subject matter experts
  • Treating your live streaming segment like a TV show by streaming at the same time each week
  • Live streaming segments for community good
  • Meet the team/ask the team segments
  • Educational sessions to teach your audience about things like financial literacy, investment strategies, credit card comparisons etc

Top tips courtesy of Mike Delgado:

  • Involve your audience: Experian’s #CreditChat receives roughly 4,000 comments/questions every month on Periscope which provides tons of insights on what topics they should focus on to help their audience.
  • Create helpful content: Honour your viewers and their time. That means coming to the table to share something helpful and being ready to engage.
  • Be honest: When you don’t know an answer, be honest - but let everyone know you’ll research and be back next time to answer.
  • Be adaptable: If you work for a highly-regulated finance company where everything on social needs to go through compliance and legal, then consider using a thought leader (someone who speaks at conferences and events for your company) in your segment instead.

The verdict

While millennials and younger generations are currently seen as the biggest enthusiasts of live video, it’s only a matter of time before its popularity switches to mass-market use.

In fact, Delgado is already seeing a wide audience of people with a diverse range of ages joining the #CreditChat live stream week-on-week.

Time to start streaming.

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Samantha is a Sydney based content marketer and content strategist with a BA in Linguistics and MA in Publishing. Her fierce curiosity, creativity and passion for learning have landed her work with some of Australia’s biggest tech companies. She’s also a serious traveler, cook, and side-hustler - no two days are ever the same.