95% of marketers are banking on live video this year


2018 has been called the year of video marketing. So was 2017 and several years before that, too, for that matter. It’s always “the year of video” because it’s the most popular form of content. In a week, we collectively watch 1 billion hours worth of Netflix. We watch that much YouTube content in a single day. But there’s one particular kind of video content marketers are going all in on this year: live video.

IBM Cloud Video and live interactive video platform Brandlive found that 95% of brand and agency executives plan for live video to be an important part of their marketing strategies in 2018.

You may have read that and thought, “Yeah, yeah, Facebook Live, whatever.” While Facebook Live is extremely popular—one in five videos on the platform is live, as of August—64% of respondents plan to take the strategy off social media. Of the respondents from the most profitable companies, 72% already have.

ibm brandlive social media

“2018 is shaping up to be a big year for enterprise video,” says Alden Fertig, senior director of product for IBM Cloud Video. “From product launches to town halls and even conducting research, the new ways we’re seeing companies employ video continues to prove what a powerful medium it is.”

Going beyond Facebook Live

Dunkin Donuts was one of the first brands to embrace Facebook Live two years ago, celebrating Valentine’s Day by giving fans a peek into the brand’s test kitchen. HelloFresh created a live interactive cooking show on the platform, while Sephora conducts interviews with top beauty influencers.

Our first-ever LIVE tour of the DD test kitchen + a big announcement for engaged Valentines!

Posted by Dunkin’ Donuts on Thursday, 11 February 2016

It’s a great way to engage people on social media. However, that’s not actually the biggest benefit of livestreaming, according to the survey’s respondents. Nearly 60% of them think live video is best at simply bringing a human element to digital marketing.

“Live video has matured far beyond its launch as a social media gimmick,” says Fritz Brumder, CEO and Co-Founder of Brandlive. “Social platforms change the rules all the time to benefit their business, so companies are getting smarter about owning and operating this directly to control their own destiny.”

There’s another statistic that points to the importance of live video, though it’s not from IBM and Brandlive’s research. FreeWheel Media found that live video content delivers a 94% completion rate.

Making the the most of live video

Product launches have always been a staple of livestreaming. KFC just did it two weeks ago, with its Bitcoin Bucket stunt. There are plenty of other uses, as well.

Live video makes a great training tool. In the last year, about half the executives surveyed used live video to train retail associates, sales representatives, or customer service representatives. Even more plan to increase use of the strategy in the coming year.


Though the majority of the respondents come from consumer brands, live video is an equally valuable training tool for B2B companies for both employees and customers. Think about how often you update one of your offerings; a prerecorded video could potentially be rendered obsolete.

Survey respondents consider increased engagement to be one of the most valuable attributes of live video. That audience can also be internal. Livestreaming is an effective way to connect employees of a big company that may have offices in different cities, countries and time zones. Half of the survey’s respondents plan to deploy this strategy for CEO town halls in 2018; 48% already did it last year.

Looking ahead

With video content on track to make up 80% of Internet traffic by 2020, look for more and more marketers bringing ecommerce to their videos. As marketers increase their live video spend, 60% are also planning to pilot live ecommerce sales for the first time this year.

Merging buy-now with live video creates a more engaging experience than prerecorded video. Brumder believes this demonstrates that live video is—and will continue to be—more than just a novelty.

“Companies are starting to solve real business problems with video,” he adds. “Especially live video.”

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