Live Streaming Video Is All The Rage – Engage Your Heavy Equipment Customers In Real Time
When contractors look at a piece of heavy equipment, they see a thing of beauty. But nothing beats watching machines in action, getting the job done. Did you know that you can incorporate live streaming video into your dealership’s marketing? Imagine the possibilities!
Live streaming is a marketer’s version of cinéma vérité. It’s not meant to be a professionally-polished production, but a glimpse into the real time, real life of your dealership. It’s a way to build relationships with prospects and customers informally. Conversationally. The way real people interact in person.
How can you use live streaming?
- Treat it like breaking news. Don’t just send a press release or fire off a Facebook post about that new piece of heavy equipment now available at your dealership, live stream its arrival as it rolls (or crawls) off the trailer and into your yard.
- Use it to conduct live tours. Show off the cockpit of that newly-arrived piece of equipment. Or host a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of your service area or paint-and-body shop. Instead of a tour, make it a how-to demonstration.
- Conduct live interviews – with a visiting expert from an OEM, or with your own staff experts. Or do a series of on-location, “in their own words” live interviews with customers as their using equipment purchased or rented from your dealership.
- Live stream from events – your trade show booth or a special presentation happening at your dealership.
You get the idea. Be spontaneous. Have fun with it.
You’ll get double the benefits
Live streaming has instant value because it’s, well, live. There’s no question about its timeliness, and it has drawing power because it imparts a sense of urgency. That’s good news for marketers, but you can also archive your streams, just as you archive webinars or other videos you create to market your dealership. So even if someone missed out on the “here and now” excitement, they can still participate after the fact.
The best way to broadcast live streams
You can live stream via your website, but you want to reach and engage the widest possible audience, so you’ll want to use additional platforms to broadcast your streams. Meerkat, a pioneer in live streaming broadcast, is gone now, but you should consider:
- YouTube Live. Your prospects and customers are already well familiar with YouTube, and you’re probably already using it to post short marketing videos for your dealership. So YouTube Live is a natural extension. You can use it for live streaming and also to archive those streams. You can also take advantage of some viewer metrics. Worried no one will be watching? In the past year, live video postings on YouTube Live have increased 130%, and views have increased 80%.
- Facebook is big on video now. You can use it in your news feed, and you can even use Facebook Live to broadcast live streams from multiple cameras. You can now schedule your live streams ahead of time, to alert potential viewers and increase your audience.
- Twitter acquired Periscope in 2015, to give users an option for live streaming. Periscope/Twitter may not have the user base that Facebook and YouTube do, but Periscope is a well-established platform. And when it comes to marketing your heavy equipment dealership, you don’t want to reach the entire universe, anyway, just your targeted audience. Twitter does have an app that enables Apple TV, Xbox One, and Amazon Fire TV users to watch live streams on their TV.
- This platform does not currently offer a live streaming option, but industry watchers suggest it’s only a matter of time before they do. Keep an eye out, because Snapchat’s audience skews heavily to Gen Z and Millennials – younger targets your dealership needs to engage with.
- Ustream is a paid live streaming service that focuses on lead generation, so it may be worth looking into as well.
As with all new marketing tools, the best plan is to start small and work your way outward and upward as the tool becomes more valuable for you. But if you’re looking for a great way to engage your heavy equipment customers in real time, live streaming should definitely be part of your dealership’s marketing mix.