20+ Best Ways to Use Livestreaming for Business [With Examples]
Need inspiration for your next livestream? Look no further than this roundup of 20+ amazing ideas to theme your livestream event around.
Ready to break away from text and images and give your audience something new? Fantastic! Live streaming has been a game-changer in the digital world, breaking down barriers between brands and audiences and creating unique opportunities for real-time interaction. But as with any content strategy, coming up with fresh, engaging ideas for your live streams can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But hey, don't sweat it! We're here to help with some great ideas to inspire your next livestream.
In this post, we're serving up a hefty dose of inspiration with 20 ideas that will have you raring to go live. Whether you're an ecommerce brand looking to showcase your products through live commerce, business looking to tap into the power of live events, or a content creator seeking new ways to connect with your audience or on behalf of a brand, there's something here for everyone.
And don't forget, based on livestreaming best practices, you don’t need to restrict yourself to traditional social media platforms for your livestreams. You can broadcast on your own website, or cross-stream to more unexpected platforms like Twitch or Steam.
To really level things up, take a look at Ghost's livestream shopping solution — it’s like having your own mini live TV shopping channel, right from your website! With Ghost, you can offer your audience an interactive shopping experience, letting them explore products, ask questions, and make purchases in real-time during your livestream. Plus, you can simulcast your Ghost livestreams to your social channels, drawing in a larger audience. And the best part? You can try Ghost for free. It’s a win-win, right?
Now, without further ado, let's dive into these incredible ideas and get those creative juices flowing for your next livestream extravaganza!
While we’ve got plenty of inspiration coming your way, first things first: You might be wondering how to choose which topic to start with. For ecommerce brands, it’s an especially delicate balance between information and entertainment. You want to engage and entertain your audience, while also subtly promoting your products and leading them down the path to purchase. But don't worry, we've got some strategies that can help you find that sweet spot.
Start by taking a deep dive into understanding your audience. This should always be your first step. Who are they? What interests them? What problems do they have that your products can solve?
You can glean this information from your own data, surveys, social media interactions, and even directly asking your audience what they'd like to see. Also, consider their lifestyle, preferences, and how your products fit into their world. Topics that resonate with your audience will naturally encourage more engagement and participation.
Don’t forget to consider session length based on audience preferences. Livestreams don’t always have to be epic hour-long marathons. A short livestream of under 10 minutes can be just as effective in getting the point across and connecting with your audience.
Next, align your chosen topic with your brand and product goals. For ecommerce brands, livestreaming provides an excellent platform to showcase products, demonstrate their use, and answer any questions potential customers may have. You could host a product unboxing, a behind-the-scenes tour, a Q&A session, a product launch, or a tutorial on how to use a particular product. Remember, the goal is to choose a topic that not only interests your audience but also helps to showcase your products in a real and relatable way.
Don't forget to leverage Ghost's shoppable features in your livestreams. For example, you can demonstrate a product and then provide a link that allows viewers to make a purchase directly. This approach creates a seamless shopping experience, turning your livestreams into effective sales tools.
Now that we've navigated the initial planning phase, it's time to delve into the heart of the matter – the actual livestream ideas! As promised, we've compiled a list of 20 creative and engaging ideas that your ecommerce brand can use for your next livestream. Each idea is crafted to provide value, spark interest, and – with the help of Ghost's livestream shopping features – drive sales. So without further ado, let's jump right into the meat and potatoes of this blog post and get brainstorming for your next livestream event.
Let’s start with a classic: Promoting your newest (or soon to be dropping) products or collections. Brands like Apple have made livestream events a mainstay of their promotional strategy, creating hype and an appointment-like experience around the launch of their newest products.
But you don’t have to be a tech giant to launch your products. You can easily pull out a rack of clothes or set up a product display and walk shoppers through your newest items. Or make even more of a splash by hosting a mini runway show or teasing a mystery product you reveal right at the end of the show.
Why you should do product or collection launch livestreams:
Here you can see Opullence Paris hosting a livestream event where they walk through some new pieces from an upcoming collection drop. To further sweeten the deal for viewers, they also included a little promotion that gave people the chance to win the wardrobe essentials they were featuring.
Embrace the classic, tried-and-true style of QVC or HSN with product promotion livestreams. Showcase your product lineup, providing detailed descriptions and sharing what makes each item special or unique.
Livestreaming this type of event is incredibly engaging and interactive, not to mention beneficial. It’s one thing to have static images of a product on your site; it’s quite another to have a live person handling the product, demonstrating its use, and answering questions about it in real time.
In one livestream, you can easily cover multiple products, giving viewers an extensive overview of your offerings. This kind of livestream could be particularly effective during a product launch or promotional period when you want to create buzz around your new or discounted items.
Why you should do product promotion livestreams:
A fantastic example of a brand using livestreams for product promotions is Estee Lauder, a popular beauty brand. They regularly host livestreams featuring their product experts, demonstrating and discussing their products, answering fan questions, and even unveiling new product lines. This not only helps promote their products but also builds a strong connection with their customers.
Promotional events or sales livestreams are a great way to showcase limited-time deals or exclusive offers. It’s not just about broadcasting a sales event, it’s about building anticipation, creating an engaging experience, and incentivizing viewers to take immediate action.
In these livestreams, you can walk viewers through your top discounted items, demonstrate how they work, and share tips on how to get the most value from them. You could even create a sense of urgency by highlighting the countdown timer to the end of the sale or by providing limited quantity deals only for the duration of the livestream.
Why you should do promotional events or sales livestreams:
In 2020, Chinese cosmetic brand Perfect Diary used Tmall's livestream platform to promote their Singles Day sale. The livestream included product demonstrations, exclusive discounts, and interactions with celebrities. The result? The brand achieved record-breaking sales, highlighting the power of livestreamed promotional events. But remember, you don't need celebrities to make a splash. Your brand's personality and the right deals can create just as much excitement.
For a hypothetical example, consider a small clothing retailer hosting a "Summer Clearance Sale" livestream. They could highlight each item on sale, demonstrate the clothing on models of different body types, and even discuss how to style each piece for various occasions. Special promo codes could be offered only for the duration of the livestream, encouraging immediate purchases. This mix of value, entertainment, and urgency could lead to a significant boost in sales.
Hosting live interviews with your company’s founder, product expert, or even a well-loved employee offers a unique opportunity to create a personal connection with your audience. This type of livestream helps your customers understand the people behind the products, adding an element of authenticity and trust to your brand.
During the interview, you could discuss the origin story of your brand, the inspiration behind your latest products, or simply share some industry insights. It’s a great opportunity for the audience to ask questions and get real-time responses, making them feel heard and valued.
Why you should do live interview livestreams:
A great example of this is Shopify's series of livestreamed interviews with various entrepreneurs. These interviews offer valuable insights into the journey of successful entrepreneurs and provide practical advice to the viewers. Similarly, consider a skincare brand hosting a livestream with their in-house dermatologist, discussing skincare routines and answering viewers' questions. The expert advice and real-time interaction would certainly drive engagement and build trust.
Influencer or creator takeovers offer a fresh perspective to your brand's livestreams. You can invite an influencer who aligns with your brand to take over your livestream, showcasing their favorite items from your collection, or demonstrating how they use your products. This approach leverages the influencer's established audience, and their endorsement of your products can drive sales and brand awareness.
Why you should do influencer/creator takeover livestreams:
A prime example of this would be Gymshark’s influencer takeover livestreams. They often collaborate with fitness influencers who demonstrate workouts while sporting Gymshark’s latest athletic wear. This creates an engaging and authentic experience that promotes their products.
To use another example, JCPenney hosted JCPLive events with influencers, themed to their influencers' reputations and interests. For example, Heather Brown, the writer behind lifestyle and wellness blog My Life Well Loved, is known for podcasting and writing about healthy living. With JCPLive, she hosted a livestream talking about activewear products - bringing her audience to JCPenney's related product line.
Engaging in popular social media challenges during your livestream not only entertains your audience but also highlights your products in a fun and relatable way. By incorporating your products creatively into the challenge, you make your brand part of the conversation while showcasing your products in action.
Why you should do challenge attempt livestreams:
Dunkin Donuts nailed this concept with their #DunkinRefresh dance challenge on TikTok. The challenge went viral, with people performing the dance while enjoying their Dunkin Donuts beverages. To apply this to a livestream, imagine a makeup brand attempting a viral makeup challenge on a livestream, using only their own products. This would entertain viewers, capitalize on the viral trend, and demonstrate their products in a unique way.
Ready to engage with your customers in a unique and insightful way? Host a Q&A livestream! Just like Reddit's AMA series, a Q&A livestream is a great opportunity to address common customer questions, dispel doubts, and showcase your brand’s transparency. This could range from behind-the-scenes insights to detailed explanations of your products or services.
Your Q&A can be a spontaneous session where you field questions from the live chat, or you can gather questions in advance and address them in a structured format. The latter approach gives you time to prepare comprehensive answers and highlight key aspects of your brand or products.
Why you should do Q&A livestreams:
1. Enhances Customer Connection: It's a perfect opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level and answer their queries in a direct, personable manner.
2. Demonstrates Brand Transparency: Show your customers that you have nothing to hide by openly answering their questions.
3. Enables Instant Feedback: The live format allows for instant feedback and clarification, ensuring your viewers fully understand the answers provided.
A good example of a brand utilizing Q&A livestreams is IKEA. They've held livestreams with their designers who talk about IKEA products, but also help solve shoppers' home design challenges. This not only promotes their products but also adds value for their customer base.
A tutorial or demo livestream takes the classic product demonstration to a whole new level. This is where you show your customers not just what your products are, but how to use them. And not just in the obvious ways either - get creative and showcase novel or less-known uses of your products.
Whether you're walking viewers through how to assemble a product, demonstrating how to style a clothing item in different ways, or showing how to cook a meal with your gourmet food items, a tutorial or demo can help customers see the full potential of what they're buying.
Why you should do tutorial or demo livestreams:
1. Illustrates Product Usability: Customers can see exactly how a product works, which can help them visualize themselves using it.
2. Provides Additional Value: By teaching customers new ways to use your products, you're providing extra value beyond the product itself.
3. Increases Engagement: Interactive demos or tutorials are engaging and can draw viewers in, increasing the chances of them sticking around to learn and potentially make a purchase.
A fun example of a brand doing this well is Mitsou Crafts. They've hosted livestreams in which they put together crafts, demonstrating the process step by step and giving viewers a clear understanding of what they're getting into when they buy their craft kits. It's a practical, engaging way to showcase their products and add value for their customers.
Another example comes from Ulta, who regularly stages livestreams that are either hosted by their featured brands, or by Ulta experts themselves. In the example above, Ulta beauty experts were on hand to spotlight how to prep, set, and apply foundation, while looking at a range of products suited for any shopper.
There's power in people's experiences. Hearing from real customers and their genuine experiences with your products can be an incredible selling point. Host a testimonial-focused livestream to share these authentic stories and connect more intimately with your audience.
You could invite some of your loyal customers to join the livestream and share their experiences, or you could share pre-recorded testimonials during the live event. Either way, these real-life stories can add a touch of authenticity and credibility that can significantly impact your brand's reputation and customer trust.
Why you should do testimonial livestreams:
1. Boosts Credibility: Hearing from real customers about their experiences with your products can build credibility for your brand.
2. Creates Trust: People trust people. Testimonials can serve as social proof, which can make prospective customers more comfortable making a purchase.
3. Enhances Engagement: Viewers tend to be more engaged when they hear real-life experiences from other consumers, making them more likely to stick around and learn more.
An example of a company doing testimonial livestreams well is the skincare brand Rodan + Fields. They've featured real customers in their livestreams, sharing their stories of skin transformation and answering live questions from viewers.
Transparency is highly valued in today's market. Offering a behind-the-scenes (BTS) look at your operations can foster trust and loyalty among your customer base. A BTS livestream could cover anything from how your products are made, a day in the life at your company, or a sneak peek into upcoming launches.
Hosting a BTS livestream creates an exclusive feeling for your viewers, making them feel like insiders. It's a great way to build a connection with your audience, who will appreciate your openness and authenticity.
Why you should do BTS livestreams:
- Promotes Transparency: Consumers appreciate brands that are open about their processes and values.
- Strengthens Customer Relationships: A BTS look at your company can create a feeling of exclusivity and closeness, fostering stronger customer relationships.
- Offers Unique Content: BTS content is inherently unique to your brand, setting you apart from competitors.
Everlane, a clothing brand known for its transparency, does an excellent job with behind-the-scenes content. They've held livestreams showing the manufacturing process of their products and discussing their commitment to ethical production.
Tap into the power of influence with a celebrity or influencer guest takeover. Inviting a well-known personality to take over your livestream can generate excitement among your viewers and potentially attract new followers who are fans of the guest.
Whether your guest is showing off their favorite items from your collection, sharing personal stories, or simply interacting with your audience, their presence can provide a significant boost to your brand's visibility and credibility.
Why you should do celebrity/influencer guest takeovers:
1. Attracts New Audiences: You can potentially tap into the guest's fanbase, increasing your reach and gaining new followers.
2. Boosts Brand Image: The association with a well-liked celebrity or influencer can positively impact your brand image.
3. Engages Viewers: The excitement of having a celebrity or influencer can increase viewer engagement and participation.
A brand that successfully leverages celebrity/influencer takeovers is Sephora. They've hosted livestreams with various beauty influencers and makeup artists who share their makeup routines using Sephora products, provide beauty tips, and interact with viewers.
Turn your regular sales event into a livestream extravaganza! Whether it's an end-of-season sale, a holiday promotion, or a flash sale, doing it live can make it more exciting and create a sense of urgency among viewers.
Think of it like a virtual shopping event, where you showcase different products, talk about their features and benefits, and provide exclusive discounts for viewers. This is the perfect opportunity to answer any questions in real-time and provide additional value to your customers, while driving urgency to actually hit checkout during the livestream event.
Why you should do promotional events/sales livestreams:
1. Increases Urgency: The live nature of these events can create a sense of urgency, driving viewers to act quickly.
2. Builds Excitement: The real-time interaction and excitement of getting a deal can make the shopping experience more fun and engaging.
3. Provides Value: These events can provide additional value to your customers through exclusive discounts or bonuses.
ASOS has executed livestream sales well, hosting events where they talk through discounted items and offer exclusive deals to viewers.
Embrace the power of knowledge by hosting educational events or interviews. Whether you're doing a TED-style talk about a topic related to your industry or interviewing an expert in your field, these events can provide value to your audience and position your brand as a thought leader.
Why you should do educational events/interviews livestreams:
1. Positions Your Brand as a Thought Leader: By sharing valuable content, your brand is positioned as an authority in your industry.
2. Provides Value: These events can educate your audience on topics that are relevant to them, providing value beyond your products.
3. Engages Audience: Educational content can engage your audience and spark meaningful discussions.
A brand that has leveraged educational livestreams is Patagonia, who've hosted livestreams on environmental issues, inviting experts to share their insights and knowledge.
Bring the offline, online! Livestreaming your offline events can increase your reach, allowing you to connect with audiences who couldn't make it in person. This could be a fashion show, a product launch, a store opening, or any other event that might be interesting to your audience.
Why you should do offline event livestreams:
1. Increases Reach: Livestreaming allows you to reach people who couldn't attend the event in person.
2. Engages Audience: Viewers can interact in real-time, creating a more engaging experience.
3. Creates Exclusive Content: The live nature of these events creates unique, exclusive content for your brand.
Burberry is a great example of a brand doing this right. They've livestreamed their fashion shows, allowing viewers worldwide to enjoy the event and see their newest collections.
Turn your livestream into a fun game night. Hosting competitions, trivia, or games can be an entertaining way to engage your audience. Plus, you can add an extra layer of excitement by offering prizes related to your products.
Why you should do competition/trivia/games livestreams:
1. Boosts Engagement: Games are interactive by nature and can boost viewer engagement.
2. Attracts Viewers: The chance to win prizes can attract more viewers to your livestream.
3. Creates aFun Experience: These events can create a fun, relaxed atmosphere, promoting positive associations with your brand.
The brand Fenty Beauty has hosted trivia games during their livestreams, quizzing viewers on brand-related questions and giving away product prizes to winners.
Let your audience peek behind the curtain with a livestream tour of your store, warehouse, or office. This provides a human touch and can make your customers feel more connected to your brand. This is true no matter what type of brand you are - for DTC brands, it's a chance to attach a physical space to an online-only brand. For retailers, it's a way to see the corporation behind their favorite mall locations.
Pro tip on this one though: Make sure your chosen tour space is actually appealing to look at. Think of how Pixar's fun campus provides a thrilling backdrop to studio tours.
Why you should do store/warehouse/office tour livestreams:
1. Promotes Transparency: Showing behind-the-scenes aspects of your business can build trust and authenticity.
2. Provides Exclusive Content: Viewers often enjoy getting a peek into 'hidden' areas of businesses.
3. Personalizes Your Brand: Seeing the faces and places behind your business can make your brand feel more relatable and personal.
Gymshark has taken viewers on tours of their headquarters during livestreams, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their operations and team.
Give your viewers a sneak peek into the inner workings of your brand by walking them through a process. For example, you could livestream a brainstorming session for an upcoming season's collection or how a product is made from design through to production.
This not only demystifies the process but also makes your viewers feel involved in your brand's journey.
Why you should do a process walkthrough livestream:
1. Provides Insider Access: Gives customers a behind-the-scenes look, making them feel part of the process.
2. Fosters Engagement: Encourages active participation and feedback from viewers.
3. Boosts Transparency: Shows the authenticity of your brand and its commitment to quality.
A hypothetical example of this could be a brand like ZARA livestreaming their design process, showcasing how they come up with new collection ideas.
Nothing sparks excitement quite like a giveaway. Drawing winners live on air adds an element of suspense and keeps your viewers hooked until the very end. To really boost impact, tie your giveaway into something that involves paying attention during the livestream, like a quiz or secret password.
Promote your livestream with a contest opportunity attached to it and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get more attendees.
Why you should do giveaway livestreams:
1. Drives Attendance: The prospect of winning something valuable can attract and engage viewers.
2. Creates Buzz: Giveaways can create buzz and anticipation, which can be beneficial for your brand.
3. Encourages Participation: The more people participate, the more they engage with your brand.
FashionNova is known for their flashy giveaways, and hosting these on livestreams adds an extra layer of excitement for viewers.
Capitalize on trending pop culture moments by hosting a discussion or recap on your livestream. This can be anything from a series finale to a major fashion event like the Met Gala.
Become the news by piggybacking on what’s going on in the news!
Why you should do pop culture discussion livestreams:
1. Taps into Trends: Aligning your content with #trending topics can boost visibility.
2. Captures Viewers’ Attention: These events can spark lively conversations and engage viewers.
3. Shows Brand Personality: It's a chance to showcase your brand's character and appeal to your audience's interests.
A hypothetical example could be a fashion brand like H&M discussing outfits from a major event like the Met Gala and showing their own similar styles.
Share your brand news and announcements through a livestream to add a personal touch and build excitement. This could be anything from the unveiling of a new logo to announcing an upcoming collaboration.
Teasing that an exciting or important announcement will be made during a livestream is a super impactful way to get attendees' interests piqued and drive more attention to your big news.
Why you should do brand news and announcements livestreams:
1. Adds Personal Touch: Announcing news live makes it feel more personal and genuine.
2. Creates Excitement: Announcements are more exciting when they're made live, as viewers can react and engage in real-time.
3. Amplifies News: Sharing news this way is way more impactful than a press release that is then interpreted (or not) by media outlets.
Fashion brand Balmain did a great job of this when they announced their collaboration with Puma via a livestream event.
Whether it's a concert, a fashion show, or a cooking demonstration, live performances can be very engaging for viewers. This is a chance to showcase your products in action or collaborate with other artists or influencers.
Keep in mind you can also create your own one-of-a-kind events tailored just for live streams. Host a slumber party get together with influencers, do a live unboxing, or orchestrate a spirited singing or dance battle live on screen to create an 'anything can happen' type of energy.
Why you should do live performance livestreams:
1. Showcases Talent: Demonstrates the talent and creativity associated with your brand.
2. Engages Viewers: Performances are inherently engaging, and can captivate viewers' attention.
3. Creates Unique Content: These events can make your brand stand out and offer a unique experience to your audience.
Petco hosted a pet fashion show called The Perfect Fit, which doubled as an animal adoption drive with L.A. Animal services. The event kicked off with a $100,000 donation from Petco and ended up generating pretty positive events for everyone involved - Petco reached nearly 1M viewers during the livestream, sales were double what it cost to hold the event, and all 7 pups featured in the show were adopted.
Show your brand's commitment to social responsibility by hosting a charity event. This could be anything from a fundraising concert to an auction.
Note that charitable organizations can host livestreams themselves, similar to the 'telethon' era of the 50s and 60s. But
Why you should do charity event livestreams:
1. Shows Social Responsibility: Demonstrates your brand's commitment to giving back and supporting worthwhile causes.
2. Engages Audience: Charitable events can engage your audience on a deeper level.
3. Enhances Brand Image: These events can boost your brand's image and foster goodwill.
Fashion brand Ralph Lauren has done this effectively by hosting livestream charity events, such as their Pink Pony Initiative for cancer research.
A panel discussion can be an engaging way to delve into topics relevant to your audience. By bringing together experts or influencers in your industry, you can provide a wealth of information and perspectives.
You can bring outsiders into your panel, or even just host them with multiple people on your internal team. Consider bringing in your head designer, merchandiser, and marketer to walk through the process of bringing a collection from idea to reality.
Why you should do panel livestreams:
1. Provides Value: Panels can provide valuable insights and information to your audience.
2. Fosters Engagement: Having multiple perspectives can spark viewer engagement and questions.
3. Positions Your Brand as an Industry Leader: Hosting these events can position your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
A great example of a brand doing this is Sephora, who have hosted livestream panels discussing beauty trends and skincare tips.
Let's wrap things up: By now it should be pretty evident that live streaming presents endless possibilities for businesses to engage with their audience in real-time and create memorable experiences that build loyalty. With the 20+ ideas presented in this blog, you should also now have a plethora of inspiration to fuel your next livestream. Whether you're an ecommerce brand showcasing products, a business tapping into the power of live events, or a content creator seeking new ways to connect, there's something here for everyone.
But why limit yourself to traditional social media platforms when you can take your livestreaming game to the next level with Ghost's livestream shopping solution? With Ghost, you can transform your website into a captivating live TV shopping channel, where your audience can explore products, ask questions, and make purchases in real-time. Simulcast your Ghost livestreams to your social channels to reach a wider audience and amplify your impact. The best part? You can try Ghost for free, giving you the opportunity to experience the power of interactive livestream shopping without any financial commitment.
So, get ready to unleash your creativity, captivate your audience, and drive meaningful engagement with your next livestream. Take advantage of Ghost's free trial and discover how livestreaming can elevate your business to new heights. It's time to step into the spotlight and create unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression on your audience.