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Where Does Live Streaming Fit in The Marketing Funnel?

By Tawanna B.

live streaming in the marketing funnel

“Exactly where would Live streaming fit in the Marketing Funnel?”

If you’re asking that question then you’ve yet to see firsthand how powerful live streaming is and how it can work for a business.

I got you young Padawan.

But first things first. I don’t want to assume what you know, so if you already understand funnels, go ahead and skip down to “One of My Early Mistakes.

If you need a marketing funnel refresher, read on…

Marketing Funnel Basics

When we envision the marketing funnel, we customarily think of it as an inverted triangle or a cone.

The top of the cone is broad, representing a broad base of potential customers. As we move down the cone, our base of customers becomes more defined.

These three fundamental areas of the funnel are recognized as phases. Each phase is the level of familiarity that our target market has with us.

As marketers our goal is to move our target audience from the broad, top part of the funnel to the narrow, bottom area of the funnel.

Let’s break down the marketing funnel further.

Phase I: TOFU – Top of the Funnel

At the top of the funnel, this is where potential customers first become aware of you, your service, and your business.  This is called the “awareness phase.”  

Marketers use content as a driving force for creating awareness. 

As you consistently serve your audience with good information, you begin to build trust.

A relationship forms. 

Phase II:  MOFU – Middle of the Funnel

Once a potential customer becomes aware of you and has seen your brand a couple of times, they move into anevaluation phase” where they are trying to determine if they want to:

  • Consume more content from you.
  • Take an action with you (for e.g., sign up for a free webinar, provide an email address). 
  • Purchase a low-cost product or service from you.  

Once they’ve taken an action in the awareness phase, your goal is to see how you can take the relationship to another level.

Phase III:  BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel

The bottom of the funnel or the “conversion phase” is populated by highly targeted customers who are ready to buy more from you. That “more” can represent an additional product/service or a more expensive product/service.

The customer knows you, they trust you, and they’re interested in continuing their journey with you. 

Always remember that when you create content, it will either serve people in the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, or the bottom of the funnel.

One of my early mistakes

mistakes

When I started off online writing about and marketing travel, I didn’t have an understanding of the marketing funnel.  

I’d simply create blog posts, not thinking about other ways in which I could serve my readers.  I created digital products by demand.

For the most part, I was stuck at the top of the funnel, always concerned with awareness and not with progressing people down the funnel to become raving fans and repeat buyers.

My audience was aware, many were on my list or had purchased an inexpensive digital product but they didn’t know how they could take a deeper journey with me.

This is because I wasn’t offering them anything.

Why?

Because I didn’t have a clear understanding of my customer avatar.

I didn’t know who they were, what their pain points were, what they wanted (outside of general information) and how I could serve them at the more advanced stage of our relationship.

Live Streaming = Content Creation = Fueling the Funnel

Live streaming and the marketing funnel

When you create a live video, no matter what platform you use, you’re creating content.  

Live streaming in the Marketing Funnel

Periscope

Viewers come to Periscope for discovery. Broadcasters use Periscope to get noticed and attract a new audience (the awareness phase). 

If the broadcaster wants to convert someone, they will direct the viewers to a page, off-platform, in order to do that (the evaluation phase).

Currently, there’s no mechanism within Periscope that allows a potential customer to make a purchase (the evaluation and conversion phase).

periscope and the marketing funnel

Broadcasters have circumvented this limitation by placing clickable links in their bios and mentioning those links on their broadcast.  

The new release of Periscope Producer may change that fairly quickly but at present, there are no in-app purchasing mechanisms like you’ll find in competitors’ interfaces.

A handful of savvy Periscope broadcasters are able to successfully move viewers through all three phases of the funnel.

Note: it is very rare that a viewer will watch a broadcaster for the first time and move straight to the bottom of the funnel.

It’s likely that they’ve watched several of their broadcasts, interacted off-platform (either via email, phone, landing page, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and after a few touch points, decide to make a purchase. 

Here’s a personal case study

costa rica and periscope

My birds-eye view of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica.

Late last year I mentioned on several broadcasts that I’d be taking a small group of women with me to Costa Rica.

I showed pictures of my previous year’s experience, engaged with viewers, answered questions, and directed the audience to my travel site.  

Several viewers wanted more information about the trip. They followed me on Instagram, friended me on Facebook or connected with me on Twitter.

Once they signed up for the list on my landing page, they ascended to the “evaluation phase” of my funnel.

One conference call and two follow-up emails later, I had acquired two new travelers for my trip, all because of that very first touch point on Periscope.

Facebook and the Marketing Funnel

Facebook the beast

Facebook is a completely different beast from Periscope.

When you use Facebook Live to broadcast in a group or on a business page, you’re already in the evaluation phase. Anyone in either one of those circles is already a part of your community.

They’re familiar with you.

What made access to FB Live so attractive to marketers who started off with Periscope was that they could broadcast to a community that already knew them, one that they had previously built over time.

This is what puts Facebook live a step ahead of Periscope.

It’s much easier to convert the acquaintance you know than the stranger you don’t.

Your target customer can purchase in-app or sign up for your email list directly within Facebook. It’s a much simpler path for many marketers.

Busker and the Marketing Funnel

A lesser known app, Busker, launched earlier this year introducing the idea of in-stream payments.

The app connects directly to PayPal, where after an initial set up, a viewer can tip a broadcaster $2, $5, $10, or $20, live.

What’s fascinating about this live streaming app is that you can move a customer through the funnel in their very first interaction with you. Musicians have been most successful with Busker because of the tipping feature.

Making a decision about whether you like a song or not is easier than making a decision about working with a coach or buying an expensive product.

Because of that lower barrier of entry ($2 tip vs $97 course), live streaming on Busker can easily happen at the bottom of the funnel.

Being Creative with Live Streaming

There are several creative ways that you can use live streaming for your business, no matter what your business is. I’ve seen live videos used for the following niches:

  • Virtual assistants
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Credit care
  • Travel
  • Digital marketing
  • Book marketing  
  • Coaching
  • Real estate

How you use live streaming is only limited by your creativity.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding what your content should look like:

  • Who are you talking to?  
  • What do they want to learn (what are their challenges/pain points)?

Use your live videos to get the answers to those questions immediately. While people are interacting with you live, ask them.

There’s no need to guess.

Re-cap:

Live streaming acts as a faster path for you to move potential customers down the funnel. It allows your target audience to get to know, like and trust you faster than any other traditional media. 

This blog post is a real-time Case Study

I used Periscope to create this top-of-the-funnel piece of content that you’re currently reading.  

From that live video, I repurposed, edited and re-constructed the blog post for people who wanted to consume the content again and for people who were coming to my website for the first time.

The Periscope broadcast and now the blog post, are most people’s first time meeting me.

Should anyone choose to sign up for my offer, they will have ascended to the middle of the funnel. Now I can communicate with them in their inboxes regularly, providing even more valuable content that I reserve just for my subscribers.

Have you tried live streaming for you’re business yet? Where can you see it being most useful for your brand?

Want to continue your live video journey?

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to chat. Let’s analyze where we can fit live streaming in your marketing funnel.

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