HomeTechThe Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Livestream Shopping Host

The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Livestream Shopping Host

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Livestreams have become a widely used marketing tool across industries. For retailers and e-commerce businesses, livestreaming gives store owners the ability to continue engaging buyers without taking them to a storefront.

Think of it as a virtual shopping spree. Instead of prospective buyers browsing through the seemingly endless number of racks in a clothing store, livestream viewers can see a company’s latest products through their mobile device’s screen. They can ask questions, interact directly with brands, and make buying decisions in real-time. From the company’s perspective, livestreaming can drive sales and build brand loyalty at an accelerated rate.

To produce a successful stream, brands need to choose the right host. A strong livestream shopping host leads the entire virtual event with personality and purpose. They must engage with viewers, persuade them to respond to CTAs, and transition between segments with ease. The host will also, at times, need to think on the spot.

Luckily, our team at Switcher Studio has compiled a list of dos and don’ts for being a livestream shopping host. We want to guide your company in the right direction and make sure that your next livestream event is one that your viewers are excited about.

Do: Be Relevant and Knowledgeable

The first step to becoming a successful livestream shopping host is being a familiar or knowledgeable figure in your industry. To build customers’ trust in a brand, you must know about the products you are selling and why they matter. It is also important to answer their questions with confidence.

According to Propeller, 70% of purchases are made to solve specific problems. A report by DemandGen suggests that 95% of customers choose to buy products from companies that offer relevant content through every stage of the purchasing process. As a shopping host, you must focus on why the products you are selling are relevant to your viewers. Having firsthand industry knowledge is a plus.

Many companies employ industry influencers and key leaders to host their streams. For example, Bloomingdale’s invited Sandra Choi, creative director of Jimmy Choo, to represent the department store chain during a virtual event. Viewers were able to immediately trust Choi as a host due to her position in the fashion industry. She is also a relevant public figure whom viewers wanted to watch. In turn, this collaboration drove sales and kept customers engaged until the very end.

45% of livestream viewers say that they would pay to watch live video content from a favorite team, speaker, or performer. Keep this in mind and see the value in credibility.

Don’t: Be Sales-y

Just because you are knowledgeable about your subject does not mean your livestream should feel like a sales pitch. As the livestream host, you want to act like you are advising a close friend. This means sharing your perspective on a product by relating to your customer’s needs first.

The more information you can give viewers about your products, the better. You are trying to give them everything they need to make buying decisions on their own. Change your mindset and think of your role as leading viewers through the sales journey. Even if the customer decides not to buy what you are selling, you are still building an authentic relationship with them. Don’t count that out – 56% of customers say that they give their loyalty to brands who “get them.” Your genuine interest in helping your customers will not go unnoticed.

Do: Maximize Your On-Air Time

Whether you are going on-air for 15 minutes, an hour, or longer, it is important to maximize your time. This means organizing your show content before going live. Keep the audience engaged throughout the entire livestream by planning special segments and sales. Tease what is coming next and create incentives for viewers to continue watching (we’ll chat about this more later).

As the livestream shopping host, you are leading the entire show, from beginning to end. If you create an outline for how you want the show to run, it will help you stay present.

Don’t: Write a Script

There is such thing as overpreparation. When you’re hosting a branded livestream, do not try writing a script for the entire show. Doing this will make your dialogue feel less authentic, and your viewers will notice.

Organized outlines, bullet-point lists, and other notes are great ways to feel prepared once you go live. They will keep you organized without making your language feel inauthentic.

Do: Try Multimedia Elements

When you’re hosting a livestream, interactive media elements are crucial to retaining viewers. Platforms like Switcher Studio offer a variety of features that close the gap between the brand and the customer. Interactive media elements include chat boxes, polls, and onscreen CTAs. With today’s technology, viewers can even purchase products directly from a live feed!

In addition to interactive elements, many other forms of multimedia can help bring your hosting gig to the next level. Get creative by taping prerecorded segments, inviting remote guests, and sharing your screen. Just make sure that you are always keeping your brand in mind.

In the context of e-commerce, show off prerecorded content of your products and ask for your customers’ opinions via polls and mini-games. Lead them through the sales journey by keeping them invested through each piece of content you share.

Don’t: Stay Static

82% of viewers prefer watching a brand’s live video to social media posts. This is because of the ability for streams to engage those who are watching in real-time.

The last thing you want to do as a livestream shopping host is to create a one-dimensional feed. Unfortunately, hosting livestreams directly on social media channels inhibits brands from utilizing multimedia content. There is also the inability to utilize branded assets and create CTAs that directly lead the customer to buy products.

However, Switcher Studio and other applications give brands the customization tools to turn their streaming dreams into a reality. The platform is directly integrated with today’s leading live video platforms, including Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, and LinkedIn. Users can also save their streams and edit bite-sized content for other social media channels like TikTok and Instagram. The possibilities are endless.

Do: Create Incentives and Drive Communication

You want to give your viewers incentives to watch your stream until the very end. From sneak previews of new products to surprise giveaways before you go off-air, let your brand’s followers know that your streams are special. You can do this by teasing these incentives via social media before the events.

In addition to this, make sure that you are encouraging your viewers to communicate with you. Let them know that they can ask questions, express concerns, and talk about the products with you in real-time. This direct communication alone is an incentive to watch a stream.

When you are responding to viewers, make sure that you are answering their questions with honesty and empathy. Be genuine and do your best to solve their problems through positive thinking.

Don’t: Give Canned Responses or Ignore Your Audience

Don’t make your incentives or responses to customers feel like spam emails. Canned responses are predetermined responses to viewers’ questions, and they can feel inauthentic and lack the empathy that customers are looking for when engaging with you.

The worst thing you can do is ignore your audience. Whether this means not responding to comments or arguing with them about their concerns, your brand will earn a bad reputation with this mindset. Always put your customer first, and let them know that you are in their corner. At this point, you are more than just a host — you are their trustworthy friend.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Nick Mattingly

Nick Mattingly, CEO, and Co-Founder, Switcher Studio
Nick is a livestreaming and social video expert and leads the Switcher Studio team as CEO, and Co-Founder. Since 2014, he has led the company to partnerships with Facebook Live, LinkedIn, Microsoft Stream, and beyond and has garnered features in TechCrunch, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, and BBC. Nick is a FastCompany contributor, and also a member of the highly competitive Endeavor Entrepreneur network.


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