Madison Square Garden, filled to the brim. 11,000 seats, sold out within seconds. Was it the New York Knicks? Was it Taylor Swift’s New Year’s Eve performance?
All these people captivated in their seats were here to watch a live video game — League of Legends. Eight months later, just like clockwork, 12,000 seats sold out in an instant, with over 400,000 online spectators watching the game hosted in the Mandalay Events Centre, Las Vegas.
This is the era of digital disruption, and video games are the game of choice by the new millennials. Their favourite medium? Online streaming.
What Can We Learn from Esports?
You don’t have to quit your job and become a professional League player to engage hundreds of thousands of viewers. Here are our two cents about how online streaming could be a great addition to your existing social media strategy.
Online streaming is not a new concept — from Snapchat’s $16 billion valuation, Periscope’s $86 million valuation, YouTube’s streaming services, and now Facebook’s Livestream, it’s evident that this medium is not going away. The influx of platforms and new opportunities mean several businesses are jumping onto the trend and finding ways to use this medium to drive more traffic to their sites.
Why You Should Be Streaming
Three words: transparency, cost, and connection. The easy access to information on the internet means people are becoming more informed. Consumers want to know about the company they are buying from and how the business is being run.
Streaming is a way for you to be transparent about your practices and demonstrate what happens in a typical day at the office. Imagine Mark Zuckerberg taking his viewers for a quick tour of the Facebook office. Or the time he introduced Oculus Rift to his viewers and answered live questions? Online streaming breaks down the barrier of the corporation as an entity and makes it seem more like a unique group of people united by a common cause.
Zero editing time, zero prep time, and zero expectations from the viewers for quality equipment. Streaming is expected to be raw, natural, unplanned, and imperfect. What does this mean for you? No fancy equipment, faster upload times, easy implementation, and you save a whole lot of overhead costs that would have existed if you were filming professional videos.
Real life is not perfect. Because streaming is raw and unedited, it creates a more organic atmosphere where you can talk openly to the viewers and work on building a connection with them. Most streaming sites allow a commentary box so you can answer questions or ask for customer feedback in real time.
The growth of the esports industry that has an estimated value of $2 billion by 2016, can be semi accredited to their embracing of new digital mediums that speak to the younger generation.
Growth comes from adaptation. As the business landscape changes, so should the mediums you use to engage your customers. Streaming is another medium that’s on the rise, and it’s up to your business to decide if it fits with your social media and marketing strategy.
P.S. If you liked this post, check out our Web Usability series.