Webinars, video streaming and other live online events are set to become a valuable tool for reaching customers going forward.
From one home to another
As COVID-19 first swept across the globe and the public tried to come to terms with lockdown for the first time, some of the world’s biggest music stars joined together virtually to perform a concert from their own living rooms.
Viewers from around the globe watched Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Elton John and over 100 other artists performing their classics as the eight-hour show was televised around the world.
The event - #Togetherathome - raised almost $128m towards vaccine development and was the first taste of the solidarity that a live online event can offer, uniting viewers from every continent at the same time.
And though the concept of seeing a window into our colleagues and clients home during Zoom calls has now become normalised, #Togetherathome was a novel opportunity for fans to glimpse the inside of their heroes’ living rooms.
Brands move their events online
With in-person events cancelled, brands were forced to adapt quickly to avoid losing their audience. Swiss shoe brand On responded quickly to redirect their new product launch event onto YouTube. The original event, which promoted their new Roger Federer sponsored shoe, was to be held at Wimbledon and scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of Federer’s first Wimbledon title. Instead, On hosted an online event – Roger Live – where fans could enjoy a live, interactive experience with the player.
Now that online events have become more commonplace, marketers have begun to appreciate the benefits of these channels. If not a fully satisfying substitute for in-person events, online events certainly are an attractive alternative in certain scenarios. The overheads of planning these events are low, and whilst attendees are unlikely to pay as high a price for tickets, there is no limit on numbers or location of guests, opening your event up to a far wider audience.
Consumers increasingly stream video on the TV screen
Of all the ways to connect to the outside world, video content has offered at-home consumers the immersive and interactive experience that they have craved. Video is predicted to drive over 80% of consumer internet traffic by 2022 , and this has shaped the way consumers are accessing content.
We’ve all talked about the rise in mobile device usage in recent years. But desktops are not only being ditched in favour of small screens.
The pandemic has seen a rise in the use of TV screens to access online content, as users prefer watching video on the big screen. Connected TVs will be the third fastest growing device category after M2Ms and smartphones between now and the end of 2023.
The use of TV screens offers brands a new opportunity for creating visually stunning, absorbing experiences for their audiences through high-quality video content designed for the big screen.
In-game events could take off
Another first during the pandemic has been the introduction of in-game events.
New Hip Hop artist Lil Nas X performed his brand new single “Holiday” in a live gig inside a videogame. The virtual concert experience was performed entirely within Roblox – a videogame that is popular with teens and young adults.
As a first of its kind event, the event attracted more than 30 million visits across four separate performances. Fans could interact in-game, throw snowballs and dance through their avatars.
With an estimated 2.8 billion gamers across the globe in 2020
, in-game events could be a big growth area for marketers in the future.
Connected home applications
Smart technologies around the house are set to become an increasingly prominent feature in our home lives. From smart speakers or fridges to smart meters or video surveillance,
connected home applications are a rapidly growing sector.
As customers rely on these gadgets for accessing information and structuring their lives, smart home applications are another potential avenue for marketers to reach consumers at home.
A blended approach
As countries reopen, many consumers are likely to embrace the opportunity to reconnect with others in person. However, others will remain cautious. Being able to connect with at-home consumers is something brands need to continue to pay attention to in their marketing strategies, with a blended approach to in-person and online events being a likely result.