Since launching in 2016, TikTok has grown at an exponential rate, with 2019-2020 seeing its biggest growth period. The platform has been keeping up with its competitors, which has included the introduction of Live streaming.
TikTok has been known as a more casual and authentic social media platform, encouraging creativity in every aspect. Live streaming started off as a fun experiment, now being a huge part of most influencer marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at how to go Live on TikTok, and the benefits that this has for influencers and brands.
What is live streaming?
If you haven’t already guessed it, Live streaming allows social media users to post content on their platform in real-time with their online viewers. TikTok Live isn’t just for a user’s followers to watch though, anyone can tune in and take part!
By going Live, influencers will be able to post video content straight to their viewers to engage in that very moment. This means that not only is the content live, but comments will be posted live too. So, streamers can see and answer questions or comments as they are sent. They can respond to whichever comments they wish, interacting with live viewers however they like. This allows for the highest possible authenticity when it comes to engagement, connecting viewers in a different way than any other type of social media content.
Requirements for going Live
The TikTok Live streaming feature isn’t available for just any user. There’s a few requirements that must be met before your account will have access to Live streaming.
To ensure safety for young social media users, you must be at least 16 years old to go Live on TikTok. Even then, you must be 18 years old to be able to receive gifts and earn through a live stream. These gifts are typically in the form of stickers which can be sent by viewers during a stream.
Once you have met the age requirements, there’s one more step to pass. You must have at least 1000 followers to access the Live feature. Although keep in mind, sometimes it won’t become available until several days after you hit the 1000 follower mark.
How to go Live
If you pass all of these steps, then you might be wondering how to go about starting a Live stream. Well, it’s pretty simple to begin. Just follow these steps:
- Open the TikTok app.
- Click on the + button at the bottom of your screen.
- Next, tap on the button that says ‘live’.
- Select an image and a title for the stream.
- Then, select ‘go live’ to stream.
- Click X when you want to stop recording.
- To add effects or change settings during the live, press the three dots.
How live streaming works for influencer marketing
For brands, adding live streaming content to your influencer marketing strategy could be a great method for reaching your goals. There are countless benefits of live streaming on influencer marketing, with many brands regularly incorporating it into their campaigns.
For a start, and possibly the greatest thing about live streaming, is due to its authenticity. Influencer marketing has essentially stemmed from a need for authentic promotion, with consumers becoming increasingly less interested in traditional advertising methods. People like to feel as if they really know a product, or the brand behind it. This can be displayed authentically through live content, on whatever platform.
With influencers viewing comments in real-time, it means there is no preparation ahead of the stream, as would be done with typical video content. So, viewers know that responses are entirely genuine, meaning that they can receive the most honest opinions and recommendations. In fact, as many as 80% of marketers suggest that the authenticity of live streaming is one of the best benefits that it can bring to digital advertising.
A lot of time and thought goes into the preparation for typical influencer content. With live streaming, content can be spontaneous. This doesn’t mean to say that the quality of the content is jeopardized. However, with live streaming, all that an influencer needs is their smartphone to join at any time and any place. This only adds to the authenticity of the content, with influencers regularly going live with their friends when they are out and about.
Not only is live streaming easily accessible for influencers and streamers, but viewers can join wherever they are. On your bus trip home from work or school? Pop on your headphones and tune in!
Ability to earn
For influencers trying to turn their hobby into a career, it’s important to consider content that will allow them to grow. As with Instagram and Facebook Lives, TikTok has introduced a way for influencers to earn through their streaming, in the form of gifts.
TikTok users can purchase coins on the app, being the only monetary purchase that can currently be made on the platform. Once a user has purchased these coins, they can press the gift icon on a live stream, sending virtual coins to their streamer.
TikTok has actively encouraged creativity and growth on the platform, experimenting with new ways to help users to earn from their content. The platform is also trialling new features which could further improve earning potential in the future. Most notably, the TikTok Creator Fund which was introduced in 2020, gave creators the opportunity to grow their careers on the platform.
Top tips for going Live
When considering going Live on TikTok, there’s a few tips that will help to encourage results in terms of your influencer marketing strategy. Of course, don’t forget that Live streaming is not always about marketing results, and should be used for creativity and spontaneity too!
- Assess when you or your influencers’ audience is most active.
By discovering when an audience is most active online, you can aim to stream at these times. This is likely to result in higher viewer numbers and engagement on the stream.
- Post content prior to the stream.
If you are planning for an upcoming stream with an influencer talking about your brand or product, then consider having content posted before it. When regular TikTok content is published in advance by the influencer, it can appear on the For You page, where viewers can directly access the Live through a popup icon.
- Try to make the stream’s quality good.
Although you want a Live stream to be as authentic as possible, it’s best to ensure good quality lighting and audio are available. An influencer doesn’t need to use the highest spec camera, but make sure that viewers will be able to hear and see them well enough to stay engaged.
- Think of an engaging title for the stream.
As a title and image are needed before starting a stream, consider what will be used. If your stream is for an influencer campaign, then carefully consider a title that will clearly describe the content of the stream, hooking the viewers.
- Consider prior content to create a build up for the stream.
Depending on the content of your stream, it can be beneficial to create content in the time running up to it, to create a build-up and excitement from potential viewers. This can work well if there is going to be a big announcement in a stream, or for content such as giveaways.
Live content has seen a huge spike over the last year, with marketers increasingly noting the benefits that it has had for their influencer marketing strategies. We know that consumers are actively interested in purchasing from brands that post and engage in unedited content, hence the desired authenticity that comes from Live streaming.
Remember, if you are looking to find influencers to incorporate into your marketing strategy with Live content, then Heepsy is here to help.