You Ask, I Answer: Email Marketing vs. Livestreaming?

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You Ask, I Answer: Email Marketing vs. Livestreaming?

Catherine asks, “Most marketers are evangelizing about doing livestreaming , as being the media who gets the highest reach and engagement. Why did it come in last in your Almost Timely poll?”

This is an excellent question, and I suspect it has to do with algorithms. Livestreams are appointment media – you have to be there at a specific time and place for them. Unless you have lots of free time or a livestream is so valuable that you can’t miss it, chances are it’s not something you want more of – it’s basically another meeting on your calendar, and who wants more meetings?

You Ask, I Answer: Email Marketing vs. Livestreaming?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Catherine asks, most marketers are evangelizing about doing live streaming as being the media who gets the highest reach and engagement.

Why did it come in last almost time we pull really good questions.

So over the holidays, I ran a poll in my newsletter, the almost time on the newsletter asking people what content format you would like more content for me in.

And these are the results here, we can see that email content, text based email came in first 29% of the votes there, followed by we have text blogs at 22%.

We have video and 19% audio at 16%.

And live streams down at the bottom at 12%.

So why is everyone talking about the benefits of live streaming? Well, there’s a couple of reasons for this.

One and I, I’ll preface this by saying this is speculation I don’t have any hard data on this is algorithms.

As all these different companies and services like Facebook and stuff, roll out live streaming and live video and stuff, they want people to use that feature.

And so they give it preference.

But what typically happens with any of these formats is that the algorithm is tuned to give preference to it for a little while.

And the percentages of engagement for it or not substantially higher than the new personnel like 100 X, the performance back when Instagram rolled out Instagram TV, for a while, it was you know, two x the performance of Instagram posts on 2% 3% engagement rates as opposed to like a 1%.

I think even higher than that, but either way, it was not like 70% engagement by any means it was it was still in the single digits.

And so if you are a social media marketer, and you are focused very heavily on trying to scrape together as any engagement whatsoever, and yes, live streaming, because it is favored by the algorithm right now, is does deliver temporarily higher results.

And it’s been a little while and we don’t have any really good data.

Because it’s not in the reporting API’s about whether it continues to do so.

I know looking at the show’s performance for the Trust Insights live stream, which is typically Thursdays at 1pm.

Eastern time.

And a few other shows that I follow that are live shows.

And the average number of viewers is single or double digits at most, even for really, really big shows.

You know, I, I follow a bunch of musicians and stuff on YouTube and stuff.

And when there’s a live show that they do.

There’s one band has about half a million followers.

And on any given show, they’ve got about 100 people watching.

So the numbers are still pretty small.

So that’s why I think marketers are evangelizing about it, because it does get you slight preference in the algorithms.

Now, why did come in last in the poll? Well, live streams or appointment media, they are appointment media, which means that you have to be there at a specific date and time if you want to get benefit from them unless they’re recorded.

If you are busy, right, if you have other things to be doing a live stream is something that you have to make time for.

And for that to be the case, it has to be really, really valuable.

Like it has to be super, super valuable.

And a lot of them aren’t, you know, a lot of them fall in the category of I’ll catch if I have the time, but I don’t.

And if you think about it, a live stream, because it’s appointment based media, you have to be at a specific time and a specific place.

It really is just another meeting.

It’s just another meeting and who wants another meeting on their calendar.

So why did it come in last? Because nobody wants another meeting on their calendar.

Which is one of the reasons why it’s so important that if you’re going to pursue live streaming, to engage with those diehard fans, and you should, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, because it does help you identify very quickly who are the diehard fans who have the time or willing to make the time for your business.

And it’s going to be small numbers.

So expect that you need to also pursue transmedia strategy on top of it which is to say you take that live stream and then you record it and you slice up the recording.

You turn it into texture into an audio file for a podcast, you turn it into a video file for your YouTube channel you all the things that you should be doing with any kind of media to make it as convenient as possible for people to consume after the fact.

That’s the goal after the live stream is to make it redistributable make it something that people can pick up when they want it.

That’s one of the reasons why email is at the top of the pole, right? Email is, as much as also nobody wants more email, at least conceptually for the busy professional on the other end of your email.

It’s the minimum amount of effort, there’s no blog to remember to go to there’s no special app, there’s no separate device, they literally go into the place that they’re used to going the most, which is their inbox.

Right? And the content is there.

It’s it’s zero effort for them.

Except maybe the only thing that’s ever for them is hitting the delete key.

They didn’t want to read it.

And that’s one of the reasons why I think it came in at the top of the poll, because from a behavioral perspective, you’re making it easy for people an email shows up they either read it or they don’t, they don’t have to go any do anything.

They don’t remember anything, right? You’re taking cognitive load away from people, you’re, you’re removing burdens, as opposed to adding burdens.

Mitch Joel, my friend Mitchell has a great expression says Don’t be another thing for somebody to do.


Don’t be another thing on someone’s to do list.

And the more complex you make the the format of data, like a live stream, we got to be at a certain time at a certain place in a certain app.

You’re giving people more things to do on the do an email, nothing to do, right if it they’ll get when they get to it.

And if there’s value in it, they’ll look for it.

Right? They may ask, Hey, I didn’t get this week’s email.

But you’re not making them work any harder.

So that’s why these results I think are are the way they are.

Now I will caveat this this is my audience.

This is not even the Trust Insights audience.

This is not marketers in general this is specific to the people like you who follow me.

And so I would not generalize these results.

I would not say this is applicable all marketers it’s not.

My audience is a very specific lives.

You are very specific, special kind of person who is interested in, you know, data and marketing hacks and tricks and analytics and stuff.

That’s not every marketer.

I would encourage you to run the same poll to your audience, right asking what content format people you want people in your audience want more of and get added information directly from your audience and use it to customize your marketing because it may turn out for your audience.

They love live streaming.

They may love it, love it, love it and they want more of it.

You should know that you got follow up questions, leave in the comments box below.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter and I’ll talk to you soon take care.

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