For Fashion Brands, Live Video Makes the Difference

As Fashion Week generated buzz around the latest trends last month, fashion labels tap live-streaming video shows online to engage their die-hard fans who couldn’t make it to the actual runway in the Big Apple. But you don’t have to be Carolina Herrera or Calvin Klein to get your shows in front of your viewers. 
Over half of U.S. marketers say they plan to use or are already using live streaming as part of their online and mobile marketing tactics.* It’s no longer complicated to incorporate into your business. Improved technology has made live streaming far easier to produce — and a vastly better experience for viewers.
Marc Jacobs recently streamed a live showcase of its Fall 2011 fashion line. Thanks to new video technology the brand was able to add bandwidth for the live stream in a matter of seconds, needed only limited tech support the night of the show, and could monitor viewer engagement in real time. A companion Twitter feed let viewers comment on the apparel, creating an engaging two-way conversation between the brand and its fans. Visit Marc Jacobs' website and view the brand's video offerings.
To reach fashion fans wherever they are, try these five ways to “videofy” your brand with live streaming.
1. Jive with live.
Apparel brands are in the sweet spot for live streaming. With an array of fabrics and prints to showcase, your brand can help viewers define their own sense of style. With today's video platforms, your brand can air fashion shows direct from your own boutique or design studio. Your brand could also air live interviews with your designer or models to spur excitement around coming releases. Live viewing with exclusive access lets your viewers feel intimately involved with your brand. Think about adding a TV channel with live streaming fashion reports to your website — especially if your brand sponsors these types of events already.
2. Catch consumers on the fly.
Thanks to mobile devices and tablets, viewers can participate in your brand experience at all times, wherever they go. Ninety-three percent of respondents to a recent Adobe survey said live streaming was an effective feature of their mobile commerce strategy. Live-streaming events encourage shoppers to be part of your brand experience — especially those who already admire your brand. They’ll feel the presence of your brand in the moment.
3. Make your mark.
Viewing time for live-streamed videos is, on average, 7 percent longer than for on-demand video, according to a 2010 comScore report. So use compelling live streaming experiences to keep viewers on your site longer. The more time viewers spend with your brand, the better they'll feel about it.
4. Live-stream and learn.
There's a natural drop-off in viewers during any event, even with the excitement and staying power of live streams. In fact, 20 percent of all online video viewers click away within the first 10 seconds of watching. There’s one sure way to improve that number: test and learn. With the right tools, it’s easy to do. Ooyala helps brands to look for sluggish engagement or viewership drop-offs to create data-based solutions and fix the underlying issues.
5. Deliver the goods — everywhere.
In the U.S., 158.1 million American Internet users (68.2 percent of all U.S. users) will download or stream video at least monthly in 2011, according to eMarketer. To truly reach your audience, your videos must be available seamlessly on all major screens and devices. The last thing you want is for viewers to be waiting for your video to buffer, or to keep them from sharing with friends. So make sure your player loads quickly on all devices and includes adaptive bitrate delivery. With fashion-focused content and an incredible live-streaming experience, your brand will stay close to your fans, wherever they are.
*Pivot August 2010 Study, Marketer’s Current and Future Use of Social Media
Ooyala is a provider of online video management, publishing, analytics and monetization. Our integrated suite of technologies and services give content owners the power to expand audiences and the deep insights that drive increased viewer engagement and revenue from video. Ooyala serves hundreds of global media companies and consumer brands including Dell, ESPN, Fremantle Media, News International, Sephora, Telegraph Media Group, Vans, Whole Foods and Yahoo! Japan. The company has also partnered with Create the Group, a digital agency that provides advanced digital strategies for numerous fashion brands. See video about Ooyala’s work with Create the Group here.