If you ask Chinese marketers what the most popular marketing tool is,  the #1 answer you will probably hear is live streaming. With hundreds of millions of online viewers, live streaming has become the most important tool for online marketing or selling. 

Compared with traditional marketing tools, live streaming has a few advantages. First, it creates a sense of real time connection. Viewers (potential customers) will be able to learn the products through live introduction and demo. Their questions can be answered in real time too. Second, it creates a brand recognition especially when the live streaming host is a KOL or public figure. In China, large brands usually collaborate with movie stars or Internet celebrities to amplify the impact.  Finally, conversion happens immediately. When combined with promotions, viewers can make purchases on the spot. It is a closed loop marketing activity. 

Planning a live streaming is no different than you plan for an offline event. There are pre-show, on-show, and after-show planning stages. 

  • Pre-show 

Like any event, you need to pick a location. In the live streaming case, you need to pick a platform (or, multiple platforms simultaniously ).  Due to its popularity, there are already many platforms that you can choose. In the US, major players are Facebook Live, PeriScope by Twitter, and Youtube. 

You also need to pick a host.  The host acts like the sales person. Or if you like to think traditionally, they are like your booth staff. They greet people, introduce your company and products, and answer product related questions. 

You need to do all the marketing activities to attract the audience before the show. For example, trailers, emailing, social media and etc. 

Lastly, you need to plan out all the little details about your upcoming event. When will it be live streaming? How long will it take? How to use the live time more efficiently? What to do in the first 10 minutes? When will be a good time to do the promotion? 

  • On-show

First thing you need to remember is it is a live event. Anything can happen. There is no way to predict everything.

However, a well planned event can mitigate the risk.  Make sure the host has plenty to say. He or she can keep the audience engaged with good content and conversations. Like offline events, frequent reminders of upcoming promotions or surprise is a good tactic to keep the audience with you.  

  • After-show 

Follow up with unanswered questions. Follow up with those audiences who haven’t made purchases.  If the live streaming event is successful, make sure to write a PR or blog to summarize the results. In the meantime, you can announce the next big event. Also, as any marketing event, internally, marketers need to review events and share what’s going well and what’s going not so well. 

Live or no live, in my opinion, live streaming is no different from other events from a marketing perspective. The key to success is to plan well. 

Here is a case on spot. Recently, I attended a live streaming event hosted by Fengdeng Book Cafe. They worked together with a sweet dessert shop called Mango Mango Desert, which is  located in Virginia, to run a live streaming event after the pandemic.


After I observed the live streaming, I found out that they followed the above process exactly. First, they built a fans group and asked the fans to invite their friends. By doing this, they pre-heated the event. During the event, they sent giveaways, ran sweepstakes, in the meantime they shared discount code to support the transactions.Within two hours, they successfully made 10 transactions. After the live streaming, more customers visited the store to buy deserts. 

Ready to have a try?