June18 , 2024

Innovative Ways to Leverage Live Streaming for Singaporean Startups


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1. Introduction to Live Streaming

Why did I write all of that? To show you the potential live streaming Singapore has. I mean, the Singapore government knows what’s up. It’s the “In” thing now and has plans to further develop our capabilities. It’s 2019 and we are going from just e-commerce to live e-commerce. Companies such as Lazada have already capitalized on it, with products listed online at crazy discounted prices live streamed during the 10-second window of throwing products in carts before you check out. If there’s a FIFA World Cup of Marketing… It’s coming home, it’s coming. Streaming platform HUYA raised US$180M during its IPO last year. Facebook and Google are so far ahead in streaming, they might as well be walking.

Thai people love the act of going shopping at markets – shopping counts as a hobby over there. As a culture, their personality is rooted in hustling and bustling about, but in a calm, zen kind of way. As a 2019 New Year’s resolution, my dad was dead set on finding more business opportunities to capitalize on this cultural obsession with buying local. However, he knows about as much about computers as the next 60-year-old, and typing is very taxing on the brain and wrists for him. Thus, online sales are less than ideal. But live stream service is perfect. No pesky typing out endless product descriptions, simple to see how the products feel off the rack and on. Long story less longer, my dad is happier than a clam and more tired (he is 60 after all), yet richer in glorious Thai silk.

1.1. Definition and Evolution of Live Streaming

Streaming technology, developed during the 2000s, refers to transmitting audio and video data from the source to a user’s smartphone, tablet, personal computer or TV. The most common form of streaming includes audio and video on-demand content such as movies and TV series. Recently, live streaming technology has become the most advanced form of streaming. Companies now encourage users to create content free of charge and to live stream their content for the live interaction and enjoyment of viewers. These livestreams are not limited to workshops, family trips, walking, live sports games, music, art, and other cultural events. However, unlike TV shows, live streams do not have any delay between the smidgen of time the host has to talk or laugh or sing heartily with the audience, making the interaction involve both the host and audience without age limit in a clear and concise manner.

1.2. Benefits of Live Streaming for Startups

Researchers began to notice live stream around 2016. As more live stream content is consumed, scholars have started linking live stream practices with various key marketing concepts to understand novel implications. While some early work has highlighted that streaming content could be a “powerful way to engage customers in real-time and elicit direct feedback” and that live stream is “potentially a rich source of customer sentiments,” more specific information is needed specifically on what startups can do and how they should do it. Therefore, the literature does not explore how, or how many, local Singapore startups apply live streaming and what areas their live stream or host streams are related to. Additionally, the live stream format is still not fully recognized in the literature on the specific benefits live streaming could bring and when live stream is chosen, and to specific related research questions. For instance, why do entrepreneurs consider choosing live stream as a way to grow their ventures?

Since the release of smart devices, there has been a shift from traditional media to a new era of media – user media. Easy access to technology, like phone cameras and live show platforms, has sparked online presence growth, especially for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In Singapore, the internet industry contributes significantly to the country’s economy and is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 11% from 2015 to 2020. Live streaming, a component of live shows, is the interaction between performers and audiences. While startups often rely on traditional online marketing techniques, such as social media marketing campaigns or influencer engagement, to create an online audience, live streaming might be used as a new tool for engagement or deploying another digital marketing component in the mix. Live streaming allows entrepreneurs to talk, demonstrate products, and broadcast live. Research on live streaming for startups in Singapore specifically is limited. Therefore, this article explores a new way of understanding live streaming – by interviewing ten participating Singaporean startup managers who have applied live streaming to local conditions – and supports brainstormed ideas on how live streaming could benefit startups with specific marketing goals.

2. Live Streaming Platforms and Tools

  1. Do I want to stream on the go? Several platforms come with enablement for on-the-go filming, while some others require third-party tools and software.
  2. Are both live and replay viewers important to my live stream strategy? Some platforms keep live video limited to just live video while others keep the live session live but also replay it for anyone who missed the moment.
  3. How do I want people to engage with my live video? Anyone can pull out of a session on Periscope while a lot of emojis can be thrown at the live feed of a couple’s show. Decide what works with your live stream goals.
  4. What is the main platform or platforms that our target audience is using? Instagram Live leans more towards younger individuals while Facebook Live can pull individuals of all ages. Although TikTok is preferred by younger age groups, it may be a viable platform if your service, goal, or personality reflects similar values to the platform.

Given how live streaming is gradually finding its relevance in the world of business and is poised to grow further, subsequently contributing to the growing e-commerce and m-commerce sectors, new live streaming platforms emerge quite frequently. At the same time, recent tools and updates from established platforms add to the growing list of options for businesses. To pinpoint the right platform and tools for a business, a set of questions can be utilized. These are:

2.1. Popular Live Streaming Platforms

What’s so unique about each platform is the fact that in each of them there are influencer marketers who are ready to give a shoutout. This definitely ensures a significant increase in viewer count. Do a little detective work and see which influencer marketers are best suited to your address.

– Twitter – Twitter has integrated live streaming as a feature, providing a more personal and direct experience.

– Twitch – A streaming service that acts as a Netflix for gamers. Twitch is not just about video game play. Think of it as an esports stadium that hosts concerts, e-gaming tournaments, and has a communityist audience that loves everything with added meme.

– YouTube Live – Not as well known as its older brother YouTube, YouTube Live provides a wide selection of features, data, and user targeting in Ads Manager, but has a lower inertia unless the video goes viral.

– Instagram Live – Instagram’s live streaming service. Known for providing similar experiences to its older brother, Facebook, but with an audience under the age of 35, which is perfect if this is the audience you are targeting.

– Facebook Live – As the name suggests, it is a live streaming service that is integrated with the Facebook app. An extensive selection of features and a whirlwind algorithm will increase the viewer count. Not to mention, brands can directly sell products during the live stream.

There are many live streaming platforms on the internet today, each with different characteristics. Below is a list of popular live streaming platforms that you can use. Despite this, remember to always choose the platform that fits the needs and characteristics desired by your target audience.

2.2. Key Features and Functions

Secondly, both businesses and end users would find the pricing options provided by StreamAgora to be highly versatile. As for businesses that are keen to include live streaming technologies for strategic business growth, StreamAgora works with businesses to identify business requirements and offer customized solutions. At the same time, StreamAgora also offers two main pricing models: a usage-based model and a subscription-based model. For small companies or businesses without a proper development team, the subscription-based model would be the most appropriate option. For businesses that require a wide range of live streaming functionalities that fall outside StreamAgora’s standard package, customization would be substantial, and a usage-based model would work best.

There are some unique features and functions of StreamAgora, a live streaming platform that make it useful for these businesses. Firstly, for companies that wish to operate custom-built, custom-branded live streaming mobile applications, StreamAgora offers its software development kit (SDK) and toolkit. By obtaining either the SDK or access to the toolkit, companies would have ready access to all of the features on the white labelled streaming apps that StreamAgora can help clients to build.

3. Creative Strategies for Live Streaming Success

Ever thought of using live streaming as an opportunity to show behind-the-scenes of your production? While people are still wary of crowded places, having a “sneak peek” into, say, your production pipeline is a compelling way to share how safe your workplace is (for essential products), and more importantly, how wonderful and professional your team is. Even better if you can use the opportunity to share the sustainability and responsible sourcing that goes behind the production – it moves the heart! People love it when they feel connected – use that to your advantage on live streaming. Help your audience to dress up better? Show how to mix and match style-ups of your products with other fashion, footwear, or accessories brands. Would another lifestyle product appear to be a good collaboration partner? If the collaboration is planned well, two is really much bigger than the sum of the two halves – with two social media fan groups converging into your live stream! In the end, the content is interesting and engaging as you would be showing how beautiful each other’s products are!

Leveraged in innovative ways, live streaming can offer a highly interactive and immersive experience for potential customers. And, importantly, it can be a cost-effective tool for startups with limited resources to engage a broad audience and build brand awareness. Here are several creative strategies to showcase your products and offer compelling experiences through live streaming.

3.1. Interactive Q&A Sessions

Leveraging interactive Q&A sessions using live streaming can help Singaporean startups to connect better with their customers, building a personal connection that tends to be lost in social media. Drawn-out, hour-long interview videos can connect with fans; however, those don’t quite have the personal touch of live videos. Giving fans that option can really help to draw them in and help to build up a community, which is especially important in the early stages of the company.

Interactive Q&A sessions can be part of an online show or can be an impromptu session as part of regular live broadcasts. Viewers can post questions in the comment section, and the startup can answer all these questions live. This gives the startup an opportunity to clear all doubts about the company and provide another layer of customer service to their viewers. This also helps to engage the viewers even more, building a deeper relationship with their audience. Moreover, this is a great opportunity to discuss current promotions or giveaways, which can only be available to viewers who watch the live stream.

3.2. Product Demonstrations and Launches

A live stream can not only handle the concurrent needs for product exposure, word-of-mouth marketing, and viral marketing, it can also remain available and accessible post-stream, providing a considerable point of reference for any further product information needs and support. This is different from traditional product launches in a few critical ways – it not only automatically extends the life of the launch timewise, it can also be utilized effectively as an engine for demand generation over the entire sales lifecycle of a product. The real-time Q&A abilities of a live stream make it easier to manage any sales objections and allows for a live expert Q&A at the end of a launch.

In this section, we’ll be looking at a few ways business owners can use live streaming effectively to promote their products. Remember, even though it’s a fantastic tool, it is not a cure-all and should only be used in concurrence with an overarching promotional strategy. First up, we have product demonstrations and launches. This is one of the more common reasons startup owners consider using live streaming – it naturally complements traditional “in-person” product launches and is, in turn, markedly more cost-effective. Product launches themselves are crucial to the marketing mix, and good ones can provide a startup with a platform to leverage press coverage, PR, and buzz.

4. Case Studies of Successful Live Streaming Campaigns

Several international companies have seen the opportunity to leverage the unique features of e-commerce live streaming to conduct marketing sales promotions. These companies are a clear example of how companies from different industries are recognizing the power of video live streaming technology and its blend with e-commerce sales. As the leading live streaming platform, Taobao Live has set exemplary performance in kick-starting the technology and attracting international world-famous brands to partner with them. In these case studies, we will illustrate men’s clothing, women’s clothing, footwear, and luxury product marketing campaigns conducted through the Taobao Live platform and analyze the tactics and strategy used. Additionally, we have included a section that sheds light on the emerging activities using live streaming technologies beyond typical marketing campaigns. The three case studies delve into different possible live streaming implementations, including events live streaming, mobile application user acquisition, and e-performance recruitment, identifying a new direction business is using to leverage the emerging video live streaming technology.

We would like to conclude the report with a detailed presentation of five case studies of successful live streaming campaigns executed by international companies as well as local start-ups. Two of the cases review successful marketing campaigns using live streaming platforms, while the other three cases illustrate examples of new possible business directions driven by live streaming technologies. Our goal is to provide the report readers with insight into what has been done successfully by other companies, both international companies and local start-ups, hence sparking more ideas on innovative implementations and strategies.

4.1. Startup A: Utilizing Live Streaming for Customer Engagement

In today’s world, video content has become king. In fact, video streaming services including Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook generate more internet traffic than any other application. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise when brands jump onto the video bandwagon to increase consumer engagement. While live streaming can appear daunting for brands, it’s undeniably a tool worth mastering. As a real-time event, viewers get instantaneous communication through the live chat function, allowing marketers to answer consumer doubts or feedback speedily. Audiences can give feedback or ask questions, making it a highly interactive form of content. In the current digital age, trends like live selling and live marketing have emerged, where brands can showcase their products to consumers from all walks of life. Conversely, as a 360-degree experience, brands are given various approaches to engage the audience aside from a mere visual interaction. Brands now tell stories and give tours, which can aid in crafting an image unique to themselves.

In section 4.1, we present an innovative real-world case of a start-up company embracing live streaming as part of their ongoing customer engagement effort. This case offers an in-depth perspective on how a single-founder start-up designs their live streaming content to drive customer engagement when they run on a limited resource basis. Hence, it would be an insightful example for you to explore.

4.2. Startup B: Leveraging Live Streaming for Brand Awareness

Since the product pitch on live streaming was very similar to a booth at a trade show, the founder of Startup B reported that the selling process was briefed to their sales staff to search for reasons to disqualify the customer before they could even use budget as a reason that the customer will probably not buy a device. The vast majority will. There is a mentality of not losing a potential sale, whether the customer has budget or not. Since there is no gatekeeper filtering a lead before a conversation starts, this equates to an opportunity to sell. What can be achieved in 90 days using live streaming is equivalent to meeting various regional agents. The milestones listed are specific to the startup so that Startup B can break even faster. From the founder of Startup B’s perspective, the referral to an alternative seller might be of value. However, the real dollar is upfront which the founder of Startup B can take. Creating the system around creating demand means a short run to messages increase product consumption is the tracking, promoting, and interaction activity.

Startup B reported that its beauty product, a device, was able to reach up to 1,000 views per stream, with an average view time of 15 mins. Approximately 40% of those who watched made a purchase. The profit margins are at 38%. The cost of the live streaming tool is at S$280. The founder of Startup B had only one major complaint: “The customer service from this live streaming social commerce platform is constantly down or interrupted. We would like to find something more stable, but still, it works. Means it is just minor interruption…miscommunication, and intermittent can be handled so it is alright.”

By using live streaming instead of advertising, or by using it together with advertising efforts, Startup B was able to lower marketing costs and increase customer acquisition efficiency. Essentially, Startup B claimed that it would take at least one month to convert a customer from a lead, claiming that its lead acquisition costs were S$10 per lead on LinkedIn. Startup B would then be able to do a direct mail drop and hope for a take-up rate of 3% interest in its product. This assumption is an example of the sales funnel system. The sales funnel is an example of a classic customer acquisition model. Live streaming is able to convert leads directly, with the sales process streamlined. Live streaming is the most efficient method of customer acquisition that enables Startup B to sell on the same day.

5. Conclusion and Future Trends

In doing so, we have explored the changing meaning of ‘celebrity’ in both China and other Asian countries, particularly Singapore. We’ve shown that businesses associated with influencers (also known as key opinion leaders, or KOLs) have notably better growth outcomes, and that businesses close to those channels have been crowding out traditional advertising spaces by their superior effectiveness. Secondly, we’ve discussed the current trend of live e-commerce broadcasting, particularly within the Singaporean market and the possibilities facing startups that are able to leverage their products and services at a lower cost than working with current known KOLs.

The explosive growth in the size and scale of the live streaming sector in recent years is testament to the jump in popularity of this format. As has been alluded to, it has potential for a great many uses, including more creative storytelling, gaming, promoting live e-commerce, trainings, and enabling of the virtual workplace. These uses have been particularly emphasized during the COVID-19 pandemic, as everyone moves to using a digital platform for its effective communication and outreach. But businesses, particularly startups, have a duty to investigate new ways of leveraging these capabilities for unique outcomes and better growth. This paper has explored the current innovative ways being used, so as to demonstrate the momentum of this sector today.

5.1. Summary of Key Findings

Overall, this research has shown the potential use of social media live streaming with the collaborative use of UGC to provide interactivity and immersive experiences for consumers and businesses, especially Singaporean startups. With the accessibility of UGC, users or consumers could act in ways that were previously only thought to be doable by the firm in relation to creating values. With UGC, businesses will still be able to tap into these creative actions and create new forms of collaborative value. With this study, successful marketing factors from a developed brand are extracted and discussed. Singaporean startups gain in-depth insights into what is there in the live streaming and what they could gain from the interactive or immersive experience to engage the community and transform the startup’s company business model into value creation.

This chapter provides an overview of the study design and its key findings. The emergence of live streaming has transformed the way a consumer shops, and it has significant potential for application in other facets of business and life. By examining leading social media live streaming platforms and how businesses use live streaming to provide interactive experiences, this research hopes to provide insights into the potential innovative approaches that can benefit businesses and Singaporean startups in new product development and marketing.

5.2. Emerging Technologies in Live Streaming

There are methods to improve voice clarity and reduce noise in the background using Artificial Intelligence for cross-room audio analysis. They reduce background noise by +12.5 dB, an improvement of 40% over the average of the compared methods. To stereo audio voice activity analysis methods, they trained a discriminative neural network model via a self-supervised learning process by effectively conditioning both channels within the pre-trained VAD model. Their results are further validated across diverse domains of YouTube content available for research.

There are new and emerging technologies that are optimizing live streaming over user-generated content. For instance, Wave replaces the background of a video in a live stage setting by a streaming algorithm. This method takes a raw capture of a subject in front of a green screen and replaces the background with a stage set (or any other designed set). Authors use scene-appropriate camera-path dependent effects to composite the subject with the crowd, providing even more immersion. This yields a transform f(FORREST, test_scene) → test_forest such that test_forest’s feasibility, realism, and interactivity are much improved over those yielded by previous solutions.