Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular in China. With hundreds of millions of viewers and the choice of over 100 platforms, it provides the opportunity for brands to increase their exposure and connect directly with audiences.
Some luxury brands in China are taking advantage of live streaming’s popularity, in some cases partnering with key influencers to promote their products. For example, luxury jewellery brand Bulgari launched a campaign on WeChat last year, which depicted celebrity and influencer Kris Wu wearing one of its latest watches. Followers were then able to pre-order their own luxury watch on the WeChat store within a limited time.
Some commentators say they expect to see more exclusive brands using live streaming in the near future. Others say that luxury brands have been slow to jump on board with the technology, as they often prefer tried and true strategies for promotion rather than seeking out emerging ones.
The potential pitfalls of live streaming
There are a few potential problems with live streaming however. One of these is the undermining of a brand’s authenticity with ‘fake viewers’. These can be bought online for a low price – there are reports that as many as 100 fake viewers can be purchased for as little is 1RMB (about 20 cents!)
There is also the fear of ‘diaosi’ – the appeal of live streaming to a lower-tier mass market, which could clash with a luxury brand’s image of exclusivity. This emphasises the need for luxury brands to use finely-tuned targeted marketing, and to use live streaming platforms judiciously.
Marketing for brands – getting started
Brands considering live streaming as part of their marketing mix should ensure they create content that aligns with their target audiences. In the case of the luxury market, content needs to offer an air of exclusivity, and must closely match and enhance the brand’s image.
Another thing to consider is complying with China’s strict government regulations, which includes obtaining an audio-visual publication licence. It’s also crucial to abide by China’s censorship rules. In 2017, some luxury and fashion brands had their social media accounts cancelled for breaching core values and celebrating conspicuous consumption.
This can all be tricky to negotiate, especially if you are not familiar with digital marketing in China. If you need some professional help getting started with live streaming, get in contact with our multilingual marketing team!