Chat: The engagement feature your live streams are missing
Live streaming has existed in some shape or form for over twenty years. That said, it’s only in recent years that watching live content has taken off and become one of the most popular ways to consume digital material.
Most of us can still remember what it was like to live in a world where real-time streaming was rarely, if at all present in our lives. Today, however, we indulge in live content frequently and through a variety of platforms.
The appeal of live-streaming apps
In a world where there are so many ways to consume content, what sets live streaming apart? It’s simple: there is no other way to interact and engage with other viewers at such a high level in real-time.
But how can you keep the engagement up when a stream is just one person or group broadcasting a message? And how does simply connecting people in real-time improve conversions, boost sales, and generate return for your brand?
In-app messaging is what changes the game by turning a spectator into a participant, and a viewer into a customer.
Brand communities are built on meaningful connections
The mobile application market has grown immensely over the past few years, with 86.7 billion non-game apps downloaded in 2020. This number has only grown since then, partially as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. But app downloads can only go so far when practically 1 in 4 people never return after one visit.
Your app doesn’t have to be a part of that statistic.
Most of the time, app abandonment is the result of little-to-no stickiness. When someone downloads an app, they’ve decided its purpose meets a need. They leave because something is lacking in that experience—and often, it’s because no connections have been established.
Chat messages create growth opportunities for live stream apps
Exceptional mobile applications have one thing in common: strong brand communities. After all, brand communities are where people who have common interests come together to create meaningful connections. The result of this? Brand loyalty.
If live-streaming is a feature offered on your mobile app (and it should be!), then chat functionality should be a priority. Enabling your audience to interact with each other throughout an event can boost engagement by 150% and sales by 400%!
How chat upgrades the live viewing experience
You can enhance your viewers’ live streaming experience with the help of in-app live chat. At the same time, you can collect key data and boost your app’s stats, safeguarding its long-term success.
Let’s take a look at some advantages of pairing video live streaming with live chat.
Chat service advantages for you
1 - Improved conversion rates
Adding a live chat feature will typically lead to a 20% increase in conversion rates. In such a competitive business landscape, every percent is invaluable. Since live chat allows customers to ask questions and receive answers almost instantaneously, it quickly pushes them further down the sales funnel.
Brands offering live stream commerce may find this advantage to be particularly enticing as users can indicate interest, ask questions, or show excitement while products are being introduced. Even so, companies of all sorts can benefit from a better conversion rate.
2 - Easy collection of sentiment data
There’s no better way to collect real-time sentiment data than with chat messages on a live stream. Chat allows brands to gather and assess the opinions their audience members have towards a particular product, service, person, or any other item.
With the information gathered from users interacting on the streaming chat, brands can:
- carefully manage their reputation,
- choose which products/services to market more heavily,
- discontinue unfavorable product lines,
- adapt points of the customer experience,
- recognize and target sub-groups of their community,
- …and so much more!
Positive, negative, neutral—all insights can contribute to creating a better customer experience.
3 - Boosted engagement through audience chat
It may seem rather obvious, but we’ll say it again: a chat service makes for a more active audience.
A video broadcasted live is not inherently engaging. What makes it exciting for viewers is being able to share those emotions with others and bond as a community by sending messages in a chat feed. When you integrate a live chat feature for live videos, you turn passive viewers into active participants. As a result, your engagement rates grow and people keep coming back for more!
Chat service advantages for your viewers
1 - Rapid response to feedback and questions
The real-time nature of live streaming means that when users have a question, they want answers immediately. One of the most significant advantages of having embedded chat in live streams is that users can interact with moderators and receive replies on demand. As you may have noticed on platforms like Twitch, direct interaction is key to keeping viewers interested.
Another area in which rapid response can be game-changing is influencer live streaming, where you can build excitement among fans by giving them a chance to support and interact with someone they admire.
Exclusive content can incentivize people to move away from traditional social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube because they have more opportunities to interact with their favorite influencers on your platform.
2 - A stronger sense of community
Relationships are built over time. That’s why strong brand communities create immersive spaces where audience members can come together, share experiences, offer support, and talk about solutions with their peers. A live video broadcast is one of the most effective settings for these occasions.
During online events, viewers share a common focus. Nonetheless, they’re also sharing the experience by interacting with others via a chat feed. As excitement builds and bonds are created, viewers and hosts come together to experience a stronger sense of community—and the knowledge that they are a part of it.
3 - Recognition of brands as more human
The modern consumer gravitates towards brands that are more authentic and relatable—in other words, more human. You can develop a more genuine persona by contributing to live stream chats in some way, whether by interacting with individual users, greeting new members, or simply adding to the sense of excitement.
The more you interact with fans beyond official company announcements, the more bonds you’ll build with them, helping them recognize your brand as more than a faceless corporation. And the more they see you as human and “real”, the more comfortable they’ll be in championing your brand and contributing to the community.
How to enable chat on live streams
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of integrating chat functionality into your live streaming app, let’s go over how you can actually do it. When adding a social feature to an app, you essentially have two options: build from scratch or launch with APIs.
Build from scratch
If you have extremely specific needs, a diverse team of developers, and little resource constraints, building for scratch is an option. Your development team can create every feature according to what your audience needs.
Get a more customized solution—but at a greater cost
While building a social feature from the ground up may offer more control over the process, you sacrifice precious time and resources. You should expect challenges sourcing the talent needed for developing such a feature and working with shorter timelines. However, for certain companies with more resources and precise requirements, this can be a good option.
Launch with SDKs
The vast majority of companies out there choose to integrate social features with Software Development Kits (SDKs), which allow them to launch with the help of an Application Programming Interface (API) in a matter of months or even weeks. You can still customize the experience considerably and spend a fraction of what you would when building from scratch.
Save time and money with a devkit
SDKs are created to boost speed to market by providing developers with a foundation to start with. They come with plenty of customization options, and since social features like chat don’t differ considerably from app to app, they’re a worthy investment.
How TrueID transformed the viewer experience with a chat SDK
We’ve talked about the benefits of integrating chat in live media. But now, let’s take a look at the knowledge in action by seeing how TrueID—Thailand’s number one entertainment platform—turned a passive viewing experience into a community users could return to every day.
As consumption of media shifted from the big screen to personal devices, TrueID’s product team recognized that there was something lacking in the individual viewing experience: connection. Sure, you could stream the Premier League games with a group of friends, but what if you couldn’t join them for a particular match?
Live chat and other social features made it possible to connect and share the viewing experience with others from the comfort of your own home. However, TrueID didn’t have the technical capabilities to launch such a feature in-house and within a certain timeframe. That’s where Amity came in.
By integrating our social and chat features, TrueID instantly boosted engagement, retention, and monetization opportunities. Viewers can now join in on the conversation whether they’re watching a show on the TrueID mobile app or the big screen.
The results of integrating Live Chat with TrueID’s community were tremendous. Now, up to 3.85 million community members are using those social and chat features every month, with up to 700,000 messages sent.
As TrueID contends for the title of Thailand’s no.1 super app, there’s no question that social and chat features continue to push them closer to this goal.
Elevate every live stream with the Amity Chat SDK
If you're looking for a way to boost audience engagement on your mobile app, it may be the perfect time to integrate a chat module into your live videos. Unlike group chats and other social engagement features, streaming chat allows participants to connect in real-time to share excitement, comments, and words of support.
Amity Chat SDK can help you integrate embedded chat in live streams quickly and easily so your audience can enjoy greater access to their peers, the host, and other key people taking part in the action. Don't wait to give fans the ability to engage on your platform more meaningfully. Start today!