Live streaming is all the rage on social media these days. And why wouldn’t it be, really?
What better way is there for someone to reach out and touch their favorite internet personality or brand than to literally interact with them via video chat? Although YouTube has been known for video since time immemorial (in Internet years, anyway), they’re taking a new approach to the YouTube live stream by adding Super Chat.
What is Super Chat?
YouTube Super Chat isn’t a new concept by a long stretch, but it’s the first time it’s been moved into the mainstream.
By choosing to use Super Chat during a YouTube live video, users can literally create a much more intimate live stream chat. Their comments are brought to the attention of the live streamer, using bright colors and larger fonts. These elite commenters can choose various levels of financial support to unlock different options. Nothing could be easier.
Super Chat is replacing the Fan Funding program that YouTube launched in 2014. Although Fan Funding was wildly successful for live streamers, according to YouTube, it failed for most other types of video.
It was clear to YouTube that fans of personalities really needed something a little different to get the most out of their experience. YouTube has long been the source of rumblings from content producers, but Super Chat is an indication that the company may be realizing the huge potential of the “internet famous.”
Why Super Chat Matters
Super Chat is a small feature in the overall environment of YouTube, but it could be a great way for various causes to fundraise, for individual producers to increase revenues and for your company to increase personal touch time via video advertising.
It’s a form of immediate feedback from your fans. If even one person thinks it’s worth $5 to get your attention as you discuss your product or your company or even your industry niche, you know that people are really listening and something you’re doing is working.
It doesn’t change the analytics you’re getting from YouTube, but if you’re already using the platform, Super Chat might be able to help guide your content development and bring more live faces to the screen.
Don’t be mistaken, it’s unlikely anyone will pay you for a commercial, but let’s say you develop a tutorial for a DIY project or film a short video about how to choose the best sneaker for a viewer’s running style. That kind of video marketing content might be worthy of a Super Chat boosted comment or question.
It speaks to the type of content your customers want to see today, which continues to be more behind the scenes and live video that isn’t just the same old marketing message. Super Chat users are going to be the type that want a deeper look and more engagement. Don’t ever turn that sort of viewer away, they’re absolutely your bread and butter. Higher engagement rates are highly correlated to higher spending, so it will pay to develop lower cost content that these people find interesting.
Super Chat and Influencers
Another potential use for Super Chat that can be seen right away would be to further the idea of product placement within videos from Influencers. Just like marketing that came out of radio and early television, you could contract with an influencer to promote your product within their video. When that product’s placed properly, in theory, engaged Super Chat users (which you can easily track from older videos) will see the product and either act or absorb the brand message.
Since Super Chat won’t be coming to all YouTubers right away, it may be a little while before your company will have a chance to experiment with it. It likely holds the potential to push new marketing devices into being, provided it’s used as the tool it is. Rather than being an immediate conversation for businesses. Super Chat may be better treated as a metric to help measure engagement. You can easily chart how many $1, $2 and $5 Super Chat messages are left for every Influencer you partner with or for each piece of original content your company creates, giving you a basic way to track how truly engaged visitors are.