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Masami: Our Journey into Livestreaming

Published August 9, 2021
Published August 9, 2021

When Masami clean premium haircare launched in February 2020, we had no idea just how much we would be leaning on digital tools and apps to get marketing traction as the pandemic took hold. One of the best channels we've stumbled upon has been livestreaming. There are many livestreaming platforms available these days with more launching every day it seems, and we have been active participants on several over the past year including talkshoplive, Shop LIT Live, Spin Live, Amperstand, Amazon Live, and ShopShops (and we're about to join HelloBrand Live).

Overall, we've found livestreaming to be a worthwhile channel for us, so we've invested a fair amount of time to get it right. By livestreaming often, we've been able to hone our storytelling skills, we have a better sense of what consumers care about (by the chats and questions they ask), and we have also gotten sales. It's also nice to have a library of video content to draw from—our YouTube channel is quite robust these days! Here are some of our observations and learnings for anyone thinking about diving in:

Understand the differences in the formats between platforms. Talkshoplive and Amazon are desktop based (so you shoot horizontally) vs. Shop LIT Live, Spin Live, and ShopShops, all apps (vertical). They also have different sweet spots in terms of the length of time you should record your show. Talkshoplive seems to be best at around half an hour, while Spin Live is a quicker format (10-15 minutes) and ShopShops is a longer format (an hour). This all depends on their audience, the engagemen,t and whether or not your show will be accessible to shop from for a period of time after you're live.

Your setup is key. We can't stress this enough—this is super-important. If your lighting is bad, you will look very amateurish (you can get a ring light for less than $100 on Amazon). You also need to be able to set your products up in a way that you can easily grab them and show them to camera without fumbling around.

Keep your energy up. If you're not used to projecting on video, it can feel a bit like you're shouting. But it's important to be high energy, especially for the longer shows. You also need to create a cadence around your content so that you can explore each product, recap the themes, and highlight the key benefits without sounding redundant (especially for the longer shows).

Make sure you engage with the chat feature. All of the livestreams we've been on enable you to chat with your customers. This is a great way to understand their needs better, but you need to be able to position your phone in a way so that you can film and also see the chat. It can help to have someone else on your team answering the questions in text or even with you in person to read them out. Everyone loves a shout-out, so it's really most effective if you can answer the questions on camera.

Show and tell. People like to see the products in action. For us, this was tricky as salons were pretty much closed in 2020. But this year, we've been able to do some great shows with NYC stylists like Vanessa Ocando at DreamDry, Spoke & Weal, and Sample Size Social. This has made it much easier to show the actual benefits of our products on a real person.

Experiment with your time slot. It took us some time to figure out what the best time was for each platform. We jumped around quite a bit in the beginning, but ideally, you want to land on a set time each week or every other week (or however often you decide to do it), as consistency helps.

Collaborate with other brands. We've been lucky to find some other indie brands on both talkshoplive and Shop LIT Live to collaborate with, like Basic Extra and KawaiiTail. We will create an exclusive offer for the show and both promote it. This has been one of the most fun parts of livestreaming. And we're just scratching the surface on what we could do with partnerships.

Hopefully, these tips will help you dip your toe in the livestreaming water. For small brands like ours, it's truly been a great way to reach a wider audience efficiently while we get the opportunity to tell our story.


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