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If you’ve ever been in San Francisco during Salesforce’s annual user conference, you’ll know that it isn’t just about teaching people to use cloud computing apps. Dreamforce is much more than that.

Last week, over 170,000 Salesforce users and aficionados flocked to downtown San Francisco to hear from CEO Marc Benioff, former first lady Michelle Obama, Ashton Kutcher, Girl Scouts of America CEO Sylvia Acevedo and other inspiring innovators. Talks covered the future of Salesforce services, as well as broader topics like the future of work in America, artificial intelligence, innovative trends in marketing, the economic gender gap, and technology as a force for good. To amplify their reach and invite more people into the conversation, most of the presentations were live streamed on Salesforce’s video page, as well as on media sites across the internet.

During his keynote speech, Benioff introduced us to five new Salesforce features: myLighting, mySalesforce, myEinstein, myIoT and myTrailhead. All five will allow for greater customization and functionality for users. Using companies like T-Mobile, 21st Century Fox, and Adidas as examples, Salesforce demonstrated the customizabile interfaces made possible by myLighting, myEinstein’s point-and-click AI builder, mySalesforce’s app builder, myTrailhead’s customizable training interface, and myIoT’s easy-to-use IoT flow visualizing tool. This keynote was live streamed to an audience of millions, but if you missed it you can still watch online here.

In addition to Salesforce product introductions and demos, Dreamforce featured over 2700 breakout sessions and 54 presentations. InsideSales.com founder Ken Krogue aptly summarized the main takeaways in his Forbes article Playmaking, AI Revolution, CRM Evolution, Giving Back: Highlights from Dreamforce 2017.

According to Krogue, speakers at Dreamforce expressed a belief that, in the context of a more complex sales communication landscape, CRM technologies are declining, leaving space for more innovative sales tech.

Marc Benioff covered technology more broadly, discussing the social impact of what he called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” in which millions of jobs will be created by technology, shifting the landscape of labor in America.

Another major topic was the importance of “playmakers” in the modern business world. According to speakers at Dreamforce, playmakers are people that use data to make informed sales decisions to maximize revenue. Playmakers know how to use the tools to play the game.

Finally (and most importantly, in my opinion), Dreamforce speakers across the board emphasized the importance of using the tech industry’s success to give back to the community, either globally or locally. With just 1% of their revenue, tech giants can have a huge impact.

As a marketer for a marketing platform, I’ve found the Dreamforce streams and messaging to be particularly fascinating and inspirational. If you’re a marketer, or just a concerned citizen curious about the future of tech and business, give the summaries and videos a look. And, (because it wouldn’t be an AmpLive post if we didn’t bring it back to live) check out the live streamed presentations next year.

 

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Despite its increasing professional use, live streaming still takes up only a small space in the vast world of marketing tactics. Of course, its prevalence is increasing as brands recognize its value, but many companies still aren’t exactly sure how to use live streaming.

If you’re a marketer, you’ll need to be strategic about your live content. You don’t want to wind up streaming to no one, streaming to the wrong people, or streaming content that doesn’t engage your target audience, right?

Here are some of the most common challenges businesses face when incorporating live streaming into their marketing strategy:

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1. Gathering a large audience

Gathering a large audience for your live stream is not easy, and requires a few different steps. Of course, like every event, you’ll need to do a fair amount of promotion leading up to it. This means posting about it on social media, sending out emails, using PR networks — essentially using your usual marketing tools.

In the context of live stream, it also means figuring out an effective means of distributing your live video on a mass scale. You’ll need to be sure that you’re placing your video on high-traffic pages that contain content relevant to your target audience.

If you plan on expanding your live stream audience past the traditional online video platforms, you may want to work with a distribution service that can display your content on more diverse sites. Getting your video on the Wall Street Journal website, or on TechCrunch or the New York Times, will guarantee that more people will see it.

 

2. Targeting the right people

We’ve discussed this before in other posts, but it always bears repeating. You have control over the what, where, when and how of your live stream, but you can’t change the personalities and preferences of your customers, so you need to understand them.

You can’t engage everyone, so be sure your content appeals to the people who are likely to buy your product or service. Think about what problem your offering solves, and consider where and how you deliver it. If your product is a tooth whitening solution and you mainly sell it online, your audience is more likely a young to middle-aged adult than a child, for example.  

Once you’ve determined your buyer profile, you’ll need to ask another set of questions to find them online, but that’s another post altogether. You’ll also need to come up with a means of staying on their radar after the event.

3. Producing high quality, engaging content

There are some simple steps you can take to make sure your live stream is successful. Beyond the technical tools, you’ll need to come up with content ideas based on your own research. Among your other pieces of content, which topics garnered the most attention? If blog posts about apples consistently get more comments or traffic than posts about bananas, maybe your live stream should focus on apples (excuse the unimaginative example).

You’ll need to determine what constitutes engagement. Some platforms count 3 seconds of visibility as a view, while some have a higher standard. In order to determine which formats, topics, and types of live content get the most engagement, pay attention to what was happening on screen in the moments with high chat activity and in moments with a high exit rate.

4. Translating audience to leads

So you’ve got everything ready to go — you’ve used the right tools, created the right content, and were seen by the right target audience. Now what? How do you ensure that your viewers don’t just watch the video and then disengage with your company?

First, you’ll have to strike a balance in your presentation. You want your brand to be present in your content, but it should provide significant value outside of just instructing people about your product. Make sure you provide your audience with something unique to your brand that they won’t forget right away.

Also, make it easy for people to return to your video or your page after they’ve left. This is where retargeting comes in. Let’s say a viewer has engaged with your video, but then traveled off the page. A service that offers retargeting will help get your video and brand back in front of them, and increase the likelihood that they remember who you are and follow up with you.

 

Hopefully this list helped reduce some of the uncertainty surrounding live stream. Remember that the most important thing is to always keep in mind that your video should provide value, and will always represent your brand. Best of luck on your live endeavors!

 

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There are few things more exhilarating than watching your favorite sports team win a game with a last second shot or goal. We have favorite players, and a loss can be devastating, but a win can lift your spirits like few other things. But, major sports are only getting bigger while the lesser known leagues are continuing to struggle in the fight for screen time and eyes. YouTube, Facebook and other content hubs have dramatically changed the way we consume content.

Popular sports leagues like the World Surf LeagueWTA, and MLS have garnered increased attention through live streams, and larger leagues are following suit. The biggest of America’s leagues is the NFL, but even they aren’t impervious to the struggles brought on by live streaming and cordcutters. Compared with the first 6 weeks of the 2016 season, NFL viewership in 2017 is down 7.5%. In 2016, an average of 16.2 million people watched games through the first 6 weeks of the season. In 2017, that number dropped to 15 million.

 

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It’s only natural for the NFL to have seen such a drop in today’s ever-shifting landscape, but it’s clear they’re taking steps to fight back. In 2016, the NFL streamed games on Twitter free of charge. Then, it was announced in April 2017 that Amazon was awarded the streaming rights to 10 of the Thursday Night Football games. In the fight for attention, the NFL has made streaming it’s most important weapon. If America’s biggest league is finding streaming to be a viable solution to the new forms of content consumption, shouldn’t you start thinking about it?

Here’s a hint: You should.

Need proof? Below is a list of sports with less developed traditional audiences that decided to stream with great success. While most of these examples show a heavy YouTube presence, the most important factor in your success level comes down to distribution strategy. Know your customer, know who you’re targeting. Getting your content in front of the right eyeballs where they’re already spending time is the key to driving ROI with streams.  

1. Women’s Flat Track Derby Association

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the international governing body for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby and a membership organization for leagues to collaborate and network. Their engaging live content has garnered the league so much attention that they were able to sign a broadcast agreement with ESPN.

2. Formula E

Formula E, officially the FIA Formula E Championship, is a class of auto racing that uses only electric-powered cars. Picture this as the uber-popular Formula One racing series, but with electric cars. As an upstart they do a great job of incorporating fan engagement into the actual sport, and live streaming/social media is a big part of that.

3. National Basketball League

The National Basketball League is Australia’s major basketball association. They live stream through their own website, nbl.tv, and saw major growth in crowd sizes over the past year. Recently, the NBL leveraged increased awareness to land some pre-season games with NBA teams, which should help grow their audience nationally and globally.

 

And the list goes on…

In short, sports leagues can all benefit from sharing the excitement of live sports across the global market through live streaming. For smaller leagues on the rise, getting videos out in front of audiences can increase awareness and get them the attention they deserve.

 

Interested in learning more about marketing with live stream? Click here.

Recently, I happened upon an old article from an Australian publication imploring major performing arts institutions in the area to start live streaming events. The author of the article argued that live streaming things like Opera and Ballet would allow people of all financial and social circumstances to participate in a cultural experience that has historically been inaccessible to many.

Fortunately, the art world felt similarly. Today, I can view performances and talks at the Sydney Opera House live from my couch in California.

Performing artists are increasingly joined by digital artists, painters, sculptors, authors, designers, craft makers, and people from every creative field you can imagine. People are streaming their creative process across their OVPs of choice to other artists and people like me who just appreciate art (and can’t make things). Twitch even has channels specifically dedicated to artists who want to live stream their process.

This trend benefits us as humans and consumers of art, but it has the potential to help artists and commercial designers expand audiences and improve business.

 

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How Does Live Streaming Artistic Practice Benefit Viewers?

I think it’s pretty safe to say that in 2017, most people take the internet for granted, but it’s really an awe inspiring tool. It connects people on every continent, and gives us access to information about the culture and lived experiences of others.

Live streaming takes this connection a step further. It allows people to communicate with one another in real time, and experience the same moments, together. In the context of something innately human and beautiful like visual art, design, music, or performance, this is a particularly meaningful opportunity to connect.

 

How Does Live Streaming Benefit Artists?

There are a number of reasons artists and artisans incorporate live streaming into their practice.

To start, for most artists who live stream their work, there’s usually a simple desire to enrich the lives of others. But, for some artists, live streaming has the added benefit of getting news out about their most recent work, and contributing to their business.

For example, publishers use live streaming to benefit the arts by getting people excited about reading, and connecting readers to writers through author Q&As and book launches. Live stream also amplifies these events to help people in the literary world reach more potential consumers, and therefore helps fund their practice.

Commercial designers are also well positioned to benefit from live streaming their work at conferences, demonstrations and trade shows. Through live stream, potential consumers can view and interact with designed materials and spaces in ways that are more informative than just looking at a photograph. For example, the global tile and stone conference, Coverings, expanded the audience for their designers, fabricators, builders, buyers and distributors through live stream.

Even VirtualArtsTV, a major player in the live-streamed performing arts world, can benefit socially and financially from distributing live streams and expanding their reach. They exist to bring the performing arts to audiences that wouldn’t otherwise have access, but, like any other organization, they need public awareness and support. A well-cultivated, wide audience provides funding and marketing opportunities that traditional performing arts companies may not have access to.

Also, The Craftys, an award show created to celebrate talented artists in the DIY and craft community across the United States, helped garner attention for producers of everything from duct tape creations to edible crafts. After developing a live streaming and distribution strategy for the show, the Craftys were able to drive thousands of views with a high engagement rate. In the attention economy, those engaged viewers are vital.

This is all to say that, if you’re an artist with access to a camera and the internet, live streaming might be worth a try! And if you aren’t, watching artists live stream is definitely worth one.

 

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2017 truly was the year that livestreaming took off. Video is being utilized by marketers at an all-time high, and for good reason. YouTube and Facebook both have over 1 billion users, and 45% of them watch more than an hour of video every week. Instead of the typical behavioral marketing campaigns, marketers are realizing that they need to go where their audience is and be presenting what their audience wants to see.

While it’s easy to see where the industry is going, it can be hard to figure out a starting point. Below are 5 great ways to start your livestreaming initiatives in 2018.

 

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  1. Share a Product Launch

    Creators in all industries are always looking for new ways to launch their latest products. Whether it be a new gadget, or a great new software addition to your platform, livestreaming is a great way to show it off.

    Apple has consistently used annual keynotes to rollout it’s newest phones, tablets, and softwares. Their audience comes in droves to be among the first group to know about the product. Additionally, if you’re launching multiple products, the audience is incentivized to keep viewing until the product they’re most interested in is announced.

  2. Stream Live Events

    Any major live event that your company is involved in branding, sponsoring, or otherwise partnered with should be streamed. 51% of marketers worldwide agree that video is the type of content with the best ROI. Furthermore, video on Social Media generates 1200% more shares than text and image based post combined. These statistics are only bolstered with the addition of “live,” as the fear of missing out becomes a major factor. Needless to say, live streaming must be incorporated into your event production strategy.

  3. Stream Trainings

    The products that we build in tech can be complicated, and most aren’t meant to be understood in a matter of days. While it’s a good idea to have an FAQ page to answer some of the higher-level questions, some users may want to dive deeper.

    The “power users,” — those who are constantly using your product to the best of it’s capabilities — may have some questions that require a 1-on-1 setting. Why not provide a webinar-based environment (chat + presenter engagement) where you can answer multiple questions throughout the session? Not only will it serve as a Q&A, but it will also provide you the reputation of being attentive to your customer’s needs. Win win!

  4. Live Stream a Giveaway

    A live giveaway is a great way to incentivize your customers and get “room.” Once they’re there, you can schedule the stream to what best suits your company’s interest. If you plan a 60 minute stream, doing the giveaway in the last 10 minutes, that’s 50 minutes of content curated for your needs! It could be brand education, virtual case studies from previous successful campaigns you’ve run or just general industry knowledge.

    The idea is to get people’s attention with the giveaway and then reward their stay with a chance to win. The value proposition lies in your having their attention and, in turn, them receiving your physical gift.

These are some of our ideas, but there are plenty of other ones out there, and there’s nothing stopping you from coming up with something entirely new. It’s also always useful to look at what other brands are doing for inspiration. We know you’ll come up with something great to share!  

 

 

All good marketers know that it’s vital to know your target audience before launching any campaign.

You want your blog to reach as many members of your target audience as possible. Why wouldn’t the same be true for your live streaming content?

When writing, you need to find out who your audience is, what they like, where they are, what language they speak, and which questions they’re typing in when they search for things online. Now, in the context of live stream, you need to add a new question: Where is my audience?

 

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To find your ideal viewers online, you have to ask yourself a few questions:

Question 1: What are the general characteristics of my target live stream audience? How old are they? What country are they from?

The age of your target audience will help you figure out which types of online resources they’re using. When you’re looking at an audience in their twenties or thirties, you may want to put more effort into gaining visibility on a website like buzzfeed.com than you would on say, aarp.org.

buzzfeed target audience

Image from pando.com

This is especially important because people of all ages are getting on Facebook and sharing sites with their similarly-aged friends. This leads to people clustering around sets of websites more and more by demographic (and interest, but we’ll get to that).

I’m sure you can guess the importance of identifying the country of residence among most of your target audience. Location can give you information about culture, language, and local news outlets. For example, if you want to sell chocolate to people in Greece, don’t display an interactive cooking live stream in English on foodnetwork.com.

Question 2: What interests my target viewer? 

The types of sites your target audience is likely to visit are in large part determined by their interests.

For example, if you plan to live stream a concert, you may want to display your video on pop culture sites or entertainment sites. If you’re streaming a webinar on how to use your new customer relationship management tool, you may want to stream to sites that focus on business or tech news.

Your audience will likely have more than one interest, and chances are you’ll want to make yourself visible on multiple sites. If not, other questions will narrow down your audience.

Question 3: How does my target live stream audience prefer to consume media?

Vintage radio image from Vintage Adarama

Image from Vintage Adarama

The internet has made it easy for media formats to expand beyond the traditional long-form written blog post. Personal preferences have led to a divergence in the way people encounter and interact with information.

Today, we can consume media in formats like blog posts, list-form articles (listicles), photo essays, videos, and short-form social media posts (to name a few). 

Look into your target audience’s age and interests to determine which websites they are likely to frequent. What format do the sites use to display content? Your audience probably prefers similar sites.

Question 4: What is my target viewer likely to do for a living?

In addition to their interests, your target live stream audience is likely to frequent sites relevant to their careers.

If you’re streaming information about new web analytics software, websites related to business, tech, marketing, or even social sciences may be good places to target.

It will also be useful to think about where people may go to develop skills related to their careers, or to look for new jobs.

 

 

Question 5: What are my audience’s goals?

Before deciding where to distribute your live stream, try to think about what your target audience may want.

For example, are you creating live content for people who want to learn how to expand their technical skills and use your marketing platform? You may want to create a webinar or how-to instructional video and stream it on a business news site, or a site like TechCrunch. Is your target audience made up of people who want to decide on a vacation destination? Live stream a personal story while you travel. Is your target audience made up of people who want to keep up with sports news? Live stream a game or sports commentary to a sports news website.

This question in particular should be approached with empathy and creativity. Try to put yourself in their shoes — think: If I were this person, what would I want to accomplish? And what would help me accomplish my goal?

 

Keep in mind, profiling your target live stream audience can help you determine where to find them online. Once you’ve determined your ideal live streaming location, you’ll still need to use a distribution tool to get there.

In short, if you want to maximize your live stream ROI, it’s important to remember that you have to meet your audience where they’re at, and it’s easier to speak to people when you know them. This is especially true for high stakes marketing content like a live video, where you have to connect with people in real time. Ask yourself these questions before you go on camera and find a way to distribute your video to the right locations, and your live event is far more likely to be a success.