This is an intense time of year for marketers. First of all, there’s the obvious commercial opportunity inherent in gift-giving holidays. If you’re a B2C company that manages to stand out in people’s minds when they’re doing their holiday shopping, it can be extremely valuable and lucrative. Also, it’s the end of one year and the beginning of another, so there are lots of opportunities to tell people about what you accomplished in the past year as a company, or what you plan to do the future. It’s a great time to remind customers that they’re important to you and to grab the attention of new people looking to try things in the new year.
As marketers, we’re all looking for an extra edge around this time of year. So, how can you use live streaming to boost your marketing efforts? Here are a few things other companies have done:
Live Stream a Holiday Marketing Seminar (Google, Constant Contact, Facebook & Square)
As with all content marketing, providing value is the name of the game when it comes to marketing with live content during the holidays. For B2B companies, helping businesses succeed during the holidays is a great way to garner good will and raise brand awareness among potential customers. The holidays are a great time to live stream instructional webinars and trainings.
For example, in November the U.S. Small Business Administration Tech Coalition – Google, Constant Contact, Facebook and Square all teamed up to create a marketing seminar in time to help businesses with their holiday marketing efforts. The Marketing Wonderland Holiday ‘17 Seminar was a 2-hour workshop that took place in the morning on a Wednesday and was a great opportunity for many small businesses to come together to learn marketing strategy from some of the biggest names in business. The live stream allowed Google, Constant Contact, Facebook and Square to educate potential customers across the country on holiday marketing techniques (that may or may not have included paid technical services and products).
Live Stream A Demo Of Gifts (HP & Walmart)
A product demo can be a great way to inspire brand awareness during the holiday season. What better way to get people excited about what you have to offer than to show them? And with live streaming, you can give people the opportunity to ask questions about your products and see how they work before they buy them online.
For example, HP and Walmart used live streaming to sell out the new HP Laptop in time for the holidays. In order to garner more participation and engagement than they saw with traditional QVC and home shopping network models, the two companies looked to live streaming. With the help of an online video platform and distributor (AmpLive), they were able to have the audience participate, ask questions, pre-order, and purchase the items up for sale, all during the live event.
Through a strong targeting and distribution strategy, HP & Walmart saw huge live audiences and ultimately sold out of the new HP Laptop.
Live Stream A Holiday Special (Martha Stewart & Home Depot)
Live streaming a holiday special can work for entertainers and big brands alike. This can be a year-end review of your company’s successes, a plan for the next year, a concert, or an interactive workshop.
One great example of a successful holiday marketing campaign is the 2015 partnership between Martha Stewart and Home Depot. At the time, leading up to the holidays, Home Depot was looking to diversify and expand its audience, and Martha Stewart was looking to launch a new line of products (Martha Stewart Living Collection) at Home Depot.
In order to reach the affluent DIY-er audience that was the target for both brands, marketers for Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living Collection organized a live DIY workshop sponsored by Home Depot and hosted by Martha Stewart herself. The live stream reached millions, and the campaign led to a large boost in web traffic and awareness for both brands.
In short, if you’re looking to stand out with your marketing efforts around the holidays, getting creative and strategic with a live event is a great way to do it!
Companies are constantly trying to find new ways to reach their audience, market their products, and stay relevant. In the current content marketing landscape, the number of distribution channels can be overwhelming. From blog posts to social media, marketing teams are always trying to keep their content fresh and interesting. In the midst of these options, live streaming often goes underutilized. From product rollouts to flagship user conferences, live streaming can be of the most versatile marketing motions in the industry.
Let’s go over 3 examples of how large corporations can use live streaming in their everyday marketing:
#1: Go Where Your Audience Is (Apple)
Finding a target audience can be difficult enough, but actually reaching that audience is another beast altogether. The best way to reach people is to market them in the places where they are already browsing. By marketing your products to your target audience where they hang out the most (the internet), your chances of garnering their attention increase substantially.
Apple is possibly the world’s most recognizable brand. Of all the major product releases we see every year, the seemingly annual announcement of the latest iPhone stands alone. While the conference is always impressive on its own, Apple’s distribution strategy is what sets it apart. Aside from Safari, all other internet browsers, including Chrome, are blocked from streaming the announcement. The most important demographic for this announcement is iPhone users who do not have the newest devices and use Safari. Therefore, they are the ones who will see the announcement.
#2: Exposure via social media (Brands at CES)
All promotion is good promotion, especially when it’s free. All you need to live stream a demo of a product or platform is a cell phone and a social media account. Leverage your company’s global notoriety to get in front of eyes. 1m twitter followers are 1m free eyes that have already chosen to view your content on a regular basis. Now that all of the major social media platforms (FB, Twitter, Instagram) offer a live streaming function, it’s become even easier. When combined, those platforms generate billions of video views every day. With the built-in targeting strategies that these platforms offer one can narrow down that audience of billions into thousands of more qualified viewers.
For example, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, many brands use the CES hashtag to get exposure for videos of people engaging with their products at the event.
#3: Cheaper product roll-outs (Texas Armoring Corporation)
Companies spend millions rolling out their newest products. Billboards and other more typical forms of paid media are archaic. If you go viral live streaming an innovative product launch, the free promotion lasts forever.
In late 2014, one Texas company saw the true power of going viral:
Texas Armoring Corporation, a bulletproofing and vehicle armoring company, filmed a product test in quite the unique way. In an effort to show the degree of faith in their product, the CEO sat in the driver’s seat of an SUV while it was riddled with bullets from an assault rifle. At the end of the video, he simply exits the vehicle and implores you to get in contact if you’re interested. The video went quickly went viral, reaching over 17 million views since its release. That exposure was surely worth the cost of the windshield.
Over the past few years it has become increasingly clear that live streaming is an important addition to any content marketing strategy. With millions of viewers tuning in to live streamed media every day, it’s impossible to ignore as a valuable channel for reaching almost any market.
While researching industry-wide statistics to demonstrate the trend toward live streaming in marketing, I happened upon this infographic by Koeppel Direct that summed it up pretty comprehensively:
Looking for advice and news from experts in live streaming, content marketing, and social media? Go find them in their natural habitat! Twitter is a great place to find a constant stream of up-to-date content on live streaming and marketing. Here are a few accounts we use to stay on top of all things live stream:
1. Ross Brand (@iRossBrand) and Livestream Universe (@livestreamuni)
Ross Brand interviews and introduces leaders and stars in the live streaming space. Check out @livestreamuni to access live streaming news, info on platforms and tools, and discussions about live content marketing strategy.
2. LiveStream Handbook (@LiveStreamBook)
Official twitter account for BBC broadcaster Peter Stewart’s book on live streaming. Posts are usually related to news and tips on live streaming best practices (and updates on the status of the book).
3. Ross & Nez (@rossandnez)
Ross Brand teams up with business consultant and live stream expert Professor Nez to host live shows on live streaming, social media, and business. They have a podcast as well.
4. Jonathan Tripp (@jonathantripp) and #LetsLiveStream (@letslivestream)
#LetsLiveStream features Q&As about the role of live streaming in marketing and business. Jonathan’s feed is full of interesting conversations about the more theoretical/business questions that go along with live streaming.
5. Livestream (@livestream)
Check out Livestream’s hashtag #livestreamlearn for software demos and lessons on how different industries are using live streaming. Past interviews have focused on sports, design, music, and education, among other things.
6. The Livestream Expert (@kerryshearer)
This account features lots of info about live stream gear plus exclusive deals on things like smartphone mic mixers, handheld camera stabilizers, miniature lights, and cameras.
7. #SummitLive (@summitlive)
Summit Live is the premier live streaming media conference in America. They post regularly on news and events related to live streaming and content marketing.
8. JennyQ (@JennyQ)
Jenny Q’s twitter feed is full of interviews with experts in business, content marketing, and social media strategy. Check out Jenny Q’s feed to get a curated list of experts, and learn more about the practical and strategic sides of live streaming for business (and pleasure).
9. Kathy Klotz-Guest (@kathyklotzguest)
Kathy Klotz-Guest is an entrepreneur and author of Stop Boring Me, a book about crafting successful content marketing strategies through improv and storytelling. Check out her account to learn fun and valuable lessons about content strategy.
10. …aaaaand … AmpLive! (@ampliveinc)
Check out our twitter feed to get regular updates on our blog and other news about live streaming and content marketing. We write and post about how different industries are using live streaming to promote their businesses, and provide tips for how you can incorporate live streaming into your own marketing strategy.
Allocating your stream budget effectively and strategically is one of the biggest keys to successfully creating content that builds your audience and drives ROI.
For many marketers, content creation isn’t a problem. It’s easy enough to produce a live stream if you have a camera and internet connection. However, for professional marketers using live streaming, the problem is maximizing ROI through audience targeting and development. Maybe you have an existing audience that loves your stuff. How do you continue to make content that resonates with them while grabbing the attention of new readers/viewers/followers? And, how do you grow your reach and maximize impact without wasting money on tactics that don’t generate enough leads?
Here are some ways to make sure you maximize the value of your live stream budget:
1. Audience Targeting Support
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: When producing content, you must identify your target audience. Audience targeting is about finding your desired customer before they know you’re there. It’s the practice of identifying your ideal customer and focusing on them. Even your best content will never resonate if you don’t create it with a specific persona in mind. Ask yourself what topics your audience wants to see you cover, and don’t stray from that list.
In terms of budgeting — you can hire media-savvy companies [such as AmpLive 😉 ] to help with this. However, the main budget you’ll be dealing with in this case is just regarding time. And even though time is the most valuable currency, don’t cut corners here. Identifying the correct target audience is one of the most crucial factors in increasing ROI for all streaming efforts.
2. Production Team
Sometimes the only thing that separates two great live streams is the production value. All other things being equal, it can make or break you. Would you rather watch someone a stream of someone idly talking to the screen, or watch someone using a green screen, with professional lighting and cameras? When a viewer sees that you put time and effort into your broadcast, it further entices them to engage with your stream.
3. Distribution Service
Audience targeting is important, but it becomes significantly more valuable and actionable if you have a distribution strategy to actually reach your target audience. Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to deduce where they like to browse on the internet so you can deliver your content to them. (We’ve touched a little on this in a previous post).
If your target audience is in the millennial age group, it’s probably not a good idea to advertise to them on AARP or sites aimed at retirees. In this instance you would be better served distributing your content via sites like Twitch, where your target audience is already browsing.
The distribution strategy will most likely require a financial investment, and should be carefully considered when organizing your live event. If you aren’t planning on investing in a distribution service, you’ll need to set aside extra time and money for promoting the event ahead of time to make sure people know where, when, and what you’ll be streaming (only about 50% of registrants show up to events, on average, so you’ll need to expand your event promotion to offset this loss).
4. Retargeting Service
As with any content marketing campaign, the interaction doesn’t stop at the main event. Sure, you’re more likely to be seen by more people, and by the correct people, if you develop content that is appealing and targeted, and you deliver along the correct channels in the proper venue. However, most people engage with one piece of content online and then move on.
While it may be easy to forget when mapping out your event budget, if you want to have a lasting impact on your audience, it’s important to invest in retargeting. Keep track of your viewers, and follow up with the ones who seemed open to learning more about you. This could be attempted through social media or through chat during the event, or it can be accomplished through a formal distribution and retargeting service.
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.
This week, San Francisco has been transformed by Salesforce’s annual mega-conference, Dreamforce.
It’s no secret that things move fast in the tech world. In a climate of constant innovation, industries across the board are evolving at a rate that’s virtually impossible to keep up with. Doctors can’t always spend weeks at out-of-state MedTech summits learning about the newest life-saving tools, and consumers can’t always afford tickets to tech conferences where they can learn and discuss details about the newest smartphone, drone or VR headset. But, sometimes you need to engage with others to maximize your understanding.
Live stream is frequently the best way to get around these financial or geographical barriers, while maintaining the cutting edge, community feel of a tech summit. For b2b and b2c events alike, live streaming technology conferences helps keep consumers in the loop, and innovators in the public eye.
For B2C Marketing, Live Stream From a Consumer Tech Show
Major consumer tech companies use trade shows to show off new consumer products. Live shows allow passionate speakers to talk about how and why their products provide value. Live streaming such speeches to the general public can be a great opportunity to let more industry leaders know what you’re working on while also getting potential customers excited.
The most well-known of these events is the Consumer Technology Association’s Consumer Electronics Show. Each year experts from around the world in industries from vehicle tech to smart kitchen appliances gather with others in the industry. CES provides spaces for inventors to share their ideas, established companies to launch their products, and industry professionals to get the inside scoop.
In the past, companies like Casio and Sony have live streamed from CES in order to amplify their message.
For B2B, Get More Specific …
Different industries all have slightly different cultures and styles, and to reach your target audience, it can be helpful to live stream from an industry-specific tech conference, or from your own company training or expo.
Conferences allow innovators to share their ideas with colleagues. By focusing on specific professional sectors, tech conferences help move industries forward by presenting new technology and procedures to facilitate more efficient, simplified, or creative solutions to common problems.
Major industry-specific tech conferences include:
Company-specific trainings are also a great way for companies to share new products and train people to use them. For example, Autodesk puts on dedicated Autodesk University events to help designers and engineers collaborate on their work using Autodesk 3D modeling tools. The events allow users to network while learning more about their products.
Each year, there are conferences and trade shows all over the world. If you need to garner attention for your product, show your value, or share your ideas on topics as specific as Android apps, or as broad as “innovation,” harness the power of live stream to scale your audience and project your message.
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:
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!
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 League, WTA, 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.
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.
Marketing events can have a huge impact on your company’s growth. Engaging your consumers with a live event helps add a face to your brand. This sense of personality could be the difference between you and your competitors when it comes time for your potential customers or clients to make decisions about where to spend their money.
As you can imagine, the problem with such events is that the effect rarely extends beyond the physical audience. In order to maximize impact, smart marketers know that video is a great way to share events with people beyond the confines of the theater or conference center. And making the experience a shared one through live streaming is even better.
To take brand exposure even further, some companies are turning to third parties to help film and distribute such events.
At AmpLive, we obviously believe distribution across broad publisher networks is key. However, there are many other groups that contribute to making a live stream great before your event even begins.
Digital Marketing Agencies
For example, digital agencies like Vayner Media can play a crucial role in determining what kinds of events would benefit from live streaming. Agencies can help clients find their target audiences and make informed decisions about what kinds of videos would speak to them. In addition, most agencies create supporting written and visual content, and can integrate live streaming into more comprehensive marketing strategy. They can also help analyze engagement reports and help develop a post-event strategy.
Video Production Agencies
Third party video production agencies like Mighty Media can help make your live stream high-quality and professional looking. Attention to detail is important when it comes to your live stream. The attention economy is a competitive one, and having an eye-catching video is vital if you want to succeed. Professional video producers have the tools and experience to create a video that people will see and want to watch.
News hubs for sharable content can also get more eyes on your video. If your target audience is likely to follow entertainment news or trending content, getting a video published on a site like What’s Trending or Buzzfeed will help expand your audience. Putting your video alongside targeted online content will help maximize the impact of your live stream, and the marketing potential of your event (this may require a distribution tool, of course).
Remember that your work doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are people out there who know the larger marketing landscape, and can help you make the most of your live streamed event.