Live Video Streaming and 360° Video, Are You Ready?

Live Video Streaming and 360° Video, Are You Ready?

Since the emergence of social media, marketers have fantasized about the next big thing to hit the industry. New platforms, features, devices and applications have entered the ring to compete for the attention of marketers. While all have been harnessed for their potential, nothing has peaked the interest of marketers like 360° video and live video streaming.

 

This new form of storytelling has led users and businesses alike to plunge headfirst in exploring the potential and features these innovations offer. Brands like Red Bull, Adidas, GoPro and the New York Times have already begun implementing 360° video by releasing videos on YouTube to showcase their products and news events. Buzzfeed has been one of the leading media platforms to utilize the live video streaming feature to release breaking news, explore cultural rituals, and even to live stream kittens sleeping in a box. See below.

 

 

The current conversation about the future of video marketing through 360° and live stream video is polarized. Many professionals argue that these new technologies and devices are critical for brands to boost their connection with audiences; others believe that it inspires and produces lazy, rushed, ineffective content.

 

While 360° and live stream video offer marketing potential for businesses, it also possesses great potential for backfire.

 

The benefits of both 360° and live stream video include an immersive environment, transparency of products and services through unedited, unscripted content, and engagement with an audience in real time. However, factors to consider when using 360° and live stream video include which platforms support this new technology, what is the reach potential, engagement of the targeted audience, and the efficacy of produced content.

 

When considering the integration of these advanced video marketing tactics serious research must be conducted to decide whether this medium will benefit your business.

  • Will it place your product or service in the best light?
  • Is this level of transparency necessary for your brand?
  • Do you have the appropriate physical and human capital to produce quality content for this media?

 

Although research is beneficial when predicting an outcome, it does not guarantee the success or failure of a project. The most sure-fire way to gauge if 360° video and live stream is the right move for a marketing plan is to take a chance.   

 

Will your business try live streaming video this year?

 

Facebook Strikes Again- The Battle Between Users and Marketers

Facebook Strikes Again: The Battle Between Users and Marketers

In the battle between social media users and marketers, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the archers safe from the chaos, raining down arrows on the poor souls below scrambling to stay alive. Their newest blow, Facebook announced recently, is their new, enhanced News Feed filter with an algorithm that shields users from posts made by brands and businesses.

To quote the Facebook press release directly,

Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why if it’s from your friends, it’s in your feed, period — you just have to scroll down. To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, we put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. We learn from you and adapt over time. For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, we’ll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won’t miss what she posted while you were away.

As an avid user of all social media I find this spectacular, however, as an aspiring PR professional, this is a horrific nightmare that raises many important questions.

What does this mean for the PR profession?

What are the loopholes, if any?

How long do we have until it spreads to other platforms?

This new update will result in an increase of paid social media content, forcing many PR practitioners to increase their social media budgets, in order to reach preferred audiences through promoted and boosted posts. In fact, David Kellis, director of PR and social media for Clorox Co., told PR News that almost 90% of their published social media content is paid. Think on that a minute.

While consumers will be seeing less content coming directly from a brand, high concentration has been placed on creating ads that can be shared among consumers. This strategy is beneficial for larger, older brands that have already established a strong, loyal consumer base. However, for companies and brands striving to raise awareness about their brand, or those creating their own social media content, the uphill battle is just beginning.

Facebook is not the only platform adjusting their feed filters and restrictions. Instagram just this year drifted away from the chronological feed, and has updated their algorithm to base the user’s feed on what they seem most interested in. This places a higher value on a user’s friends’ posts, and lower value on posts of businesses and brands. While, again, this is extremely beneficial to users, it is detrimental to PR practitioners, because it eliminates the value and priority of live-posting. Instead, it won’t matter at what time you post a photo, it will matter how intriguing it appears to your followers.

While this news creates more conflicts for content creators, it does present a silver lining for PR practitioners. With the rise of restrictions for brands and businesses in social media the importance of media relations has resurfaced. Mentions of a brand or business in the media has developed strong influence over consumers, due to the information coming from reliable sources consumers choose to place their trust in.

How will this new shift affect your strategy? Will you find new ways to collaborate to cross-promote and maximize your brand’s exposure?

6 Ways to Improve Your Communication in a Changing Culture

6 Ways to Improve Your Communication in a Changing Culture

It’s about 7:00am you wake up to your alarm blaring, you reluctantly slunk out of bed and begin to get ready for the day. Before you even finish brushing your teeth you receive two texts from your friends about lunch plans, and by the time you walk out of the door with a granola bar dangling out of your mouth your inbox is jam packed full of promo emails, spam, e-newsletters, and the occasional important email from your boss. As you turn on the radio you catch the end of the traffic update, and begin to listen to the news of the day. Finally to top off the morning your mother calls you to inquire about your siblings, and if you heard about Aunt Myrtle. It is nearly 9:00am and you feel like you have had your fill of information for the day.

Our society is on communication overload. We are a part of a selective, on-the-go, plugged-in community. The root of our cultural change: technology.

Technology has made it possible to access bookoodles of information, and simultaneously made it extraordinarily easy for us to ignore it. So how are organizations able to communicate to audiences that won’t even venture a glance at what they have to offer? The answer is more effective, strategic communication.

Communication is essential to connectivity, without connectivity an organization can not thrive. These six tips can help you improve your communication and form connections with your audience.

Take the time to listen: People love to talk about themselves and their opinions. The trick is actually listening to what they have to say. Analyzing and acting on the feedback you receive can transcend your communication strategies.  

Be smart on how you release your information: Who is your audience? When and where are they more likely to be receptive to your messages? Throwing out a story on Facebook at noon because it’s convenient for you does not necessarily mean it is convenient for your audience. Investigating when they are most active on social media, and on which platforms they are most active will improve your reception.

Choose what information you want to communicate carefully: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something,”–Plato. Don’t be a fool. Plan out what information needs to be said, and what information you want to be said. Differentiating between the two is critical to the success of your messaging. You may be under the impression your audience won’t know the difference, but they do. Don’t become a slave to that fallacy.  

Keep it simple: People do not have time to sit down and read a 10,000 word article about the environment of fire ants in the Deep South. Keeping your communication short, sweet, and to the point gives you an advantage when reaching your audience especially if they are immersed in technology and social media and constantly on-the-go.

Be Transparent: No one enjoys being lied to or not being told the whole truth. Being clear and honest with your audience is invaluable when earning their trust and loyalty.

Be Creative: Being creative in how you deliver your information will capture the eye of your audience and you will more than likely gain their respect causing them to return.

 

Implementing these communication tactics will improve your reach and will equip your messages when wading through the information sludge.

Why Marketing & Advertising is Storytelling

Why Marketing & Advertising is Storytelling

You can primp and polish almost anything to make it gleam and glimmer, but making something beautiful doesn’t make it unique and doesn’t make it effective.

 

The same can be said with advertising and PR. You can devise the most astounding campaign that implements every creative tool in the book and then some, but if your message doesn’t resonate with people, you have lost.

 

This summer I had the privilege of attending the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where I absorbed the knowledge and advice advertising and PR professionals had to give about the ever-changing field in which they work. In the seminar “Nailing Jelly to a Tree & Other Wild Goose Chases” Dr. Itiel Dror joined Nir Wegrzyn to discuss how to make your advertising messages stick with your audience and have the effect that you desire.

 

Dr. Dror, a cognitive neuroscientist, stressed three points: making your messages into memories, encode those messages in the appropriate parts of the brain, tell a relevant story and tell it well. All of these components combined make it possible for us as advertisers (or aspiring advertisers) to divulge into human insight and to connect with our audience in a transparent and effective way.

 

Every day our minds take in thousands upon thousands of images filled with information. Whether it be on television, the Internet, social media, outside, or in magazines, everywhere you go there are advertising messages. There are so many that most people find them intrusive and choose to ignore them completely. At what point do we as advertisers realize that we can’t just splatter information across a page?

 

If I were to ask you to tell me your most vivid memory, I bet you could tell me everything down to the smell of the room and the clothes you were wearing. This is what advertisers must do. We must be strategic in our messaging strategies to not only catch the eye of the audience, but keep the eye of the audience and make our messages memorable. To do so we must tell stories. Not just any stories, stories that transport audiences into a setting or situation that is not part of their everyday lives, but that holds a connection in their brain.

 

My favorite books are the Harry Potter books, yes I am 100% aware they are meant to be children’s books, but I love them nonetheless. What makes this series so wonderful is that each reader becomes engrossed in the story of this boy wizard who suffers just like you and me. He struggles with love, friendship, life and death, good and evil; it hits almost every literary theme that relates to the human experience. Stories that people can relate to are memorable and effective. Take a page out of the world’s greatest authors’ books (literally) and you will see just how effective, creative, and memorable your messages will become.

 

What are you doing to make your stories (campaigns/messages) memorable?

 

4 Simple Tips When Taking Your Business Global

4 Simple Tips When Taking Your Business Global

In today’s global market, the big question facing many businesses is how to expand internationally. The idea seems extremely simple – reach out to other cultures, and seamlessly increase business.

 

Unfortunately, the reality is that such an idea is a much more complex goal. To successfully expand business internationally, businesses must tread carefully by investigating which markets will be most receptive to your expansion, and how to approach connections with customers and clients.

These four points are important to remember when taking your business global:

Do your research:

Assuming that a new target market will react the same way to your present market is a rookie mistake. It is imperative to know your new target market if you wish to thrive in it. Investigate what country or culture will be most receptive to your business. Conducting research that will give you data that provides insight about how the culture has reacted to various products similar to yours will provide you with valuable information about how to approach your marketing, advertising, and PR.

Know how to approach your new audience:

Again, here, research becomes extremely vital when expanding. Researching about how a particular country or region conducts business is beneficial to your success; no one wants to have a trial on your hands before your business even gets off the ground.

Some countries have very strict laws about how to approach potential customers. Having an original and creative business plan about how to obtain attention is always a positive, but be wary of how you execute your plans. Another aspect to consider when scouting out new customers is the culture of your market. Being well versed in a culture’s values and morals, traditions, government, education, family structure, etc., increases likelihood that you will make lasting connections and receive their loyalty in exchange.

Know how to effectively translate your messages in another language:

Language is the power behind social media. Without language there would be no communication, without communication there would be no connection. Language is the influential tool that works for businesses to enhance their relationships with customers. With that being said, translation plays an important role when using social media to reach markets across countries. Oftentimes literal translations of brands, mottos, and slogans do not carry over into other cultures very well, that is why many are changed when moving to a different country or region. Hiring a professional translator can help overcome language barriers.

Carefully choose the most effective platform:

Contrary to popular belief, Facebook is not the end all and be all of social media. Different cultures and markets frequent other social media platforms to achieve various goals. Find out what platform will work the best for your business, and plan accordingly.

 

The key to thriving in international markets is to do effective research and to know your audience. Having adequate knowledge about your potential customers will only enhance your chances of being successful.

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