Live Streaming as a cost effective business tool – Time to go live!

Live Streaming as a cost effective business tool – Time to go live!

Sandeep Ohri

Co-Founder & CEO , April Broadcast Pvt Ltd

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Two interesting pieces of information

  1. By 2020, 82% of the world’s internet traffic is expected to be through Videos! 
  2. People spend 3 times more time watching live streamed videos compared to videos which are not live!

These statistics shared by industry leaders like Facebook and CISCO, tell us a great deal about the direction in which we are heading!

From the Academy Awards to Reality Shows; Tennis Grand Slams to Super Bowl; World Cup Football to IPL Cricket matches.

From Election Day results to Presidential inaugurations; Budget speeches to Davos like Conferences; Breaking News to Book Launches and Literary Festivals; everywhere, it is clear!

We want VIDEO ; and we prefer it LIVE!

Have a look at the following, mind boggling statistics!

  • 88th Academy Awards 2016 Live Telecast / Broadcast
    • 2 Million Tweets
    • 24 Million people with 67 Million interactions on Facebook
  • Super Bowl 2016
    • 3 Billion Tweet Impressions
    • 60 Million People with 200 Million interactions on Facebook

The list goes on – but they all have one thing in common -People are engaged while the action is happening!

Why Live Streaming?

For any international, national or local event, there’s a greater feeling of involvement and engagement, when it’s happening. The emotional connected-ness that one gets when watching LIVE, is much greater than while watching the recording later. The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is another psychological factor that compels people to watch something LIVE. This is also why we are quick to share today’s “Breaking News” and are no longer interested in last month’s or last week’s content.

Hello, CxO! Are you listening?

With this background, it is surprising that most companies don’t think of using live video streaming for their own internal and external communications.

1. Instant engagement with all employees

Corporate management can communicate and engage with teams who could be all over the world; and they could do it over their own secure, internal network. Just think of a Town Hall spanning multiple cities, in different countries, done right from the Corporate HQ  with both sides interacting (virtually) face-to-face.

Mid-to-small sized companies, who have even less of a budget, can also easily do this.

2. Faster roll out of new products, services or schemes

Business Unit heads and Sales Managers can launch new products, or services, reaching even the remotest field sales office or team member. They can also get instant feedback, answer queries, receive suggestions and further improve their launch or scheme.

Covering entire sales teams sometimes takes weeks, but reaching out to them via live streaming will shrink the timeline considerably.

3. Faster and better training and support

Every company has product evangelists and technical heads who are responsible for driving technical marketing and support issues. But, with these being ‘scarce’ and expensive resources, the company can ill afford to have them constantly in the field.

Via live streaming, these experts can engage and interact with all (or select) remote tech staff instantly and provide them with a uniformly high-level of  training quality, resulting in improved customer response and delight.

4. Better communication with public

Corporate Communications or PR teams can use live video instead of issuing press releases. Most television and online media channels may not want to (or be in a position to) cover an entire 60 minute video broadcast of the CEO; and so the company can do this themselves via a live stream. The live channel can also be used to further engage and educate customers about How-To-Use products and questions can be answered instantly by experts.

Digital Marketing agencies can ensure a better reach to the targeted audience – sometimes even better than that of general-purpose television.

Who’s using Live Streaming?

  • Southwest Airlines used Facebook Live during the winter storm, Jonas, to give a behind-the-scenes look at Operations Control, explaining what they were doing to help stranded passengers.
  • In August 2016, Target live-streamed helpful college tips and advice, with their own College Stylists answering dorm questions!
  • Social Media Week Mumbai live streamed its 4 day event with 73+ speakers from different verticals on various aspects of social media.
  • The Smithsonian Institute live streamed the Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.
  • Grazia UK, an international subdivision of Grazia, an Italian women’s magazine, live streamed a round table debate concerning Brexit which involved audience participation, where users submitted questions, live, over social media, making them an integral part of the debate.
  • The Mumbai City Police Department used a  live stream to to engage citizens across the city, where the Commissioner of Police and his deputy, the Joint Commissioner Traffic, took questions live via Twitter, SMS and even via Skype video. This was simulcasted via Facebook Live too.
  • For the first time in the company’s history, Berkshire Hathaway live-streamed its annual shareholder meeting and the audience were able to witness history, live, as Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett shared his unscripted views on the company, the markets, the economy, corporate governance and even happiness.
  • Indian brand, Nykaa, an online destination for beauty & wellness went live on Facebook, with India’s MAC Cosmetics Director of Makeup Artistry, Mickey Contractor and clocked half a million views!

What next?

It is evident that people watch videos for two reasons – if the content is valuable to them (as in, it interests them) or if it is current (as in, live).

Companies with truly great content, having “repeat” value, can consider having their own online channel and can produce and distribute videos in real time, at a fraction of the cost using PC based solutions.

These solutions can produce programs that look like they were made in multi-million dollar studios, but have actually been done in rooms as small as 14 sq. meters (150 sq. feet)! It’s only a matter of time before companies treat live streaming as a critical marketing weapon in their arsenal and adopt it as an integral part of their operations.

The early adopters are already reaping the benefits. So… when do you start?

Please do leave your comments at the bottom and do share with others if you like this article.

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