Why Companies must adopt Live Streaming

ablive-live-streaming

These statistics by industry leaders tells us a great deal about the direction in which we are heading:

  1. By 2020, 82% of the world’s internet traffic will be video – Cisco
    2. People spend 3 times longer watching video which is Live, compared to video which is no longer live – Facebook

Yes, that’s right! We want VIDEO – and we prefer it LIVE!

From events as diverse as the Academy Awards to Reality Shows.
From Tennis Grand Slams to the Super Bowl, Football World Cup and IPL Cricket matches.
From Election Day results to Presidential inauguration and Budget speeches.
From Global conferences like Davos, G20 or WEF to Breaking News, Book Launches and Literary Festivals.

Here are some more statistics – on viewership and engagement:

The list goes on – but they all have one thing in common:
We want to see it … WHILE it is happening!!

Why?

When people watch any program or event while it’s happening, there’s a greater feeling of involvement and attachment, than if they watch the same program after it has happened.

For any international, national or local event, the emotional connected-ness that one gets when watching it LIVE, is much greater than when watching the video recording later.

The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) phenomenon is another psychological factor that compels people to watch something LIVE.

This, probably, is also the reason we are quick to watch and share, on Social Media, today’s “Breaking News”; while we no longer share last month’s, or even last week’s, Breaking News!

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 needs, despite it being such a powerful communication tool!

Here are a few examples of how companies could leverage the use of live video streaming to achieve their objectives and communicate quickly and more efficiently:

1. Instant engagement with all employees
Various levels of management can communicate and engage their teams who could be spread all around the country, or even, around the world – and they could do it over their own secure, internal network!

What’s more, the communication can be two-way, with each side being able to interact (virtually) face-to-face!

Just think of being able to conduct a Town Hall meeting spanning multiple cities, in different countries, right from the Corporate HQ!

This can be done not just by large companies, but even by mid-sized and smaller companies – who have even less of a budget to execute such programs.

2. Faster roll out of new products, services or schemes
Business Unit heads and Sales Managers can launch a new product, or service, or scheme, reaching even the remotest field sales office or team member.

They can also get instant feedback from these teams, answer queries, receive suggestions and further improve the roll-out, scheme or messaging.

Covering the entire sales teams or members could sometimes take weeks (or months!) and reaching out to them via live streaming will shrink the timeline considerably, resulting in faster results!

3. Faster and better training and support
Every company has, product evangelists and technical heads who are subject-matter experts responsible for driving technical marketing and support issues. But, these, being ‘scarce’ (and often, expensive) resources, the company cannot always afford to have them constantly in the field.

Via live streaming, companies can have these experts engage and interact with all (or select) remote tech staff instantly and provide them with a uniform high-level of quality training, resulting in improved customer response, satisfaction and delight – and a more optimum use of Head Office resources.

4. Better communication with public
Every time a company needs to make a public announcement, the Corporate Communications or PR team gets about issuing press releases to various sections of the print and online media.

However, as we have seen, a video, especially, if it’s live, will engage people much better!

Most television and online media channels may not want to (or be in a position to) cover an entire 10 minute video broadcast of the CEO – and so the company can do this themselves via a live stream, to grab as many eyeballs as they can.

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

Audience-specific live streams can be done via Social Media and Facebook live streams can reach out directly to those ‘fans’ who have already shown their interest in the company’s product or service.

The live channel can also be used to further engage and educate customers about How-To-Use products and any questions can be answered instantly by experts.

Who’s using it??

Southwest Airlines used Facebook Live during winter storm Jonas to give a look behind-the-scenes at Operations Control, showing how they were coping with the weather and explaining what they were doing to help passengers whose travel plans were disrupted.

In August 2016, Target live-streamed helpful college tips and advice with their own College Stylists Tiffany Ma, Thejobrien, and Katherine Elizabeth answering dorm questions!

Social Media Week Mumbai live streamed its 4 day event which had over 73 speakers from different verticals to address and advice the audience on various aspects of social media.

The Smithsonian Institute did a live stream of 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 could submit questions, live, over social media, and feel like they were an integral part of the debate throughout its runtime.

The Mumbai City Police Department used a live stream to engage citizens across the city, where the Commissioner of Police as well as his deputy, the Joint Commissioner of Traffic, took questions live via Twitter, SMS and even on 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 for all of the world to see. Investors and non-investors alike were able to witness history, live, as Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett and his right-hand man Charlie Munger shared their unscripted views on the company, the markets, the economy, corporate governance and even happiness.

A local chapter of Rotary International in Mumbai called The Rotary Club of Bombay Seacoast, live streamed the Installation ceremony of their President for the year 2016-17 for the benefit of those who could not make it to the venue.

Indian brand, Nykaa, an online destination for beauty & wellness products went live on Facebook, with India’s MAC Cosmetics Director of Makeup Artistry, Mickey Contractor and clocked almost half a million views on the video!

What next?

The above are just a few examples of how companies can use live video streaming to interact and engage their internal and external stakeholders. At the end of the day, people watch for two reasons – if the content is valuable to them (as in, it interests them) or if it is current (as in, live).

A few companies who end up creating really interesting content, which have a “repeat” value, may actually consider having their own online (television!) 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 of less than 14 sq meters (150 sq. feet) of area!

It is only a matter of time before companies treat live streaming as a critical marketing weapon in their arsenal and adopt it not just as a strategy but as an integral part of their operations.

The early adopters are already reaping the benefits, so… when do you start??

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