In the rush for relevance, we’re entering a golden age of video live streaming. Consumers are camped in quarantine, gathering around the virtual campfire that is the hallucinogenic glow of smartphones. Brands are liquidating faster than a melted marshmallow cast over the blaze. Keen to connect, those brands left standing are embarking on their first voyage into social broadcasting.
Live streaming is nothing new. Considered social media on steroids, live streaming has long offered brands the chance to establish a more human relationship with consumers. Indeed, it’s been almost half a decade since Vimeo announced that 2016 was “the year of live streaming”. Yet it’s now, in a moment of both economic necessity and practical reality, that brands are adopting live stream production en masse.
But much like a campfire, live streaming events (if poorly executed) pose the risk of becoming a fully-fledged wildfire that can endanger a brand. As brands during the coronavirus crisis dip their toes for the first time in live event video production, they’re set to uncover a raft of complications. Network problems, production failures, sketchy audio, inadequate interaction. In a bid to communicate with consumers, brands will discover that the communication flow runs both ways. Just as it did Jim in American Pie, live streaming video has the potential to render brands naked when they’re most vulnerable.
You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes outWarren Buffet
As a Melbourne video production company we’ve seen many things. To help marketing managers navigate what for many is uncharted territory, we’ve compiled a list of seven things that Marketing Managers should know about live broadcast production.
1. Production quality varies
2. Live streaming comes in many forms
3. Additional platforms = additional complexity
4. High speed internet is essential
5. Media strategy still matters
6. Build on live content with BTS
7. Keep it concise
Production quality varies
Production quality between live production services varies more than that of Crocodile Dundee and its entirely unnecessary sequel, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. As with traditional video production services, higher costs don’t necessarily mean higher quality content. Perform your due diligence when researching corporate video production companies. And if considering the DIY approach While broadcasting to Facebook Live or Instagram on a smartphone may offer a “documentary style” aesthetic that works for some brands, for premium and luxury labels it will only undermine hard-won brand equity.
While multiple cameras are optional, audio quality is not. To paraphrase George Lucas, “sound is more than half the picture”. Audiences are far less accommodating of poor quality audio than they are of video, so ensure your video stream is communicating the right message.
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Live streaming comes in many forms
There’s more than one format for live streaming. Whether you’re a real estate company, an automotive enterprise or a business offering music and events, your approach will be more diverse than Nicholas Cage’s acting career.
Based on your objectives, your delivery format might take shape as an interview, a product demonstration, a panel discussion, a piece to camera, a promotion or a live event. Each method of delivery offers a host of ways to engage your audience and communicate your strategic message. To initiate the conversation with your video production company, this article offers an excellent primer on the possible combinations of live streaming setups available to brands.
Additional platforms = additional complexity
Streaming to Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo and Instagram is one way to increase the reach of your livestream. It’s also a great way to overstretch resources, miss instant interaction with viewers and burn a hole in your wireless router. Unless you have a strategic objective that compels you to simulcast to multiple video streaming services, in our experience it’s preferable to focus on one (or at most two).
High speed internet is essential
Speed saved Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in the film with the same name (before Keanu left Sandra to the slow-moving boat crash of a film that was Speed II) and it will save you from disaster during a livestream. If your brand is to produce a live stream event of a quality superior to anything you see on Instagram, you’ll need an NBN connection. While network congestion due to a surge in both Zoom conference calling and Netflix Tiger King viewing is inevitable, place yourself in the best possible position for success by running your event on a reliable NBN connection.
Media strategy matters
While social media platforms will feature trending broadcasts, it’s no recipe for success. While experimentation is necessary, abandoning all strategy and delivering a purposeless livestream places your brand in a precarious position. Applying the same attention to detail in live streaming as you do your brand’s conventional marketing mix is one means to ensure you’re not setting fire to a burning pile of marketing spend. This may include:
- Promoting your live stream event in advance (via email marketing, organic and paid social posts).
- Placing it on a platform at a time in which your audience is most engaged.
- People relevant to the product/service delivering the communications.
Build on live content with BTS
Growing up in the shadows of the Great Recession, frugality has been baked into the DNA of digital marketers. In an age of resourcefulness, repurposing broadcast content shouldn’t be any different. So capture behind the scenes video and photo, pull soundbites from livestream and rework them as image and video marketing assets for your broader communications.
Keep it concise
While audience interaction should be the goal, entering the live stream with a clear structure provides guardrails against failure. For example, prior to a panel interview identify a series of questions and design a rough plan for how the session should be run and when questions will be answered.
Admittedly, some of our initial tests with video streams ran far too long. While there are some exceptions, (the emergence of “cloud clubbing” one notable example), it’s far better to apply a short, strict structure and have audiences wanting more than leaving them bored.
Live production comes with a host of technical and strategic considerations that are new to many marketing managers. But in the midst of economic upheaval, nothing is off the table; an abundance of opportunity exists for those brands capable of adapting to change.
Searching for “video production Melbourne”? Enamoured Iris is a creative video production company producing online video content for lifestyle brands in the Travel, Apparel and Entertainment industries. The company’s head office is known as “The Owlery” and is based in Melbourne, Australia.