By Michael Tasner, Author of Marketing in the Moment: The Practical Guide to Using Web 3.0 Marketing to Reach Your Customers First
At this writing YouTube has 71 million unique visitors a month. But a site called USTREAM.tv will take your Web marketing 3.0 efforts to a new level.
I’m talking about watching events and videos as they happen. Want to watch a viral video? Join into the channel and watch as it unfolds. Want to get involved? Take part in some live user interaction during the viewing.
It’s all about the user interaction. This goes for everything: user-generated content, webinars, video, virtual worlds, mobile marketing. The key takeaway with these concepts is to make sure the users can get involved. How fun is it to sit and watch? Depending on what it is, it can be fun. Want to make it more fun and turn it into an experience? Get the users involved. This concept is so important, I may just end right here . . . Ok, you got me, I’ll continue.
Two options of viewing video:
Option 1: You can watch a video presentation on how to roast a marshmallow on YouTube.
Option 2: You can view a stream broadcasting at 9:30 PM at my house in my backyard as I demonstrate, live, how to roast a marshmallow.
Which option do you prefer? Option 1 is great for busy people who can’t make the time, but most will go with Option 2 so they can be a part of the event. To facilitate the interaction I can ask others to roast marshmallows and show their live feed, take questions over the phone, or questions over chat. During the event, I will also be tweeting, and asking people to re-tweet to generate additional buzz and interaction.
Advantages of Live Video:
- User interaction
- Typically higher attendance
- Share the thrill
- Appeals to the different senses and emotions
- Disadvantages of Live Video:
- Scheduling issues
- Quicker computers and Internet connections are preferred as there will be some lag time
- As we have done with the other disadvantages, we can provide a rebuttal. If people can’t attend your live stream, they can still replay it. The advantage of this over YouTube is you still get some of the live experience on your computer.
In regards to having faster computers and Internet speeds, this used to be the case for most feeds. There was always a delay and some lag time. This has improved greatly and will continue to get better as computer speeds, Internet connections and the actual streaming-video technology improve.
What factors are causing this trend to increase?
- People love to be entertained.
- It is easy to use.
- The usage of the Internet continues to skyrocket.
- On-demand is no longer enough; people want that experience.
- Rising costs in travel.
Let’s talk about mobile for a bit. It’s the fastest-growing trend and Web 3.0 marketing tactic around. Take it a step further. You can stream video live from your iPhone or Nokia S60 cell phone directly to USTREAM.tv. Think of the power here. You can report on the latest news and stream video from anywhere in the world with the push of a button! You don’t need any fancy video equipment, a makeup artist, sound guy or a lighting crew, you simply need your mobile phone. In the next two to three years, most, if not all, mobile phones will have this ability to link up with the various live video-stream sites.
I’ve been using the word trend a lot. Please note the difference between a trend and a fad. Trends are backed by statistics, fads are things that come and go.
There are limitless ideas to using live streaming video in your marketing and branding. Check out these ideas, hot off the press:
Conferences: Virtual worlds are great, but they assume you will be hosting the event solely in a virtual world. Let’s take an example. You are a motivational speaker, and are hosting one of your semi-annual events on how to get yourself motivated in a down economy. A real “upper” topic, huh? The last two words, down economy, are going to detour a lot of people from flying in and attending your event. Rather than miss out on all that business, stream the feed live for a fraction of the cost of a live event. Your attendance rate will skyrocket, and you’re not limiting yourself solely to people physically attending.
When Michael Jackson died, millions wanted to view his memorial service, and probably for the first time in history, people signed up for tickets to attend the memorial service. However, only so many people would get to come because of a limited number of tickets and travel restrictions. In the past, we would have been limited to viewing the service on television sets, but not in today’s world. Here are just a few statistics of Internet viewers and the Jackson memorial service:
- CNN had over 9.7 million people view its live stream.
- Facebook had over 300,000 view its live stream.
- MSNBC had 19 million viewers on its live stream.
- USTREAM had over 4.6 million viewers.
- United Kingdom’s BBC News’ site had 410,000 live Internet video streams.
- Over 21.3 million people viewed the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but not from their TVs; they viewed it live from their computer monitors. No, your business event is not going to generate this kind of traffic, but imagine if you sell tickets to attend your event via USTREAM for a fraction of the price of a live attendance. People will get all the information they would if they traveled to the event (they just miss out on the great in person networking). To combat this, offer a networking session on one of the virtual reality world sites afterwards!
Think of all the people who walk away from the sales table or click off your Web site because they can’t afford to come to your event or the date conflicts with their schedule (remember, with a live stream, you can record it to be viewed later). Now think of those same people being converted! Streaming events has huge revenue-building potential.
Product/Service launches: What better way to tell the world about a new product or service offering than by announcing it live to your listeners, and taking orders on the spot (think of the Home Shopping Network on the Web).
Concerts: Stream your concert for free or for a small price for raving fans who want to watch you, but can’t attend.
Parties: Just reached a business milestone and want to celebrate with your staff? Get on USTREAM, toast each other and drink some bubbly!
Interviews: Interviews are a great way to interact. USTREAM was used widely in the recent election by both candidates.
Education: Most people on USTREAM use the service to educate their viewers on different topics of interest and combine chat with Q&A in the process. An example would be me hosting an informal session on Web 3.0 marketing. For the first 10 minutes, you would see me speaking, and for the next 10, I’d take some Q&A.
Charity: There have been a variety of events and stunts hosted on USTREAM (and others) to raise money for charity from sleeping strikes, to playing the guitar for tips and even all the way to playing video games for 50+ hours.
Chatting/Q&A session: Looking for the ultimate interaction? Host a chat session with your viewers, taking questions live on the spot! Take it up a level by allowing the person asking the question to be seen on his/her webcam!
The Jonas Brothers recently conducted a Web chat to announce some new songs, show video clips from music videos to be released and to just chat with their fans. The event was widely successful from all fronts!
The Jonas Brothers Result (per a USTREAM press release):
- 1.5 million unique posts were made via Facebook’s live feed.
- 23,000 average posts per minute.
- More than 100,000 users joined the webcast after seeing their friend’s comment on Facebook.
- 974,000 total unique viewers watched the one-hour webcast.
- USTREAM reported the Jonas Brothers webcast on Facebook surpassed the largest live-video event they have hosted for any music artist.
- Over 40,000 tweets were sent out about the event during the one-hour webcast.
- Live streaming video is amazing!
- There is no way you would get the same results by simply submitting the video statically.
- LivStreaming Video Sites:
- UStream.tv <http://www.UStream.tv/>
- Stickam.com <http://www.Stickam.com/>
- Justin.tv <http://www.Justin.tv/>
- CamStreams.com <http://www.CamStreams.com/>
- BlogTv.com <http://www.BlogTv.com/>
- Keep in mind, these tactics and steps apply across the board to the others with slight variations. I have zeroed in on USTREAM.tv, as you can tell by the title of this article. It also sounded a bit catchier than the others. I recommend you start off by leveraging USTREAM.tv as it’s the easiest to use and gain traction.
The above is an adapted excerpt from the book Marketing in the Moment: The Practical Guide to Using Web 3.0 Marketing to Reach Your Customers First by Michael Tasner.
Michael Tasner is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and charity proponent who specializes in helping people achieve their dreams in life and goals in business. He founded Taz Soultions, Inc., in 2000 and has built it into a leading Web marketing firm with more than 1000 contractors involved in all areas of online/Internet strategy, marketing, and web site design.
Copyright © 2010 Michael Tasner, author of Marketing in the Moment: The Practical Guide to Using Web 3.0 Marketing to Reach Your Customers First