In this month’s PR Tactics, Cathy Hackl tells us about the next big thing in social media– live video streaming. Over the past year, live video has grown tremendously across platforms such as Periscope, Blab, YouNow, and even Facebook. With live video, users can broadcast video directly from their mobile devices to major social media platforms. This is good news for PR pros. Live video is a great way to increase digital engagement with your audience. Hackl suggests that live video, if strategically implemented, can significantly influence the decisions of your target audience at a rate not seen with previous tactics.
Applebee’s “Taste the Change Fest” is a great example of how live streaming can be used at an event to deliver excitement, engage audiences and rebrand. Using Periscope, Applebee’s streamed their new-menu party in Times Square. They also rented space on Time Square’s video billboards to showcase user-generated content from the app. Hackl says the use of live streaming works to make brands appear authentic and down-to-earth.
Incorporating live video into a communication strategy is versatile and can work for B2B and B2C brands, an agency, a public service, or a nonprofit organization, says Hackl. Streaming allows professionals to tell the story behind the brand, giving key audiences a more personal look into what they are interacting with. According to Edelman’s 2014 Brand Share Report , 87 percent of people want meaningful relationships with brands, but only 17 percent feel like brands are actually delivering. Frequent and candid engagement with your audience can boost credibility and clarify the identity of your company.
Do not shy away from the rawness a live stream can reveal, Hackl says. “Being real – in real time – is in.” Need some inspiration on what to stream? Hackl suggests:
- Highlighting breaking news or stories
- Demonstrating or reviewing products
- Going behind the scenes at events
- Attending conferences/panel discussions
- Interviewing employees, customers, C-suite
- Connecting with journalists or influencers
Video is some of the most engaging content that we see online. The rise of live video can influence people in and outside of the PR industry to share their opinions, communicate transparency and build relationships all from their mobile devices.