Now We’re All Entrepreneurs in the Live Television Business

With the 2015 debut of live video apps Periscope, Meerkat, and Blab, marketing as you knew it just ran its course. This is the social media tipping point that has caught many CEOs, CMOs, owners, and investors by surprise, ratcheted up the competition, and reengineered the way marketing, sales, product management, and customer service interacts with audiences.

Social media’s live streaming video apps are game changers.

You’re now able to turn on an Apple TV and watch a Periscope feed just as you would watch any other video feed. Consider the power and potential in that. You’re only limited by the reach of your own imagination, your company’s social media policy, and the terms and conditions of using the apps. But the challenge is that the majority of marketers (and corporate staff in general) are not broadcasters, and will either downplay this newly-dominant communication channel, ignore it, or run the other way. Understandable sentiment and attitude, but the direction of video app technology now says otherwise.

All are now in the live television business. If you don’t want to be, you’ll find sympathy between regatta and synchronicity in the dictionary. Not here.

What you will find are some of the keys to the rapid-response marketing vehicle:

  • Instead of flying to a customer roundtable, get immediately interactive on a live video feed.
  • Instead of surveying your users with an email, go live and take their pulse before dinner.
  • Replace impersonal newsletters with talented staff who can carry live video conversations.
  • Involve global sponsors and partners companies in compelling, interactive broadcasts.
  • Ditch text-heavy case studies, and promote lessons learned with live personality.
  • Develop extraordinary communicators, presenters, and on-camera talent.
  • Instead of fighting with mobile devices for attention, embed, and become a valued part of it.
  • Unveil exceptional social media experiences for your audience, and employees.

The sentiment of resistance to the live video apps must be similar to the tone of voice typewriter manufacturers used when computers came on the scene as Ash was fighting the Evil Dead for the first time. On the other hand, some marketers think that they’re broadcasters just because they’ll turn on their smartphone camera as needed and wing it with streaming media content. It’s going to take a lot more than that to compete for – and hold – live audiences.

Looking at live video apps as just another marketing tool is misguided. They’re transformative. The apps provide the ability to create and grow exclusive audiences. Talent and content developed for live streaming initiatives will take center stage, and personal communication skills are now becoming paramount. But it’s not just storytelling. It’s not just regurgitating bland cookie cutter marketing content across multiple channels. It’s understanding the fundamental shifts in business practice that we’re undergoing. We’re all now competing for live audiences, and the rules to effectively to run that new breed of marketing department are foreign and frightening to most.

Whether you’re using Periscope, Meerkat, or Blab, there’s no doubt that the use of live video apps for social media marketing and demand generation has started to create a tectonic shift in go-to-market activity. Creative marketers and seriousexecutives will understand that effectively using these apps is not a simple matter of turning on a cell phone camera, but a thorough understanding of audience building, customer interaction, data mining, information gathering, communication coaching, sales enablement, and broadcast excellence. There can be newly-formed multiple revenue streams attached to the way a company creatively embraces its content on streaming video apps, and the process of embracing this social media will transform marketing departments everywhere.

Conversely, if you surf today’s content on live video apps, you may come away scratching your head. Some companies currently engaging in this social media are simply turning on their mobile device cameras and are “getting away with it.” Too many CEOs, CMOs, and stakeholders must be unaware of the poor content being presented by their teams, don’t know any better, or simply don’t care. For some unknown reason, pedestrian-quality video content has become professionally acceptable. Any marketer who is passionate about leading the live video effort will know that offering substandard content is disastrous. Unappealing content won’t attract an audience, opens the door to the competition, undercuts credibility, and torpedoes any respectable effort to making inroads into this new interactive landscape.

All corporate stakeholders and investors must sit up, take notice, and ask how their portfolio companies are handling the opportunities presented by live video apps.

It’s worth repeating. Traditional marketing efforts just won’t suffice. Not anymore. We’re all in the television business now. And we’re all competing for the attention of live, engaged, smart, and sophisticated global audiences.

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