Sometimes the launch of a new consumer app - particularly social media or communications innovations - can leave the B2B digital marketer feeling left out.
Like the kid picked last for the school playground football match or the only teenager not invited to a big party, you’re often forced to stand idly by and watch as the cool kids at consumer brands and the ad agencies have all the fun.
Live streaming video apps Meerkat and Periscope are the latest apps making an impression and both offer brands a great opportunity to create exclusive, real-time experiences to reach new and existing customers. Think of the potential for Adidas at Wimbledon 2015 with Andy Murray for example or Hugo Boss at London Fashion Week in September.
Authentic real-time content offered by both apps will provide a compelling incentive for users to follow the brand and clearly has the potential to drive engagement. But when these types of tools come along, B2B organisations are often left scratching their heads, asking themselves “how do we make this work for us?”
But it doesn’t have to be like this. Live streaming - either via Meerkat or Periscope - doesn’t have to belong just to customer facing brands. We B2B types can use them too. As always, it’s just about being smart and looking for your angle. Here are some suggestions:
1. Product launch or PR event
Increasingly, thanks to social media, organisations are happy for their customers to see more than just polished, pre-recorded presentations. Launching a product or running a PR event via a live stream might be as scary to plan and execute as Eastenders Live, but the benefits are similar - authenticity, originality and publicity.
2. Conference Coverage
Everyone understands that when it comes to conferences delegates are often working on the fly - doing your best to listen, tweet, stay in touch with the office, grapple with the venue wifi… it’s all part of the conference experience. What better way to share your occasional views, updates or opinions than via live streaming? So the quality might not be amazing and the editing, intros or transitions aren't top notch but the experience is genuine and therefore trustworthy, which viewers not in the room will appreciate.
3. Open for Business
Often B2B companies are heavily focused on polished output and carefully shaping a reputation with one eye on that all important group of clients. Which is obviously, no bad thing. However, with the advent of Vine and Instagram video, we’ve all been exposed to many brands having fun with rough and ready stop motion video for example and being more open in relation to their internal environment. You can’t move on the internet for blogs on “B2B’s Using Instagram Like a Boss” (Good examples here, here and here!) and the advent of live streaming provides even more opportunities for companies to be more OPEN. Share more of what’s inside your organisation and potential customers will understand more about your DNA and perhaps why they should be doing business with you.
The voice of those at the top of an organisation is often the most sought after AND because of time constraints and availability, the least accessible for digital marketing teams to utilise. It takes clear buy in and precious time for leaders to engage in blogging. But what if you could produce content through live streaming - whose tools will surely be refined in no time at all to deliver better production values - quickly, easily and cheaply? Having the capability to react to industry news for example within minutes of it breaking - via a quick interview with your CEO - can add value to a company’s social channels and to its message for potential clients.
So much in recruitment is about opportunities. Finding the right person at just the right time or taking a call from a recruitment firm you’d normally avoid at the exact moment they can be of use to you. When your recruitment team need to find a new team member quickly, why not encourage them to begin their search with a live stream? With the technology in it’s infancy, such a method shows ingenuity and fresh thinking - which in turn might impress the right candidate. A real win win.
6. An interactive Q&A
What better way is there to to be open and genuine with customers or clients than hosting an interactive, live-streamed question and answer session on a product or a part of your service? The live element proves to valued clients that you’re a trusted business and enables your people to shine through - an opportunity which all good businesses should be excited by.
7. Ideas sharing
Take five minutes to set up a private twitter account with only your staff or key members of your team following you, begin using live streaming and hey presto - you have an effective idea sharing platform sat on your phone. No typing out time consuming group emails or calling when it isn’t convenient. A good idea, recorded in an instant and shared. Simple!
No doubt there are many more business to business marketing uses for live streaming. If you have any ideas feel free to add them as a comment or drop us a line.