Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

With social platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch.tv and Periscope in full swing, industry experts are calling live streaming the hottest trend in social media. As a result, creative teams, marketing and PR agencies are looking to get involved and use live streaming to increase engagement. 

Cisco estimate that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video-based by 2021. And with studies suggesting that live video is more appealing to brand audiences – 80% reportedly prefer watching live video to reading a blog, and a further 82% favour live video to social posts – it’s no surprise that the world’s media and marketing giants see it as a great chance to deliver high quality content to their audiences.

Popular platforms

Social media live streaming really found its feet following the launch of Facebook Live in April 2016, with the opportunity to reach a user demographic of two billion people proving too good for brands to miss. It allowed them to communicate with consumers in a way that was previously reserved for costly television productions, with interactivity and user engagement at its core. Viewers can post comments and react during Facebook Live broadcasts, providing brands with the unique opportunity to respond directly to their audience.

While Periscope proved popular and beat Facebook Live to the punch by launching over a year earlier, Facebook Live quickly established itself at the top of the live streaming game. Unlike Periscope, Facebook didn’t have to spend any time encouraging people to sign up, and it didn’t take users long to figure out how to use the new functionality as it was built directly into an app they were already comfortable with. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook users already had access to a large network of contacts, deterring them using another live streaming service with a smaller user base.

With one billion hours of video content being watched daily and over one billion active users, content producers and businesses alike are using YouTube’s live streaming functionality to increase their presence on the world’s largest video network and reach a colossal portion of internet users. Conversely, Twitch.tv is a popular live streaming platform used primarily to broadcast video gaming, eSports, creative content and music events, with 2.2 million unique streamers. In 2014, it was ranked fourth in peak time US data traffic, besting Facebook and Amazon among others, so is a great choice for creative agencies looking to attract more eyes to their work.

How has the business world responded?

Right now, every media and marketing company is trying to harness the power of social media and its humungous (and continuously growing) user base, and live streaming is just another way for them to make the most of it.

Live steaming is especially effective for news and political broadcasting. From leading media organisations to local newspapers, the news industry dove right in, with big players like BBC and The Guardian regularly streaming live across social platforms during newsworthy events – recent examples include the 2017 general election and 2016 EU referendum results. Likewise, CNN broadcasted live on Facebook for a solid eight hours in January as the United States prepared to announce its next president. The video received a total of 24 million views, and placed within the top ten most watched of the year. Even the White House have been making use of Facebook Live, airing speeches and weekly addresses live to hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world.

For businesses who rely heavily on advertising revenue and brand awareness, live streaming can seriously bolster their content output. Social media behemoths Buzzfeed and LADbible specialise in creating attention grabbing content that pulls in tons of clicks. In this video, the Buzzfeed team tested how many elastic bands it would take to make a watermelon burst. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, this video had an impressive 807,000 live viewers, and has a current total of 11 million views. Videos such as this likely have something to do with why Buzzfeed earned a cool $3.1 million from Facebook just to provide live content. Similarly, LADbible live streamed an ice cream showdown in July 2016 to see which of their four lollies would melt quickest – as of writing, the video has almost 6.5 million views.

Should you bring live steaming in-house?

If you want to utilise social media’s multi-billion-strong user base, then yes. With proven results demonstrating its effectiveness in increasing engagement, as well as all the stats suggesting that audiences prefer video content to everything else, it really is worth taking advantage of. While it’s tempting to get stuck in and start shooting on your phone right away, we reckon that you’ll see better results if you invest in some dedicated live streaming products. Not only will they allow you to brand your streams and produce more complex broadcasts, the overall quality will be better too, which is ideal if you want to stand out from the competition.

It’s worth purchasing technology from reputable brands as they’re far more likely to provide all the technical support you might need. They usually offer upgrade paths that’ll help you get your hands on the latest kit when it’s released, support incoming trends, and provide users with the ability to record and reuse content down the line. If you’d like to check out our essential equipment recommendations, you can read more here. Once you’re kitted out, we suggest running some test projects before you start streaming for real. Things can go wrong when you’re live streaming, so that way you can get a feel for producing live content and ease growing pains, develop your internal workflow, and avoid any silly (and costly) mistakes on your first proper shoot.

If you want to know more about social media live streaming, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email designsolutions@Jigsaw24.com. If you’re ready to start shopping head to our design storeFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Tips for tackling ecommerce in 2017

Tips for tackling ecommerce in 2017

Over the course of last year, ecommerce was worth £133 billion to the UK economy – a 16% year-on-year rise that was due in part to a 47% jump in the number of transactions carried out via smartphone.

With experts predicting ecommerce sales will jump by another 14% this year, failure to make the most of your online and mobile sales channels soon could see you missing out on a hefty slice of potential profit. With that in mind, we asked Jigsaw24’s ecommerce manager, Craig, to share some of his top tips.

Optimise your website for mobile use

“Last December saw a 47% year-on-year increase in the number of people doing their Christmas shopping on their smartphone, so having a responsive website that can recognise when a user is on their phone and present them with a mobile-friendly view is important. Nobody wants to have to click on extra links to be taken to the right version of the site, or be prompted to click out of their browser to download your app, which won’t have their browsing history in. Similarly, you need to make sure that any email comms you send out are optimised for mobile viewing in order to ensure maximum engagement.”

A/B test your checkout pages

“People are quick to A/B test subject lines, landing pages and content on their outbound comms, but often overlook their checkout pages. If you’re seeing a lot of dropped baskets (ie customers who start the purchasing process, but leave your site without confirming a purchase), try A/B testing the pages they encounter along the way to see which one is tripping people up.”

Get your logistics team on board

“The key to getting good word of mouth online, as in life, is to consistently deliver what you’ve promised. Yes, it feels good to write ‘free next day delivery’ in large letters on your checkout page, but if you can’t actually do it, all you’re going to do is disappoint people and lose repeat custom. Before launching a new offer or pushing a particular capability, put your heads together with your logistics crew and work out what’s feasible. By a similar token, you’ll need to brief your salespeople when you launch online or social-only offers, so that they don’t muddy the water or offer conflicting pricing.”

Know when to automate and when to personalise

“People are talking a lot about personalisation at the moment because, as we’ve previously reported, it can lead to increases in sales of up to 31%. Emails, welcome screens and offers that are directed at a single user can all increase engagement and promote brand loyalty, but while creating that content is worthwhile, it does take a little longer than producing your standard issue content.

“Happily, though, not everything has to be personalised, and you can automate or pre-schedule run rate tasks to save time. One area where this can be particularly effective is in social media. Obviously you need to have a real person keeping an eye on your accounts to respond to queries, follow up complaints and jump in with reactive marketing where appropriate, but a good scheduling tool will let you pre-plan updates ahead of time and automate their delivery and cross-channel sharing. Try scheduling posts for similar audiences at a range of times and measuring the response you get, so you can gauge when in the day it’s best to target those customers.”

 Use the right tools for the job

“The market leader in ecommerce analytics monitoring is obviously Google Analytics, and I recommend anyone looking at their ecommerce performance use it. However, in order to check that your traffic is being monitored correctly, it’s always best to take a look at your site through a second system, too – we like Clicky for this.

“If you want an at a glance overview of how different page elements are performing, heat maps are always good (and go down well in meetings, where no one wants to look at graphs). Hotjar and Crazy Egg are both popular here. I also like Screaming Frog for content audits.”

Not sure what you’re measuring?

If you want to see whether ecommerce platforms are helping your business grow, the KPI you want to be measuring is your cost per customer acquisition (CAC, for all you acronym collectors). This is the total spend on these channels over time, divided by the number of new customers you gain over the same period – ad spend divided by customers is a common shortcut to get to this number, but to get a truly accurate picture you need to factor in time, effort and internal systems costs as well.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that this is a distinct measurement from cost per action (ie how much you have to spend to close a deal), which is your total spend on ecommerce over time divided by the total number of transactions in that period from new and returning customers.

Where does Matrix come into this?

A valid question, given that it’s not a social media engine, or an analytics tool or any of the other things Craig mentioned. What it is, however, is a great way to speed up your core marketing activities so that you’re free to pay closer attention to new channels. As well as speeding up catalogue production for customers like Next, Boden, Christie’s Auction House and Bauer, MatrixCMS also allows you to automate the updating and management of your ecommerce platform, and can even be used to customise channels for different market segments, distributors and suppliers.

You can use it to convert print-ready images and assets into web-ready ones, and to enter data once and use it across all channels in a consistent and efficient way. This will not only enable you to get your products to market faster, but also improve the efficiency of your processes and ultimately reduce costs or increase capacity.

To find out more about MatrixCMS at an online demo, pop your details in the form here.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 1850 or email info@matrixcms.com. To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Free event: Hear how social media is helping grow brands at #GrowSocial

Free event: Hear how social media is helping grow brands at #GrowSocial

Over the past ten years or so since the huge rise of Facebook, it seems that every week there’s a new social media platform springing up. Ostensibly designed as new ways to keep people in touch, it isn’t long before clever companies twig on to the value of these platforms as tools to promote themselves and help grow their brand.

Facebook and Twitter have offered businesses sponsored content options for a while, and the Facebook-owned Instagram also started allowing paid advertising in the UK in September 2014. These options let businesses push their post more prominently into users’ timelines, regardless of whether the user is a ‘friend’, ‘follower’ or ‘likes’ the business’s page, allowing them to target new customers and demographics.

While these are great for promoting your business and any special offers you’re currently running, and can be really effective, some brands are taking their social campaigns a bit further than a ‘2 for 1′ or ‘10% off’ code, leveraging social media in more innovative ways to engage potential customers more personally, create a buzz around products and increase the impact of PR stunts.

Innovative brand social campaigns

One brand that’s really made an impact recently is Cadbury, specifically with their Creme Egg. After a recent recipe change to the product, statistics showed there was a £6million slump in sales of their ovoid confection. So in January 2016, Cadbury decided to try to reengage customers and reverse the product’s fortunes by opening a pop-up Creme de la Creme Egg Cafe, on Greek Street in Soho, selling nothing but calorific Creme Egg-based treats (toatsties, tray bakes etc). To promote the pop-up, they took to social media, using Facebook to take reservations for their limited-opening cafe, with a snappy hashtag #CremeEggCafe used across Twitter and an Instagram-friendly aesthetic all creating a sweet, joined-up social campaign.

Iconic fashion house Burberry also turned heads in 2015 with an inspired campaign on Snapchat. Using the picture and video sharing service, they leaked their entire spring and summer line a day before the London Fashion Week launch, with the hashtag #LFW, which gave Snapchat users a look at the range before anyone else (Snapchat messages automatically erase after ten seconds, really adding to that sense of exclusivity).

The winner of the Webby Award 2015 for Social Media Campaigns also leveraged Snapchat. The Worldwide Fund for Nature wanted to raise awareness and increase donations to protect endangered animals, and used the platform and the popularity of the ‘selfie’ picture to create an innovative social campaign – #LastSelfie. They explained: “Creative utilisation of the emerging Snapchat mobile social platform, using native “timed message” functionality to highlight that time is running out for endangered species, while engaging millennials with the selfies phenomenon was the key to our campaign.”

Free #GrowSocial event in Soho

These are just a few examples of companies using social media to grow their brand and reach audiences, but we’re always seeing new campaigns on new platforms that continue to innovate and engage. So for our next Digital Creatives event, #GrowSocial (let’s get it trending…), we’re going to be focusing on using digital media to grow brands, with a whole host of VIP speakers talking about how they’re using social media, mobile marketing and apps to get their branding across to new audiences. To sign up, fill in the form on our events page.

When: Thursday 28th April 2016, 6pm till late
Where: 8 Golden Square, Soho W1F 9HY
Why: Hear how marketing/advertising is evolving, using digital tools to grow brands.

On the day, we’ll be hearing from Adam Stamper, founder and CEO of social curation platform Hashtag’d, about some of the successful social campaigns they’ve been running with agencies. He said: “At Hashtag’d we’ve worked with agencies big and small who are putting social to work, sourcing fresh content from their audiences and fostering true engagement that spans both the web and the real world. Social media has been both hero and villain to marketers over the last few years; we’re looking forward to talking a bit more about what we’ve seen work and some of the best brands are winning with social as part of multi-platform, multi-touchpoint marketing campaigns.”

 

 

Want to find out more about our upcoming events? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email events@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Great tech ideas: NewTek TriCaster for houses of worship

Great tech ideas: NewTek TriCaster for houses of worship

If you’re a multi-site or community-focused place of worship, TriCaster offers some exciting new opportunities for you to connect with your congregation. From setting up live streams of services online so that anyone not able to attend in person can still take part to creating videos showcasing successful community events or charity initiatives and sharing them via social media, TriCaster makes it easier for you to reach more people at one time, or for members of your audience to rewatch your content whenever they need it. Here are a few reasons why we think it’s great for houses of worship (or any other venue, to be honest). 

Here’s how it works (diagram courtesy of NewTek):

As you can see, the big benefit of TriCaster is that it’s incredibly simple and lets you work quickly: you literally select a feed from a camera of computer screen, preview it, select it to be broadcast and TriCaster can instantly send it to any displays or projectors in your building or live stream it to the web so anyone who can’t attend can still watch, and record everything at the same time.

This workflow is easy to learn  and the whole shebang can be managed by one operator, so you don’t need a large creative team to deliver content, and it doesn’t matter if new volunteers need to pick up basics quickly! If you do want to make sure someone is your organisation is a TriCasting expert, we have the UK’s only NewTek Certified Operator on staff and can set you up with training. It’ll also work with most cameras and displays, so if you already have AV equipment at your site, you’ll probably be able to plug TriCaster in and go! (It’s always best to check in with our team first, though).

If you’re already a TriCaster aficionado, it’s worth bearing in mind that NewTek have a trade in programme that makes it cheaper then you’d think to upgrade to a larger kit for better coverage, or make the move from SD to HD so that your viewers get the best possible image quality (and you look more professional as a result). If you’d rather lease your kit then buy it, get in touch for details of our exclusive three year 0% finance lease hire offer.

See our recommended NewTek TriCaster and JVC camcorder setups.

Want to know more about how TriCaster could help your reach new audiences? Give us a call on 03332 409 332 or email TriCaster@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.