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.

 

Infographic: The power of producing video content

Infographic: The power of producing video content

Not quite sure that video content is right for you? This infographic might just change your mind, exploring just how valuable in-house video production is in expanding your brand. Speed up your production time, lower your costs, be more flexible and take out the middle man by taking video in-house.

video_prod_infographic

We’re holding a free event all about the benefits of taking video production in-house on Wednesday 6th July in Soho. If it sounds like something you’d like to attend, get in touch with the events team on events@Jigsaw24.com, call 03332 409 284 or pop your details in the form below to register your interest and we’ll keep you updated.

For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Inspiring students with iPad at Weston College

Inspiring students with iPad at Weston College

The music department at Weston College decided to help students improve their performance skills by creating a custom app that would allow them to take part in guitar, drum and bass lessons over the web or on an iPad. After we set them up with Sony Z5 cameras and several iPad 2 devices, they were able to put together a professional-looking app, and roll it out not only at the college, but to several secondary schools in the area.

Creating condensed lessons

After being hit by a combination of growing student numbers and budget cuts, Weston College’s music faculty were beginning to feel the strain. “As a manager of a very busy and a very successful music course, I was confronted with, how would I teach one hundred plus students the guitar, for example, with a limited budget and limited hours?” explained Curriculum Manager Paul Raymond.

Aware that they were dealing with a generation of “digital natives” who were as likely to have learned an instrument by watching YouTube tutorials as by having traditional lessons, Paul and the rest of the music faculty decided to put together a series of condensed video lessons that students could view online. “Every one of our students uses the internet, uses YouTube as a resource to learn, whether they’re recording, practising or learning new tunes. That’s opened up a massive opportunity to us,” said music lecturer and bass tutor Richie Blake.

The college quickly realised that the video lessons would be useful outside the classroom too, and decided that rather than simply making them available on the school network, they’d place them on YouTube and, for maximum portability, create an app called iTutorus which would be available to students via iPad and iPhone. “I think using the iPad is particularly appropriate because it’s what students want to use. They naturally interact with technology; they’re digital natives and that’s how their minds work,” Paul explained.

Developing the app

The app was initially developed by Richard King, one of Weston’s Audio Technicians, who’d previously done some development work for the iPhone. “Developing for the iPad is a challenge,” he told us. “Apple put a lot of restrictions on their developers, but that’s just to make the user experience better, so even though you have the challenge of developing around them, at the end you get something with an intuitive user interface and experience.”

Making the app as intuitive as possible was a key goal for Richard, along with making it “really fun to use” and ensuring that “students were able to access the content without the actual app getting in the way.”

Reactions from staff and students so far have been overwhelmingly positive. “My favourite thing is the way you can split the screen between the actual camera shot and the PDF, which you
can scroll down at your own pace,” said guitar tutor Cliff Moore. “You can think, ‘I’ll pause that and learn that piece of music there,’ and then carry on with the lesson, and it’s just a beautiful, progressive move all the time.”

Sourcing content from students

To create content for the app, Weston turned to students from its Media Studies and Art & Design courses. Three musically inclined graphic design students were recruited to put together PDFs to
run alongside the lessons, and a series of posters to promote iTutorus. As well as brushing up on their music theory, working on the iTutorus project has given students the opportunity to work with clients and to a brief – a key part of their FdA course. “It’s just good to get to work with clients, especially when you’re working in an area you love,” explained Nick Reardon, one of the trio of designers. “It’s been really good to get experience at industry level.”

Corry Raymond, a media student who was commissioned to create intros for the guitar, bass and drum videos, was a big fan of the college’s Sony Z5 cameras. The camera’s manual ring controls made filming “a lot more organic. I could move at my own pace, setting how many seconds I wanted [the focus to take] to go from here. I love depth of field, I love focus pulls, I love all of that stuff. So to be able to do all that with my hand is amazing.”

Next came the task of actually putting the videos together. Media lecturer Richard Edkins was already working on another cross-discipline project, in which media students filmed live music lessons so that the musicians could review their own performances. Armed with the college’s Z5s, he and the students set about making 30 short videos on drum, bass and guitar techniques, then edited them together in Final Cut Pro. “It’s been an excellent opportunity for both departments to work together,” he said. “Working on live projects like this really sharpens students’ camera technique. They’ve got

to work to a deadline and under pressure, as [the footage] needs to be broadcast quality, so I think it really ups their game.”

Rolling the project out to feeder schools

After seeing how much students at Weston responded to iTutorus, Paul and his team decided to roll out the app to five local feeder schools. “Everyone was very positive,” said Paul. “I showed [the Heads of Music] what we’d pre-prepared and they all loved it and thought it was a fantastic opportunity.”

Weston secured funding to provide each feeder school with iPad devices of their own, then got back in touch with Jigsaw24. “We’ve been working directly with Brett at Jigsaw24, and he’s been constantly solid, dependable and positive,” said Paul. “Whenever we’ve had any equipment needs, he’s always been there to advise us, he always gets us the best price and whenever there have been any problems he’s been very quick to respond.”

“The post sales support is definitely the best of any of our suppliers,” agreed Richard King. “Jigsaw24 always deal with any problems we have on the same day.”

Independent learning at Priory School

Clive Day, the Head of Creative Arts at Priory School, has been an avid supporter of the iTutorus project. “I use it right across the board, from year 7s to year 11s,” he explained. “The response has been very positive, especially from the younger students, who see it as a really big privilege to be able to work on their own and take their time with it. It’s a big thing for me, the fact that they can go back again and watch lessons several times.”

Students who wouldn’t have picked up an instrument before are finding iTutorus really accessible. “This is providing students with lessons they just would not have come across without this technology,” said Cliff. “It’s evolved to the point where students are coming back after school and at break times and asking to borrow the iPads, so they can carry on learning independently.”

Looking forward…

“Once this is established, we’d like to see it in other subject areas, not just the creative industries,” said Sarah Clark, the Head of the Creative Arts Faculty at Weston. “We’ve thought about maths and languages, but we can’t think of an area of the curriculum that wouldn’t benefit from this technology.”

Richie Blake is keen to involve more feeder schools in the project. “If we can start running this in feeder schools and further afield, it all comes back to raising standards. Further down the line, any tutor will get a student with a solid foundation in good technique, good theory, and we can start them at college running rather than walking, so they can realise their potential in as short a time as possible.” Part of this plan involves creating The Green Room, an online community where students can upload performances they’ve recorded on the iPad, and receive peer feedback before assessments.

For more information about Apple iPad in education, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com.