One of the concepts behind building a strong brand is that, when brands and consumers come together, something “cool” happens: they create a powerful experience where both of their needs are met. Strong brands give their customers what they need to feel special, to feel cool, better, smarter, faster, etc. And in return, customers develop love and loyalty (and advocacy!) for the brand, and share and spread that good feeling.
Source: 60 Minute Brand Strategist
So. You want your audience to think of you as “cool”. That means that you have to give them something in return that makes them feel “cool”. How do you do that?
Of course, a lot goes into creating a powerful brand. But one of the great ways to get there is to use video. It’s considered more engaging than any other content medium. It offers a much more “real” experience, which is great because your brand is essentially the experience of who you are as a company.
Can you up the “cool” factor even more, and intensify the experience of video to heighten the impact of your own brand? Yes. Live streaming is a perfect way to create a great experience, and pull your audience right into your story and your brand.
How do you do that, you ask? Here are just a few of the many ways that you can use live streaming to help your audience connect with your brand.
Company announcements and messages
This might be one of the first ways you would think to use video live streaming in your company. That may be because it’s an ultra effective way to use the technology. If you have an announcement that you want to share externally, like product launches or organization changes or acquisitions, or even charity work and donations (and so much more!), it doesn’t have to be shared solely through press releases or updates on your website or social media.
You can actually let your audience hear (and see!) the message for themselves, straight from the people it’s coming from. Live streaming this kind of content helps your audience feel like you care about them enough to speak to them directly, and pulls them into the excitement of the moment, so they’re living through this momentous occasion with you.
Real life culture videos
When you think of culture videos, you might think of your annual holiday video that you release to your customers and post on your blog (this is one of ours, from Halloween 2015). Those kinds of video definitely help create a sense of who you are as a company, and build that fun-loving and vibrant face (or brand) that people relate to. But culture videos don’t always have to be so one-sided, where you storyboard a concept, film it, edit it, release it and go about your daily work as your audience ingests your newest video from your website.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to ditch these videos—they’re perfect brand-building fodder! But you can try bringing in some live streamed content into the mix. Like what, you ask? Well, like anything! (I know, so helpful, right?) Give your audience a taste of what life is like in your organization, and in your office.
At Vidyard, we run frequent foosball challenges. Imagine bringing our audience right into the action, like they’re watching from the sidelines. Wouldn’t that be a great way to build excitement? We will also be moving our office to a new space sometime in the next few months. Sharing a live walk-through of the space as it’s being built, or giving a live unveiling of the new, polished space, are also alternatives to creating some brand excitement—our customers can feel excited about what we’re accomplishing, and what’s in store in the future…after all, our future is a part of their own! So what’s life like at your organization? Share your story as it happens!
Event sessions and webinars
One of the most important things to understand about brand strategy and creation is that a brand is not just a ‘top-of-funnel’ technique. It isn’t just the warm fuzzy feeling you try to create temporarily in an advertisement or campaign. It is the expression of who and what you are. It is the lasting experience—at every single touchpoint between audience and organization—of what you stand for.
No brand is just warm fuzzies. Every company stands for more than that. In our case, we give our audiences the insights they need to be better, stronger marketers and salespeople.
One of the best ways to show your audience what you stand for? Running (or speaking at) events. Events are one of your opportunities to be a thought leader, and to give vital, valuable knowledge to your audience to help them reach their own goals. So why not share some sessions through live streaming? (No one said you couldn’t gate it, after all.) Your audience will feel included, and likely grateful to learn from you even if they couldn’t swing the cost of the ticket. They’ll get the warm fuzzies, and also see you as the thought leader that you are, only increasing the value of your brand and their desire to become an advocate.
Psst…this same idea works for webinars too. Gate them if you like so you can collect leads, and let your audience ask you questions that you can respond to in the moment, helping them feel even more connected with you.
Why stop the fun when the event sessions stop? Live streamed video doesn’t have to be some big production, with cameras and tripods and lighting and fancy equipment. Take it mobile and have some fun that doesn’t feel overly curated by live streaming a party that your company is supporting at an event.
Parties and celebrations unite people, which is exactly what a brand does—it unites your company and your customers. So use parties to your advantage. Just think, there’s a reason we watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Your audience wants to be a part of the experience, so show them how awesome the experience is, and they’re likely to join you this time around or next time!
Customer talk shows
Did you read that and think, “Huh?” Let me explain what I mean. Your company likely (I hope!) has a role or team dedicated to helping onboard new customers and keep current customers happy. So you have people in your organization who are solely dedicated to creating and maintaining a positive experience for your customers (you could even call them brand ambassadors!).
What if these team members offered live streamed video to share news and updates with your customer base? Wouldn’t that be exciting? While things like customer newsletters are a great snapshot of what’s happening with your product and company, a customer “talk show” could be a perfect way to strengthen that personal connection with your brand. One of our own Customer Success Managers at Vidyard did this with his own customer contacts, inviting them to a streamed video event where he brought on other Vidyardians to talk about products and strategies, answer questions, and more. Talk about creating a positive experience! And what does a positive experience lead to? Happy customers, more customers, and more and bigger sales. Sound awesome? That’s what I thought.
Training and How-To’s
If you want to figure out a problem with your device or learn how you should use a product or service, do you watch a how-to video? Maybe on YouTube or a company website? What if you could engage with the company in a real way? Feel like they’re listening to you, understand your problems or concerns? What if you could see a real face, hear a real voice, of someone in the company who really gets what you need and how you can get the most out of the product? That’s what live streamed training could offer.
Instead of solely offering your audience or customers knowledge base documentation or a YouTube page, why not offer them a personal experience, something they can connect to? You can share with your audience that you’re offering a live stream at a certain time, and even give them the chance to ask their own questions. You can check what your audience has the most questions about, and focus on that material.
You could even live stream someone learning your product. How cool would it be to watch someone in real time learn a new tool or software? A video like that might help your audience see how easily or quickly they can learn. In a real moment, you can express directly to your audience the benefit of your product while offering them a friendly and relatable face of your organization.
Live streamed video helps your brand come to life
Now that you have a few ideas to consider for your next live streaming video, what will you try? If you want to know even more about live streaming and Vidyard’s take on it, check out this blog post by our very own Director of Product Marketing.
Remember, through video (and live streaming), you have the power to show people more than just the final product of what your company does. You can show them who you are, inspire them, and relate to them. You can help them become better, and reach their own goals. How “cool” would that be?
Emily was previously the Brand and Creative Manager at Vidyard. Today, she’s a UI writer at Intel. Emily loves creating interesting and unique content oh, and food…if you haven’t already noticed, she loves food.