B.L. Ochman, President of Whatsnextonline.com, joins Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media and President-Elect of PRSA-NY, to talk about how live stream is transforming the communications industry and how D S Simon Media is contributing to the ever-changing world of marketing with Social Media LIVE™.
DOUG: Hi I’m Doug Simon from D S Simon Media and I’m here with B. L. Ochman she’s from What’s Next Online, among other things, a real expert in helping organizations with their social media campaigns. Thanks so much for joining us. So one of the things I’d love to start off talking about is the growing power of live video streaming and how large organizations and small organizations are increasingly using that as part of their marketing communications.
BL OCHMAN: Well I think the reason for this growth is the fact that there are so many touch points for our attention now and video is easy for people to in-take. And organizations have a lot of problems, in my experience, with the technical side of things and particularly with the ability to broadcast in other channels beside them when they record on which is why I’m excited about your new opportunity.
DOUG: Yeah and that’s how we connected when you caught wind of our new Social Media LIVE ™ service just as a quick backgrounder. What’s interesting about it is we are doing a lot of Facebook Live Events for clients and I’ve sort of frustrated that we were sort of limited to just the one channel as powerful and effective as it was, and started to think is there a way to do it more and you know now there is, just Social Media LIVE™ actually you can go broadcast quality but across 30 channels simultaneously whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube and of course YouTube’s can be embedded on multiple websites so it’s really a limitless way to multiply the power of a single event.
BL OCHMAN: Can you explain to me a little bit more about how it works?
DOUG: Sure, there really are three components of it. The first is, what’s the original production? So let’s say we’re doing a campaign in a couple weeks at the Auto Show here in New York. So are you capturing it with three cameras, is it one person talking, is that multiple people having a conversation? Is it someone off site via Skype like yourself who’s coming in who’s being brought into the conversation? First is let’s get the content together. Second is how do you transmit it, so it’s available to go to the Internet to be streamed on all these channels. And one of the things that was a catalyst for that is the improvement in transmission technology. For example at the auto show event we’re doing a year ago, we would have needed a satellite truck outside we would have needed to hire union electricians that belonged to Javitz to run the cable from there to the location. So, it’s a very expensive process. Now there are smaller devices like the size of a suitcase that can be used to actually transmit wirelessly. We’re using this for a travel campaign, so we can go inside hotel eliminating the need for the satellite truck which is dramatically reducing that transmission piece to get the content either to satellite for a broadcast or to the Internet. So then you can distribute. The third part is then getting that signal transmitted to these multiple sites. And it’s actually fairly easy. You don’t have to give up the authority and control of your own social channels to allow to do that. Basically, it’s providing a link to us that we know takes about five minutes to walk the person through them once we have that link. What we do is send that link to the site. It can be sent to multiple channels.
BL OCHMAN: So in other words, what I hear you saying is that the technology has caught up to the need. And you know a couple of years ago, a couple of months ago, that was not possible and it was really a big deal. So this is really a breakthrough. I’m excited.
DOUG: Thank you. Yeah we’re really excited about it because there’s so many things that people are doing whether you’re at a trade show, a meeting for internal communications, that you’ve wanted to get out and get that signal distributed. And sure there are some-and this time I remembered my first proper actually, now my director did make me put my phone away, but if I were holding it up, you can take your phone up there and shoot and grab some. And that works, like “hey we’re behind the scenes at this event and here’s a look” that’s perfect for that. But if you’re say trying to leverage the influence or network that so many communications have built up on behalf of their client and actually communicate across all of their channels and get them engaged in quality programming, you couldn’t do that. Now you can.
BL OCHMAN: I have a couple of questions, given that for example, you need to broadcast horizontally on Instagram and you know that there are different needs for different channels. How does your software handle that?
DOUG: Sure. And thank you, for bringing up the one area that’s not fully developed yet. Instagram does use a different protocol for its video for the moment. That’s different from many of the other systems, so for Instagram you have to go through a phone currently the way to actually cheat ,if you will, do an Instagram, and I don’t say a cheat is something illegal just sort of a creative workaround, would be you would set up a video monitor and speakers in a quiet space of your event and put a camera on a tripod feeding your Instagram channel showing the screen of the program. Currently that’s the way you’d have to bring Instagram into the picture. But I would say give it three to six months. That could be changing dynamically. What’s fascinating to me is Facebook Live started less than two years ago. We’re coming up on the two year anniversary, in that short time. There is now three times the amount of video consumed on Facebook Live versus recorded video, when it didn’t even exist two years ago.
BL OCHMAN: Right. Which is really a remarkable turn of events and I think it has a lot to do with why companies are investigating live streaming because they need to know how to take advantage of the technology. But the other question I have, is in many of the forums you can have comments as you broadcast. So, if you’re simultaneously on several how do you handle that?
DOUG: Sure. So ideally because the channels you’re on, it’s not a surprise to the people that were on those channels. They’re actually engaged, so we would encourage them to be monitoring their own site for channels. If you’re looking at an event where you want to get audience participation questions, those can be submitted using a hashtag is very common way to accomplish that. So all of the comments and questions that are being asked can then be brought to the attention of the moderator or the people who are participating. There’s also opportunity to follow up after the fact with specific responses. But to your point, what’s so great about it. Instead of limiting engagement to one channel you’re now creating engagement across 20 channels and each of the organizations that have a vested interest in those audiences consuming content on their channels, can be engaging with them. So that’s really exciting, and those questions can then be fed and centrally. There are couple of different ways to do it. And I appreciate you really digging into the weeds. One is you can use the hash tag like I say. The other is you can have the channel Managers feeding in, even e-mail is simply the questions that they’ve got that are good that can then be fed to the monitor through the system and they can say oh great we have a question from X Y Z who is watching on this stream.
BL OCHMAN: Exactly that’s what I was wondering about. Well there was a point at which hangouts had live interaction and then Google took that away. So, you know being able to do that on other channels is in my opinion important. And you know I look forward to trying this. And we do our own social media show on YouTube and then upload the audio to various iTunes and so on. And we’re on the ALexa now. You can say on “Alexa play on social media show” which I find hilarious and I’ll do that. But you know we would love to be able to broadcast that same time on Facebook and on Twitter. So you know I’m excited about this. I’m looking forward to trying it for my show and I’m for clients.
DOUG: Sure. And you know perhaps if you want to engage me as part of the show maybe this way we can figure out to do some multi streaming with the program that we’re doing. Thank you so much for your time and great questions. Awesome information congrats on your success and you know hope everything goes smoothly for you. Thank you.