D S Simon Media at the West Digital Client Summit
How can brands and non-profits make the best use of live social video to grow their organizations? Douglas Simon, CEO, D S Simon Media presented survey findings on live video streaming and spoke with Ben Chodor, President of Digital Media Solutions, West Corporation. The two of them demonstrated live multi-channel video streaming for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
HOST: So let’s get started up again. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty full now so I either need a nap or something really interesting. So we’ll go with the latter. Up next for us is a session featuring Doug Simon who is the CEO of D S Simon Media. He’s here to talk about social streaming, something we’re doing today at our Summit and something that we’re all really passionate about here at West Digital Media Solutions. Content strategy for Social how that differs between different platforms and the power of creating your own social video channel. Doug welcome, over to you.
DOUG: Thanks so much for coming here today and I know there’s been some great information so far, what I want to try and do is connect the dots on how you can use these tools to earn media. Get coverage for your organization and make the best use of all these different tools. I know you’re into data. So I’ve got a bunch of different stats. What’s interesting is the power of live streaming and how it’s growing. Brand Live Stream did a study, more than 80 percent of consumers said they would prefer to watch a live video than read a social post or a blog. What’s also changing is 67 percent said the quality of the video was a key reason for them to choose to watch something. So that’s actually good for myself- what West is doing with a high-quality production that fits what you’re trying to accomplish. We have our own surveys couple of one on brand authenticity and another specific to social media video. So, when we get to brand authenticity first look journalists are getting their stories. So are you using your social channels to get coverage? Do they have a journalistic voice or is it marketing fluff? You’ve got to be strategic about the content that you’re creating. Video-huge opportunity, clearly a theme of this whole show and also the idea of bringing live. 83 percent of journalists will use your video content as you produce it. So it’s a huge opportunity for message control. A couple of other fun ones are you getting your CEO out there? 83 percent of journalists say an accessible CEO makes you more authentic. Anyone in the audience? I know it’s good to exercise a little after lunch. Show of hands-want your CEO leadership or brand to be more authentic? Anyone want that? Got a couple. I don’t have to reverse it and say keep your hands down if you want to be more authentic. But it’s something we’re all trying to accomplish. Live video is a key way to make that happen. Quick overview on video for journalists the different formats that they’re taking it, interviews, news packages, cut content, live events, they will watch-you can get them to watch your live events and take that content and then use it on their different channels. So we’re also going to take a dive into what’s the kind of content you can create to make it resonate with them and how you can be effective. So communicators, were doing an OK job, 57 percent of us already are providing live video to social sites. Interestingly they’re starting to get their CEO out there using this format. Numbers are only going to increase next year more than 80 percent- whether you’re an agency whether you’re in-house come over 80 percent or increasing live social video next year. 57 percent increasing the CEO video they’re getting out live, and you guys can hear me OK still? It’s all working? Great. So the data rush will be over soon. We’ll get into some content thing, but I’ve got this one more. We asked communicators what are the most popular platforms that they’re using when they’re sending out programs on live video streaming as you can see Facebook at the top of that, Twitter was surprisingly low to me. LinkedIn is coming back specially for the B2B audience. So a couple of choices, and it gets to the production quality. Are you going to go with your phone or are you going to do broadcast quality content? The phone can work for some applications, behind the scenes, if you already have a huge social following. The downside-you tend to be limited to one social platform when you go phone, audio can be a challenge if you’re in a loud area, you need some special additional equipment as the mic because the mic can be far away from the scene you’re trying to shoot. Most positive thing, easy to be on location and it’s low cost. So broadcast qualities you’re seeing here. This is a three-camera shoot. They’re streaming it live it looks professional they’ll be able to take pieces from this share later, they could send out my portion I’ll put it out on my channels all the other speakers can get their portions. It can get segmented and distributed. So it’s a very positive piece, has a lot more flexibility and use to it if you want content that journalists will use you tend to need to make the broadcast quality step up. If they’re going to be putting on and that doesn’t just include television that includes online journalists as well. They need a reasonable level of audio and video quality to want to post your link. And as we said before, a bunch of them are willing and interested to do it. You can go studio or on location with that. A couple of tips if you want to do it yourself. Three pieces of equipment not necessarily expensive. The dude from Brooklyn can be fairly costly, but if you want to go out of a camera, all you need to buy is this black magic mini converter, cost about 125 dollars you can plug your output in and it allow you to convert it to go into a laptop for potentially streaming it to a website. We use the OBS Studio. This is the one a I mentioned, my producer Mike O’Donnell who was very willingly let me refer to as “Dude from Brooklyn”, he does live there for authenticity. He knows the back-end to put stuff together. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics of the different channels and feel free to question me, interrupt me etcs. It’s all it’s all good, I want to hear if you’ve got questions or if I’m not being clear. So you know, for brand awareness-Facebook if you’ve got a strong following, generating leads, increasing interactions with followers, and it’s versatile as the sites to work with. They’re really encouraging it, they make it easier to do broadcast quality, to go to Facebook channels. There’s also a lot of influencers that you can partner with that have strong Facebook following. Simply by following them and having them involved in the content, you’re bringing your content to a larger audience. Just what was being discussed in that last segment that was so powerful. Lot of benefits to Facebook. Twitter-media themselves are using it for major events, and you can use it yourself to piggyback on a major event. Think episodic and this can also be cross platform. If you want to build followers, maybe it’s twice a month or a weekly show but you’ll have an appointment show at a specific time on a social channel, that you can create a following for with information that’s relevant. So, it is a regular piece it’s something that can grow. You’re not necessarily going to do the first show, and without major promotion or major celebrity or major brand follow and expect to get huge numbers of results immediately-though they can be very well targeted. So think of building an audience as you go along and have a strategy to do that. Work with influencers, again as we mentioned. Twitter is also very effective to promote live events that you might be holding on other channels, because again you can access different followers of multiple people who can share info about the upcoming event driving them towards the link where folks can watch it. YouTube easiest to embed, so you can get the highest quality video and place it within your website within your press room, multiple locations that can be shared. Also, they make it easy if you want to go live on LinkedIn as we’ll note they take the YouTube URL on the LinkedIn channel and that’s a way to get out on LinkedIn with high quality video. So, for LinkedIn you need that YouTube account. If you’re going to go live. The other way LinkedIn can be used is put a link to wherever the live show is happening on your LinkedIn and you can write an article about the subject you’re talking about to your followers will see it and then when they get there they can click to where they can watch and be involved in the live programming. So that can make a big difference to encouragement. So, I know I’m throwing a lot your way now. Instagram-they don’t allow broadcast connectivity. One of the folks I work with said his son figured out a way to hack into Instagram, but if they did it they’d probably just shut down the site. So it’s not worthwhile. Your story will last 24 hours. You can later load one-minute clips or post that video from your camera roll to other social channels to get it out there. So, one of the big things that we’re excited about is why be limited to just one channel? We’re going to have a demo here. I’m going to bring Ben out and we’ll have a quick discussion and show how easily can be seen on multiple channels at the same time which hopefully will be pretty fun. This was an event for Lincoln where they were revealing the prototype of their new car. They wanted to send it to their entire internal audience, to be able to watch live from the New York Auto Show and changes in technology have made that much simpler instead of a satellite truck we brought a backpack to the location and were able to get the signal out-without having to spend, you know, fifteen thousand dollars for the Javits Center internet or similar crazy costs, have electricians run the wiring and connect and have the crews there couple days in advance. Thought I’d let you see a couple of case studies-how brands are using it. Typically, it’s for thought leadership, so I’ve got four different examples. In a couple of them you’ll how influencers are partnering with-but let’s take a look and listen and then we can get some of your feedback on that.
DOUG: So some questions when you’re thinking about interview, we saw a couple with influencers the country music artist, Maggie Rose, partnered on the first one. You saw broadcast from the studios discussed during the IR discussion pre-produced content, there was a music video that was created. We were able to roll that into the live program. Of course, there can be audience interaction, you can be in a remote location for excitement. Some of the channels there that went through, you can actually create a mix of earned and paid for channels in addition to your own. And that will be something that you want to tie into your promotion as well for that. We saw the demonstrations are a popular topic for it. You guys have any questions about those? Should I try to be less thorough to stimulate questions? No? Interest? I see you’re paying attention, so I appreciate that! So you have to think of your live event as a television show because that’s what it is. It’s being watched in a different format. So is it a scripted show. Is it natural? Do you need to rehearse? What’s the opening? When we talk about talk shows there are a couple of elements of talk shows and that make it easier. One of them is your guests. What else is another part of a talk show? Almost every talk show has it. You’ve got guests and the host. Yeah. There you go. So who’s the host for this broadcast? And even if it’s a live event that’s something that has to be thought of. When LEGOLAND was doing that opening fun event-how was the audience that was just tuning in online cannot understand what was going on? So, we had a representative from there give about a 30 second intro about what they were doing what was happening and get ready to take a look, so the online audience was up to speed. Now your audience can also be journalists, it can be influencers, it can be prospects, it can be partners, and they can also be the participants which is really cool. So, what’s the format of your show and how are you planning it? We tend to find the sweet spot is like the 25 minute or so, you don’t want to go much longer than that, but there is data from Facebook. Viewers go much longer on live content than pre-recorded content they say three times the engagement. Also remember a live content isn’t just live content. It ends up as pre-recorded content after the fact, if you’re being strategic about it. Another question that comes up who’s within the show? Is it an event, is something fun going on, is it just two people having a conversation? Do you want to invite people to join say via Skype? How are you going to take questions to get the audience involved? And journalist is a key audience for a live broadcast. Do any of you tend to schedule press conferences, where you invite journalists to come and if you are doing fewer of those than you used to… maybe see a show of hands. You guys are doing more? This is a superstar audience. I just have to put this out there. But the reality is it’s tougher to count on journalists to get up show up and be someplace. We had an event that we were doing for a major client in the food industry. They were announcing a whole new approach to how animals were going to be treated on the farms that they were working with for their product-was pretty major. We had talked with them about doing it digital to make it available to media. They just said well we’ll do the phone call we’ll invite journalists here it’s a big story. They did the event on a Monday which wouldn’t have been bad except the Friday before it was the Brexit vote. So how many business journalists do you think came to that event to cover it? So I think when you have announcements to make you want to be providing live video which can include the pre-produced elements content to journalists if you expect them to cover it, sitting at their desks or in some cases at their laptops, at home, in their home office, because journalists media they’re everywhere. So you’ve got to feed the content to them. Make it available if you want to get the major results. Let’s also take a look at how you’re distributing it which platforms we touched on which ones again what influencers are you partnering with. Can you use those platforms? Are there media outlets that would be interested in covering it? Also can you combine it with other production? Any time you have someone on your team that you want the world to know about are key audiences to know about and we are shooting the video with them. You’ve got to be thinking, who else would I want to see this video? Often we keep things to silos will do external communications pieces, media tours, we’re on the leader of a company and when we tell them you know “do you think the leaders should actually record a message to send as part of your internal newsletter and communications about what the heck they’re doing and what they’re saying” and the people they are like “Oh yeah great idea. But we’re not yet wired to be thinking synergistically a cross platform” so hopefully one of the top takeaways I want you to get from this is-we’ve got to be thinking synergistically both in terms of where it goes, and also in terms of what we’re recording when we’re getting content and who it goes to. Now we’ve got a chance to bring Ben up. I’m going to roll up my sleeves and this is very exciting. What’s interesting about these sites is we’re doing a live demonstration of how Social Media LIVE™ can work streaming to live multiple channels. So, if you want to check on your mobile device you can take a look at these and I’ll have a brief conversation with Ben because we’re going to be carrying this video on all of these sites right now.
Just as a quick demo.
You’ve had this passion and you know one of the things I think it’s so wonderful is how you bring your personal feeling and experience to what you do, I’d be remiss in saying I remember my first live streaming event was in 1984, two locations multi-camera stage, we charge the client sixty five thousand dollars. That’s called the good old days. But you know why do you believe that such an important way to proceed?
BEN: There used to be the whole concept was, you’re going to create content and you wanted to bring an audience to a location. Right. I want to go back to my website. I want to go to a destination, in today’s world it’s about syndicated content and going where your audience is. If you want to watch on Twitter, which I think is where most will get their news. That’s great if you want to watch on Facebook. That’s great. If you want to watch on YouTube, it’s great. If you want to watch in a gated community, if you want to watch on my website. Our job is to bring content, that’s sort of what you know West’s mission is, we want to deliver mission critical communications digital solutions, to where audience is. We don’t care. Everything is mission critical for our customers. It’s all about delivering it. If you don’t, if you think you’re going to do content and build it and they will come, you are so sadly mistaken those days are so gone.
DOUG: Yeah and it’s I’ve got a slide up here just a little bit to share how communicators are using video and this is sort of a little troubling to me that 86 percent of them are using it for social, great, wonderful, but 43 percent are using it to increase media coverage. So what that says is you’ve got the video, you’ve got this great content but you’re not even bothering to share it with the media. I know a core element of the overall company is getting communicators information to journalist people can cover it.
BEN: If you think YouTube is a social destination, and all your content should live on YouTube. You are even more sadly mistaken in thinking if you put content on your website that it’s the destination right. YouTube is a syndication point. It is not the syndication point, plus keep in mind every time you put something on YouTube, your contents here. All your competitors’ content is here. You’ve got to be smart with your content but what with your earned media ratings. How do I want my audience to see my top and earned media? You got to think about it, it’s not just when I say syndicated content- it’s not just throw it out there.
DOUG: Right. Yeah, also there are ways to make it interactive. One of the things that stopped a lot of people from getting out there- I’ll call it the Sarah Palin phenomenon because this was 10 years ago when she had her Katie Couric interview. And you know the mistake wasn’t Sarah, and I don’t know you ever get this from your boss “we want to be in the Wall Street Journal, we want to be on CNBC or we want to be on network news” and they’ve done nothing. And they expect to be able to go from zero to being ready. So one of the opportunities you have with live streaming and other media outreach is give them a chance to find their specific voice, find their comfort level, see what messages are resonating, and do it in smaller safer groups. My take on the Sarah Palin thing-putting politics in a box for a moment-I know that’s hard to do these days, is that they would have been much better off putting her on a local morning newscast, similar to a satellite tour as the start with the anchors would have been thrilled saying oh how are your kids doing and what impact is this having on your family? And she would have gotten a free ticket to make multiple points, gotten so much more comfortable, had so much more content to talk about, when she went to the big leagues. So, I got a quick audience test. And obviously the easy answer is “the map of the U.S.” but can you tell what this is a map of? Ben, if you want to throw some ideas?
BEN: Red states vs. non-red states?
DOUG: Red states vs non-red states is a not bad guess. Anyone else want to throw something in? It’s actually how Trump became president. These are the Sinclair Broadcasting markets, across the country. Interestingly enough I happen to know the political reporter (that’s not the interesting part) but I to speak to him for Sinclair who’s at ABC in Washington D.C. not an ideologue from either side. And he was telling me that he was begging Hillary to let him interview her, because he said you know you need votes in these areas of the country. Her team refused. Trump on the other hand aggressively went after these markets with their message, so you know, if your leadership is questioning whether they should be doing that…I know there’s a question that came up earlier about you know “what if they don’t want to do it?” “How do you convince them?” clearly what your competitors are doing is a hugely compelling thing, but the idea of writing off any audience in general, for your organization is a mistake. You’ve got to be reaching them and live streaming video for journalists it’s a way for you to give specific types of content to specific audiences that you’re going to cater to, and as you develop this and grow this it becomes somewhat self-selecting. Because people aren’t going to sign up and watch stuff they have no interest in. Journalists aren’t going to report on things that aren’t in their bailiwick. Clearly from the earlier discussion you don’t offend them by just blasting stuff that’s completely unrelated to them. But if you do your homework and reach out properly to the influencers, to the right journalist, for the right types of stories they’ll be a pathway, and I think this is a key message that you’ve got to share with your leadership about. They’ve got to be getting their content to our audiences and it’s our job as communicators to figure out what’s the right content, what’s the message, what puts them in a good position, and let them play a little bit in the minor leagues before they want to hit the home runs and get on these major outlets because guess what they might not be ready. And you know every once in a while you will get an example where you’ve got a leader, that’s you know ready for show. And that’s good. So here are some of the takeaways. Go live. Engage your CEO. Get that person involved. Use social video to earn media, reach out, let the media know what you’re doing, that’s appropriate that can follow. We did a campaign about truth on trial for the communications area. And Ty Cobb who was formerly President Trump’s White House counsel was on it shortly after he left. We ended up with the number one story on Politico for about eight hours. When he talked about McGahn recusing himself from the Russia investigation, that hadn’t been public news and it came out and the Politico reporter were like oh you want broadcast video of it boom. That clip is still on POLITICO. So when you’re creating content and sending it to these journalists not only does it go there. You talked about the example of sharing earned. You can send out a clip of a link to the positive video that you yourself created that another journalist posted and share with all relevant audiences so you’re getting that influence.
BEN: And this slide that you have up here makes me think this is one of the reasons why we are the next boom. Is one of the reasons so excited about the space because go live with quality right broadcast quality, why we bought it, reasons people at the company engage your CEO and engage your audience. Another reason why syndicator content is a platform enables us to syndicate the channel. It’s what it’s all about and promote your event which there’s no better tool than our pure distribution. So, I love this.
DOUG: Yeah and promoting is a key part of it. I wanted to just touch on as a last thought you know plan that in advance of the event. Twitter recommends a week out and start promoting it. You can do a mix of paid on the channels, where that content will be featured., but also what are other media outlets that might be interested in the story. Hey Will they be willing to cover the live thing? Should you do paid with them to get them to cover the live stream on their channel? These are all opportunities to get broader reach from everything if you guys have questions for us can throw them out otherwise we’ll let you continue with this fabulous event. Hopefully you got something you can take with you and put into action immediately.