All posts by Norbert Mocsnik


Video is the Leader of Content Marketing

When content marketing first came on the scene, text-based content was the norm: white papers, email promotions, and e-newsletters were crammed with words, words, and more words.

Today, with terabytes of text being published online every minute, consumers have had their fill. They’re craving a more interactive experience. And now that video technology is more accessible than ever, marketers have no excuse not to give it to them.

Still think video content is just a “nice-to-have?” Check out the latest statistics from HubSpot:

  •       55 percent of people watch videos online every day.
  •       Video takes up 57 percent of consumer Internet traffic.
  •       Online video now accounts for 50 percent of all mobile traffic.
  •       Using the word “video” in email subject lines boosts clickthrough rates by 65 percent.
  •       52 percent of marketing professionals point to video as the content type with the best ROI.

“Too expensive?” Not anymore.

Not so long ago, only corporations could afford to create and publish professional-looking videos. Fortunately for small businesses, video content marketing no longer requires a five-figure budget. Today, even the smallest businesses can record videos (of good quality) with a low cost HD camera, edit them with cost-effective apps, upload them to a video streaming platform, and easily embed them on a blog, website, or a social media account.

Streaming’s gone mainstream

When we look back on 2015 in the future, many of us will remember it as “the year streaming went mainstream.”

With the growing popularity of video streaming mobile apps (including Ustream), more businesses than ever are using live video. Why? It helps generate a buzz among current and potential customers through:

  •       Live product launches
  •       Virtual conferences
  •       Brand exposure
  •       And more!

So if you’ve been holding back from adding video to your content marketing mix, there’s never been a better time to jump in. Your audience is demanding it. Video content has never been easier to create and publish. Streaming video lets you capture the excitement of live events.


Are You Ready for the Future of Video Marketing?

We’ve all seen the statistics about video’s value for marketers: how response rates and engagement rise when video is employed and how website conversions increase when video is used on a site to provide information about products or explain how they work. But we’ve just scratched the surface of how marketers can use video to grab an audience’s attention, capture leads, and drive sales.

Let’s look at 5 ways video marketing will evolve in future and how it will affect our marketing strategies and tactics.

1) The Death of Death-by-PowerPoint

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We’ll break away from boring slide presentations with a disembodied voice droning on, minimal audience interaction, and audience limits in the hundreds, replacing them with high-definition video events that can scale to reach massive audiences. We’ll use seamless transitions from full-screen, high resolution views of the presenters to slide content to recorded video clips to keep viewers engage, combining all three elements with green-screen effects that are commonplace on television news and entertainment shows. And we’ll have robust integrated tools that will enable each attendee to pose questions, offer comments, and take polls and tests as if they were in the room with the presenter.

Check out CreativeLive’s live online workshops for creative professionals or Brandlive’s use of live video, social interaction, and conversion mechanisms to create immersive product experiences for brands and retailers.  Another great example is Salesforce’s use of video for their Dreamforce keynotes.

2) Video-on-Demand Gets Interactive

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The vast majority of marketing video-on-demand (VOD) assets are linear and static, but a new class of interactive video tools allow marketers to add interactive elements to videos, offering viewers the ability to engage directly with the content and even follow different paths. Marketers can define branches and embed links, hotspots, and overlays into videos that can display contextual information about products, places, or people when the user clicks or mouses over them, and add quizzes and calls to action to collect information. Interactions like these are proven to boost engagement and increase conversions and they enhance the value and impact of long-form video by making it a more versatile storytelling mechanism.

YouTube Annotations provides some basic interactions, while more sophisticated solutions like Hapyak, Raptmedia, and Interlude offer a wider variety of interactions and more control over the viewing experience. HapYak’s SaaS platform works with a wide variety of video platforms, including Ustream. Raptmedia, like Hapyak, offers a straightforward environment for adding interactions that is easily adopted by novices, while Interlude’s powerful Treehouse application is probably better suited to users with more experience in video production techniques. All of these tools collect detailed data on their interactions so marketers can analyze viewer engagement and the asset’s performance. Take a moment to look at these examples from Hapyak, Interlude, and Raptmedia to see how to take your marketing videos to the next level.

3) Social Trumps Email

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Forget about those tired email campaigns. The future of video marketing depends upon integrating your video platform with your social network account to reach your audience in a matter of seconds with short, impactful videos that outperform print content in open rates, engagement, and click through. But beware… social video requires a different design-mindset than video we’ve used in more traditional channels.

In a CEABlog post titled “5 Digital Innovations Changing Advertising and Marketing in 2015”, Matt Rednor, CEO of Decode Advertising, points out that “As brands shift their spend to online video this year, they’re going to see that just running TV commercials online won’t work as well and will start designing for the flick, creating short-form video ads that people consume in their feeds without sound.” This is particularly true if you use autoplay video on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social channels as these videos are typically muted when they launch.

Want some great examples of short-form video?

  • GE’s Instagram videos make mundane industrial products cool
  • HP launched its Pavillion X360 laptop with a series of 5 six-second Vines
  • Lowes uses stop-motion Vines to educate its customers and promote its brand.  

4) Finding the Unusual Suspects

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We’re pretty good at reaching the people in our databases, but what about all those people we haven’t yet reached? New tools like Ustream LiveAd make it possible to place video ad units on the websites that your target audiences frequent and pull live viewers directly into your live video events, scaling far beyond our normal audiences.

Watch your audience grow exponentially as viewers see your live feed positioned prominently on their homepage or on a blog that they regularly read and then click through to join your live event. Sony Entertainment used this tactic to drive massive audiences for its live broadcast of the PS4 launch (link to PS4 video) and Salesforce used it to boost views of its keynote sessions for its annual Dreamforce conference, reaching 8.9 million viewers in 2014.

5) Viewing the World from Different Perspectives

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Drones are capturing live video feeds from new perspectives during sporting events, concerts, and rallies while wearable cameras are flipping the camera to share what players/participants in sporting events and performers in concerts see and experience. Savvy marketers like Red Bull are branding these broadcasts to drive visibility and create an “edgy” market persona.

While commercial drone use is still in its infancy, realtors across the U.S. are using drones to market high-end properties. And agencies are embracing drones to create interesting, offbeat videos like Cup Noodles Brasil’s combination of drone, wearable, and traditional video footage to present a unique approach to food delivery. By the way, where can I get a chicken head for my drone?

Wearables cameras like GoPro are helping marketers engage viewers with powerful, immersive experiences. For example, the National Hockey League partnered with GoPro to show the speed and artistry of hockey through the eyes of the players. Red Bull’s video of Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking free-fall jump gave viewers an astounding first-hand perspective of the feat. The low cost and high video quality of these devices enables thousands of people to record and post amazing videos from their wearables every day, showing the power of user-generated content and the ingenuity (and weirdness) of people who have a story to tell and a vision to share. And isn’t that the essence of marketing?

Conclusion

Innovative marketers are already stretching the boundaries of what is possible and vendors of video platforms and tools, social applications, mobile networks and the other technologies mentioned here are watching and listening to consumers and business users to spot trends and tackle problems yet unsolved. We’re willing to bet that you’ll employ some of these tools and techniques in the near future. And we hope that you’ll share what you learn with other video marketers.


Roland TR-808 Worldwide Anniversary Party on August 8

When global music giant Roland celebrates the anniversary of its iconic TR-808 drum machine on Saturday, August 8 (8/08, get it?), fans around the world will be able to join in via the brand’s Ustream channel.

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A client and partner of Ustream, Roland frequently utilizes the Ustream platform for both internal communications such as sales trainings as well as public demos by A-list musicians of Roland’s latest equipment. “808 Day” is the first TR-808 anniversary celebration to be streamed on the Roland Ustream channel.

The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was among the industry’s first affordable and widely available programmable drum machines. Artists and producers across genres used the instrument — commonly called “the 808” — which is often credited with changing the face of contemporary music and has even been referenced in the lyrics of several songs.

The anniversary celebration will take place at the Six01 Studio Sound Lab in Burbank, California, and will feature live musical performances from David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets), Bon Harris (Nitzer Ebb), Brian Liesegang (Nine Inch Nails, Filter), and Kerry Brown (Catherine). The live stream will begin at 8 p.m. PST, and the festivities can be tracked on social media with the hashtag #808day.

Catch the live event Saturday on the Roland 808 channel on Ustream and learn more about the Ustream Align for secure streaming here and Ustream Pro Broadcasting for scalable, reliable streaming here.

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Streaming Video Engages Employees on Any Device, Anytime, Anywhere

As enterprises face the challenge of managing a global workforce, live streaming video is becoming a must-have resource. By live-streaming employee meetings, training and executive presentations, companies can deliver their messages in a format that unites teams across borders and allows real-time interaction.

According to a recent white paper by Wainhouse Research, more than half of all organizations surveyed (51 percent) reported than they have implemented online video in employee training applications, with 47 percent using video for executive presentations.

To support this growing trend, we recently launched Ustream Align, the industry’s easiest and most scalable video platform with enterprise-grade security. Enterprise clients now have a secure tool designed specifically for their various internal communications needs.

Employee Interaction

Live streaming video allows enterprises to communicate in real time with employees around the globe — and not just for big events like annual town halls. Ustream client Zuora, for example, broadcasts its weekly meetings to employees across nine time zones. “Ustream has been a big part of helping us keep that small company feel,” notes Zuora Founder and CEO Tien Tzuo.

Training

Using streaming video for employee training allows enterprises to save thousands on travel, accommodations and facility rental fees. Unlike pre-recorded video, a live stream allows employees to have questions answered in real time, exchange ideas and even collaborate on solutions.

One organization making effective use of live video as an educational tool is online training destination CreativeLive. Each month, the company broadcasts up to 200 hours of live training sessions, attracting as many as 20,000 registrants for shorter trainings and 150,000 for multi-day events.

Executive Presentations

It takes more than an email to unite your team behind a mission. Streaming video enables CEOs and other top leaders to share their vision with employees in multiple locations using any device in real time, to answer questions, and to encourage discussion and debate.

As Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable recently noted, “Video, especially live, is a powerful medium to engage and communicate with a broad audience in a way that helps create a greater understanding and alignment with corporate goals.” By leveraging the power of live streaming video, enterprises can build a better-informed, better-trained and more highly engaged workforce that’s fully aligned with their goals for the future.


Inform, Educate and Inspire Your Team With Streaming Video

It’s no secret that U.S. businesses are experiencing an engagement crisis. A recent study revealed that 70 percent of American workers are not actively engaged or are actively disengaged, leading to approximately $500 billion in lost productivity.

So, what’s an organization to do? Raise salaries? Increase benefits? Offer more vacation? Not necessarily.

A closer look shows that what’s missing from employees’ lives is engagement. 72 percent don’t understand their companies’ strategies, and 64 percent would like to hear from leadership more often.

That’s where live video comes in.

To find out how, join us on June 11 for our next webinar, Using Video to Inform, Educate and Inspire Your Team. You’ll learn the secrets of successful CEOs for

  • Crafting an effective internal communications strategy
  • Using video to share knowledge and empower employees
  • Producing effective internal video communications

Reserve your spot now


Gain New Customers Through Multichannel Live Video Engagement

In a marketplace that becomes noisier and more crowded every day, marketers are looking for new ways to engage customers for their products and services.

In the search for new ways to connect, many marketers are turning to an old-school medium for inspiration: television. The average American spends 34 hours each week watching TV, and live events such as the Super Bowl consistently attract audiences of 100,000 or more.

Today’s customers not only crave real-time content, but they also want a seat at the table — the chance to interact and take part in the event as it’s happening.

Ustream delivers on both counts, as detailed in our white paper Gaining New Customers Through Multichannel Live Video Engagement. Download a copy to learn

  • How Martha Stewart used online video to launch a new brand of home paint, attracting 80,000 viewers who watched for an average of 10 minutes each
  • How HBO promoted the DVD box set of “True Blood” through live online video — and used LiveAd to grow the event’s audience to 135,000
  • How iStrategyLabs created a live video campaign to help a small ale brand improve its brand engagement, resulting in sales that exceeded the company’s annual goal by 13–14 percent

Download Gaining New Customers Through Multichannel Live Video Engagement now


What Should Your Organization’s Leader Care About The Most?

Forty years ago, the vast majority (83%) of a business’s market value was invested in tangible assets such as currency, equipment, land, and other property. Today, 84% of the market value of a business comes directly from its people:

  • their knowledge and skills
  • the services they provide
  • the products they build
  • the intellectual property they create

People represent the greatest investment and the largest expense of most organizations. Leaders must find and develop and retain the people they need, lead those people through the inevitable tough times that arise, and build an organization that is diverse and ready to meet the constant changes and challenges of the 21st Century. This is what keeps your CEO awake at night.

To be effective, today’s leaders must communicate effectively with the people they lead. No matter the worker’s age, education, or role within the organization, the more they know about the organization’s strategy, challenges, values, culture, and other attributes, the more engaged they are and the more they can contribute. Even more importantly, the more they WANT to contribute.

We hope that you will join Ustream on Wednesday, May 27 at 2 PM Eastern / 11 AM Pacific as we kick off a series of webinars that will:

  • Examine the value of effective communications within organizations
  • Outline the risks and results of a failure to communicate
  • Discuss examples of successful communicators and
  • Give you guidelines and practical advice on how to improve your organization’s internal communications

Register for the May 27 webinar: 3 Things CEOs Worry About the Most and How Communications Can Help”


Engage! Using Live Streaming Video to Build Employee Involvement

Researchers from Deloitte recently asked more than 2,500 business and HR leaders to rate the urgency of numerous business issues, ranging from workforce capability to diversity and inclusion. No less than 79 percent of respondents rated the issue of employee retention and engagement as “urgent” or “important.”

And how are they doing on that front? Not so great, according to a separate survey by Gallup:

An alarming 70% of American workers are not showing up to work committed to delivering their best performance, and this has serious implications for the bottom line of individual companies and the U.S. economy as a whole.

What’s a CEO to do?

Smart leaders are realizing that, if employees are going to be engaged in their work, they need a direct line to top management. From the mailroom to the boardroom, employees need to know the organization’s mission, they need to know what success looks like, and they need to know that management cares — and they don’t want to read about it in an email.

That’s where live streaming video comes in.

Live streaming video offers employees real-time engagement with top leadership, whether those leaders are delivering prepared presentations or answering questions off the cuff at a virtual town hall. It builds a personal bridge that can fuel a whole new attitude toward the organization and the employee’s role within it.

Take a look at what Ustream client Zuora did when its employee base grew to span across nine time zones. By taking the company’s weekly meetings online via live video, Founder & CEO Tien Tzuo was able to bring Zuora’s workforce “under one virtual roof,” where employees could interact and ask questions in real time. “Ustream has been a big part of helping us keep that small company feel,” says Tzuo. “[It] allows us to create a really rich, interactive experience.”

How can live streaming video help you create a more engaged workforce? Learn more from by registering for our webinar “Business Use Cases for Live Video Streaming” here.


Aberdeen Research: Video Is Key to Rocking the “Hidden Sales Cycle”

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How can video impact sales before a potential customer even talks to a sales rep?

That was the question we answered in our most recent live webinar, featuring guest presenter Maribeth Ross, Chief Content Officer, Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy of The Aberdeen Group.

In “The Impact of Video on the Hidden Sales Cycle,” Maribeth explored the new role being played by content marketing in attracting new customers and the unique advantages that video offers in building those relationships.

Click here to watch the full webinar.

Here are some of our key takeaways from Maribeth’s presentation:

  • Today’s buyers hold more power than ever before. They’re hyper-informed, they’re self-educated, and by the time they speak with a sales rep, many of them have already made up their minds.
  • The “Hidden Sales Cycle” represents the very top of the sales funnel, when buyers are still in “research mode.”
  • Content marketing enables businesses to reach and build relationships with buyers in the Hidden Sales Cycle, by answering their questions and providing the information they’re after.
  • 95 percent of Best-in-Class marketers are using video as part of their content marketing mix.
  • Companies using video see a 4.8 percent average website conversion rate, compared to 2.9 percent for non–video users.
  • Companies using video demonstrate a 19 percent lower average cost-per-customer acquisition — $93 versus $115 for companies not using video.
  • There is a 65 percent difference in the number of deals closed between companies who use video and those who do not.

For more information about how video impacts the Hidden Sales Cycle, download the Aberdeen research paper.