Originally published in The Huffington Post on September 16, 2015 By Scott MacFarland
Photo Credit: Negativespace.com
CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication
Have you ever assessed your smartphone behavior? I mean, seriously, in your day-to-day activities, how often are you picking up your smartphone and capturing life with video? But wait… let me turn that around. Maybe I should say, how often are you choosing to enjoy life by putting down your smart phone video camera? – Hmm, probably not much I presume. Today’s smartphones and the apps that are used on them have created an immediate, on-demand need for video and information by the users. It has also begun to create an entire culture of video-crazed individuals young and old that want to shoot their own video of everything, everywhere and in real time. They also want to see what other people and brands are doing with their video.
Video And Cultural Expectations
Users of smartphones expect the phone to be there when we want it. We also expect it to deliver answers, photos, audio and video on the fly and with amazing capability and quality on a moment’s notice. Wow, that’s a tall order. But here’s the biggest of them all. Those small handheld computers, i.e…. smartphones and their apps have together turned the small device into a live video streaming broadcast studio similar to a broadcast TV station. We now have the capability to create our own video content and stream it on our own channel whenever we want. Wow!
Are you ready to have your own broadcast TV channel in the palm of your hands? Stop thinking about it and just go do it. It’s now here.
Here are a few simple ways to start your own video broadcasts in a matter of minutes. Twitter has what’s called Periscope. It claims, “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.” If you haven’t tried this yet, all you have to do is go to the app store and download the Periscope app. Minutes later and a few taps of the screen you will be streaming live video.
Facebook just entered the live streaming space and has their own video app called Mentions. It’s not for the masses yet, as it will be used mostly for influencers, journalists and celebrities. You know video is hot because news feeds on Facebook have more video in them than ever before. In fact, videos have increased by 360% in Facebook news feeds compared to last year. That’s not just an increase; it’s a hostile takeover.
Meerkat is very similar to Periscope in that it publishes live video to anyone who follows you on Twitter. All you do is sign in with Twitter credentials, tap the stream button and off you go, It’s that simple. You can also schedule broadcasts for a later date. Perfect for those marketing teams with a content calendar already in place.
What makes video such a compelling tool to use for brands that it has become probably one of the most powerful media channels ever?
“Videos play a pivotal role in acquiring new customers and maintaining connections with existing ones. Many studies have illustrated the impressive power of video, with consumers stating that they consider companies that use video more trustworthy and find videos helpful when making purchasing decisions. This is because the human brain processes images exponentially faster than text. When you combine visual with aural stimulation, the connection with the viewer is significantly deeper and the memory more lasting. With audiences today multi-tasking among a variety of screen choices, there is but a fleeting moment to capture their attention. A brand needs to make an impact quickly and memorably. No other medium can achieve this as effectively as video.”
– Marion Marvil, Natcom
Years ago, video was a very powerful medium that nobody could touch in terms of the ability to tell a compelling story, hear it, see it and nearly reach out and touch what was on-screen because it was so real. Broadcast TV also gave us all the ability to experience live and pre-recorded video broadcasts from around the globe.
It’s 2015 now and those live broadcasts are no longer just for the TV networks. You now have your own live broadcast video platform right in your hand and it’s called a smartphone. Brands now are choosing to segment their marketing with pre-produced video content as well as live video distributed on social media. It’s a new twist for marketers, one in which they never before had the opportunity to explore. I guess we can say that it’s quite possible that video is conducting a hostile takeover of smartphones and life, as we know it.
Follow Scott MacFarland on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@scmacfarland