Why you should be live streaming

For some, live streaming is the next great thing in social marketing, its use predicted to double by 2021. For us, it’s been something we’ve been doing for years and is one of the areas we specialise in. And it’s certainly been interesting the last few years watching how live streaming has evolved and how it’s now being used by organisations in a variety of ways.

Why is live streaming important? Well, use of video on social channels has really grown in the last few years to the extent that video now accounts for the majority of internet traffic and is widely recognised as one of the most powerful marketing tools. If you’re not using video you’re missing out. Go back just a few years and live video streaming wasn’t really an option for everyone and YouTube was pretty much the only key channel for video sharing.

Now, videos can be shared across all social networks with live streaming capability across most channels and use of video and live video streaming across digital and social channels are widely accepted as extremely powerful tools to support and grow your brand.

It’s interesting to see how different industries are starting to incorporate and develop their use of live streaming as part of their brand and marketing strategies. Here are just a few examples where we’ve used live streaming over the last couple of months.

We’ve done a number of live streams for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society UK last and this year. The latest one was in September for a live stream virtual whisky tasting as part of The Gathering celebrations at The Vaults in Edinburgh.

The Scotch Malt Whisky

The tasting was promoted in advance of the live stream which went out on Facebook.  Members were able to pre purchase the tasting sample packs so they could then join the tasting happening in Edinburgh in the UK (led by Global Brand Ambassador John McCheyne), with their own real life tastings and viewing from their own locations – which included Germany, Australia, the US and with some audience members watching and joining in from on board a train!

The stream went out at 1pm on a Saturday so that anyone who couldn’t join The Gathering festivities in real life could still join in virtually by taking part in the live stream tasting – taking the experience ‘from local to global’, to quote the hosts John and Dean.

This live stream attracted 1.3k views. Have a look and listen using the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/thesmwsuk/videos/2378661972249538/

During the live stream it’s not only about the tasting and showcasing the brand and samples. It’s also a chance to create a personal connection with the members who are viewing. John and Dean do a few shout outs and name check various members in various countries that they know are watching and encourage them not only to participate but to actively interact during the live stream, with comments and questions.  It’s a conversational style, with the hosts interacting with each other as well as the virtual audience.

The hosts share their knowledge and experience whilst the viewer can follow along and be part of the shared experience from their own location. We get to know some of the personalities of the hosts as well as to learn about the whisky. From a commercial perspective, as well as expanding audience reach (from local to global) the live stream also creates other opportunities. During the conversation the hosts mention destinations, distilleries, brands and even books. It’s a soft sell approach to share ideas and other linked products, services and experiences to an interested audience. It’s also building and strengthening the sense of community, creating a loyal audience.

The virtual experience might later translate to a real life experience as viewers are encouraged to consider visiting in person next year but if they can’t they aren’t excluded, they can still participate and feel part of this community and shared experience. All in all it’s a great example of using live streaming to promote brand, reach a wider audience, create engagement, show brand personality, build and strengthen connections and create opportunities of cross and up selling.

Another client using live streaming is BAFTA Scotland – on this occasion it was for the BAFT Scotland Awards 2019, Live Nominations Announcement, filmed from Citizen M in Glasgow at the end of September.

BAFTA Scotland 2019 Nominations live stream

Listen here https://www.facebook.com/baftascotland/videos/974847579534325/

This wasn’t as interactive as other live streams we’ve done for BAFTA Scotland as the focus was really just on officially announcing the nominations but it still attracted over 2.2k views and is part of a wider strategy using video and live streaming – for example for the glamourous Awards ceremony itself.

Another example using a different approach is our ‘Jibber Jabber’ masterclass series live streamed from our studio in Glasgow. Each masterclass is an informal discussion with experts from a variety of industries, sharing their experience and knowledge. The latest one was with Duglas Stewart from the BMX Bandits and Marco Rea from The Wellgreen and Stilton discussing their experiences of the song writing creative process. The style is informal, there is some interaction with viewers in terms of talking directly to viewers and encouraging comments and engagement but generally it’s set up as a discussion between two people. 

Jibber Jabber Song Writing masterclass live stream

https://www.facebook.com/GlitteratiShow/videos/559166014889279/

Choosing your channel

Increasing reach is an important benefit and it’s useful to put some thought into which social channel is best suited to your audience and your objectives. For example, Twitter is great for real time content. If you live stream to Twitter it’s to an audience that wants the latest, most up to the minute information. As it’s so immediate it can be harder to reach or really engage an audience here with so many constant updates competing for attention and disappearing quickly. However if you do choose to use Twitter for your live stream, video content is known to outperform text – only tweets and is more likely to be viewed and retweeted. So it’s worth considering this channel but not in isolation.

Instagram is another useful platform as it’s all about photo and video content. Image does the talking here, it’s about brand, personality, destination and experiences.

YouTube continues to be massively important particularly for long form content, including how-to guides, product information and telling a story plus it’s the second largest (after Google) search platform.

In comparison to, say Twitter, live streaming to Facebook is about interacting with an audience who want to know more about your brand. It’s about creating and continuing a story with an audience who want to connect and engage directly with you and others and therefore this is a hugely important channel.

Real time live V scheduled live

‘Live’ streaming isn’t always about real time ‘live’. Facebook Premiere is a fantastic feature and the next generation of live video. Using it means you can easily share great, professional quality video content. A really useful aspect is that you can schedule and promote pre recorded videos which go out ‘as live’ but minimise any stress or risk of actual live streaming – great if you’re fairly new to live streaming and perhaps not so confident or if you prefer to have the additional safety net of being able to edit and curate the content before it goes out rather than sharing ‘real time’ live video. So using Facebook Premiere gives you the benefits of a Facebook Live (real time live streaming) but with the ability to pre- record plus some other useful features as well – such as automated posts on your page when you schedule a premiere, an optional Reminder button for viewers and reminder notifications for subscribers shortly before your premiere live stream begins. A few minutes before the live stream viewers can join the broadcast lobby which allows them to like, share and comment in real time. As it’s a scheduled live stream it also means the page administrator doesn’t have to be there during the streaming plus at the end of the premiere the video is automatically converted to a video post on your page. It’s a really good alternative to Facebook Live and (for individuals or small teams) it means you’re free to interact and engage with viewers and their comments during the broadcast so it’s makes it more manageable. Plus, if you want to, you could also choose to distribute your video in Facebook Watch – another way to increase your audience reach.

With clients we tend to mostly use YouTube and both Facebook Live and Facebook Premiere.

In summary, live streaming is great because in addition to helping your reach and engage with a wider (possibly global) audience, your brand will reach new audiences, particularly when shared across a range of (appropriate) social channels providing greater brand awareness. Along with that, live streaming gives you the chance to show your and your brand’s personality and authenticity. Live streaming enables you to create unique and engaging content and assets and content which can be reused and even repurposed which also helps make the most of budgets and time and other resources.

Just a few reasons why live streaming is worth considering and planning into your marketing and brand strategy.

And if you’d like to see how live streaming can support your brand, Contact your friendly Glasgow based video and live streaming specialists for an informal chat!

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Working with charities, non profit organisations and the third sector

We really enjoy working with charities, non profits and third sector organisations, whether it’s filming a great documentary, creating rich content and engaging video, providing training or even helping them raise funding to support their video and film projects.

We work closely with all our clients and work in partnership with charity and third sector organisations to support their planning and promotion of their video content, socialising it and getting it out across relevant channels.

We provide pro bono consultancy and design for selected charities and have produced films for Equality Scotland Show Racism the Red Card, The Prince’s Trust Mosaic Mentoring Project, Govanhill Community Dinners and Pink Saltire’s Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign as well as a training programme for Pink Saltire. Have a look at the links below to see more.

Pink Saltire’s TIE campaign – video ad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kfSiXxYiIs

Govanhill Community Free Dinners https://vimeo.com/175850385

Govanhill Community Dinners

Prince’s Trust Scotland Mosaic Mentoring Project https://vimeo.com/201873646

Princes Trust Mosaic Mentoring Project

These films focused on a range of important and sensitive topics including homophobia in schools, bullying, discrimination and diversity equality and awareness.

We’ve also worked with Dyslexia Scotland on a number of projects.

We produced a series of ambassador profile videos for Dyslexia Scotland which were embedded into their Dyslexia Unwrapped website and also posted on their social channels.

https://unwrapped.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/create-and-share/videos/young-ambassadors-an-interview-with-james

The videos were to show the strengths and abilities of the ambassadors dealing with dyslexia in their everyday life with interviews shot crisp and clean on a whitescreen background in our custom studio in Glasgow. As part of this we also worked closely with the Dyslexia Scotland web development team to produce file sizes for delivery across web and mobile and to embed the videos into their website.

Another very interesting and different project and client was The Willow Tea Rooms Trust– the charity responsible for the restoration and reopening of the iconic Willow Tea Rooms Building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust Blacksmith Maker film

We were asked by the Trust to create a series of 11 ‘maker’ films showcasing the work of the craftsmen and women involved in the restoration of the famous Tea Rooms which reopened to the public in 2018 under the new name ‘Mackintosh at the Willow’. The maker films were part of the documentation of the restoration of this historic building and the opening of an exciting new visitor and heritage attraction in Glasgow. The films were shot on site, at the workshops of each of the makers involved in the restoration project in various locations across Scotland and the north of England and were to be used on the Trust and Mackintosh at the Willow websites and social channels. We were later asked to format the films for use within the new Exhibition Centre at Mackintosh at the Willow, to produce a short 360 virtual reality tour of the newly opened visitor attraction, to create some short video ads for social channels and to recut and repurpose a 1 hour BBC documentary about the restoration project with the edit to be used within Mackintosh at the Willow’s Exhibition Centre.

Have a look at one of the maker films here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I78m22_yW0E&t=2s and the short BBC edit is here https://vimeo.com/285709554

Documentary films

Although a lot of our work is corporate filming, the team also enjoy the chance to create documentary style films. Another interesting project was the ‘Educate Me’ documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58eqGrGWA94

http://www.scottishdyslexiadoc.co.uk/

Dyslexia Scotland documentary

BlueStar Streaming and Dyslexia Scotland worked together to create a short (25 minute), independent documentary film. The film was a year in the making, shot using a predominantly dyslexic crew. The film has been widely watched and used by the Scottish Education Board, by Dyslexia Scotland and by various voluntary organisations and charity groups across Scotland and we’ll be following this up with the next stage starting pre-production later this year.

BlueStar Streaming created this documentary film including all planning, strategy, story boarding and filming which also included studio interviews with many of the participants. It meant a lot to us too – our Managing Director, Trevor Thomson, is dyslexic and positively promotes disability awareness and equality through his role as Media Adviser for Dyslexia Scotland.

This was an independent documentary created for general release supported through crowdfunding – more of that later. This is one part of a 4 part series that will be pitched as a full documentary to broadcasters for additional funding.

Raising funding for your video or film project

Budgets and funding are often a concern and a perceived or very real barrier for this sector but again, as well as effective planning and use of available budget there are also ways to boost spend and to increase value – whether that’s through repurposing of content filmed once that can then be adapted for a variety of purposes, possibly partnering with other organisations to share costs or raising funding through kickstarter or other funding platforms. To create the Educate Me documentary promoting awareness of Dyslexia, we raised funding to release the film through a kickstarter campaign on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dyslexia-film#/

So we understand and can help our charity and third sector clients raise funding as well as how to promote and get the best out of their video assets and content afterwards.

Our Values – social responsibility

As a company, we value and welcome diversity and inclusiveness. Our Managing Director Trevor is dyslexic and has direct experience of the challenges and opportunities that brings and is actively involved in promoting equality and disability awareness through his role as Media Advisor for Dyslexia Scotland.

We believe in social responsibility and social care. We like to help young people access digital media skills and develop their confidence and as part of this we provide training for young people in media production, film and video. We’ve run training and taster courses for The Prince’s Trust and Glasgow City Council and we also offer internships and work experience opportunities for students and undergraduates – and we’re always interested to hear from and work with charity, non profit and other third sector organisations. Take a look at our website for more examples of our work.

If you work in a charity, non profit or third sector organisation and want to know how we can help raise awareness and promote your activities and services through great film and video – contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

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