Bringing 2019 to a close

It’s a bit of a cliché but as well as everyone busily finishing projects before the festive break, this time of year always feels like a good time to reflect back on the year that’s passed, to refocus on what we do and to look forward and plan for the new year, both individually and as a team.

BlueStar Streaming is heading into it’s 6th year and over the last 12 months we’ve been busier than ever and continue to grow.

Although we specialise in video marketing and live streaming, it’s really about helping our clients create and share their stories through rich content and engaging video and film to promote, support and grow their brand.

We create high quality (broadcast standard) corporate video, livestreams and video. We also work with our clients to plan and manage their social campaigns and to integrate their video content with their social media and web strategies in order to best promote their brands, products and services through considered, tailored solutions. We offer a range of support including training, marketing and consultancy, working on anything from one off projects to multi – channel campaigns and longer term digital and agency partnerships. We often work with larger agencies too, brought in as their specialist video marketing partners to provide a seamless service for their clients. Projects we’ve worked on include high profile music and awards events to travel and tourism, sports and leisure, arts and culture, education, charity and more.

If you’ve worked with us you’ll know we work closely with you to understand your requirements, to guide and advise on strategy and content and getting your video (your unique story) out there to ensure you get the best value and the most impact. If you haven’t, contact us to learn how we can help your brand in 2020!

We thought we’d share some of the changes we’ve made in 2019.

New studio – studio hire, studio shoots and kit hire

studio interview green screen

This summer we moved to larger premises. We’re still in the East End but it’s means we’ve more space to grow and to create a custom studio which is now available to hire as a fully flexible, multi-purpose film, video, live streaming and photography studio.

The studio is available for dry hire and for managed shoots so clients can bring their own crew, equipment and catering to run their shoot – or we can do it for them. We can provide a wide range of production services and support for managed shoots and we also now hire out kit, saving clients the cost of buying their own expensive kit as well as taking away any hassle of storing, maintaining and moving kit.

This is a unique purpose-built live video streaming studio that can be hired for half and full days, Monday to Friday and evenings and weekends on request, subject to availability. We have all the kit and technology to bring your multi camera live stream to life, with over 20 years of professional live streaming, technical and production experience, allowing our clients to interact with their customers and clients in real time. All live steams are also captured full HD video offline, providing full backup and for repurposing and social content after the event.

This is a great option for amazing content creation, product or event launches, publicity shoots, influencer shoots, interviews to camera, livestreams and podcasts. We have green and white screen facilities and can build a studio set to suit requirements plus we provide support to help storyboard ideas and bring them to life as well as technical support – the only limits are the studio space and your imagination. Find out more here or contact us for details and to book.

Support for the third sector

Princes Trust Mosaic Mentoring Project

We work with a wide variety of private and public sector organisations but also do a lot of work with charities, non-profits and the third sector, helping promote their activities, providing training and advice, creating great video marketing and even helping them raise funding. Charities we’ve worked with include Dyslexia Scotland, Pink Saltire, The Willow Tea Rooms Trust and The Prince’s Trust. Read more here about how we work with charities, non-profits and the third sector.

Jibber Jabber masterclasses launched

Performance Art

We launched ‘Jibber Jabber’ – a series of live streamed masterclasses where experts from a range of sectors share their experience and tips for getting on within their industry. We wanted to learn more about how creative people in a range of industries do what they do, what makes them tick and inspires them, what they’ve learned along the way, what they’d do differently, advice they’d share with someone starting out and what’s their take on things.

Each Jibber Jabber masterclass is a live streamed informal chat in our studio in Glasgow’s East End, hosted by Duglas Stewart, best known as the frontman, lead vocalist and composer of Glaswegian indie pop band BMX Bandits.

The first Jibber Jabber sessions have focused on the music industry, illustration, art and design. Our final masterclass for 2019 was live streamed on Wednesday 11 December. We spoke with the ‘Glasgow Miracle’ Professor Ross Sinclair – a key figure in contemporary art in Glasgow in the 1990s and one of the creative minds who transformed the art scene in Scotland. A visual artist, musician and writer, Ross was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art where he now lectures alongside continuing his professional practice.

As well as producing Jibber Jabber ourselves, this is also an interesting option for brands and a way to engage directly with new and existing audiences and markets in an informal influencer style masterclass format. It’s an area we’re developing and exploring with brands wanting to develop their own masterclass live streams.  The livestreamed sessions are shot in our custom studio in an informal conversational style. If you’d like to get involved or you’d like to promote your brand through your own style masterclass sessions contact us to discuss. Look out for more Jibber Jabber sessions in 2020 and catch up on our previous masterclasses here.

Growing the team

In September we welcomed Rosie Walker to the team. Rosie has joined us as Junior Video Production Assistant and will be an integral part of the team.

Rosie

A graduate in Design and Communication from Glasgow Art School, she brings artistic flair and additional animation skills to our production team. We’ve also expanded our in – house marketing support.

Documentary Making – going into Phase 2

Sir Jackie StewartSir Jackie Stewart, sharing  his experience of dyslexia in the Educate Me documentary

We do a lot of corporate filming but also relish the chance to film documentaries. Last year, BlueStar Streaming and Dyslexia Scotland worked together to create a short (25 minute), independent documentary film called ‘Educate Me. It was a year in the making, shot using a predominantly dyslexic crew and created for general release supported through crowdfunding. This is one of a 4 part series that we hope to pitch as a full documentary to broadcasters. The film has been widely watched and used by the Scottish Education Board, by Dyslexia Scotland and various voluntary organisations and charity groups across Scotland. We created this documentary including all planning, strategy, story boarding, film interviews and film production.

It’s also personally important to us as our Managing Director, Trevor Thomson, is dyslexic and positively promotes disability awareness and equality through his role as Media Adviser for Dyslexia Scotland.

In 2020 we’ll be moving into Phase 2 with the second film of four and are excited to be starting pre-production in the New Year. To create the second Educate Me documentary promoting awareness of Dyslexia, we’ll again be raising funding to release the film through a kickstarter campaign on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. We’ll also be offering some great perks as a thank you for donations – more news on that soon!

If you’d like to help us raise funding we’ll be sharing a link and all the details in early 2020. If you’d like to get involved or help in other ways please contact us. We’d love to team up with other organisations in a variety of ways. Thank you in advance – your interest and support is appreciated and will help us launch a really useful educational documentary that we hope will increase understanding and positively improve the experience of everyone, particularly young people growing up and living with dyslexia.

And finally…

Christmas lantern with gifts, colored balls and stars on snow isolated background. Christmas background concept

It’s been a busy, vibrant 2019 with lots of change and interesting people and projects. And of course, we created some fabulous and very effective video and live streams for our clients!

We’d like to wish all our clients, partners, supporters and friends a very happy and festive Christmas and great New Year.

Thanks to everyone we’ve worked with in 2019 and here’s to looking forward to even more exciting and interesting projects and times in 2020 and beyond!

 

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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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