Live Streaming Data Brings Business Continuity Concerns to the CMO

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By: Jacqueline Lee|

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Thanks to tools like Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope and YouTube Events, brands have more opportunity than ever to stream real-time video. A survey by Brandlive recently found 44 percent of brands had already created live video content, and 20 percent plan to try live streaming data in the next 12 months.

Marketers told Brandlive that the benefits of live streaming data include bringing authenticity and a human element to digital marketing, Marketing Land reports. Others cite the advantage of content that people can view live and then review later — these respondents speak favorably of receiving real-time feedback from their viewers. Two-thirds of respondents to Brandlive’s survey labeled live-stream content creation as a top priority to their future marketing strategies.

But live streaming also brings pressure from customers who have always-on expectations of their favorite companies. The more content that is live-streamed, the more business continuity becomes a concern for marketing.

Business Continuity: A Marketing Priority

As Ad Age reports, GE recently put significant planning into “Drone Week,” a campaign that included choreographed drone flights before live streaming their story. They knew that if the stream was disrupted by an outage, the slick campaign they prepared could easily degenerate into a flood of frustrated comments, angry emojis and aggressive GIFs — with no content worth recycling later.

One of the biggest challenges of live streaming data is tracking how much, if any, revenue it generates. Because it can be challenging to nail down the return on investment from live streaming, marketing departments try to keep their projects as inexpensive as possible.

Being tightfisted can create problems, Dan Rayburn, EVP for the Streaming Video Alliance and principal analyst for Frost & Sullivan, recently told Fast Company.

“When a backup doesn’t kick in, or you don’t have it, or you haven’t planned for it or you don’t want to spend the money for it, well, your live event’s going to go down,” says Rayburn. “In order to have redundancy, you have to spend a lot more money to put all the redundancy in place, which many companies are not willing to do.”

Ensure Live Streaming Data Uptime

Twitter paid $10 million in 2016 to live-broadcast 10 NFL games. Akamai Technologies‘ Director of Industry Marketing, Media and Entertainment Shane Keats admitted the project wasn’t without its challenges. When Akamai supported Twitter’s NFL live stream, Keats said a top concern was latency, so viewers using one device, app or browser wouldn’t see streamed content later than other viewers. Akamai also had to quickly identify issues within the live stream and isolate them to specific workflows.

If you’re considering a major broadcast, the Streaming Video Alliance has created a storehouse of guides designed to standardize best practices for live streaming. These guides can provide an jumping-off point for conversations between CMOs and CIOs surrounding service continuity and cost.

If you’re starting smaller, such as with Facebook Live, Periscope or YouTube Events, USA Today columnist Kim Komando recommends a strong Wi-Fi connection instead of cellular broadcasts. It’s helpful to talk to the IT team about a redundant connection in case Wi-Fi is disrupted.

Make sure to back up your live videos so they become part of your permanent content library. Recycle them for future social media posts, incorporate them into your email marketing, and share them again on your video channels.

Plan Ahead to Be Spontaneous

This may sound like a paradox, but it’s the best way to do business. When live streaming doesn’t go well, customers don’t blame companies like Akamai — they blame the brand that’s originating the stream. Rayburn says it best.

“If you showed up, and you had a crappy experience, it doesn’t matter that you showed up,” he told Fast Company.

Live streaming gives you the ability to broadcast planned video campaigns, but it also boosts authenticity by allowing spontaneous connections with your audience. Downtime robs you of the chance to create those moments, and that’s an opportunity cost you can’t afford.

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About The Author

Jacqueline Lee

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Lee specializes in business and technology writing, drawing on over 10 years of experience in business, management and entrepreneurship. Currently, she blogs for HireVue and IBM, and her work on behalf of client brands has appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. In addition to writing, Jackie works as a social media manager and freelance editor. She's a member of the American Copy Editors Society and is completing a certificate in editing from the Poynter Institute.

Articles by Jacqueline Lee
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