Category Archives: Creative Ideas

Are You Ready for the Future of Video Marketing?

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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?


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

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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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Deathowl creation – Openduty

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Ustream as a company likes to challenge employees to think outside of the box and fuse in creativity. We believe that being surrounded by unique, innovative people helps develop new ideas.

In February, we hosted an internal Hackathon to give engineers the freedom to work on things they love and to hack solutions that could solve problems to find better ways of doing things at our company.
(To learn more, check out this previous blogpost)

We hoped that in a few months, one or two of the Hackathon projects would become a reality and make it into the product as a feature or a completely new application.

Some of our developers needed a tool to make their life easier. Instead of purchasing an already available product, they gathered together and developed their own tool, now called Openduty. (You can see the source on Github)


The OpenDuty project is an alarm aggregation and dispatching service built for system administrators and support teams on call duty. When an incident happens regarding our server or service, this tool provides a proper alerting system for quick notification. This development will automatically route actionable alerts when a problem occurs and determine whom to contact.

Till the end of the Hackathon contest an internal SMS gateway, a Pagerduty compatible REST API, and a basic admin dashboard was developed. The team succeeded to send automated SMS and phone call notifications for a given alert, escalate it according to a calendar, and see logs according to the failures in the system.

In 2 months they have build a Beta version and started implementing new bells and whistles.

Today, Openduty collects alerts from monitoring tools, provides an overall summary of the alerts and allows users to build notification rules. It provides also the freedom to set up multiple levels of coverage, so if the “primary” on-call person doesn’t respond to an alert in a timely fashion, it’s automatically escalates to a “secondary” person, and so on. The system integrates with GTalk, Push notification, Phone and Text Message (operates through Twilio).

The idea came from Bálint Csergő (Deathowl) who works as an Infrastructure engineer at Ustream Hungary. He and his team constantly work on new ideas to make Ustream’s service better.

We welcome any feedback or ideas regarding this project!

Trend Watch: Live Box Breaking on Ustream

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Box Breaking has become big business over the last year. Even sports card manufactures, like Topps and Panini America, have taken notice; showing signs of encouragement for some of the top box and case breakers. By adding the element of live video, box breaking has become an innovative facet of the sports card hobby, revolutionizing the game of card collecting.

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The Hottest Trend on the Red Carpet This Year? USTREAM!

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The People’s Choice Awards made major buzz in the Entertainment universe last week, engaging fans around the world with the power of live video. Showcasing the best of television, movies, and music, this year’s award show was not only decided by the fans, a record number of viewers took advantage of watching every moment in live time on the Ustream platform.

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Live Footage of Kiev Protests, as Told by Citizen Broadcaster Gifs

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For a LIVE guide of protest streams by broadcasters in Kiev, check out our previous Ustream blog: ‘Happening NOW – Live Footage of Chaos in Kiev’




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Biz 101 – Tackle Broadcasting Like a Pro

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Last week, the Seattle Seahawks raised the 12th man flag atop the Space Needle; creating a powerful visual for an entire city to rally behind their winning team. Thanks to their Ustream broadcast, this special moment was not only shared by onlookers and the city of Seattle, but Seahawks fans around the world. By harnessing the power of live, the Seahawks have initiated a hub for fans to connect and engage with their favorite team.

We can’t guarantee a Super Bowl ring, but these helpful tips inspired by the Seahawks and other NFL teams will definitely help you win big in your broadcasts (insert end-zone dance here).

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CES 2014 Live: How Top Brands in Tech are Ustreaming to a Global Audience

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Lights, Camera, Ustream!

Thanks to live technology, viewers around the globe have a virtual seat at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. Providing a professional broadcast environment, premium content can now be pushed to any screen across various smart devices. The CES experience can now be showcased in a cost effective way; eliminating expensive satellite trucks with seamless integration of high encoding, switching equipment and all-in-one production systems. Let’s take a look at these professional live streams by tech powerhouses Sony,TechCrunch and Samsung are taking the wow factor to a whole new level in real time.

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Be Here Now: Connect with Loved Ones Live During the Holidays

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Live video technology is quickly becoming an innovative solution for friends and family to stay connected when it matters most. From lavish holiday feasts to New Years celebrations, Ustream allows anyone, anywhere to share the ultimate gift with their loved ones: their presence.

Looking to optimize your holiday experience this season? Transform standard audio phone conversations on your smartphone into visual, interactive experiences in live time. Be here now.

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Best in Show: Put Your Best Paw Forward with These Live Tips

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This past weekend, Ustream celebrated an epic overload of cuteness thanks to the AKC Eukanuba Dog Show. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of their prestigious event, and shed some insight on how to make your animal cam (or any broadcast for that matter) go from AWW to Awesome.

Get ready to put your best paw forward with these great tips inspired by the AKC/Eukanuba National Championships!

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