Category Archives: Social Marketing

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.

How Multichannel Marketing Breaks Through the Noise

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Did you know that according to a recent UC San Diego study, consumers are exposed to an average of 100,000 words of information daily — the average length of a novel?

As marketers struggle to be heard and remembered in this crowded, noisy environment that is the online marketplace, innovative multichannel marketing methods are beginning to get their attention. One of those just happens to be live streaming video, which is gaining ground as an effective tool for driving engagement to unprecedented levels. And it’s not just big brands that benefit from multichannel live video. Earlier this year, a small ale brand created a game around live streaming video to drive consumer engagement. As a result, the company outperformed its annual sales goals by more than 13 percent.

The reason for live video’s growing popularity is simple: it’s engaging, it’s effective, and it’s scalable … and the cost is lower than you might think. To learn more about the power of live streaming video as a multichannel marketing tool, download our free white paper, “Gaining New Customers Through Multichannel Live Video Engagement.”

WE WON an AWWWard!

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We’re proud to announce that Ustream’s Annual Report of 2013 has been selected as the Site of the Day by the jury.

But, what is Awwwards exactly, and why do we care about winning this award?

“The awards recognize the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world. Their mission is to discover, recognize, and promote these talents and their efforts of creating a unique digital experiences that are useful, innovative, intuitive, and beautiful.” Continue reading

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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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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Ashton shares Twitter race win on Ustream

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Tonight, Friday April 17th, 2009 at approximately 10:45 pm PT Ashton turned on Ustream to mobilize his Twitter follower base as well as to share in both the race leading up to one million as well as the celebratory moment that followed. Many gathered to share the moment together.

In case you missed it, the recording is at

It showed that as moments happen in our lives that if we care to share, we now can. Thanks to Ashton for sharing the moment.

Congratulations to Ashton Kutcher for being the first person on Twitter to reach 1 million followers!

Ashton Kutcher wins Twitter race on Ustream

The Anatomy of a Successful Music Broadcast Event

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Guiding countless artists and musicians through the live broadcast experience, you learn a tip or two regarding the science of a successful broadcast. There are a few elements involved that really contribute to a successful music broadcast: content, interactivity, promotion, and most importantly, distribution (aka embed syndication). Half of my job entails that our featured broadcasters hit on as many of those criteria as possible.

Enter Amalgam Digital. The indie online record label with a penchant for innovative online initiatives put together a pitch perfect broadcast event for their newly acquired star talent, rapper Joe Budden. Once upon a time, Joe Budden was a Grammy-nominated, major-label artist with a monster single in heavy rotation.

Half a decade later, Joe Budden and the Amalgam Digital team organized a broadcast event that far outperformed most of the bigger name, currently “hot” artists that have passed through the broadband walls of Ustream.TV.

Here’s how they did it…

The concept was simple but effective: Joe Budden would start the broadcast with a Q-and-A webchat, then segway into the final studio session as he worked on the finishing touches of his upcoming “Padded Room” album. This works on several levels:

1.) Interactivity: Live video allows for real-time interactions — take advantage of it. Viewers can watch recorded content anytime they want and leave one-off comments, but there’s only one chance to BE a part of the content. Give your fans that in-the-moment excuse to show up on time.

2.) Exclusive peak at the creative process: Watching two hours of someone’s workday can be boring if it’s pre-recorded. But there’s a certain magic to hearing snippets of an anticipated album for the first time, especially AS it’s being created. Give your fans a chance to say “I was there when…”

3.) Stamina: Broadcast events are like real-world music events; sometimes folks show up late. Joe Budden planned on going 3+ hours, giving his fans plenty of time to gather around and build viewership momentum. Too often, artists shut off a broadcast after chatting for 30 minutes, leaving their fans hanging at the peak of their interest. Give your broadcast a breathing chance to go viral… go for the distance!

While the Budden event was clearly a one-off, I should also mention that regularly scheduled programming also plays well over live video.

And that’s content for ‘ya… let that marinate as you cook up some creative inspiration.


If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

Amalgam Digital did a great job making sure that forest was full of people. Two days before the broadcast, Amalgam sent out a press release announcement to their network of bloggers and online pubs. Pitching it as an innovative live broadcast event that it was, several online publications bit:

Myspace, Myspace, Myspace…

… and Purevolume and Facebook and Virb and blogs and websites and label sites. Make blasts, embed onto your profile.

Get creative. Ask your fans to take embeds and throw it up wherever they can. Give out an autographed CD to the fan that embeds and blasts on the most amount of websites, blogs and landing pages.

Embed Syndication:

But more than just getting the word out, Amalgam took the next critical leap and hooked uber hip-hop blog to syndicate/embed the entire experience from it’s own eyeball-heavy domain:

Once it hit, a trail of copycat blogs picked up the syndication embeds, effectively creating an instantaneous viral trail on a LIVE event! Check out some of the stops on the trail:

Sometimes broadcasters get protective over their content and their own destination sites. Indeed, 90% of the Budden studiocast was viewed via embeds outside of the Amalgam/Ustream domain.

Ask team Budden yourself, and they’ll tell you that embedded distribution via Nahright was directly responsible for their record-smashing traffic on Taking advantage of Ustream’s hyperlinkable text overlays (see below), Amalgam brought Joe Budden front and center to where the eyeballs were already glued. The in-video hyperlink overlay effectively converted those viewers who were already hooked:

Lesson being, be very open about your content. Don’t have access to uber-bloggers? Start with the sites you have control of. Post and embed on your Myspace and Purevolume accounts, your blogs, your sites, etc. Give your fanclub or street team the embed codes, and let them go wild tagging up the clean white walls of the internets. Send out text message blasts to your friends.

Point being, go directly to where the eyeballs are at. Attenion spans are short these days, so fid ways to reduce the amoun of clicks it takes to get to your show, and you’re golden.

The Aftermath:

Digital Amalgam smashed their previous single-day traffic numbers, translating into a spike in pre-order sales for their digital music storefront. With an ounce of creative vision and a dash of inspired execution, Jay and Felix over at Amalgam Digital took advantage of Ustream’s gratis platform to the fullest, garnering the type of Buzz and PR normally reserved for big budget marketing campaign.

Do you have the next killer idea for your artist or music event? I’d love to hear it out and help you execute. Shoot your idea and contact on over to music ustream dot TV. Let’s make it happen!

Stream videos at Ustream

Get It Embedded: How to Attract Viewers to Your Live Shows, Part 2

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Inspired as I was by Matt’s Social Marketing entry, I wanted to add my 2 cents worth on the topic: embedded syndication.

By the way, we are completely open to your tips and tactics on how successful ways of promoting live online shows. Leave them in the comments, or write an entry about it in your own blog for us to link to.

Syndication: Get It Embedded

Sometimes it’s hard to get people to watch a show at a prescribed time. Instead of getting viewers to come to you, try going to where the eyeballs are already at.

Whenever possible, embed your stream on web properties that already have inborn traffic. Get stakeholders involved in promoting the show, and while you’re at it, give them your embed code to throw up alongside any online promotion they might do. Think strategically about all the stakeholders involved in your content, if/where they have an online presence, if any other web properties might be interested in these stakeholders, and how to get your stream up so that it makes sense for everyone involved.


For example, if you have a guest musician on your show, have them throw up an embed to the video right on the destination page they might be promoting their appearance, whether it be a Myspace, a blog, or any other online social media presence. Perhaps this artist has an online fan club that might be interested in the content – shoot ‘em an embed code along with the URL. Perhaps the artist himself can put out a call in the beginning of the show to have his fans throw up the embedded video on their pages. And so on and so forth until the point of diminishing return.

It’s a way to hypnotize convert entice eyeballs that happen to be on any given stakeholder site during the actual live stream. The embed code is short, easy, and innately promiscuous; don’t be shy about sharing it far and wide!


Social Marketing: How to Attract Viewers to Your Live Show

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As opposed to a blog post or a YouTube video, which are static and people can view at their leisure, your Ustream show is live and you must undertake the difficult task of grouping your viewers together concurrently and at a specified time. Through a combination of long and short term announcements you can use Social Marketing to capture their attention.


Your Blog:
The important thing about your blog is that your subscribers will read it at some point. It might not be now, or in an hour, but chances are they will see the post before the day is over. You won’t be able to use your blog to get instant viewers, but it is a great place to notify them of future shows. Think of it as planting a seed… some will remember and some will forget, but either way they definitely hear about your show (this helps because when you post about it later on Twitter they will remember the blog post). (Tip – Announce your upcoming show three days before – then mention it again the day of)

If Twitter wasn’t your best friend, it is now. Become intimate with this beautiful tool because it is the best way to get instant viewers. Post a message to Twitter ten to twenty minutes before you go live – this way your followers can put aside time and they know its coming up. Post again once you go live. Truth be told a lot of people will forget that you’re going to do a show, especially if its your first time. Twitter is the perfect way to remind them. (Tip – Don’t just spam a link to your show, make sure to keep it friendly and human, maybe ask a question. Then be sneaky and inconspicuously put the link in.)

Newsletters, Social Network Messages:
Use sparingly! I know it, you know it, everyone knows it – Spam sucks. Do not spam. Newsletters and other ways of messaging are good ways to notify potential viewers, however you must do it with tact. Once in a while is fine just don’t use a lot of exclamation points and keep it simple. If they get annoyed then stop immediately – you’re doing something wrong and continuing will only hurt you.

Thats today’s short Social Marketing lesson.

I’ll be posting a series of these so you should probably subscribe to the blog. If you have any questions, or different ideas leave a comment and I’ll respond. Even better – if you have different ideas – go write your own blog post and then send me the link!

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