Sunday, 18 October 2015

Live Mobile Broadcasting: The New Kid On The Block

It's no new news that live streaming apps such as Meerkat  and Periscope that enable users to broadcast live from their mobile devices are the next big thing in social media. As with anything new, the marketing world is awestruck with this new kid on the block. Some are fascinated, some are bewildered while others are skeptical. While not the most popular choice, but certainly no twenty first century marketer is ignoring this new tool. The authenticity, intimacy and the nowness that apps offer, makes it very relevant to all marketers and especially to those whose audience are below the age of 25. 

With a plethora of tools already available and some yet to be used to their full potential, why are these apps attracting so much attention? Here is my take on the matter. 

1. Culturally, we prefer audio visual information over verbalisers. 
So far social media has largely been text heavy with opportunities to 'share' audio visual information which have been crafted by others. For the first time, these apps offer a chance to lay people to create audio visual information easily. If the success of photographs and emoticons on social media is anything to go by, it is only a matter of time for live broadcasting apps to go from early adopters to  mainstream. In these matters, consumers are always a step ahead of marketers and to stay relevant, marketers will have to adapt this new platform at the earliest. So everyone is keeping an eye out to see how the journey is taking shape. 

2. It is a humanising medium  
People today, especially those below 25 want to watch authentic content which are unscripted and real. Especially when it comes to brands, people want to connect at a human level. Even if it is half-baked and raw, people want to get a glimpse of behind the scenes, meet the people behind the products, have a meaningful dialogue with the brands of their choice. The authenticity and intimacy that a live stream creates is unparalleled. Since every 21st century brand's KRA is to humanise, there is definitely a lot of interest in a medium that bolsters the opportunity. 

3. The power of Nowness
The medium is designed in a manner that the content producers interact with the viewers real time. For the first time there is now a super fast expressway for brands to connect with people directly and have a real time conversation like never before. Fast feedback on R&D, real time response by customer care and live Q&A between brands and people are some of the sure shot success measures of any new age brand. 

While brands today realise the power of this emerging social media tool, there is an inherent hesitation to jump in. A lot of them are sitting on the fence to gauge the initial success of other brands and learn from their mistakes. If I had the powers to decide on behalf of a brand, I would definitely dip a toe by now without any delay to leverage the power that this medium offers. 

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