Lessons from BMW and Mashable on how to Live Stream from SXSW 2016

In 2015 at SXSW, the Meerkat app popped up and was all the rage allowing anyone to have the ability to broadcast live to the world. Marketers took note.

Fast forward to 2016 and Marketers are experimenting with live streaming which looks to become part of the already complicated marketing mix. But as with text broadcasting, if anyone can push a button and stream to the world, how can Marketers ensure that their message stands out from the clutter?

Here are two examples of brands who use live steaming and the lessons they learnt:

BMW Periscopes

One for the first big non-traditional brands that experimented with Live Streaming was BMW who used the Periscope app to reveal the M2. For the first time, BMW fans could open their Periscope feed and watch in real-time as the M2 raced around their track.

At SXSW, Pete Harmata, BMW’s North America Digital Innovations Manager shared the lessons they learnt as a brand about using this tech:

  • Lesson 1 – audience first: always place the audience first and provide them with a way to engage.
  • Lesson 2 – Platforms should enhance concept: all the current tech and new tech will allow customers to reach out to the brand however tech should not dominate what you are trying to achieve.
  • Lesson 3 – Leverage other channels in the ecosystems: everything should work together to enhance the objective. Use all the tools in the toolkit
  • Lesson 4 – There is no re-shooting: Live is live. There is no second take. Therefore prepare for all eventualities but also prepare for things to go wrong.
  • Lesson 5 – Let go of the reigns: While brands want to control every aspect of their messaging, with Live its not always possible but its also ok.

Mashable Facebook Live

cast of Silicon Valley at Mashable House at SXSW

When it comes to experimenting with new tech, Mashable is the first in line establishing a base early on. As soon as the platform becomes popular, Mashable is already there which makes it easier to grow their audience. It also positions Mashable as an industry leader.

Stacy Martinent, Mashable’s CMO says that being able to have a real-time live conversation with an audience is the most powerful marketing tool. Therefore Mashable has started using Facebook Live as it allows the audience to not only passively watch the stream but also engage with comments, likes and shares.

Choosing to use Facebook was also no coincidence as Mashable is leveraging off Facebook’s powerful scalable technology but also the fact that Facebook has the billions of people already engaged on the platform. Therefore the distribution of the video is taken care of.

The “Push notification” is also a great added value as those who subscribe to the Mashable Facebook page are notified that a live streaming is about to take place. With the clutter of apps vying for our attention, having this message across our mobile phone stands a better chance that we will watch the broadcast.

During South by Southwest, Mashable used their Facebook Live facility to broadcast news and interviews from inside the Mashable House. The cast of Silicon Valley were filmed answering fan’s questions and this allowed people who were not at the event to still make that connections.

So in Summary

Making the connection is what Marketing is all about.

Footage showing behind the scenes or bloopers are always popular as this is where people are being themselves and this is what audiences want-  real authentic video where things could go wrong and its ok.

Facebook releasing Live streaming to everyone has offered legitimacy to video streaming and as audiences want to press play rather than read, this offers a great incentive for marketers to get on board.

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