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Here Comes Video... Are You Ready?

By Eric Cook

Google Daydream View VRThis week on my weekly webinar show, I spent some time talking about the power of video as a way to convey your brand and personality online. It also gave me a chance to brag-up my Google Pixel phone and the new Daydream View VR headset that Santa had under the tree for me (actually it was my wife, but Santa sounds more Christmas-ey).

Anyway, with the power of the mobile devices that we have at our fingertips these days able to shoot super-high quality video and capture immersive 360-degree images on a whim, I predict the ways that businesses will tell their story will continue to evolve. What better way to really get to “know me, like me and then trust me” (KMLMTM) than to allow you to see and hear me via video? And, if you can make that video live with the ability to interact, communicate and share information that takes the KMLMTM process to another level.

The Pixel Phone Rocks

Yes, I love my Pixel phone by Google. It’s a pure experience without any of the typical Android “bloatware” from the phone manufacturer or carrier. Because it’s pure Google, security updates are pushed out quickly and as of the date of this post, my security update is only five days old. Chances are if you’re running any other Android device it’s much older. The last part about this phone is the fact that the camera is awesome and makes things like 360-degree photos and super-high quality video a reality.

OK Google...

Playing off the Pixel and it’s Google Assistant (OK Google…), the Google Home is a new addition to our family as well. For now, it’s living symbiotically with our Amazon Echo (Alexa…) and it’s been interesting to see how the two stack up. In many cases Alexa has a leg up, with some auto manufactures talking about installing Alexa in their vehicles. Even the Wynn in Vegas is putting Alexa in their hotel rooms for guests to use (and I get to do a conference out there this year, so I’m pretty excited to check that out).

VR - Take Me Away

The Daydream View is is the newest addition to our Google collection of devices, and I must say, it’s pretty amazing. Not only is the VR experience smooth and comfortable, the remote device that helps you further engage with the experience is a nice addition. You can use it to navigate, select options, center the screen for you field of view, etc. And, as you can see from the list of apps in the Google Play store, there’s no shortage of cool things that you can do. News, movies, games, education, travel, etc. are all part of what you can experience with this type of technology. I just need to make sure that I keep it out of sight during the work day, otherwise I’m tempted to toss it on for a few minutes... which never is just a few minutes!

Facebook Live Video - Have You Tried it Yet?

All of this device “stuff” leads up to the ability for you to capture and share this type of content with others. Most likely that sharing platform will be via social networking sites like Facebook, Periscope (Twitter), Instagram and others. Facebook recently announced some additional options for what they refer to as “mid-roll” advertising, This will allow publishers to insert ads into the middle of their clips. Ads will play after you’ve watched a video for at least 20 seconds and the video itself must be at least a minute and a half long. This is a sign that longer, higher quality video is what Facebook wants (because that’s what “we” want) and keeping someone’s attention is going to an important part in the process.

When it comes to creating “live video” and pulling people “into the moment” with you, I also shared some great resources during my webinar that I wanted to publish here for reference. Here’s a great primer on Facebook Live, as well as a a helpful “tips” article on getting the most out of your video efforts. I also suggested during the webinar thinking about queue cards to remind yourself to mention certain things during the video, having a spare battery if you’re going to do long videos (or many of them) and possibly investing in a good mobile microphone that can connect with your phone via the headphone jack or Bluetooth (iPhone 7 users).

And lastly, knowing that for some the world does not revolve “totally” around Facebook, I found a couple of helpful articles on how to get a live Periscope or Instagram video going. One thing that’s also worth pointing out is that you do NOT have to be a creator of video to get a lot out of this trend. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with being an observer and seeing what others are doing. One tip that I make to all my clients is to make sure that you’re paying attention to your customers and if they are using live video, you should know when and be on so they see you’re there. It’s a great way to help build brand loyalty, plus you never know… they may just give you a shout-out!

What Do You Think?

Let me know what other sorts of things are on your mind when it comes to live video in the comments below. I’m always interested in hearing what others are doing in this space, or if you’ve got any recommendations for people or brands to follow. Oh, and if you're interested in checking out the replay of the full webinar, hop over to Free Webinar Wednesdays and check it out. Register and join me every week at 1 pm Eastern...  yes, it's on Wednesdays. :-)

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