2019 Predictions for Live Streaming, Marketing and Public Relations
What a year 2018 has been. Not only has this been a big year for West Digital Media Solutions, with several acquisitions, but we’ve also seen tremendous growth in the way our clients are communicating their brand, ideas and accomplishments.
According to our 2018 Benchmark Report, just in the past year the number of our STUDIO customers who reach their audiences using video has jumped from 47% to 70%. This leap speaks to the evolution we are seeing across all areas of business, whether it be Marketing, Public Relations, Investor Relations or Internal Communication, people are striving for more authentic and engaging methods of connecting.
Before we all head off for the holidays and reflect on our year’s accomplishments, I wanted to share with you my visions for 2019, and the trends I predict will keep moving our businesses forward.
We see live streamed content everywhere; in fact at any time of the day I would bet there’s at least one if not hundreds of live streams happening around the world. In 2019, I predict that live stream content will no longer just be dominated by individual users. This year we’ve seen corporations start to dive into live stream content from events and tradeshows, like HIMSS TV.
The success of broadcasting content live has been proven and moving forward I believe social live streaming for the enterprise will take off in the same way it has for individuals. Social media no longer has to been seen as just a brand awareness tool, now with enterprise live streaming, companies have the power to be opinion leaders and shape the way their industry thinks and functions.
Webcasts as a lead generation tool have proven their value for marketers and earned their place in the marketing stack. In 2019, I believe webcasting will do the same for Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. The thing that ties all three of these areas together for webcasting? Building trust through open two-way “digital-face-to-face” communication that allows for interaction.
There is no other medium that has the same power as video webcasts to share your mission critical communications and give leaders the ability to speak directly to their audiences in a way that builds trust.
Majority of public companies will tell you their IR hosting sites are there because they are legally obligated to provide the information. What I tell my clients is that, in my eyes, these sites are a huge marketing opportunity that’s being neglected.
In 2019, it’s time for IR hosting sites to become a destination rather than an obligation. I predict that a “financial news room” set up will takeoff for IR hosting, with videos from leadership and news room style content to tell deeply engaging stories. IR should be all about building loyalty, and the more you show that you are invested in your partner and shareholder relationships by creating custom content for them the more people will be invested and stocks will sell more.
2019 is the year where brands will focus on deeper engagement in their PR Newsroom and leverage “portable” marketing tools such as West Media Snippets that can be embedded, monitored and updated wherever an audience seeks information.
Public Relations & Influencers
Public Relations owns the top of the funnel in the consumer journey, and I predict that in 2019 PR will take on a stronger “storyteller” approach for organizations.
Piggy-backing off of that, there’s no one better to be creating content or “story” around your brand for media than your own internal team. Find experts within your organization to be your influencers and thought leaders and have them focus on key topics rather than your company. Influencers, even internal ones, should be about sharing their personal opinions in a way that positively reflects on your brand, rather than someone who preaches your brand’s mission.
Last but certainly not least, I predict that monitoring will continue to grow in value over the coming year as the race for additional content sources accelerates. Tools like AI when paired with a layer of human curation to eliminate noise will give deep insights for improved ROI.
Unlike lead generation emails or events where you gather one-time analytics, monitoring offers 24/7 insights. It’s important to know what the public voice is saying about your brand, whether good, bad or competitive; it gives companies the advantage to be more proactive in 2019 and give them a baseline to improve upon over time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into my looking glass for 2019. I’m excited to see what the year unfolds and share with you more ideas and best practices on how to make each category I touched on a pillar in your company’s success.
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