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Content Marketing Tactics: Real-Time Video Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices


As the digital world we live in becomes increasingly cluttered, marketers are constantly refining their content marketing strategies and embracing new tactics to stay competitive. And Real-time video is one of those tactics that is allowing marketers to reach new audiences and increase customer engagement.

Video has been viewed as an effective marketing tactic for a number of years. However, the time and resources needed to create quality video had many marketers focusing on other things. Fortunately, the introduction of real-time video platforms and applications such as Ustream and Meerkat now presents marketers with some fairly easy and cost-effective video content marketing options.

And the launch of real-time video applications could not have come at a better time. Why?

Because online video is one of the fastest growing mediums in history. According to HighQ, a leading-edge corporate software company, 78 percent of people watch videos online each week and 55 percent of people watch videos online every day.

Definition of Real-Time Video

Much like your evening news broadcast, real-time video is a live video feed that disseminates content to an audience as it happens.

When it comes to real-time video as a content marketing tactic, some of the most traditional examples are live webinars and podcasts. New technology and applications such as Periscope, Facebook Live, Blab and Google Hangouts are taking real-time video to a new level by offering user-friendly platforms for streaming the video. In addition, many of these platforms allow users to interact with the publishers through comment streams.

Some of the ways real-time video can be used include: hosting a how-to demonstration for a product, interviewing current users on the benefits of a particular product or service, broadcasting live from events, or having a customer service representative answer commonly asked questions.


As video continues to be an important part of daily life for consumers, real-time video offers brands the ability to visually captivate its audience while providing useful information. Here are some of the other major benefits of real-time video:

  • Since real-time video is interactive, it allows brands to engage with customers almost instantly and creates more opportunity for discussion.
  • The accessibility of real-time video apps means brands can produce quality content without spending a lot of money.
  • On many platforms, the live video stream can be archived and turned into a permanent piece of video content that will continue to drive website traffic.
  • Like any other piece of content, real-time video provides brands with the opportunity to expand and repurpose that content.
  • Real-time video also means real-time insights. While video content is airing, you’ll be able to see how it is performing.


While real-time video can be a useful content marketing tactic, it does have its drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages of real-time video:

  • There’s a risk of inappropriate comments slipping through since it’s hard to monitor all the users interacting with your content at once.
  • Since the majority of these videos will be watched on mobile devices poor connection speeds or other technical difficulties could deter users from sticking around to see your content.
  • From music to branded images, live video streams can unintentionally infringe on copyrights.

What Experts Are Saying

“Video technologies are improving dramatically and rapidly, supporting mobile and ubiquitous real-time video experiences. Low-cost, simple platforms for real-time video will become an essential part of the way we communicate with each other, and will spawn the next generation of consumer behavior, business practice, media culture and economics, and innovation policy.”

Institute for the Future (Source: iftf.org)

“Blab, which is free, is spectacularly simple to use, has features you won’t find on other platforms (yet) and is a very quick way to reach and engage with a vast new audience worldwide. The key to Blab’s instant popularity is that it is essentially plug and play. It works on both desktop and mobile devices, and the two integrate seamlessly. And it is being constantly updated, in real time, by Team Blab, 12 people who work out an office in San Francisco.”

B.L. Ochman, CEO of Maximum-Plus (Source: whatsnextblog.com)

“Periscope took only ten days to hit 1 million users; and four months after its launch date, the app was enjoying 10 million users. Even more staggering than the size of this user base is the amount of content users are consuming: 40 years of content is viewed every day on Periscope. Yes . . . 40 years.”

Kim Garst, Founder and CEO of Boom! Social (Source: Entrepreneur.com)

Brand Examples of Real-Time Video

Ball Canning

real-time video FPK

Ball Canning, the maker of the popular Ball canning jars, held a live video session demonstrating pickling best practices and a real-time Q&A. People were able to submit questions and receive answers in real time.


real-time video Medium

Medium, a publishing platform for writers, was looking for a way to make itself more human and accessible—and video seemed like the perfect way to do just that. Users were able to tweet questions to the Medium’s User Happiness team with the hashtag #askmedium, and they received real-time video responses.

(Medium’s video initiative was profiled by Wistia.)

General Electric

real-time video GE

General Electric (GE) was quick to experiment with real-time video. According to Practical ECommerce, in late March 2015 GE Creator in Residence and YouTube personality Sally Le Page held a behind-the-scenes interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and scientist Bill Nye. Then in July 2015, GE launched #DRONEWEEK on Periscope, broadcasting live video film by a GE-engineered drone flying from coast to coast. After the flight, GE took the videos and edited them into highlight videos.

Real-Time Video Best Practices

  • Do your research. If you decide that real-time video is a content marketing tactic that could benefit your overall marketing strategy, make sure you research the different platforms and applications. All have their own unique pros and cons.
  • Create a plan. Like any marketing tactic, planning makes perfect. Outline the topics or products you’d like to showcase in your video, create a timeline for how the videos will be promoted and executed, and also make a plan for how you can repurpose the content later.
  • Use existing content to get started. Repurposing content is a common marketing practice, and when it comes to launching a real-time video strategy, this is a great place to start. As mentioned above, some ideas include demonstrating how a product works or having a customer service rep answer commonly asked questions.
  • Share something useful, interesting or compelling. This one is a no-brainer, but it still must be said. Video is like any other piece of content. It should provide the answers and information your target audience is looking for. Don’t make a video just to make a video. Be purposeful.
  • Know your audience. Not every audience is primed for video. Make sure you understand your audience and determine whether or not they would benefit from real-time video content.
  • Research your guests. If you’re planning on using Blab to conduct interviews or panel discussions, make sure your guest speakers are relevant and comfortable with the live aspect of the platform.
  • Guide users to the next step. What do you want users to do when they’re done watching your video stream? Make it easy for users to find other content and continue to engage with your brand.

Software & Resources

There are a number of real-time video platforms and applications–and more are surely to come. From mobile apps to serious software, some of the most well-known are:

Of course, the TopRank Marketing Blog has a number of helpful posts, too:

Real-time video presents brands with the opportunity to engage with customers as if they were sitting across from one another. However, real-time video isn’t necessarily a viable content marketing option for everyone. Before you integrate real-time video into your content marketing strategy, analyze your audience and determine how and if real-time video can deliver the information they need, when they need it.

What is your experience with real-time video? Do you have any favorite platforms? Tell us in the comments section below.

Did you like this post? If so, check out our content marketing tactics index page with links to over 25 helpful posts just like this one!

Header image via Shutterstock

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The post Content Marketing Tactics: Real-Time Video Pros, Cons, Examples & Best Practices appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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