Live Video is King: How To Use It Without Going Broke

Live Video is King: How To Use It Without Going Broke - Duct Tape MarketingAs you may have heard from industry events like NABShow and Social Media Marketing World, marketing dollars are switching from broadcast TV to live video streaming for more creative and targeted visual advertising.

What makes a live video so effective and attractive to brands? Some illuminating statistics:

  • 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision-making process.
  • 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others.
  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.
  • 96% of B2B brands use video in marketing campaigns. 73% report video had a positive impact on ROI.
  • Facebook – a major site for advertising – prioritizes live videos and shows them on users’ newsfeeds before anything else.

It seems most marketers are convinced video works. However, are there ways to get the advantages of live video without having a large production budget – or any budget at all? Take inspiration from the examples of successful brands and our budget-friendly suggestions below.

Vlog and Stream For A Personal Connection:

Why do 90% of consumers trust their peers, friends, and bloggers over brand sources? The answer is simple: it’s the

Live Video is King: How To Use It Without Going Broke - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit YouTube

human connection. Who prefers watching an ad to getting a recommendation from a trusted blogger or friend? Nobody. Because brands have that age-old problem social media is slowly helping to address: the faceless ‘corporate robot’ image that keeps them from engaging with customers directly. Well, not anymore, as many are embracing video as a way to form personal and personable connections with their target audience. For instance, T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere regularly posts vlogs to discuss the latest in mobile tech.

The Packers also use video, albeit in a different way, staging live webcasts of

Live Video is King: How To Use It Without Going Broke - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit Pixabay

their press conferences to bring fans into their world and give them the latest updates. For another example, the doggy-centered monthly subscription BarkBox chose a simple yet brilliant route of live streaming puppies. Now, that’s a brand that knows their audience!

The Budget-Friendly Option: In fact, this type of strategy should not hurt you financially if you stay away from overly complicated tech. If you’re a CEO who wants to add a personal touch to your content marketing, grab your own laptop or phone and advertise a YouTube Live or Periscope chat so your customers can put a face to the brand and see that you are involved and knowledgeable about your industry, and are concerned about their experiences. However, be wary of being too human and getting carried away, as John Legere did with insulting the Electronic Frontier Foundation during a Twitter Q&A.

Collaborate with Influencer Partners

Brands like Benefit Cosmetics invite beauty vloggers (such LustreLux) to join them for tutorials. These videos work

Live Video is King: How To Use It Without Going Broke - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit YouTube

because they are building on the star power of established influencers that their audience will already be familiar with. This tactic can also be employed in different ways. For a more permanent arrangement, we can look at Amazon’s Style Code Live, which regularly invites beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook to host and has her promoting the show weekly on her own channel.

One-off campaigns also tap into the influence of bloggers and vloggers. Curology teamed up with ThatGirlShaexo to promote their skin care line and hosted a contest where one lucky winner got to spend a spa day with Shae. As part of the campaign, Curology and Shae also hosted a live-streamed Q&A

Live Video is King: How To Use It Without Going Broke - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit YouTube

where fans could ask the vlogger and the Curology experts about the line and their skin care problems.

The Budget-Friendly Option: If you don’t have the budget to regularly employ a mega-influencer with millions of subscribers, there are still ways to get your product out there through similar channels. Many industries, including beauty, are already sending their products to influencers to be featured in their blogs or vlogs. For example, partnering with ‘middle-range influencers’ (those with around 100K subs) rather than huge YouTube stars means less of a strain on your budget and the chance to collaborate with more than just one influencer. Find influencers quickly using a blogger review campaign platform and request that bloggers feature your product on their own live video channels such as Snapchat and get the benefit of live video and an instant new audience without lifting a finger.

Use Free Apps To Advertise New Launches and Provide Exclusive Content

If you’re thinking of whether to go for a budget-breaking TV ad or a targeted Snap campaign, perhaps you’ll be better off with the latter, seeing the success other big brands have enjoyed.

Periscope has been used by big names like Adidas and DKNY to advertise and was even used by Spotify to live stream their launch. Spotify’s concert feature is another game-changer, offering customers the chance to listen to their favorite artists’ concerts via live stream. Live stream is also being seen more and more in sports, with EA Sports and the NFL streaming games through platforms like Twitter.

Snapchat is also home to many creative and fun campaigns, such as Taco Bell’s launch of the Quesalupa and Spicy

Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, which was promoted through a short Snap film. The Cinco de Mayo taco face lens was an even bigger hit, breaking Snap record with over 200 million views.

The Budget-Friendly Option: Sponsored lenses like Taco Bell’s or creating entirely new live streaming options cost a pretty penny, so try starting small and seeing where this technology can take you. Create business accounts on apps like Periscope and Snapchat and advertise them on your existing channels. Encourage your whole team to get involved in thinking of creative campaigns that would inspire word of mouth. As you experiment, take advantage of free online tools, such as WeVideo, PowToon, Wideo, and Kaltura to create simple videos rather than breaking the bank on expensive professional software.

Provide Educational Content:

Experian’s #CreditChat is a pure customer service bonanza, with the event streaming on YouTube, Periscope, and Twitter every Wednesday. A panel of experts is invited to speak on a different topic each week and give financial tips, with customers able to get their questions answered instantly.

Insurance giant MetLife combined a similar strategy with influencer collaboration by hosting a webcast with parenting bloggers who asked MetLife representatives questions about life insurance.

The Budget-Friendly Option: Fortunately, these types of Q&As don’t have to take up much of your budget. Shelling out on panels of experts is great but not necessarily crucial for such campaigns. A weekly Periscope session where your customers can ask questions live will be a major boon if you want to improve your customer service. Providing content that is educational rather than purely promotional also builds trust between your brand and your audience, exemplifying that you are serious about addressing their concerns.

Main Takeaways:

  • Vlogs from company representatives put a human face on a brand, encouraging audience engagement and trust. And if puppies happen to be a big, representative part of your brand? All the better. Kittens work too.
  • Partner with influencers who have their own video capabilities to create buzzworthy campaigns.
  • Use free apps to advertise new launches and provide exclusive content to your target demographic.
  • Improve customer service through Q&As and other educational content that will benefit your consumers.

Thinking of launching your own live video campaign? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Eti NachumEti Nachum is the CEO of BlogsRelease, the #1 marketplace where brands can get product reviews from bloggers worldwide. Eti is a marketing professional with 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing. She likes to follow influential bloggers and works hard on bringing the blogosphere a visible platform to find the latest blogger campaigns in diverse industries. Connect with the team on Twitter @BlogsRelease, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Two Ways User-Generated Content Can Keep Your Brand Relevant

Two Ways User-Generated Content Can Keep Your Brand Relevant - Duct Tape MarketingIn today’s digital age of marketing, brands are focusing on User-Generated Content (UGC) campaigns to improve their web performance and increase organic responses. User-Generated Content refers to any form of online content such as a Tweet, Snap, Facebook status, Instagram post, or blog that contain authentic opinions about a service or product as experienced by a non-professional.

Fairly, their choice of marketing strategy is justifiable with all these successful user-generated content campaigns trending in various social media platforms. Whether you’re a startup business building an audience or an existing brand struggling to establish a solid base of loyal customers, developing a marketing strategy that heavily emphasizes user-generated content will benefit your product one way or another.

Understanding UGC: Its Essence and Its CapabilitiesTwo Ways User-Generated Content Can Keep Your Brand Relevant - Duct Tape Marketing

Before exploring the internet labyrinth and its mysteries, the first thing you should do as an adaptive marketer is to fully comprehend the value of user-generated content at its very core. If you need any presentation assistance for your brand, there are two things you should consider: a well-planned social marketing strategy backed by a structured social content approach, and a broad knowledge of internet copyrights.

You need to know that user-generated content can build or destroy your brand’s reputation. A recent study shows that user-generated content is in demand – being produced and recommended to social circles at a rapidly increasing rate, especially among the younger generation.  As the reach of online platforms has expanded throughout Web 2.0, consumers have been given the freedom to express themselves in a span of seconds. People can post good and bad things about your brand, the quality of your service, and the performance of your product in a short amount of time. However, the most crucial part for any post apart from its authenticity is if the customer will end it with a call to action that recommends you.

Here are two ways user-generated content can keep your brand relevant:

  1. It does brand awareness campaigns for you.

Two Ways User-Generated Content Can Keep Your Brand Relevant - Duct Tape MarketingUser-generated content is pervasively dominating social media as if it were an epidemic outbreak, which is good. The Nielsen Company conducted a worldwide survey and found that consumers trust word of mouth marketing the most; 90 percent of survey-takers believe recommendations from people they know while 70% put faith in reviews posted by strangers online. Even millennials are said to be obsessed with user-generated content.

All these statistics have one common ground: authentic feedback. Buyers are more likely to get hooked on a brand due to real and trustworthy experiences provided by other users.

A good example is Starbucks’ successful design-a-cup campaign in 2014. The campaign encouraged U.S. and Canada-based customers to design their own Starbucks cup, take a photo of it, and post it online with the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. The winner receives the privilege of having his masterpiece as the official design of Starbucks’s limited edition reusable cup. In four weeks, the campaign received 4,000 entries. Yes, it wasn’t a 5-digit figure but think about it – with each entry, dozens of friends and family members rooted for their participant and constantly shared it through online posts.

Another example would be Marc Jacobs’ #CastMeMarc stunt in which participants posted their best modelling photos/selfies on Twitter and Instagram under said hashtag. Winners were scouted by the company for its  2014 advertising campaign. Within a day, Marc Jacobs received more than 15,000 submissions. Again, each entry had its corresponding supporters based on the participant’s number of followers; each post was linked with a number of likes generated  by the connections of the aspiring winner.

  1. Even negative reviews increase your customer database.

Focusing the spotlight on customer reviews makes your brand more authentic. To make your brand more credible in the eyes of your customers, highlight people’s feedback. Old-fashioned Two Ways User-Generated Content Can Keep Your Brand Relevant - Duct Tape Marketingmarketing strategies would opt to advertise positive responses. However, people would want to see the other side of the coin:  negative reviews. There is no perfect product so it’s impossible to evade negative labels from buyers. After all, there is no “one size fits all” brand. Given this reality, it would be better if you admit the flaws of your product or service and make up for it.

Addressing negative feedback does more than elevating your ratings; it makes your customers feel that you are genuine as a seller and that you value customer service. SDI states that 30 percent of customers will return to a brand to see if there were any improvements made regarding their negative feedback.

According to The Retailer Consumer Report, 68 percent of consumers who posted a negative review on a social networking site (after an unpleasant holiday shopping experience) got a response from their corresponding retailers. Unexpectedly, 18 percent of these buyers were converted into loyal customers and bought more than they previously purchased.

User-generated content is a huge game changer in the field of marketing and advertising as it is the driving force that channels the attention of buyers and potential customers to your business. Therefore, it is important to create campaigns that does not only engage people, but also encourages them to spread the word about your brand.


Alter, Joanna. “3 Ways to Grow Your Business with User-Generated Content.” Marketo. June 3, 2016.

Duggan, Leeann. “Marc Jacobs Casts New Ad On Twitter, Selfie Storm Ensues.” Refinery 29. April 4, 2014.

Foong, Louis. “Millennials Love User-Generated Content [Infographic].” Business 2 Community. March 29, 2016.

Loechner, Jack. “Retailer Follow Up On Negative Reviews Pays Off.” Research Brief. March 16, 2011.

MacKinnon, Katherine A. “User Generated content vs. Advertising: Do Consumers Trust the Word of Others Over Advertisers?.” 2012.

MacLeod, Sumari. “Why You Should Launch A User-Generated Content Campaign.” Hootsuite. December 16, 2015.

Pemberton, Chris. “Fuel Social Marketing with User Generated Content.” Gartner. June 10, 2016.

“Global Advertising Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers The Most.” Nielsen. July 7, 2009.

“Meet the #CastMeMarc Winners.” Marc Jacobs. July 3, 2014.

“Starbucks Invites You to Decorate its Iconic White Cup.” Starbucks. April 22, 2014.

Rick EnricoRick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius, a global presentation design agency. He regularly publishes expert presentation tips on the SlideGenius Blog. He currently oversees an experienced team of designers, software developers, and marketing professionals that specialize in creating custom corporate presentations and cloud publishing applications. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

5 Visual Storytelling Trends That are Shaping The Future of Communication

5 Visual Storytelling Trends That Are Shaping the Future of Communication - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit Pixabay

Visual storytelling is one of the most potent forms of communication in existence today. From films and virtual reality experiences to interactive games and data visualizations, visual stories are revolutionizing the way we persuade audiences with our messages.

While brands and marketers have generally lagged behind filmmakers and the media in the visual storytelling department, this is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as marketing shifts from “interrupting what people are interested into becoming what people are interested in,” in the words of Marriott’s VP of content marketing, David Beebe.

As the Internet of Things and wearable tech take us closer to a perpetually connected world, visual storytelling will be all around us. From having conversations with our favorite characters to playing games that will help feed the homeless, these visual storytelling trends will allow us to live within stories of our making and, in the process, blur the lines between reality and fiction.

Restrained only by the pace of technological innovation, here are five visual storytelling trends that will shape the future of all communication-related fields:

1. Never-Ending Stories

Audiences’ appetites for captivating stories is growing insatiable–so much so that they don’t want to see them end.

Just take a look at the recent trend in rebooting classic movies and hit TV shows and the nostalgia that leads movie studios to make a profit off of these–even if they’re rarely as good as the original.

In line with this demand, visual stories will increasingly run parallel to our real lives. This means that stories will not only occur in real-time, they will also happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This means that if you tune into one of these story worlds in the middle of the night, you may find that your favorite character is tossing and turning or staying up late to catch up on some work.


Or in the middle of your lunch, you might receive a notification from this parallel story world stating that your character’s town is under a tornado watch.

In fact, we’re already seeing this trend taking shape on social media. On Twitter, for example, you’ll find Mad Men’s Don Draper tweeting regularly to his 18,000 followers and Homer Simpson amusing his 2.27 million followers.

The growth in popularity of live-streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat, which allow audiences to interact with personalities in real-time, is another indicator of this trend.

2. Hyperreal Storytelling

The future of visual storytelling will not only follow a 24/7 cycle; it will also appear more real than reality itself.

I call this trend hyperreal storytelling, and it refers to the way technologies such as virtual and augmented reality are allowing us to create immersive stories that appeal to several of the five senses.

Some of these experiences are so authentic that they have the power to fool the mind and body into reacting as if living through the real thing.

Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, have already benefited from therapeutic virtual reality sessions that place them in lifelike but controlled situations, fooling their bodies into registering these as positive “experiences” in which they conquered their fears.

If you think this is too far down the road to think about, take a look at Lucasfilm’s next virtual reality movie about Darth Vader. Set within the Star Wars universe, the movie will allow participants to walk around, manipulate objects, touch characters and even influence the outcome of the story. (In line with the previous trend, it will also have a 24/7 cycle that continues beyond the user’s experience.)

3. Connective Storytelling

Audiences who grew up with the Internet don’t only crave interactive experiences–rather than passive spectatorship–they also want to connect with other people, whether real or fictitious.

Three-dimensional, relatable characters have always been at the heart of the most beloved stories, but in the future of storytelling, it won’t be enough for us to connect with characters emotionally–we must also be able to walk a mile in their shoes.

In the VR experience called “Nerve,” for example, users can put themselves in a movie character’s shoes and experience what it’s like to ride a skateboard while holding onto a police car or climbing a ladder from one high-rise to another.

Or in the Project Syria experience, viewers can feel what it’s like to live in a Syrian refugee camp and sit alongside grieving families as they hear deafening gunfire and rockets overhead.

4. Social Impact Storytelling

Related to the previous trend, visual storytelling of the future will also be used to increase empathy for others and raise funds for social causes.

Just like Project Syria, there are already dozens of VR experiences that aim to increase awareness of the plight of those who are less fortunate.

From living as a homeless person to suffering from Parkinson’s disease, these VR experiences are paving the way for storytelling that has an actual impact on the real world.

There are also social games that are used to raise funds for different causes, such as this initiative which urges participants to become real heroes by playing a game that will help raise money for a children’s hospital.

5. Brand Storytelling

When it comes to crafting unique virtual reality experiences, brands are not far behind filmmakers.

5 Visual Storytelling Trends That Are Shaping the Future of Communication - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit IKEA VR Experience

IKEA, for example, launched this VR experience that allows users to walk around and interact with a virtual kitchen. They can open drawers, move objects, change the look and feel of the kitchen and even explore the space from the point of view of a child.

Always the content marketing trendsetter, Red Bull also created this immersive flying experience which allows participants to enjoy a wild, realistic air race simulation.

Authors of Our Own Stories

In line with these trends, communicators of all types, especially marketers, must then strive to create content that is:

  • Interactive
  • Authentic
  • Immersive
  • Impactful
  • Continuous

Although most of us will not be able to assign millions of dollars to the creation of a VR experience just yet, the trend is clear: The stories of the future will not only become more visual, they will empower us to communicate more vividly than ever through alternate worlds and characters so believable they will blur the lines between fact and fiction, between natural realities and invented ones.


Nayomi ChibanaNayomi Chibana is a journalist and writer for Visme’s Visual Learning Center. She has an M.A. in Journalism and Media from the University of Hamburg in Germany and was an editor of a leading Latin American political investigative magazine for several years. She is particularly passionate about researching trends in transmedia storytelling.

Blogging Your Way To a More Powerful Brand

Blogging Your Way To a More Powerful Brand - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit Pixabay

The best thing about a blog is that just having one is a step towards creating a more powerful, recognizable brand.Many businesses use content marketing through blogging a major part of their strategy, so you are already ahead of the game

Many businesses use content marketing through blogging a major part of their strategy, so you are already ahead of the game

So how do you become a blogging superstar, and get that brand up and moving? Here are some must-have tips to get started.

Build Bigger, Better Content

The common advice used to be that if you write it, they will come. That hasn’t been the case for a long time now. Creating content is about building something amazing that stands out from the crowd because everyone and their mom have a blog these days. Want to brand through blogging? You better be ready to go for the gold.

Having posts that really push the line will get you further, and one amazing post will equal to about ten ‘meh’ ones. Try expanding out into interesting new territories: slideshows, infographics, comics, expert roundups, series posts, extensive tutorials, etc.

Get Social (The Better Way)

There is nothing quite as annoying as a blog Twitter or Facebook account that only publishes links to their blog. Maybe those posts are incredible, I wouldn’t know…I never click on them. And if you look at the analytics that comes from those kinds of accounts, neither does anyone else. People may hit the favorite or like button, but they will probably forget they ever saved it to read later.

Your social accounts are a way to engage and connect with your potential audience. It is a place to show off your authority, likeability, and the tone of your brand. You should be interacting in a normal, one on one way. That doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) share links, but make it about more than that. Here’s a good list of social media tactics to build your blog and drive traffic.

I would recommend setting your posts to automatically post on social media. Then use a tool like Buffer to remind every few days for the first week. Everything between should be written in the moment.

Brand Through Color

Choosing the right color for your brand is probably the biggest concern as far as design goes. So why do so many brands choose the same color scheme? I have lost track of the number of modern startups that are going with blue, blue-green and green, it is insane.

You want to stand out, but also present an image that is true to your brand. There are some great color wheel tools out there that will let you select a unique palette that speaks to what your blog is all about.

My personal favorites are the ultra-simple Paletton wheel and the more thorough Adobe Color Wheel. The first is a nice way to just get a look at how the different colors mesh together and look in a sequence. You can get any shade or tone between two extremes. The second is great if you want to share your palettes, or look at those created by other designers. The gallery can be pretty inspirational. Head there if you are having trouble deciding on what colors to use.

Build Your Own Assets

Don’t spread yourself thin: It’s easy to focus on social media activity (which brings results at this very moment) and forget about building something long-term and solid that would become a solid traffic source one day.

An essential brand asset you should start with is definitely an email list: Your subscribers will become the core of your community, coming each time you call them.

GetResponse is the most efficient platform to build an email list. Its automation toolset is impressive and lets you automate your communication with subscribers in a most powerful way. Besides, GetResponse has come up with powerful marketing tools including webinars, analytics and landing page creator empowering your email marketing.

Blogging Your Way To a More Powerful Brand - Duct Tape Marketing

Spread Your Authority

Whenever someone tries to claim that guest blogging is dead, I roll my eyes and submit my latest guest post to one of the many sites I am lucky enough to work with. Guest blogging is one of the easiest ways to spread your authority beyond your own blog, connecting with audiences who are interested in what you have to say, but may not have come across your site before.

Branding is all about authority, because you have to prove you are the best of the best, and no one else competes. Writing for other sites that readers already trust is a great way to do that.

Monitor Your Brand Effectively

You have got to be able to properly keep track of what is being said about your brand, and to be up on the latest 411 at all time. Having a couple of tools on hand will make that a lot easier.

Google Alerts is a must use app for reputation management all across the web. It will keep an eye on reviews from other sites, Yelp comments, even obscure mentions on little forums and message boards. You will always be able to watch, and (if necessary) comment.

Cyfe is an all in one business dashboard that pretty much does anything you want it to. I like it for watching social media, analytics for different pages, and finding out what content is most popular. That helps me to narrow down my brand focus and start catering to what my audience is responding to.

Blogging Your Way To a More Powerful Brand - Duct Tape Marketing

Get That Editorial Calendar In Order

This isn’t exactly a branding tip, but it is a blog management tip. Which means in the grand scheme of things, it applies.

You should have an active, well-maintained, organized editorial calendar in place at all times. You can just use an Excel or Google Drive spreadsheet if you like. But I like Trello for the job since it is so easy to edit, share, get comments, assign tasks, and just about anything else you can think of.

It is one of those tools that is there for one thing (project management), but can be customized to fit just about any need.

Do you have any advice to add on branding your blog? Let us know in the comments!

anna foxAnna Fox is the blogger behind Hire Bloggers, social media marketing enthusiast, and stay-at-home mom.