What I see being huge heading into 2017 is live streaming, and the ability to share all video, AND “all content,” in so many more ways, via more apps, with story-telling and engagement at the core. You need to try these platforms. You need to jump in. You need to see how you can tell stories, create narratives, build relationships, communicate with consumers, and create learning for your organization.

This is way more than just a another content fad, but rather it’s online video crossing a crucial threshold… You want to know really why I think it’s gonna be huge? Not because I’m using it or Millennials and GenZ are using it… it’s because it’s making video social. Because they’re not just streaming what’s happening live. They’re allowing you to engage with those streams… you are now able to be a part of the conversation.

So looking ahead to 2017, I see streaming video gathering real momentum as a preferred tool for marketing, influence, and connectivity. If you’ve been following the trends, the popularity of video content will come as no surprise. YouTube has been a titan for more than 10 years now, and counts nearly one-third of all active internet users in the world as YouTube users. For years, we’ve been able to upload GIFs, self-shot video, and (more recently) Vines to our social pages. The proliferation of mobile devices means we can all watch video whenever and wherever we please.

So the popularity of video content is not in doubt, and the popularity of social channels goes without saying. Add the two together, and you can start to see why I’m so bullish on streaming video for 2017 and beyond. It gives us the ability to share all video in so many more ways, via more apps, with story-telling and engagement at the core.

Beyond Audience, What’s the REAL Value of Streaming Video?

Yes, Millenials and Gen Z have been among the most enthusiastic consumers of streaming video, but that’s not the only reason that streaming is a big deal. To get to the heart of it, you need to look past who’s using it, and focus on the why. Streaming is a decidedly social experience, and that’s where its biggest potential lies.

The social nature of streaming comes from a few important, related factors. First, it’s live. In the traditional marketing and media world, big, live television events are one of the few remaining opportunities to get your stuff in front of a large audience all at once. And live TV events – like awards shows, NFL games, and holiday specials – tend to be social occasions for the people watching. Safe to say your stream won’t compete with the Super Bowl for ratings, but live content does add extra appeal… and you can stream live from events, personally and representing a consumer brand.

More importantly, however, is the fact that streaming video allows you to connect with your audience in new, interesting ways, and in real-time. People aren’t just streaming what’s happening live; they’re allowing you to engage with those streams, so you’re now able to be a part of the conversation.

Streaming allows you to share your face, voice, and expressions with your audience, but it’s the interactive piece that makes it so valuable. You can address them (and they can address you) directly. You can involve them in the conversation, and answer questions in the moment. It’s also an excellent story-telling medium, with huge potential to grow in that area as more people adapt.

You can do most of those things with pre-recorded video as well, but that really takes the wind out of the social side. Streaming shines because you can allow the audience to participate as the event happens, and their participation helps shape what you do next. It’s easy to talk about engagement. Streaming video allows you to put those words into action, and build new relationships in the process. And it lives on, indefinitely, when posted, or reposted after the fact.

Streaming Is More than Just a Marketing Tool

While marketing is naturally our primary focus, streaming video is a valuable tool for education and connectivity within your business, especially if you have employees in multiple locations. The participatory nature of streaming makes it a great inclusion, and teaching tool, allowing for the same give-and-take that you’d get in a lively classroom lecture. It also presents plenty of options to keep things light and keep your audience engaged.

Or, you know… you can just stick with creating a slideshow and/or circulate a few memos.

There’s no doubt that streaming shows a world of potential in multiple contexts, but you can’t experience the benefits if you’re not willing to experiment and be willing to try a few times before expecting to get it right. You need to try these platforms—jump in and see how you can tell stories, create narratives, build relationships, communicate with consumers, and create learning for your organization. And integrate with all the other ways you now engage and interact. So go ahead, do some research, but do not wait too long to et your feet wet! Just remember that it’s a social experience, not just another tool, and you’ll already be ahead of the game.

Follow the #PrevailingPath, #RonR#NoLetUp

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