As we come to the end of the year, I thought it would be appropriate to share a case study of what I think is the most creative use of live streaming of 2018.
If you have attended my communications workshops or watched my weekly Live Stream Insiders show, you will have heard me talk about this example from the Chartered Management Institute in the UK and facilitated by the team at Groovy Gecko. The live stream was hosted for International Women’s Day on Facebook Live.
The live stream featured representatives from Government Equalities Office, London Business School and CMI for a special Facebook Live panel for a discussion about equality in the workplace.
During the live stream the audience was invited to contribute their experiences about equality in the workplace through a live poll where they were invited to comment with an emoji as a response to a question.
However, what really caught my attention was that towards the end of the live stream, a different experience was delivered to the men who watched versus women who were watching.
The live stream that men saw was disrupted to reflect the issue that the gender pay gap at manager level is 26.8% as reported in their Broken Windows special report. This was explained by the host of the live stream and it was a very powerful visual way to represent the difference in pay for men and women in the UK.
I invited the Groovy Gecko team to share with us some insider perspectives about the live stream which you can read below.
Krishna: Tell us a little about Groovy Gecko for people who have not come across your work.
Groovy Gecko: The company was founded 20 years ago in London by our MD Craig. He had worked and built up experience in the tech industry, and could see that live streaming was the way that broadcasting visual content was heading, so he got started from one tiny room with a few tech people and we’ve grown from there. We are now based in a lovely office in Old Street (that has more than one room) and have a brilliant team of almost 20.
We primarily focus on two types of very different live streams. On one hand, we live stream for media, entertainment, product companies and brands onto their social media pages. That way their fans and followers can watch exciting celebrity interviews, exclusive product launches or even take part in interactive games and Q&As.
One of the most exciting projects we worked on in the last year was for Virgin Games, where we set up a live stream of a giant poker game that the online viewers could take part in by submitting comments on Facebook, and playing along meant the chance to win a cash prize.
The other side of our business consists of providing live streaming services for corporate and professional companies, such as the Royal College of Physicians.
Our services include providing equipment, providing technical engineers to be on-site and building personalised secure webcasting presentation systems for our corporate clients.
Krishna: What was the goal of the CMI and had they considered live streaming previously?
Groovy Gecko: This was their first ever live stream and they wanted to use it to launch a discussion about gender bias for International Women’s Day in a more immersive way.
Krishna: What gave you the idea to deliver a different message to men and women?
Groovy Gecko: We felt the best way for the male viewers to truly understand gender bias was by experiencing it, even for a short moment. We have actually had the technical capabilities to do this type of stream since last year, so we were really excited to finally have a great reason to use it.
Krishna: Take us through the set up you had for the live stream.
Groovy Gecko: The live stream took place at IQ studios in Westminster, London. We used a professional studio camera, audio and lighting setup with one sofa and TV screens were used behind the panelists to display images related to the ‘Broken Windows’ report done by CMI.
The style of this event was a panel discussion with one host, so this dictated the studio setup that was used. It’s important to have a good leader in a discussion like this and a good range of panelists who have interesting stories to tell.
The host had some pre-written questions for each panellist to ensure everyone had a chance to speak.
The CMI social team used Groovy Gecko’s Question Moderation System which takes questions that the viewers have posted on the stream and allows the client to review them before sending them to a device that the panel leader can see.
Krishna: What practicalities did you have to consider for the dual stream?
Groovy Gecko: The two streams were setup on a pair of encoders, with a backup for each as well.
Visually it was important for the streaming engineer to see each stream on a separate monitor so that it was clear which was which to avoid any confusion. Within our Facebook App we were then able to create the different streams.
During the live stream when the time of disruption approached, the team were ready for the switch, but the final cue came from the host to ensure a seamless, logical experience for everyone as she explained what was going on.
Krishna: When did people realise that they were being delivered different content?
Groovy Gecko: People started to comment on the live stream soon after the disruption began, and this sparked important discussions between viewers.
Krishna: What are some of the other ways that people could use this approach to help them with campaigns, social causes etc?
Groovy Gecko: The tool is being expanded so that it can be used with other profile data such as age or location to deliver a custom feed.
Therefore, as an example, you could have a stream containing a call to action which is based on you current location.
Krishna: What three tips would give people who want to use audience targeting for Facebook live streams?
Groovy Gecko: Firstly make sure you understand your audience makeup before seeing how you can sub divide them.
Secondly, never make the activity be about exclusion. So for example with the CMI live stream it was about using the technique to highlight the differences not punish the male audience.
Thirdly, producing multiple streams is more costly than a single stream so make sure you understand what customising the streams will give you in terms of return on investment.
Krishna: What do marketers need to know and be aware of in relation to live streams now given the changes with the Facebook API and privacy updates?
Groovy Gecko: They need a good understanding of what data they are capturing, how they use it in a responsible way and what the legal requirements are. For example, with the CMI project we were using the user profiles to deliver the content without viewing or storing their data for anything else.
You can see the live stream here on Facebook.
I hope that has provided you with an insiders perspective on this creative live stream. What live streamscaught your attention in 2018?
If you are looking for more live streaming resources and tips, make sure that you check out my weekly live show on Facebook Live every Sunday at 7pm or you can watch the replays on YouTube or access the show as a podcast and you can find live stream tutorials here. and if you have questions about integrating live streaming into your communications plan in 2019, remember you can schedule a conversation with me to ask me your questions.