Live Streaming with Twitter

In today’s market, customers want their service and information and they want it now. There is no better way to feed the content hungry customers what they want than providing them with live streaming. Many social media platforms are starting to accept this new trend by providing applications or functions within the platform that allow viewers to watch the live content. According to Jayson DeMers (2016), Facebook recently released their Live capability on their platform, which allows their users to take a video and display it on their profile for their friends to watch in real time.

In order to keep up with the live streaming trend and acquire more customers, Twitter started taking part in live streaming. Their form of live streaming is not the same as Facebook’s because it focuses on streaming live content from television broadcasts instead of content from its users. According to James Vincent (2016), the new hot topic being streamed by Twitter is the presidential debate between Trump and Hillary. The live streaming of the presidential debates allows viewers to tweet their thoughts and opinions in real time by adding a hashtag that is specific to the content being streamed. In the case of the presidential debates, the hashtag is “#Debates”.636100595305458149-clintontrump

In addition to streaming popular news content, like the presidential debates, Twitter has teamed up with a few television stations and companies in order to display various types of popular content. According to Katie Benner (2016), Twitter plans to show 10 NFL Thursday night games, and all live videos from MLB Advanced media, the NBA, Pac-12 Networks, Campus Insiders, Bloomberg News and Cheddar News in 2016 for free. For the sports enthusiasts, having all of this content streaming live from Twitter is big news and will attract more people to become a member of Twitter. Twitter’s first test to see how their members liked live streaming came when they streamed the Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets NFL game, which resulted in 2.1 million people tuning in to the broadcast.

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According to Jessica Guynn (2016), Twitter is one of the only media platforms that is taking the initiative to provide trending content for free. Facebook is another platform that has the presidential debates streaming for free. Before the debates began, Facebook teamed up with ABC in order to provide the debate content to Facebook users through the Facebook Live software. With the competition between Facebook and Twitter growing in the field of live streaming content, there will be opportunities for significant advancements and benefits for viewers in the future.

ESPN Knows Football

According to espnfounder.com (2016), ESPN was derived in 1979 by individuals who wanted to start the very first 24 hour sports broadcasting station. It was started and the progress was driven by a father and son team that fought with the NCAA to secure their first large scale financial contract. Even though they had a bumpy start and only a small crowd in 1979, they managed to grow into the world’s largest sports broadcasting station and were later acquired by the Walt Disney Company, one of the most successful global brands.

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espnfounder.com (2016). ESPN Debut September 7, 1979

At the start, ESPN was only able to broadcast over radio and black and white television. Once mastering the television broadcast, ESPN needed to create new ways to capture more of the market. The desire for growth and innovation resulted in the birth of ESPN’s streaming platform, WatchESPN. WatchESPN allows customers to step away from their televisions and watch the game online or from any mobile device. All that is needed is a valid cable service provider for the household and any game can be watched anywhere!

WatchESPN has enable ESPN to obtain some serious increases in viewers and customers in the 2015 season. According to the National Football Foundation (2016), ESPN experienced the following:

  • 54% increase in average minute impressions per game
  • 38% increase in total unique viewers
  • 53% increase in total minutes viewed

The increases seen by ESPN after one year is nothing short of amazing and a significant portion of the increase was due to the WatchESPN platform. Customers are looking for convenience when they shop in today’s market. The capability of watching nearly any football game on any device at anytime is an offer that is difficult to pass up by many football fans. WatchESPN allows the customers to not only stream the live football games, but replay ones customers may have missed in the past. This enables football fans to watch games all week long without having the inconvenience of staying up late throughout the week or weekend and having to deal with flipping back and fourth between channels in the hopes of watching more than one game at a time.

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Smart TV Apps (n.d.). WatchESPN.

Have you experienced what WatchESPN can offer? If so, what is your favorite aspect of the platform and which sports do you watch with the service?

Kyle

Home Depot Uses Augmented Reality to Improve Customer Shopping Experience

The Home Depot has become one of the most popular companies to shop at when it comes to purchasing home improvement supplies or receiving tips on how to complete a project from seasoned professionals. According to Statista (2016), there were approximately 2,274 Home Depot stores in 2015, which outnumbered their largest competitor, Lowe’s, at 1,857 store locations.

Home Depot is able to grow each year and capture a significant portion of the customer market due to a variety of factors. They are able to effectively help their customers by having an experienced staff that cares about helping their customers complete projects correctly and in a timely manner. Each store location holds a vast array of home improvement products and special products can be ordered and quickly shipped to the individual. Even though these two factors cause many customers to repeatedly visit the stores and make purchases, more is needed to meet the demands of the customers and improve their customer shopping experience.

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In order to adapt to the increased demand for technology and convenience, Home Depot developed a sophisticated piece of technology that uses augmented reality. This software is downloadable to any mobile device and uses the devices camera to display objects or changes to a home. According to Pierre Pita (2016), the application can be used to view what a new door would look like on a house, a new paint color on a wall, new furniture in a room, and much more.

Refer to the link to watch a video on Home Depot’s augmented reality software: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yETvPdW9J4s

In addition to showing customers what new items would look like in their homes, the application can be used to shop for thousands of items from the convenience of home. According to News Briefs (2016), if the customer is at a store location or wishes to shop in-store, then the application can show them exactly where a product is located within the store. Customers can easily navigate the store with the software because it can provide a floor plan of the entire store with labeled department sections, such as plumbing, electrical, or even restrooms.

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Overall, this piece of software is valuable for Home Depot because it improves customer experience and streamlines the shopping and purchasing processes. Increased convenience and product exposure are two effective ways to increase revenue for businesses, and Home Depot accomplishes both with the release of this new piece of software.

Hunters are embracing technology!

Men and women across the globe have been hunting to provide food for their families since the beginning of our existence. There have been many changes and improvements to the gear and weapons hunters use over the past century, but many of these improvements have dealt with improving the performance of the weapon, like the advancement from a recurve to a compound bow,  or the optics on the weapon. In recent years, there have been significant strides in the direction of accepting technology to improve the odds for sportsmen and allow them to have better experiences in the field. According to Skinny Moose (n.d.), some of the earlier technological advancements would include gear, such as: handheld radios, electronic game calls, game cameras requiring camera rolls, and illuminated knocks or bow sights.

Many items in the hunter’s arsenal are now packed with technology and allow them to embrace the advantages of emerging media. According to Emily George (2014), some people believe the advancements in technology being accepted by hunters provide a significant enough advantage that the heritage and sport of hunting is being lost. This, of course, is only a matter of opinion and it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to use this technology.

One advancement in hunting technology that embraces emerging media is the creation of mobile apps for interactive shooter compensation and alignment platforms. These mobile apps have been created for both rifle optics and bow optics. The rifle optic application allows the shooter to input various information, such as distance, wind, rifle caliber, and grain of bullet being used. With this information, the application will determine how high the shooter must aim or how many clicks of elevation or windage the shooter must make in order to be on target.

ACCUSCOPE APP

AccuScope Smart Phone App saves ammo and sights in your scope in 4 shots or less! (PRNewsFoto/AccuScope)

The mobile pin alignment app made for achers is known as the UNO. The archer simply lines in their first two pins on their bow and tells the system what yardage the pins are lined in for. With this information, the mobile application is able to determine the speed of the bow and calibrate the remaining pins. All the archer has to do at this point is simply place their bow sight on their phone screens and adjust their pins to the designated points set by UNO.

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Several modifications have been made to the hunter’s newest preferred piece of gear, the trail camera. A significant portion of the hunting population use at least one game camera during their yearly excursions. When they were first released, game cameras were bulky, contained a disposable/cheap camera with a roll of film, and made a significant amount of noise when they took pictures in the field. These cameras were improved to where they are a fraction of the original size, generate little or no noise, and have non-detectable, infrared flashes that will not frighten the animals. The next advancement came with trail cameras that could take pictures or videos and wirelessly text the owner of the camera. This allows the hunter to receive real-time images and videos of game that are walking in front of the cameras, which provides a distinct advantage.

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The final technological advancement being mentioned is perhaps the most vital piece of gear for serious hunters. The development of mobile applications using gps software, weather and animal patterns, and providing the user the ability to take notes have allowed the users to obtain some distinct advantages. Hunters are able to look at topographical maps to determine prime pinch points and hunting locations, set markers on the maps for treestand, blind, or trail camera locations, and determine what the weather and wind direction will be like the day they are hunting. In addition, users will be able to determine what the animal movement will be like, when they will be moving, and take notes about what they have seen from their stand all from the convenience of their mobile devices.

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With all of the above advancements in technology, sportsmen are able to be better prepared each season when they enter the field. Do you or anyone you know use any of the pieces of gear mentioned? Do any other advancements in technology come to mind that were not mentioned?

Kyle

Facebook Goes Live!

Facebook has become the social media giant and leader in innovation. According to Josh Constine (2016), Facebook currently has approximately 1.59 billion users and generated nearly $18 billion in revenue in 2015. Recently, they have been pushing towards increasing their mobile presence and capabilities to keep up with the changing marketing. An estimated 80% of Facebook’s annual revenue is received by mobile advertisement and nearly 827 million users elect to use Facebook only on their mobile device.

Why Go Mobile?

Facebook has released a couple mobile applications that went viral in the past few years. The release of the Messenger app allows people to easily message back and forth  with each other without having to open the Facebook app. To make their platform even better, Facebook added the capability to call the individual through Whatsapp. The Messenger app currently has 800 million users while the Whatsapp has 900 million users. The combination of these two applications has enabled Facebook to expand its market and platform at impressive rates. Also, these applications are free for users to download and use!

What’s Next?

As many have already found out, Facebook has stepped up their game once again to show competitors what they bring to the table. Facebook recently released Live, which allows Facebook users to stream videos in real-time. Once the live recording is finished and on Facebook, it is permanently available for viewing and the comments are overlaid in the videos as they are made.

How users see Live broadcasts

Some may believe that streaming a live video will have the same amount of interactions and interest as a standard posted video, but this has not been the case. According to MediaKix (2016), people spend three times longer watching live streaming videos than regular videos. In addition, videos using the Live feature receive 135% greater organic reach. Since the release of live streaming, there has been an average increase of 75% more videos posted per user.

With the increased amount of interaction and organic reach, this is a powerful tool for companies and internet marketers. Product reviews and releases with special offers will likely become common on Facebook. Obviously, whenever something is developed or released, there is always the chance that people will misuse it. The live streaming feature will be another tool for hackers or individuals who are looking to post inappropriate content.

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Kyle

 

West Virginia’s DNR Switches to Mobile Apps

To many, West Virginia’s Department of Natural Resources officers have a negative light shown upon them because of the fines they issue to sportsmen in the field. Truthfully, without the DNR officers, West Virginia would not have the flourishing wildlife and fishing population that it has today. These officers and the department are only able to regulate the population of animals by using funds from license purchases and safety courses and the money received by the payment of fines.

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Traditionally, licenses had to be purchases at official stations, which issued a hand-written, paper license to the sportsman. In addition to purchasing the license, game animals that were taken in the field had to be physically checked-in at these stations to provide the DNR with an “accurate” amount of animals harvested that year for the hunter. West Virginia’s DNR switched to a mobile friendly, electronic system that allows the individual to purchase their license and check-in their game from the devices. This was done in attempts to make hunting more convenient for people and reduce the amount of game that was not checked-in simply due to the inconveniences. As a result of this switch and a good hunting season, the DNR saw a 77% increase in deer harvested and checked-in on the opening day of buck season.

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In addition to the new electronic license and check-in system, the DNR has switched to using a mobile device platform to teach individuals about hunting and fishing in the outdoors. West Virginia DNR now offer their boater safety course and hunters safety courses online. With these online, mobile courses, the participants will be able to view and interact with various forms of digital media, including videos and images. The digital media paired with text information will allow the participants to view and identify possible safety hazards while operating a boat or in the field.

Image result for WV DNR online boater and hunter safety courses

Advertisements That Get You Paid

In today’s world, people are often over-exposed and pestered by a plethora of advertisements and marketing campaigns and strategies. Why are some of these advertisements and marketing campaigns more memorable and profitable than others? Why are some businesses able to create advertisement campaigns that continuously increase the amount of customer interactions on the posts while others take losses on their advertisement expenditures? In this post, various effective and ineffective marketing strategies and elements will be discussed.

Preparation Before Action

Before any written or visual content goes into an advertisement or campaign, the most important task to complete is clarifying all business objectives that are associated with the advertisements, according to Greg Satell (2013). Advertisements meant to strengthen customer relations, expose a new product to current or potential customers, or increase profits from a lucrative product line have to be marketed independently and in different ways. Each category of ads must have set goals with specified groups of individuals. Advertisements and campaigns with the adequate amount of specificity for the target group will outperform general advertisements due to a personal connection that the potential customer receives when the advertisement criteria matches their personality or preferences (Ambs, 2013). Advertisements that fail to have set objectives targeted towards specific groups of individuals are likely turn out to be a waste of the individual’s or company’s time and money.

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Tracie (2015). How To Market To Your Target Audience.

Delivery Methods

Once the objectives are determined, the delivery method of the advertisement must come into play. According to Anto Chittilappilly (2016), effective methods that have become popular for emerging media delivery are:

  • Location-based Advertising: Advertisements that are sent to an individual once they go near a location. This method uses Geo-fence detection to send a perfectly timed advertisement for items such as coupons to a restaurant.
  • Device-aware Advertising: Advertisements that are sent to an individual based on the location of the individual’s device.
  • Native Advertising: Advertisements built and displayed within applications on an individual’s mobile device. The advertisements pop-up randomly while the application is running.
  • Social Media Advertising: Advertisements using one of the various social media platforms. The advertisements can range from call-to-action sales to traffic jam alerts.
  • Online Video Advertising: Advertisements that are displayed through a short video clip which it typically attached to the company’s website or a call-to-action link.

As most would guess, all of these effective delivery methods deal with digital media and mobile devices.

According to SeenBest (2013), many advertisement delivery methods have become outdated due to the increased use of technology. SeenBest (2013) believes the following methods are outdated:

  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Yellow Pages Advertisments
  • Newspaper and Magazine Advertisements

These methods are believed to be outdated because people rely heavily on their mobile devices and internet for information, which has allowed emerging media to take their place. In addition, people have become more skeptical than ever when receiving telemarketing calls, direct mail, or emails. In most cases, the potential customer will hang up the phone or discard the mail in the trash or spam folder, depending on the delivery method (SeenBest, 2013).

Construction of the Advertisement

Now that the objectives, targeting strategy, and delivery methods have been addressed, it is time to consider the specifics of the  emerging media advertisement. There are three basic elements that can be used in an advertisement, which are text, images, and videos. These three elements can make up the entire advertisement individually, or they can be used in combination. According to Felicia Golden (2015), plain text advertisements are out-performed by image advertisements which are out-performed by videos when it comes to catching the attention of the current or potential customer. According to Heidi Cohen (2013), these are a few statistics that compare customer’s views about plain text versus visual content:

  • 94% more total views are attracted to posts that contain an image compared to no image.
  • 67% of customers believe that images related to the topic are important and could out-weight the written content of the message.
  • 37% increase in engagement is experienced on social media platforms when the post includes visual content.

Visual content allows the target to easily consume the information that the person or business is trying to relay without confusing them with a surplus amount of text. The image can be used to display the product or service being advertised and is usable on any social media platform. In addition, images and videos are displayable across languages and cultures because they eliminate language barriers. This is due to the image or video conveying the meaning of the message instead of relying on the text. Below is a mistranslated message that only uses text.

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Sevara (2008)Picture #21.

What Should a Solid Advertisement Look Like and What Elements Should Be Incorporated?

In summary, advertisements should start out with a clear set of objectives with concrete deadlines. The advertisement or advertisement campaign should be directed towards a group of individuals based on attributes, such as: race, gender, income, location, or education. To maximize results, digital content that catches the eye of the potential customers should be used. Text should be included with emerging media posts, but the amount should be limited to what is necessary. This will allow the potential customers to stay focused and remain interested.

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Funnystack.com (n.d.)Where Animals Are Stars.

When applying an image or video to an emerging media post, make sure that it is creative and unique to the company or product. According to Lesli Walsh (2012), stock pictures are affordable and easy to use, but they are predictable for viewers and hinder the overall design of the advertisement. As said by Felicia Golden (2015), 90 percent of all information received by the brain is visual and can be processed 60,000 times faster than text. Leave a lasting impression with the potential customers by using a unique visual that describes the product or service and place a small excerpt below it with a clickable link or embed the link within the image.

How do we know if it is working?

No advertisement can be complete if the provider does not know the results. Big businesses spend a fortune on campaigns and software to accurately track their interactions, whether they be views, clicks, addition to carts with no purchase, or completed purchase transactions. Many pieces of software  used to track emerging media interactions are provided for free on social media accounts or through other providers for the basic version (upgrading the package is how they make their money). Below are a few examples of advertisement tracking software that can be used for free or at low cost:

  • ClixTrac
  • Linktrack
  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Insights
  • ClickInc.com

Mass Exposure to Emerging Media

In recent years, the expansion and utilization of emerging media has been remarkable. Jason Karaian explains that the amount of time individuals are exposed to digital media, including the internet, television, or cell phones, has skyrocketed to 490 minutes each day. Lulu Chang estimates that cell phone users spend an average of 4.7 hours per day on their cellular devices, which provides the most exposure to digital media than any other means. The next source that provides the most media exposure is television at approximately three hours and the internet at two hours for those who possess those luxuries.

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The more interactive forms of media on cell phones, social media, blogging, and television have acquired more attention by marketers than any other form of media in history. These advertisements can easily be tracked and modified in real-time to adapt to the market and consumer needs. Businesses have been able to more effectively expose potential consumers to their products and services and induce their interaction on their emerging media campaigns. More interactions on the emerging media campaigns means there is an increased likelihood that these companies can upturn sales and profits.

Social media platforms are doing especially well in advertising and marketing revenue since the increased use of emerging media. Facebook is a company that is fully exploited for its marketing advantages. Facebook increased their first quarter profits by 76% to $4.26 billion in 2016 when compared to the first quarter in 2015. The amount of growth for Facebook can be attributed mainly to large and small businesses designing and releasing interactive advertisements on Facebook’s platform. Once an advertisement is released, businesses are able to utilize some of Facebook’s analytical software to properly adjust and focus their advertisement campaigns.

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Overall, I believe that using interactive, responsive forms of media marketing through cell phones, television, and the internet are the best ways for businesses to increase profits. Digital media has dramatically decreased the popularity of print media in recent years, which has allowed some companies to fully exploit its benefits. Businesses that are able to fully capitalize on the emerging media efforts will overshadow those who are sticking to traditional media marketing.