Web interaction can be the gift that keeps on giving for firms

Face time is a luxury in a world where social has come to mean connecting via touchpad. But do we really want face time to go the way of the subway token or paper airline ticket?

Face time is a luxury in a world where social has come to mean connecting via a tap on a touchpad. But do we really want face time to go the way of the subway token or paper airline ticket?

The answer is no. Consumers crave touchpoints and interaction. And through videocasts on sites such as Google+ and Skype, the Web continues to enhance video engagement streams at the office, town halls, and even funerals. Enter the ultimate interactive face-off opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers, fans, and prospects directly.

As brands become houses of content they are literally developing a voice. Gone are the days when it is enough for brands to just have experts on news shows such as Good Morning America, cover smaller markets with satellite media tours, or pay ambassadors to tweet. Brands are now streaming live interaction directly between their experts and fans via Skype onto their Facebook pages, websites, blogs, and Twitter.

Now brands can replace the anchor person, the blogger, and the publisher in delivering their message. We have seen Calvin Klein's bra expert show a viewer how to fit a bra and a Disney blogger show a fellow mom theme park rides not to miss. Interaction is the new ROI. And it can be the gift that keeps on giving. Live interactive broadcasts are recorded, edited into snack-sized bites, and distributed through earned and guaranteed outlets and blogs for added exposure.

Live interactive broadcasts are also a great way to reach a target audience.

A third of Internet users (34%) living in households earning $75,000 or more use video chats according to Pew Research. And 29% of Internet users aged 18 to 29 regularly video chat over the Internet.

Once brands reach out to their communities to interact, a deeper engagement is just a link away. Sweepstakes and e-commerce embedded links surrounding the video drive ROI. Newsletter sign-ups and special offers prolong consumer engagement post-live broadcast and video distribution.

Consumers are diving deeper into all things digital for fulfillment. Feed your media beast with content that engages consumers on the level that lets them take the plunge.

Christy Ferer is CEO of Vidicom, a multimedia agency that produces branded content and distribution solutions for major brands.

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