Between the inspiring talks and catching up with clients and friends, I really enjoyed being at the Dublin Web Summit last week. There was a lot of talk about digital marketing at it, and here are the top three tips I took away from the event:
- Forget about search engines and focus on people
Dharmesh Shah, CTO and Co-founder of inbound marketing company HubSpot, gave a great talk full of easy to implement tips. His biggest message? Forget trying to please search engines with over-technical SEO trickery and instead, concentrate on making people happy with interesting content, and “solve for humans.” The search engine companies are trying to figure out what people are interested in, so they’ll catch up with you pretty quickly if people are interested in what you do.
- Go mobile and go live
Ok, so we all know that mobile is important. Even Facebook knows that now. But Hubert Grealish, Global Head of Brand Communications at Diageo, emphasised the scale of the opportunity by pointed out that only “1% of marketing budgets” are currently being spent on mobile. There’s only one way that will go, he says, and live experiences are a great way of capturing attention. And because people “want to think in pictures” he says brands should be looking at Pinterest more too.
- Live streaming in HD is where it’s at
Speaking of live experiences, you’d expect Mark Kornfilt, Co-founder and GM Europe of Livestream, to be positive about the opportunities around live streaming / webcasting video. He didn’t disappoint and focussed in on how Livestream offer both a hardware and software solution that helps guarantee great viewer experiences on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. We’ve been working with our friends in Livestream for years to do HD live streaming for our clients in Ireland, Europe and the US, and Mark highlighted the opportunities around this on the digital marketing stage. He had some interesting things to say about how content creators could put their own ads on their live video channels too.
Were you at the Web Summit? Did you follow it online? Are there other digital marketing tips you picked up from it? E-mail me to let me know, send me a tweet at @agtel_diarmaid or share them in the comments!
We’re delighted with the feedback we’ve been getting for our latest video for the National Digital Research Centre.
NDRC were looking for a video that would bring to life their impressive results from the past year for an audience at their Annual Report launch event.
Having been to a few busy events and seen how videos can be lost on a chattering crowd, we recommended a video style that would be easy to dip in and out of and work with or without audio for the audience.
Filmed and delivered inside a week, we mixed colourful animated infographics with stylised shots of NDRC’s people and activities to create an energetic video harnessing NDRC’s startup vibe.
The video is also designed to have a long life after the event on the NDRC website and in face-to-face meetings.
“Agtel worked very quickly to deliver a fantastic video that received lots of compliments at the event. Their efficient workflow meant the whole process worked smoothly and we had one less thing to worry about in the busy run up to the launch. We are delighted with the colour and creativity of the finished video – it really showcases what we do at NDRC in an exciting way.”
Marketing Executive, NDRC
We’re still getting great feedback on the live HD webcasts we did from the European Science Open Forum. Held over five days at the Convention Centre Dublin, with over 4,000 attendees and over 400 speakers this was Europe’s biggest science event of 2012.
In this short video, David Fahy, Director of ESOF 2012, reveals the intense work behind the scenes that made it a success and explains why he’d recommend Agtel to other event organisers.
We’re still getting great feedback on the live webcasting in High Definition we did from the Convention Centre Dublin for the Euroscience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF2012). Live streaming the keynote talks in HD to a global audience of thousands in an engaging way was a creative and technical challenge that we really enjoyed – mainly because we have a real interest in science communication and pushing webcasting technology to its limits.
We were delighted to get involved with this event which is Europe’s largest general science forum, giving us the opportunity to showcase our webcasting expertise. Commissioned by the event organisers at the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser, we were streaming the five day event live in HD to an audience using a global content distribution network. High profile media sites also embedded the video feed including RTÉ and the Irish Times.
Using broadcast quality cameras and a TV vision mixing desk, the keynote speeches of high profile people such as Mary Robinson, Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, NASA’s Charles F. Bolden Jr. and President Michael D. Higgins were live streamed with pictures so sharp viewers could see the laser pointer. The Agtel TV director on site also ensured the two cameras moved around to capture the best possible shots and the Agtel vision mixer added pace to the event so that viewers got a sense of its scale. The content was live streamed to any number of devices from laptops to iPhones and iPads, and by hosting it on a channel we created specifically for the event, viewers can still access the videos now. Social media share buttons ensured that video of the event reached social media audiences while it was happening.
Many of our business clients are also coming to us to live stream mission critical events in HD. This is because webcasting can also be used very effectively for a company’s internal and external communications – but it must be high quality, and it must work. Recently Agtel live webcasted an event for a US multinational from a hotel outside Dublin, making sure hundreds of staff in California could see the event in a “town hall” style meeting. The value added features of a password protected secure site, and a live text/chat system ensured they could engage with the event as if they were there. Importantly, the dedicated broadband line we installed specifically for the occasion made sure we had a robust infrastructure at the heart of our system. Site surveys and onsite tests before the event gave the client confidence that everything would work on the day in this “must not fail” internal communications event.
These events, and the many others we have live streamed, have shown the benefits of webcasting in reaching national and international audiences. Webcasting is a very effective way of promoting brands and messages to a global audience, all without compromising on picture quality using Agtel’s HD live streaming and webcasting expertise.
What benefits do you see with high quality live streaming? What have been your experiences with webcasting? Let me know in the comments or by e-mail. And if you’re thinking of doing a live webcast from anywhere in Europe get in touch with me and I’ll share our experiences with you.
Diarmaid Mac Mathúna is Agtel’s Head of Client Services and has just been named as one of Ireland’s Top 30 Business Tweeters by the Sunday Independent.
Agtel are pleased to be one of the partners organising the European Science TV & New Media Festival being held this Friday 13th to Sunday 15th of July in Dublin. The great line up includes a screening of the BBC Documentary "The Hunt for Higgs Boson" followed by a keynote speech by producer Gaby Hornsby on Friday at 3.10pm in the Synge Theatre in Trinity College. Highlights on Saturday include a keynote speech by Martin Hynes the Director of the European Science Foundation and a discussion panel at 5pm on ‘The Changing Nature of a New Media Production’ with scientists and representatives from across the science communications world. Our own Diarmaid Mac Mathuna will be taking part in this panel which promises to be a lively event!
Entry is free and members of the public are very welcome.
A full programme and venue details for the festival can be viewed here: http://europaws.org/festival/
I recently went along to the #SMECommunity Tweet-Up- Expanding your Online Experience Offline, a conference inspired by social networking in the Digital Hub in Dublin where my colleague Sarah Sheeran was a speaker.
The event’s panel was composed of entrepreneurs, business owners, digital marketing professionals and industry leaders who imparted their own experiences, useful advice and some eye-opening statistics.
The main thread that emerged from the event was the need for Irish small and medium enterprises (SME) to embrace online platforms and adopt digital strategies for their brand, products and services. According to Dr. Stephen Brennan, Chief Strategy Officer Digital Hub Development Agency, Ireland must tap into the global digital marketplace as SMEs who adopt digital see a 10% gain in productivity and can as much as double their exports. Only 1 in 5 Irish businesses are online, with Dr. Brennan saying those that aren’t are going to fall behind and lose sales to major online companies such as Amazon.
A host of speakers at the event discussed the benefits of online video for SMEs- in the first instance online video complements a business’s website and can get their brand’s narrative into the public sphere. Online video can be used as part of marketing campaigns, to provide useful ‘how to’ videos for products or to explain a complex service or product quickly and simply. In Sarah’s presentation she demonstrated how video can practically generate sales for SMEs. Micksgarage.ie, a website which sells car parts, has seen a 30-40% increase in sales for products featured in videos on their website.
Video also increases search engine optimisation (SEO) as YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results. It isn’t surprising then that 60% of top brands have a video on their site.
Embracing social media was also a main topic at the event. Mary Boyle from Enterprise Ireland said SMEs can use social media to promote their brand, offer advice, signpost people to where they should go and solve problems.
An important take home message from the event however was whatever online channel you decide to use it is the quality of content that must take precedence. Build relationships with customers and other businesses through opening dialogue, listening and responding. Don’t become faceless, have a personality and be the real you.
Now that the dust has settled after the annual Broadcast Video Expo in London it’s worth reflecting on the event. Not only is it useful to see where things are heading it’s also worthwhile getting a sense of where we are. While BVE functions as a trade show it also hosts seminars ranging from nuts and bolts stuff like tapeless workflow and storage to video deployment and propagation - basically how to get your video out there and seen. Two seminars that I thought would be of interest to our clients are summarised here:
Scott Hill of Norwegian based company never.no opened his presentation on Social TV with a quick (whiteboard) lesson in Social Media :
He went on to cite the Hill Holiday experiment in which several families unhooked their cable TV for a week and only used so called Internet TV devices such as Boxee, Apple TV or games consoles like the XBox or PlayStation. Surely the wealth of content available from the likes of Netflix, iTunes, Amazon etc. negates the necessity for conventional TV? The results are surprising and can be seen in this video here: http://vimeo.com/19300498
What’s interesting is that despite the claims that these devices are a ‘cable replacement’ the overall experience is that they lack the seamlessness of the TV experience. As the Hill Holiday blog notes -
‘One finding that is probably obvious in retrospect is that TV is invisible until it’s shut off…The devices demand a lean-forward involvement with what has been traditionally considered a lean-back medium, and this requirement proved disconcerting to many when it lasted longer than the usual bursts of involvement with their DVRs or video-on-demand channels.’
This experience is obvious for anyone who has used Boxee or iTunes on their TV - slow or non-response downloads, application crashes, content restrictions can all add up to a frustrating experience when set beside the consistent and sheer dependability of the TV experience as it is now.
Nevertheless the TV experience is changing and it will be interesting to see how TV companies can adapt and leverage new mediums to enhance the viewing experience. One novel example of how this was attempted was the Grey’s Anatomy iPad app that synced with audio from the episode to offer additional content at particular points.
If anything it’s an incredible proof of concept of what can be achieved, however according to Scott it’s an example of how not to do it. The function of Social TV should be to complement the viewing experience rather than distract you from it. The Million Pound Drop website was cited as a successful application of this.
Our TV colleagues in our sister company Independent Pictures are currently working on the cross platform ‘Bernard Dunne’s Bród Club’ for RTÉ that has a significant social dimension to promote the Irish language. We’re also running a farm safety campaign for the HSA.
Things have changed in terms of video delivery on the web, where once Flash was the preferred delivery method, Apple’s standing in the market has meant that something pretty unthinkable has happened - a vendor has refused to co-opt a widely used web technology and the web has adapted.
As such while ‘Flash first’ is still the preferred mode of deploying web video a HTML5 fallback is imperative. Neil Hollingum of Perpetual Solutions gave a talk on what it means when Flash is removed from the equation and we get into the business of what browser supports what codec - hint: it’s far from consistent.
While most video platforms (the YouTubes, Vimeos and Brightcoves) will do the heavy lifting for you if you it’s preferable not to have to wait until they catch up with your requirements. If you want to deliver something customised it’s often best to know your stuff (or even better get someone to do it for you) . That’s where we like to think we come in!
Interested in talking more about these trends? Get in touch - my contact details are
The LiveU backpack in action.
Last month Agtel had the opportunity to stream a live broadcast from the Enterprise Ireland headquarters in Dublin using an innovative streaming technology. In conjunction with Tyrell CCT we demonstrated Live U, the ‘Satellite truck in a backpack’, from the SME event, part of a series of eight business finance seminars hosted for Irish SMEs. LiveU has developed a revolutionary hand-held video uplink device that enables anyone to broadcast live video instantly, anytime, anywhere. Tyrell CCT was recently awarded the exclusive Irish distribution of this innovative mobile video delivery solution. This technology preview demonstrated the outstanding quality and `reliability of broadcasting via 3G networks with the entire seminar delivered live to viewers in Enterprise Ireland offices around the world.
Organised by Enterprise Ireland, the Small Firms Association, IBEC, the Irish Taxation Institute and the County Enterprise Boards, the SME seminar series was developed to assist SMEs to gain a greater understanding of financial, employment, tax and business supports information to manage and grow their business. The Dublin seminar, which coincided with European SME week, was host to a number of high profile speakers including the Minister for Trade and Commerce, Billy Kelleher. Tyrell CCT provided Agtel with the LiveU LU30 backpack system and offsite technical backup to broadcast the Dublin based event in real-time to a global Enterprise Ireland audience. Viewers in locations ranging from Milan, Stockholm and Tokyo provided live feedback via web chat facility and testified to the picture and sound quality. Following the keynote speeches the Agtel cameraman equipped solely with the LU30 backpack conducted a Vox Pop style session with the seminar delegates moving easily around the venue, including the underground car park, to push the limits of the technology.
“The use of the LiveU technology at our Dublin event was very valuable as we were able to connect with our colleagues in global Enterprise Ireland offices in real-time and provide them with key information and on-the-ground insights from the SME community in Ireland”, commented Alan Hobbs, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland. “We were particularly impressed with the immediacy of service and high quality picture and sound. It is very easy to see how this technology could make a big difference to Irish companies connecting with their audiences worldwide.”
“In today’s dynamic business environment, every organisation is a media company with a need to communicate with their customers, business partners, shareholders and staff,” according to John Cummins, Managing Director, Agtel. “LiveU offers organisations of all sizes an affordable option to transform their communication strategy and reach large audiences by delivering live feeds and videos on their websites. We found the system very easy to set up and use -from arrival on location, the live broadcast can be accomplished literally in a minute or two.”
The broadcast was streamed with Livestream and is available here.
At the DVD launch were (left-right) Martin Territ (Director of the European Commission Representation in Ireland), Ruth O'Looney (Producer, Agtel) , Mary Coughlan TD (Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills) and Alan Dargan (Multimedia Producer, Agtel)
Agtel were delighted to attend the official launch of the Agtel produce ‘Ireland and the European Union’ DVD at the Dublin headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Ireland by Tánaiste Mary Coughlan TD. The DVD provides a concise introduction to the European Union, its origins and development and the tangible benefits of membership for Ireland. The resource, aimed at seconary school students, can be viewed in Irish or English and gives an overview of how the institutions work and how decisions are made at European level.
Also in attendance was Director of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Martin Territ.
Cover of ESA Mission 4: Space Robotics
Agtel was honoured to receive a Bronze IVCA 2009 Award in London. The award was for our DVD ‘Mission 4: Space Robotics. This high-energy and engaging teaching resource was produced as part of our “Project: Zero Gravity” series for ESA’s ISS Education Programme. The production includes footage shot by the astronauts themselves on board the International Space Station (using storyboards created by Agtel as a guide) and also includes footage shot in schools in four countries across Europe.
We already have plans for our 2010 entry and will continue to focus on quality and originality in all our work and for all our clients.
More information on this DVD series is available on the ESA website: http://www.esa.int/esaHS/SEMZTFYO4HD_education_0.html