In a time when many consumers are starting to push back against the disingenuous and fluffy nature of some social media, digital tools that modernize old-fashioned, face-to-face interactions are gaining popularity as a way for companies to stay down-to-earth and genuine. A new trend of live streaming apps like Periscope, Blab and Meerkat let brands have the channels they need to deliver a slice of reality. Innovative video-first collaboration platforms like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangout, and Cisco Spark are overtaking the crowded marketplace of impersonal chat apps and web meeting tools. Suddenly, marketers, sales professionals and business leaders are placing a renewed focus on reaching their audiences face-to-face and in real-time — whether that audience be internal team members, channel partners, prospects, or customers. Here’s what the new approach means for you:
There’s nothing more social than face-to-face engagement — even when it’s through the camera lens of your laptop or mobile device. In a recent study from Meeting Professionals International, meetings that were conducted with face-to-face interactions resulted in a 12% higher conversion rate as opposed to non face-to-face interactions. Now with the addition of more and more low cost (typically free) and easy-to-use live-streaming apps, we’re going to see more content marketers delivering their message across these very personal channels.
The revolution of apps like Periscope and Slack means that brands — both organizational AND personal — can now move beyond the standard website, LinkedIn page or other social media channels to share their message. Today’s live streaming video platforms and real-time collaboration tools allow marketers, sales folks and business owners to create live, genuine experiences for their prospects, customers and partners — all of whom should ultimately be fans and followers. Companies can also start shaping these technologies to meet their specific business needs, such as engaging with channel partners and resellers.
When it comes to the channel, most of the grumbling and disappointment comes from the impersonal and disconnected nature of the typical supplier-partner relationship, resulting in a potentially crippling lack of trust. All too often, partners are last in line to know about new marketing campaigns and sales tools, training, incentive programs, and other critical resources that help them sell. Yet, they’re still under the same pressure as their direct counterparts to meet the goals of strenuous sales quotas and strategic plans, despite having to rely on countless emails, cobbled-together systems and impersonal portals to manage their business. Imagine the benefits that channel suppliers and resellers could achieve with a little face time and one-to-one engagement. From hosting quarterly business reviews to collaborating on deals, hosting live training, and even creating new content and marketing campaigns, these face-to-face services and applications can be key assets to building partner trust and loyalty, enhancing your brand, encouraging social selling, and building more successful relationships all around. And these connections can make a huge difference in sales and revenue growth.
As a culture, we are all itching for a more personal touch. Start humanizing your brand in a way that basic chat, slide decks and recorded video alone cannot. What you see is what you get, and there are no ways to glamorize the truth into something it isn’t. Real face time and collaboration is a fantastic way to connect, bring a sense of greater authenticity to the conversation, and reach out to a community in a personalized way.