Video streaming technology is developing rapidly and finding more everyday applications than we could expect. The availability and simplicity of such tools give people easy access to professional quality live video production and the ability to stream to Youtube, Twitch, Facebook and many more platforms.
Unlike traditional broadcasting, online video streaming is much more measurable in real time – content creators know how many people are watching, where they are watching from and how long.
But there is a question asked in both traditional broadcast (TV stations and networks) and digital video streaming: Is the audience actually engaged with the content?
While it has never been easier than now to have your content delivered with the highest quality to the consumers, the conventional metrics such as views and geography do not answer one of the main questions – whether the audience is really paying attention. That is the ultimate goal: to have your content bring value to and create interest for the audience.
It is especially important to find answers to these questions as we move forward and observe more applications for live video streaming:
- Entertainment (sports and shows)
- Corporate events – meetings and conferences
- Music performances
- E-sports and gaming
This is the first article in our “Audience engagement on-air” series and here we will give you a high-level understanding on how to create engagement and interactivity for your live video content in real time.
ExciteM’s Interactive Suite
ExciteM’s Interactive Suite enables broadcasters and digital video creators to engage with their audiences and create strong connections by leveraging polls, questions, surveys, competitions, leaderboards and the second-screen experience combined with on-air elements.
There are three main components to create interactivity and participation with ExciteM:
- ExciteM Dashboard. This is the place where users create and manage their polls and surveys, then see the responses and results. You can create them in advance and make changes on the fly.
- The On-Air Elements. Beautiful, animated graphic overlays for video content contain dynamic poll data (questions, options and results), leaderboards with player points, branding and sponsorships.
- The Second-Screen Experience. The games, polls and surveys are accessible by just typing the URL in the browser’s address bar on mobile devices.
In the following video, we partnered with Epiphan, a company which builds live video production tools, and created a real-time demo of the capabilities of ExciteM’s platform combined with video content (production done with Epiphan’s Pearl2).
So let’s dive deeper into how exactly this works and how much time it takes to get started.
Creating the questions
It all starts when you sign in to the dashboard.
Here, you create questions, link them in surveys, select templates, upload images and launch your campaign.
After you are done, on-air graphics and the second-screen experience are ready to use.
The primary objective of graphic overlays is to display poll data such as questions, calls to action and real-time results to your audience as part of the video to encourage participation.
Around 75 percent of internet users in the United States use another device (smartphone, tablet, computer) while watching TV or streaming digital video.
This means that the majority of your audience most probably will check out your second-screen experience. If you develop meaningful questions directly related to your content, your audience will likely participate.
Adding graphics to your show
The easiest way to add a graphic overlay with real-time poll data in your video is to crop from a chroma key green background.
During your video, you can switch between graphics and ExciteM’s system will dynamically update the poll data based on your actions in the dashboard.
The on-air graphics are the first touch point with your viewers.
There are many solutions out there that will help you crop the graphic overlays from the background and bring them up as part of the video.
When this is done, your audience will start logging onto the second-screen experience and you will notice the results of the questions fluctuate in real time.
The second-screen experience
When your viewers type the URL shown in your video, they will see the interactive polling widget and start playing. They will not need to install a mobile app.
Polling widgets are highly customizable, contain beautiful animations and transitions, show results update in real time and are the second touch point with your audience.
The arrangement of the elements and the ways to vote can be very different and the only limit is your imagination.
What else is there
ExciteM’s interactive platform allows content creators to collect votes from across platforms:
- Web (widgets)
- Text messages
In our demo we had a call to action which pointed to the web widgets, but the graphics could contain instructions for the audience to vote in any combination of the ways described at the same time.
ExciteM’s interactive tools give you ways to measure and understand how people are enjoying your live videos.
Stay tuned to find out what real-life applications and use cases there are for ExciteM’s engagement tools in our next articles.