October 2016 | Digital8

My Heart Remains in One Piece Following the New Google Release

We live in an age where Google has just as much access to us as we do to it, for most of us Google has been there to support us through the milestones of our life, from searching for lyrics trying to finding that one banger that literally captures your whole life, to that one time you regrettably searched your symptoms and realised you have cancer, a blood disease, may have been exposed to anthrax and only have 1 hour to live. 

All jokes aside, Google really has become an embedded part of our lives, what once was just a search engine that quickly resolved fights, has now become a $200 billion conglomerate, comprising of Google Maps, Youtube, Android, Google AdWords, Galaxy, Nexus and heaps of other Softwares/companies. 

In the past 24 hours, Google has made an announcement regarding the latest products that we can be expecting from them in the very near future. Some are expensive, some are unnecessary and some aren’t available in Australia, but overall the updates seem pretty awesome if you have a big budget and live in the US. 


Phone By Google

The headline product being released is the “phone by google” – Pixel. The Pixel name "has always represented the best in hardware and software, designed and built by Google,together," as stated by, Google's recently hired hardware chief, Rick Osterloh.

Pixel, a phone manufactured by HTC,  will be the first smartphone to have Google Assist built in. Assistant will have the ability to bring up photos from a particular place or time and can play music from your preferred music app upon verbal request. Assistant will be accessible when you say you're deemed “hot word,” much the same as Apple’s “hey Siri.” One of the things I personally find pretty cool about Assistant is its ability to book restaurants for the user, if you were to ask Assistant to google a restaurant, you could then ask her to make a reservation for that restaurant at your specified time. As an added extra, Google is allowing endless cloud storage for full-resolution images and videos taken with the pixel.

The new Pixel smartphone is available in Australia now through plans with Telstra starting at $85 a month…. (totalling to just over $2000 :/) or can be purchased outright through outlets such as JB HI-Fi for $1400.


Daydream VR

The Pixel is made for virtual reality and will be the first Daydream-compatible phone. Daydream is a virtual reality software and another of Google's latest releases, it offers you the opportunity to travel through time and space, and across seas to new locations. Additionally, users will have access to their own personal cinema using well-known streaming/video apps such as YouTube and Netflix.


Chromecast Ultra 

In the latest update, Chromecast has had a revamp and is now been given the hero-istic name Chromecast Ultra. Contrary to its name, the Chromecast Ultra is not a necessary update for anyone. The updated dongle now supports HDR and 4K content and it's reportedly 1.8 times faster than its predecessor. 

It is speculated that this gadget will cost roughly $99.00 and be available towards the end of the year.


Google Home 

Google home is Google’s response to Amazon’s Echo. Google Home is a speaker that incorporates the previously mentioned AI software, Assistant. Google home will be able to answerall questions you may have, from search questions to navigational commands. 

If you were are an avid Google enthusiast you can essentially control your whole house using Google Home, which partners with all google products, Nest, SmartThings, Phillips Hue and IFTTT. In theory, this is a pretty cool device and if it works to its full potential I will be pretty excited, however, Google is not releasing this product in Australia, and does not currently have a release date for Aus in the near future.


After Thoughts…
The Google announcement has shown us some pretty cool stuff and I cannot wait to get my hands on a Pixel. For a lot of people, this will be an exciting time to update their existing plans or buy their first Chromecast, however for me personally, I await the day Google freely releases their products in Australia.  

Using Social Video For Your Marketing Strategy

Video marketing is currently trending as a marketing tool and will continue increasing in the future. A Cisco report says that millions of videos are shared a minute and that 80% of internet traffic will be driven by video by 2019.

Currently, all main social media channels now have video features. Twitter and Facebook both have live streaming capabilities, Snapchat and Instagram recently launched features both entitled “Stories”. These new features have opened up many opportunities for businesses’ social media strategies.

In this post, we’ll be identifying the benefits of using these video features and looking at ways businesses can use these features to enhance their social marketing activities.

Social video forecast


Why should you use social video?

Firstly, live streaming is easy to do and also affordable. Unless you want to take professional content or streams, all you need is a smartphone and social media account. Additionally, you can live stream anytime and anywhere. In fact, a video is viewed more frequently on smartphones and tablets with more than half of mobile traffic coming from video. Essentially you can engage followers when they’re out and about.

Video is most viewed on handheld devices

There are many benefits when you adopt video marketing to your social marketing strategy. In terms of intuitiveness, any business from any industry can do it. One of the main reasons is that it creates a more authentic conversation than a text or image post.

In terms of SEO, video can help increase organic searches and makes users more engaged with your content. Additionally, it increases the likelihood of customers purchasing your product and increases business awareness through video sharing. Overall, video features on social media gives you the ability to think outside the box and stand out among others.

There are many benefits to video marketing

Channels of social video on social media

1. Instagram Stories

Launched in August, Instagram now has a feature called Stories, which allows Instagram users to share multiple images and videos to followers instead of just one. It also lets users edit their stories by adding text and drawings. Instagram recently introduced Event Channels, which showcases events happening around the world. Additionally, “Picked for You” was also added which highlights some videos based on the specific interests of the user.

2. Snapchat Stories

Snapchat Stories was launched in November 2015. Compared to a snap, photos can be viewed longer, approximately a day, and can be viewed multiple times. Snapchat Stories hasn’t had any major update; the recent update fixes minor tweaks with camera control. However, they’ve released a Snapchat 2.0 update which mostly benefits Snapchat Chat, and can also benefit businesses through their customer service.

3. Periscope

Periscope is an app that was acquired by Twitter that enables users to live stream wherever they are and at any time. Followers will be notified when the streamer is live and audiences can chat and react in real-time while watching streams.

Periscope recently announced that it will be introducing a VIP program, which is a three-tiered system that gives perks that help broadcasters increase their viewers and followers. There are some requirements, such as followers and stream frequency, but overall this program could benefit in the long run for businesses who actively stream.

4. Facebook Live streaming

Similar to Periscope, Facebook allows users to live stream right from their news feed. The most recent updates allow users to live stream for an extended amount of time, co-stream with another user remotely, pre-schedule streams and allows users of the video filter app MSQRD (which they’ve partnered with recently) to live stream from the app.

How you can use video in your social media strategy

There are many ways these video features can be used in a business’s social media strategy. In any industry, the key to an effective social video campaign is to find content that your target market will find engaging. The key aspects that drive engagement, include:

  • Curiosity Something viewers have never seen before.

  • Recognition Whether it be real or screen name, viewers like being addressed.

  • Belongingness Viewers feel apart of a group, especially when there’s a large number of viewers.

  • Interaction Viewers can interact with others and also the streamer.

  • Exclusivity Unique content only a certain number of people can access.

Some of the most effective content to stream include:


Backstage events

Video features within social media allow you to give backstage access to viewers for special events, such as conferences or launches. This is widely done by businesses, such as Fox Sports who used Periscope to live stream behind the scenes footage at the UFC 187 event.

Live streaming allows businesses to connect with their followers more intimately, which fosters engagement. Additionally, video can help businesses create content that is emotionally appealing, showing followers who they really are. In addition to streaming events, behind the scenes of a business can also be shown. This allows them to showcase their culture, business activities and history to viewers.

Special announcements or promotions

Instead of publishing a normal text post or image highlighting active promotions, the video gives you the opportunity to get more creative and also increase engagement. Social video is effective here, especially when there’s a limited time or event. You could use Instagram or Snapchat to piece together a humorous or creative story.

When making a special announcement or promotion make sure to have an enthusiastic tone or exciting content, as it can replicate onto your viewers. In fact, this was creatively executed by American retailer J.Crew. They used Instagram Stories to promote their one-day pre-sale of new range of sunglasses.

J.Crew’s Instagram stories


Tutorials and How-to videos

Tutorials and How-tos are one of the most popular types of content that are live streamed by businesses. Here, businesses can give customers opportunities get answers to their questions on products or services in real time and show how to use products effectively

This is frequently implemented by Benefit Cosmetics, an American Cosmetics brand, where they actively live stream tutorials and Q&As on makeup and cosmetics. It has greatly benefited the company, with streams gaining lots of viewers and engagement.

This can be incorporated in the restaurants and cafes as well. Chefs can choose a recipe or show tips and tricks in cooking while live streaming on Facebook, which is a channel frequently used in the hospitality industry.


Product launches

Another popular method used by businesses is to use live streaming as a way to unveil new product through launches. For instance, the launch of the Chevy Volt EV was live streamed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

In fact, even a few days or weeks before your new product launches, you could build anticipation and excitement by live streaming previews, demonstrations or even unboxing, especially if comes bundled with exclusive items. This was done by Disney, where it live streamed an event called “Force Friday”, a few days before launch which involved unboxings of their latest Star Wars toys.

Collaborations and takeovers

Similar to AMAs on Reddit, video can be used to feature collaborations or takeovers with other businesses, key influencers, bloggers, and celebrities. This gives you the opportunity to increase engagement while also increasing followers. For instance, the American retailer, JCPenney hosted a live stream on Periscope with actress Eva Longoria for a Q&A session. Additionally, you could also give customers the opportunity to take over your streams, allowing them to share their stories, opinions or even product testimonies.


Key takeaways

Social video will most likely be one of the most popular tool in a business’s arsenal in the next few years. Video lets businesses publish more creative content and be more authentic to followers. No one would want to miss out on the benefits and opportunities. Any business can incorporate video, it’s simple yet affordable and has the ability to increase awareness, following, and sales.  It’s not too late to add video to your strategy so get out your smartphone and get started today.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Guest written by Wesley Ung from Launchpad Apps