In the spirit of using technological advancements to improve the way we communicate, we submitted an article for the current issue of iGB Affiliate Magazine looking at how marketing strategies continue to incorporate a human touch.

The issue can still be found at this week’s Berlin Affiliate Conference (BAC). We’ve republished the piece here, with part one appearing yesterday and the second and final part below.

Live Video Streaming
There are innumerable instances of a brand’s reputation suffering the consequences of irresponsible social media management, tone-deaf creative or a simple lack of foresight. No marketing tactic, however, combines opportunity and peril quite like live video streaming.

The uniqueness and immediacy of online video was made apparent in May of this year, when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the addition of 3,000 new hires to help monitor violent footage posted to the site. The move came after two disturbing videos appeared on the site earlier in the year.

A year earlier, Facebook Live, which launched in April 2016, suffered embarrassment of a more innocent nature, when the video feed for a BuzzFeed interview with President Barack Obama stalled. In fairness, BuzzFeed and Facebook Live, along with several other companies, including Dunkin Donuts, Tastemade and Tough Mudder, have all experienced great success with subsequent live streaming initiatives.

It’s widely accepted that online video will dominate the future. A 2016 report published by Cisco predicted that online video would be responsible for 80% of global internet traffic by 2019. That figure puts marketers in a challenging, albeit familiar position, where resource allocation needs to be complemented with messaging that rises above the noise.

Savvy affiliate marketers will recognise the potential of live video streaming, which comes from its flexibility, dynamism and ease of implementation. Furthermore, it offers a more earnest method of engaging audiences and building brand reputation.

Kathy Klotz-Guest, Founder of KeepingItHuman.com, highlighted the potential to humanise via live video streaming in an article for Convince & Convert. “Use streaming to create conversations, give customers important information, and highlight fans, partners, employees, and new technologies (and share the spotlight),” wrote Klotz-Guest. “Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses is yet another way to thank your biggest fans and enable them to help share your brand story.”

Virtual Reality
All the tools exist for marketers to interact with audiences more fully. The challenge is amplified, however, as the number of marketing channels grows beyond what marketers can reasonably be expected to manage effectively. With that in mind, can these professionals also justify diving into the bourgeoning realm of virtual reality (VR)?

VR, like live video streaming, is a test of a marketing team’s creativity, drive and resources. A successful VR initiative, perhaps more than any other technology mentioned in this article, is reliant on a strong collaborative relationship between affiliate and the companies they are affiliated with. While businesses can and should be evaluating what VR could mean for their brand marketing, affiliates are similarly equipped with the ingenuity to bring new ideas to the fore.

Defining the objective behind those ideas is another challenge entirely. As Michelle Greenwald, CEO of Inventours, said in a recent Forbes article entitled From Storytelling to VR ‘Storyliving’, “Consumers take VR messages and stories to heart in deeper and potentially longer lasting ways.  The more multi-sensory communication enables viewers to better see, hear, feel and identify with what others are experiencing.”

There are already innumerable examples of inspired marketing and engagement using VR. Whether it’s HBO’s “Ascend the Wall” experience at SXSW, The New York Times experimenting with storytelling and distributing Google Cardboard glasses to loyal subscribers, or The Guardian’s “6×9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement”, the evidence clearly shows that the possibilities are limited only by imagination.

At first glance, most would understandably think that iGaming couldn’t possibly offer the same level of excitement as a trip to Westeros – maybe it can’t. But to say that iGaming is void of storytelling potential would be false. While some verticals may have more organic paths to implementing VR, each invites affiliate marketers and businesses to collaborate on inventive campaigns and experiences.

Conclusion
Technology is changing how marketers do their jobs. However, the way in which they tell stories and make connections via technology is still their decision. And while iGaming may not offer the same ease of execution for affiliate marketers as some other industries, it remains an industry that promises to entertain, surprise and push boundaries.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how marketing has and will continue to merge the best of technology with the qualities that define us as humans. Please tell us in the comments section further down and remember to pick-up the latest edition of iGB Affiliate.