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Adding Ustream to the social media mix

August 25, 2010

I first heard of  live video streaming website Ustream.tv a few months ago when some musicians I know were streaming their rehearsals. After further research into the platform I was able to see a multitude of uses and benefits for the site and began to think about how I could incorporate it into my own social media marketing plan at work.

First established in 2007, Ustream now has in excess of 2 million registered users who generate more than 1.5 million hours of live streamed content per month. The site also attracts 10 million unique visitors per month.

The 2008 United States presidential election utilised Ustream as nearly all major candidates incorporated it into their campaign and allowed voters to pose political questions at the candidates. This is enabled via the chat function, so viewers can ask questions while watching the content, and due to its live status these questions can be answered in real-time.

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel became the first candidate ever to stream an alternate debate on Ustream that allowed him to respond to all of the questions being asked, as well as comment on the responses from the other candidates throughout a nationally televised debate.

In Australia last month Roadshow Films used Ustream to allow fans to watch Ashton Kutcher walk the red carpet for his film Killers in both Sydney and Melbourne live.

So for my first foray into the medium I decided to stream live content spliced with pre-recorded content for Open Day alongside my trusty colleague Jonathan Lang. Those of you who are familiar with me already know that I work for a large tertiary education provider in Melbourne.

The idea behind our campaign was to allow prospective students who were unable to attend our Open Day at the weekend the opportunity to still see what was happening on campus, ask questions, and interact with us. We had a short period of time to record footage, edit and then stream the live broadcast for a half hour television-style program.

The trial was successful and created a lot of interest within our target market and we’ll definitely continue to utilise Ustream in the future.

Here’s some of the footage from the event, now uploaded to YouTube.

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