Social Media Breakfast Madison

With new technologies, some of us are early adopters, while some take a wait-and-see approach. Wherever you are on the spectrum, the insights from the January 17th Social Breakfast Media dual presentations on 360° Video and Bots should definitely be on your radar.

Presenting were Nick Myers, of Redfox Creative and Nick Pankowski of YourPodcastguru.com. That’s right – dual nascent technologies, dual Nicks.

It could have led to mass confusion among the marketers still awaiting their early morning caffeine jolts. Both presenters, however, distinguished themselves with some insights into some pretty darn intriguing technologies.

360° video: Not VR, but an immersive experience

First at bat was Nick Myers and 360° video. Nick, whose agency Redfox Creative helps agencies discover and integrate new technologies into their business, gave us a historical view of 360° video, and shared some intriguing applications.

360° video is not to be confused with virtual reality.  With virtual reality, you’re creating a brand new, Matrix-like space. A new world.

In contrast, 360° video allows you to capture everything in the existing world. The user controls the experience. It’s different than just hitting the “play” button and reclining in your easy chair. With 360°, you can move the view of the camera so you can see what’s in front of you, behind you, above and to the sides.

It’s like being plopped into the middle of a venue and being able to look all around you.  “It adds a new layer of experience to digital storytelling,” Nick said.  “You can capture more authentic video.”

Unlike virtual reality applications, you don’t need the clunky VR head-gear with 360° video. It can can be viewed through your smartphone. Facebook and YouTube both feature 360° video on their applications.

Up, down and all around

Nick shared a few applications which give you a sense of the immersive experience:

Events: Check out the video shot at the past year’s lunar eclipse, where you can really take in the scene.

Tours: Realtors and landlords take note.  You can give prospects the full experience of your property. Nick’s example included a tour of the State Capitol.

As is the case with any new technology, the savvy marketer should be careful to:

  • Have a purpose or strategy: Think about how you’re trying to nudge your audience – what is the end experience and what are you trying to convey?
  • Be smart with your applications: Product / service intro, events and tours are all great uses for 360° video.
  • Take advantage of the authenticity:  You’re truly in the scene, so use it to convey a real experience for your customers.

For more information on 360° video, contact Nick #1 at RedFox Creative.

Bots: A new way to go one-on-one with your customers

Nick #2 (Palkowski) next took center stage with an in-depth look at messenger bots.

A messenger bot is a pre-programmed series of responses that take place in a messaging app – in this case, Nick highlighted Facebook Messenger.  If a customer reaches out to your company via Facebook messenger, you can program automated responses within the messaging app.

“Fewer of us are picking up the phone or using email to communicate with friends and family,” he said. “We also want the same thing to happen with a business.”

Bots can fulfill that promise, and also provide a number of unique business opportunities.

How does a bot work?

Companies are using bots for all kinds of applications, but the most common example is customer service.  If you reach out to a company via its messenger service and ask a question, the bot will respond with a set of preprogrammed answers.

“These can be keyword driven, so if someone asks a question about a certain product, for example, the bot will automatically provide a link to the product.  You can also give the person the opportunity to speak to real person.

There is no end to the one-on-one experience bots can create. Nick shared an example of a clothing company that uses its bot to ask visitors what types of outfits they’re looking for, provide visual choices, and even take the experience all the way through to purchase.

Much more engaging, one-on-one conversations

Bots are a much more engaging experience, and customers respond. The open rate for emails range in the 20-30% range.  With a bot, it’s 80%. More importantly, the click through rate on emails is typically around 2%; a bot is 30%.

It’s a new level of engagement with audience and community members. You can tailor the experience and help get people their answers.  “It’s no longer about one-way talking. It’s about having the conversation,” Nick said.

How can you use bots for your business?

Nick shared three different strategies bots are currently being used for:

Customer support:  You can set up a bot for a basic support sequence, with the customer option to opt-out to a real person.

Lead generation:  If you’re using the bot at an event, include a link to lead generating offer. For example, you can set the bot up to produce a link to a Restaurant Guide if someone typed the keyword “Restaurant.”

Sales funnel / lead nurturing: You can set up a lead nurturing campaign, where someone who engages with your bot can receive a series of pre-programmed messages.

To learn more about bots and their application, visit Nick Palkowski at — YourPodcastGuru.com


Greg Mischio is the Owner and Strategic Director of Winbound. Winbound provides an all-in-one content marketing and conversion optimization package specifically designed for small marketing departments. Twitter: @gregmischio