How Harvard Business Review uses emerging media formats to super-charge audience engagement
Hoch was speaking at FIPP and VDZ’s 11th Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, Germany where she was among 50+ international speakers and 500+ delegates from more than 30 markets.
The first: whiteboard sessions. “It’s an expert in front of a whiteboard, schoolroom style,” she explained. Like many in the industry, HBR had to figure out whether Facebook Live videos worked for them. “We had a lot we had to figure out with the early videos, what was the right length, what was the right production quality,” Hoch explained. “But, when we could put the expert and their idea as close to the audience as possible, that was the most important thing and a lot of the other details fell into place.”
Evan Baehr was one of the first experts who did a Facebook Live for HBR. “He brought enthusiasm and belief in what we were doing and that resonated with the audience,” Hoch said. On a related Facebook Live, Evan Baehr examines 10 strategies to get backed. Hoch suggested that for publishers looking to emulate the Facebook Live experiment, to make sure to find people who believe in live-streaming projects, because their enthusiasm shows and connects with the audience. “As soon as Evan started talking, and believed in connecting with that audience, views and comments went up,” she said.
Since then, Harvard Business Review has filmed and published more than 100 of their whiteboard videos. Popular Facebook lives included videos on the history of leadership, blockchain, to time management techniques, and types of organisational performance.
“The other thing about doing them on Facebook Live platform, was that people wanted to engage with us in that way, which lead us to pursue the format,” Hoch said.
Hoch explained that the publication is now thinking on how to expand the video series. That livestreaming experience on different platforms.
“What we learned with this one, was that we had something in connecting with our audiences,” Hoch said. “When you’re starting something new, you have to decide whether there is a spark with it.
This is an important topic for magazine media publishers in 2018 because media publishers need to be thinking about the expectations of their audiences, and because into the future, they’re going to have to engage audiences in different ways. “Publishers are going to have to create some room for experimenting on new things. And they’re really going to have to understand how to engage their subscribers,” Hoch said.