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Livestream to Connect

Streaming video over the internet in real time, also known as livestreaming, engages like no other online video. Livestreaming brings audiences and presenters together in a collective experience. As COVID-19 drove us into our homes, Andrea Bocelli’s Easter Sunday livestream pulled us into a virtual hug. His “Music for Hope” live from Milan’s famed Duomo reached close to 3 million concurrent viewers. It generated 30 million views in its first 24 hours and continues to rack up millions more.

With our industry’s annual tradeshows and in-person events up in the air (or completely cancelled), now is the perfect opportunity to take our brands, news and more to the virtual sphere through livestreaming. Here’s some technical know-how to get started.

How Should You Livestream?

My go-to livestreaming service is YouTube Live. With more than enough tutorials available on its platform, all of your questions are easily answered with a quick search. After you Go Live, you can embed the final video in your website, share it across social channels and optimize it for search engines. I call that a triple-win.

Many social media platforms offer livestreaming services, like Facebook Live. Keep in mind who you want to reach before relying solely on social for your B2B company livestream. There are also paid options through Zoom, GoToMeeting and other video conferencing services. These are great alternatives if you’re hoping to have a tailored or invite-only audience. Aviation Week, NBAA and other industry publications and organizations host livestream discussions and webinars regularly.

What Do You Need?

Video cameras come standard on nearly all new laptops, computer monitors and smartphones. Most of these options offer good quality, but if you’d prefer a step up, consider a small, detachable camera like the Logitech Webcam. We use one in our office to turn large conference room screens into livestream-compatible systems.

Audio is almost more important than video. Laptops, tablets and smartphones have built-in microphones, but you’ll want to test your audio quality before committing. Our conference rooms have a bit of an echo between our tall ceilings and early 1900s brick walls. In that case, we use a Snowball USB microphone for better clarity.

Finally, this should go without saying, remember to consider your background. Avoid extreme reflections, messy rooms or a bright window to make it easier for your audience to see you.

livestreaming office hours

What Should You Livestream?

The most basic tenet behind sharing content live – whether through a public press conference or through an online livestream – is to connect to your audience.

  • Bring people together to host panel discussions about issues that affect your industry.
  • Conduct how-to’s with customers who are missing in-person training at industry events.
  • Set up office hours with your influencers where your team is available live to answer questions.

Don’t let livestreaming intimidate you. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Remember to be authentic, conversational and concise. Video evokes emotion and a livestream allows your audience to experience the conversation together. Don’t wait for the next event to happen – create it.

Instagram Stories Engage Beyond the Feed

It’s hard to believe that Instagram Stories first hit the social scene in 2016. Since then, their popularity has grown, quickly overtaking rival Snapchat. B2B brands – especially in the aviation and travel industries – can engage with more than 500 million active daily users.

A key component to Instagram Stories is the visual asset. It takes up more mobile real estate than any other public social platform by spanning the whole of your audiences’ smartphone screens.

Here are a few ways you can engage your audience in a truly captivating way.

A large canvas waited for us at Airbus’ Innovation Campus offices at Wichita State University.

Make Your Case Visually

Case studies are a powerful tool for B2B brands to prove how their products and services solve customer challenges. Reimagine the heavy text of your latest case study, project brief or whitepaper with their corresponding visuals.

We transformed our work for clients like Airbus, Wichita’s Eisenhower Airport and JetHQ into tap-worthy Instagram Story case studies, featured prominently across our account’s Highlights.

Now in its fifth year, the Eisenhower AIR digital magazine drives awareness for Wichita’s Eisenhower Airport through destination features and traveller stories.
jethq case study instagram stories
We evolved JetHQ’s brand and digital presence to showcase the expertise and eloquence of its team.

We’ve seen significant reach and engagement with these types of Stories as well as new followers. See for yourself at @gretemangroup on Instagram.

Show Off

While we encourage you to limit your more salesy messaging on Instagram Stories, we certainly want you to show off your work.

jethq instagram stories

Products and Services. Instagram is an ideal platform to showcase a beautiful aircraft, making Stories the perfect way for JetHQ to feature the latest jet available for sale.

instagram stories for NBAA

Culture. Instagram audiences value when you highlight the human element in your company. Show a team testing and refining your product. Celebrate a milestone through video. Packing up and heading to a show? Perfect.

Make It Move and Speak

Motion catches the eye and sound creates stickiness for your content. Add these elements elegantly and cater to all of your audiences’ preferences.

If you use a slideshow of stills images in your video, make sure they can tell the story without sound.

Music isn’t required, especially if a person is talking to the camera. But most voice-over and visual-only storytelling needs a tune. Voiceover video works well across all channels. Just ensure you add captions for users who have sound off as well as to make it accessible to everyone.

instagram stories with stickers

Stickers offer another way to add stock movement and music to your Instagram Story. Polls and quizzes are a great way to get feedback, and location stickers provide a way to increase reach when you’re at a tradeshow.

Learn how to add stickers to your Instagram Story strategy.

Analyze, Optimize and Tell More Stories

Instagram Stories last for 24 hours. Refer back to your account and take note of your insights, which you can retrieve from the platform up to 14 days after posting. Take note of your engagement metrics, such as comments, messages and views, in a spreadsheet. Analyze trends over time. Optimize your storytelling strategy to activate the most engaged users.

And never stop telling Stories.

Aviation Museums Rethink Programs After COVID-19

The global coronavirus pandemic shut the doors of businesses, nonprofit organizations and schools across the country. For Kansas’ aviation museums, the stay-at-home order hit at their busiest time of year – forcing them to cancel or change courses on educational programs, fundraising and summer camps.

Aviation Week and Wichita Aero Club brought together the leaders of each of Kansas’ major aviation museums to discuss the impact of the stay-at-home order as well as their plans for reopening.

aviation museums leaders participate in virtual discussion
(l-r) Jim Remar of the Kansas Cosmosphere, Adam Smith of Exploration Place, Josh Wells for Doc’s Friends and Tim Norton of the Kansas Aviation Museum (not pictured) participated in a virtual discussion led by Aviation Week’s Molly McMillan and Wichita Aero Club President Dave Franson.

Each museum closed its doors, cancelled programs and suffered an immediate halt to other sources of operational revenue in mid-March – just before Spring Break’s expected surge in visitors. Cosmosphere President and CEO Jim Remer said, instead, they “brought the museum to the people” through virtual demonstrations and tours.

Exploration Place also found a way to continue its mission during the shutdown. Displays and interactive exhibits transitioned from in-person to at-home, said Adam Smith, president. The museum produced 130 videos for STEM at Home and created Camp in a Box to make up for cancelled summer camps for elementary and middle school aged children.

For the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as Doc, travel restrictions and cancelled air shows like EAA AirVenture effectively shut down the museum. “Right in the middle of the busy season,” said Josh Wells, communication and marketing. Until Doc can get out and fly again, Doc’s Friends are installing a new exhibit as well as implementing new measures to protect visitors and staff.

Like Doc, the Kansas Aviation Museums’ allure is physically being present, getting into the art deco building and seeing the artifacts on display. Something that doesn’t come across the same online, said Executive Director Tim Norton. The museum immediately started planning for the new normal after COVID-19.

Remer knows people may not be comfortable coming back to a facility. In fact, 15% of attendees polled during the virtual discussion responded that they wouldn’t venture out again until there was a vaccine.

Remer said the Cosmosphere is seeing roughly 40% of visitors after opening in comparison to pre-COVID years. Source: Aviation Week.

To generate revenue without visitors, Remer said the response will be more entrepreneurial. One approach is for museums like the Cosmosphere to fill gaps in the vacuum of virtual learning to help schools. Smith agreed that a broad adoption of distance education could benefit both visitors and the museums themselves.

Poll results also highlights adults’ desire to experience the aviation museums virtually. Source: Aviation Week.

The Cosmosphere opened May 22 with new policies in place to ensure the health and safety of employees and staff. Doc’s Hangar opened June 2. Volunteers and visitors must wear masks to prevent the spread of the disease, especially to protect Doc’s Friends at-risk volunteers.

Exploration Place plans to reopen to the public July 4, with a reconfigured lobby and interactive experiences. The Kansas Aviation Museum will announce its reopening plans online and via Facebook after July 4.

Wells has faith that things will return to normal. “Maybe 12 to 18 months from now,” he said. “People will look to us as organizations as to how we handled the COVID situation. We have to support each other.”

Show your support by visiting these establishments online and joining them in-person when you’re ready.

The Cosmoshere’s White Room is a special exhibit for Remer. Imagine the emotions in the room where the Apollo crew said their goodbyes and climbed into the aircraft. Visit:
Wells said his favorite experiences in Doc’s Hangar were when WWII veterans come to visit the aircraft. “When they put their hand up and touch it, it’s like they’re transformed.” Visit:
Nothing beats the interactive exhibit of Exploration Place’s Design, Build, Fly exhibit, said Smith. Visit:
A virtual experience can’t compare to the feeling visitors have when they walk into the Kansas Aviation Museum, awash in the history of the artifacts surrounding them, said Norton. Visit:

Inflight Entertainment at Your Service

Last fall we helped Beverly Hills-based Video Valet launch its new concierge service for jet owners frustrated with inflight entertainment options. Its customers can watch what they want, when they want – without WiFi. Goodbye outrageous overage fees, spotty unreliable coverage, expensive installation, potential hacking and the inability to tailor media to individual preferences.

Video Valet offers a unique inflight entertainment service that can be hard to quickly grasp, because no one has used anything quite like it. CEO Eric Cohen decided a short video was needed to both explain Video Valet’s value proposition – and to pique interest in a demo. The challenge: COVID-19 and shelter-in-place restrictions. We scratched our heads, brainstormed then went to work.

behind the scenes creating inflight entertainment explainer video

Entertainment. Simplified.

The Video Valet team overnighted us a fully loaded iPad used by such frequent-flyer customers as actor, producer and businessman Mark Wahlberg. We shot live action video in front of a video screen of a corporate aircraft cabin.

Footage shows a customer scrolling through the tablet – checking out movies, TV shows, magazines, newspapers, music and even highlight reels (loved by its professional sports customers). It guides you through customizing your content, showing how you don’t have to miss any of your favorite shows. Content’s updated before every flight.

We edited the spot over a lively soundtrack – think old movie feel with a modern beat – that helps tell the story. Bold blocks of red and navy with animated type punctuate key messages. Rather choose from more than 1.2 million titles or settle for the competition’s 300? The fun tone and closing wink make you, well, want to be entertained.

In short order, Video Valet had a one-minute spot that can be shared via email, through social media and on its website. Cohen wrote us an effusive email, saying, “Thank you for all your Wichita Wizardry. I couldn’t be happier with the final product or the collaborative process.”

Looking for a bit of magic? Contact us.

Prepare for Your #InstaAviation Strategy

Just when you think you have one social channel mastered, another pops up in your newsfeed. Don’t worry. We’re not telling you to jump the Facebook ship and join TikTok – yet. Instead, we want you to take a step back from what’s next to maximize what you already have.

Today’s example? One of the best platforms for the business aviation and travel industries: Instagram.

While it doesn’t have the level of reach Facebook does — although 1 billion active users monthly is no small audience — its engagement is off the charts. Give your profile a quick review against this engagement-enhancing checklist and kick off your aviation Instagram strategy.

Go Smaller to Get Bigger

Instagram is a mobile-optimized social channel. Sizes are smaller, which means clarity is key when it comes to your profile.

  • Use your logo as your profile picture. Ensure it fits centered within Instagram’s 180×180 circular frame, is clear and easy to recognize.
  • Provide a concise, engaging description of who you are and what you do in the space-limited bio – only 150 characters.
  • There’s only one place to add a link to your website, and that’s in the bio. Consider using a link-sharing application, such as

Tell Stories

Unlike the feed, Instagram Stories provide an expanded visual space for 10-second messages using a variety of creative tactics, such as photography, video and Boomerangs. We talk more about Stories here.

  • Use Stories to highlight genuine brand personality, give a sense of spontaneity or showcase your services through case studies.
  • Stories only last 24 hours, so if it’s a good one, make sure to add it to your Instagram profile Highlights.

Take a look at Greteman Group’s Story Highlights for an example.

aviation instagram strategy top nine

Instagram Quality Content

Are you posting consistently, but not seeing the engagement your content should deliver? Check the quality of your visuals.

  • Posts should enhance your brand and engage your audience. Not add to the clutter of their feeds.
  • Stop posting horizontal photos and videos in a square frame – and go easy on the filters.
  • Captions under 125 characters guarantee your message is seen, but posts with up to 1,000 characters see more engagement.

Oh, and while emojis are engaging on this platform, don’t go overboard. Exclamation points? Still off the table.

hubspot hashtag usage study for aviation instagram strategy
Source: Hubspot 2020 Instagram Engagement Report

#Hashtag It

Hashtags are key functions of engagement and categorization on Instagram, used specifically in the social channel’s Explore functionality. Users can even follow specific hashtags to have content delivered to their feeds.

  • Research which hashtags make the most sense for your business, and then dig in to see which ones actually attract your target audience.
  • Consider the number of hashtags you use. Instagram allows up to 30, but engagement dwindles when you add more than six.

Instagram is one of the best top-of-the-funnel social channels for businesses, especially when your profile is set up for peak engagement. Get started.