We’ve been talking a lot at feedly about how trends are coming and going at what feels like a faster rate than ever. That made us think: What can we do to help you stay on top of these new ideas? So today we introduce a new series on Trendspotting—one look at something new that is changing the way we work. Are you spotting a trend that you want to know more about? Please leave us a note in the comments below!
The Trend: Live Video Streaming
In our increasingly digital and visual world, businesses across industries are fighting attention amidst the noise. Video as a medium has become one of the most effective ways to stand out and connect with an audience. Video quickly conveys meaning and emotion. It’s memorable, and it catches the eye in a sea of text and static images.
To hit home the growing popularity of video: Over one billion people use Youtube (that’s almost one third of all people on the internet), and the number of daily Youtube viewers has increased 40 percent since March 2014.
Accordingly, many social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have integrated some form of video content on their platforms. Additionally, new social media platforms have recently emerged that feature video as the central medium for interaction.
More and more, brands are recognizing the value of video as an online marketing strategy. Demand Metric completed a survey of 398 marketing, sales, and business professionals which revealed that 69 percent have used video marketing and another 31 percent are planning to. A recent study of 200 executives by Brandlive found that 44 percent held a live streaming event in 2015 and 39 percent believe live streaming video will be important to their marketing efforts going forward.
The video trend is growing alongside the surging smartphone use trend, as more and more people use phone cameras. Daily mobile internet usage continues to grow year by year, on a global scale. Of all mobile traffic, online video now accounts for upwards of 50 percent.
The prevalence of both video and smartphones have paved the way for newer social platforms centered around live streaming video, like Periscope, Meerkat, and now Blab.
Blab.im (which is still in beta) is quickly growing in popularity. As a platform that is truly social, interactive, informational, and fun, Blab is certainly worth getting acquainted with for its many potential uses as a tool for business and marketing.
Since Blab is one of the newest of the live video trend, let’s take a closer look.
What Is Blab?
Blab.im is a live video broadcasting platform for hosting, watching, and joining conversations.
Image source: https://blab.im/about
While many have likened it to “Periscope for groups,” you can also think of it as a cross between a talk show and a webinar. It can be used for either of those things as well as casual hang outs, debates, discussions, and workshops. There is nothing quite like it on the market, although it incorporates the best components of several different social media platforms.
Anyone can host their own Blab. It’s available for anyone to watch and interact with. No professional equipment is necessary.
Blab supports two to four “presenters” at a time, displayed in a grid, à la Brady Bunch. Meanwhile, other participants can watch the conversation live on video while adding to the discussion and posing questions via text chat. The host can even pull in audience members into the “hot seat” on the live video chat from time to time, if they so choose.
After the chat wraps up, the conversation can be re-watched on Blab, and the hosts have the option to post the recording to Youtube or embed it on their own site.
Blab.im primarily seems to be used by solopreneurs and online thought leaders, discussing topics that range from sports to politics to social media trends.
Blab is also ripe for online marketers and sales departments in just about any industry. It’s ideal for brands that want to give their customers a chance to interact in a personal way, visually demonstrate the value of their product or service, or establish their brand’s expertise and thought leadership. Granted, a direct sales pitch or advertisement won’t fly on this platform. But the interactive and visual nature of Blab opens doors to a number of benefits for businesses.
Why Blab Could Change Your Business
Blab can be used for a number of valuable business functions. It shortens the distance between you and your customer and opens up a new realm of in-the-moment experiences to create. From an online marketing standpoint, it’s a great platform for developing authentic and personalized connections with clients because it is live and unpolished. Showing, rather than just telling, and being able to answer customer concerns on the spot goes a long way in developing trust and loyalty.
Here are some examples of a variety of ways Blab can be used for business:
- Unveil new products with live demonstrations.
- Provide group coaching sessions.
- Conduct a Q&A session or office hours.
- Demonstrate expertise by providing useful info for your audience.
- Demonstrate transparency by answering tough customer questions.
- Discuss strategy with your peers.
- Give a behind-the-scenes experience to your tribe.
- Network with your target audience by being a participant in other shows.
- Brainstorm ideas with your audience, almost like a focus group.
- Get feedback on changes you’ve implemented or ideas you’re considering.
- Record and re-use a Blab conversation as a podcast or blog post.
Blab.im is still in beta, so the best way to get acquainted with it is to watch shows by folks who have proven success on the platform. Here are a few to get you started:
- Bryan Kramer – CEO of PureMatter
- Kim Garst – Social selling strategist
- Brian Fanzo – Digital live streaming strategist
Now is the perfect time to jump on Blab and increase your brand’s visibility while the competition is slim. Check out their Getting Started on Blab post to learn more.
Posted by Michelle Chang, feedly Contributor