Looking for ways to connect with clients and customers?
It doesn't matter where you look, or how you feel, it seems everyone is telling you that you need to get on camera and use video to connect with your clients and potential clients. While the mere thought of being "on camera" might fill you with trepidation, until now you've been able to use the excuse that using video (never mind live streaming video) was a complicated and expensive proposition. Well, that's no longer the case now that we have apps such as Periscope and Blab.
The new social media trend is all about live streaming video and these two apps are the two that have had the biggest uptake over the last few months. It's hard (and sometimes frustrating) to try to keep up with the latest "thing" (aka new shiny object), but every once in a while one or two apps come along that would be really helpful in your business or career. These two apps can help you in at least two key areas: growing your influence and connecting with your clients. What are these two apps and why is it important to start exploring them? That's the purpose of this post. We'll compare the two, look at a couple of situations where you'd use one or the other and help you decide which video streaming platform might be your best option.
What is "live streaming?"
I looked up this definition and found this one from the BBC: "Streaming means listening to music or watching video in 'real time', instead of downloading a file to your computer and watching it later. With internet videos and webcasts of live events there is no file to download, just a continuous stream of data." (Long version.) What it really means is that you can connect with your viewers in real time using video or audio and they don't have to download a file to view it. These days, anyone with a smartphone and a data plan can stream video at the press of a button and share, educate and connect with an audience as easily as sending a text.
With smartphones being used as a remarkably easy to use way to get your message out, live video streaming platforms such as Blab and Periscope adoption has been incredibly quick. I get a sense that live streaming is more than a quickly passing fad and it's impact on the way you can use it will become even more integrated into your social media mix will become much more streamlined. The word is 'Social" and live streaming is definitely social! Since both Blab and Periscope are so new and easy, this is a great opportunity to start considering (and using) streaming to build a loyal following and grow get your name out there. Do you need a boost for yout career? Consider a regular Periscope spot to share your expertise and views. Want to educate and grow your clients and potential clients? Schedule a Periscope spot to teach or a Blab broadcast to discuss with interested people who'll come in to hear what you and your guest speakers have to say.
Why would you use live streaming?
Using things like Blab and Periscope allows people to connect with you, learn more about you and your business, share information that will tell you what's important to them and allow you to showcase who you are, what you do and then they get to tell you how you can help them. Want to grow your career? Growing your connections by hosting or just participating on either platform can lead to more and different opportunities than you may have had access to before. There are different categories of streams and topics out there and if you don't find what you're looking for? Start your own and grow your audience!
Are they time wasters?
Admittedly, tuning in to live streaming like Blab and Periscope can be habit forming, they are each easy to control. For your business, you'll use them to connect and grow. You'll be able to share your passion in the moment and speak directly to people interested in what you have offer when it makes sense based on the way you manage your marketing efforts. Because you'll have an immediate connection (a social connection) with people, you can make sure your broadcasts will be purposeful and relevant. Put it this way, which is more time consuming - Facebook or Blab/Periscope? Facebook and Pinterest are also time consuming and look how they drive traffic. These two apps (and live streaming like them) have the hook to be just as effective!
What are Blab and Periscope?
Both Blab and Periscope are live video streaming platforms that allow people to attend or host video broadcasts on pretty any topic and join the conversation. You connect to both interactive platforms using your Twitter account, they allow you to talk to the host and other attendees, both supply easy to use comment features and both platforms provide amazing opportunities to build relationships with business influencers, potential clients, clients and colleagues. Both platforms allow you to create broadcasts on the fly or schedule them as needed and both platforms have easy to use, built-in publicizing/marketing tools. Both apps work at the touch of a screen.
What's the difference between Blab and Periscope?
Although they are similar in the fact that they are both live streaming platforms, there are some key differences that will help you decide which platform to use when (and suggest which one might be best for the way you do business). Periscope can only accommodate 1 host per video broadcast where as Blab allows 2-4 hosts for each broadcast. With Blab's more socially casual presentation, any person watching the broadcast can request to become a host from the Blab organizer (they'll then "take a seat") and join the discussion, on camera in a panel-type presentation. The Blab organizer can accept or deny your request as they see fit. You'll see businesses using Periscope to host many different types of live streaming activities such as product launches, VIP events, training events, coaching and news delivery to name a few. Blab? again, lot's of ways you can use it to create interview type broadcasts, promotional sharing, presentations, community sharing, and more.
There are a couple of other ways in which they differ that come to mind immediately; They are, Periscopes (called 'scopes) are only available for replay for 24 hours after the event unless you use a third party app such as Katch. Blab, on the other hand allows you to record the session or not, provides a replay option, then sends you an email to download the Blab so you can embed it where you wish - on your website, on Facebook or other sites where you'd like to share.
Periscope and Blab both have free apps available in the Apps Store and in Google Play, but at the time of this post, only Blab is available for use on the desktop by visiting Blab.im.
So, now that we've done the brief introduction to these two live streaming apps, let's back to the original question. How can you win clients with easy live streaming? There are number of ways:
- You can talk directly to people who have an interest in what you have to offer, and they can connect with you where ever they are. You have all the equipment you need to "get you and your business out there" immediately!
- You have the passion to share all the information you need for your ideal client (this will help with stage fright!)
- You get to show who you are in a casual, natural way. People want to see that instead of the plastic, scripted ways of the past
- As the host, you have control of all aspects of your live stream
- People will join your stream because they're interested in what you have to say, you get to answer their questions and grow their confidence. You get to grow the "Know, Like and Trust" factor, naturally!
- There is a very short learning curve (make sure your camera is pointed in the right direction!)
- You get to decide just how you want to use it and who you want to interact with
- You get to decide when and where to share your info or recordings
Basically, you get to create new marketing stream that is easy to create and maintain while you get to focus on talking to people who want and need what you have to offer.
There's lots of information out there about both Periscope and Blab, but I thought I'd share just a couple of links to help you understand and get started with either of these platforms:
Oh, and here's an infographic about Periscope vs Blab
So, are you ready to consider and use either Blab or Periscope to expand your reach? How will use use the platform of your choice? Share your thoughts in the comments!