If you’re ready to move past more conventional methods of blog marketing like Facebook and SEO, one of the fastest and easiest ways to build your brand and traffic right now is with streaming video. Currently, two of the top live broadcast apps are Periscope and Blab.
Periscope lets you record live scope that is available only for 24 hours, ensuring your videos are fresh. Visitors can send hearts, comments or chat during your scope but you’ll need a third party tool like Katch.Me to download and store scopes.
Blab is an interactive live-streaming tool that allows you to host with up to 3 other guests while interacting with comments and questions. Blab also allows you to store video indefinitely.
I spoke with two bloggers to discover how these apps have helped them build their brand. Amiyrah Martin is the owner of the blog 4 Hats and Frugal, has appeared on Doctor Oz, Good Morning America and CNN.com and has a daily show on Periscope. I also interviewed Christina Anthis, ?The Hippy Homemaker, who uses Blab to run “The Bohemi Babes” twice a week.
WHSR: Why did you choose with your live streaming platform and how long have you been on it?
I’ve been active on Periscope since June of 2015. It looked like so much fun! I love creating great video content and learning via video. I enjoyed how open and fun the community was so I fell deeply in love with it.
I have been on Blab since August, 2015. I’ve always wanted my own cooking/craft/talk show. When I heard that live streaming was the next big thing, I wanted to get in on the ground floor. After researching popular platforms, Blab had all the right features like the ability to have a cohost and interview others.
I like that Blab lets you store videos indefinitely without using an outside service. You also have the power to embed a video window into your blog posts BEFORE the video goes live so that readers can watch it from your blog and interact.
WHSR: I see that you have frequent broadcasts. How do you come up with so many topics?
All you have to do is ask your viewers! At least once every two weeks, I ask, “What would you like to discuss or learn over the next few weeks?” I also pay close attention to the questions they ask while we are talking. If it’s something that I can’t answer in two minutes or less, I dedicate a whole scope to the topic and let them know on the spot. I make sure to add those topics to my Periscope editorial calendar and give that viewer a shout out when the topic comes up.
By choosing to Blab about the same topics we write about, we already have built-in topics that our readers have been itching to see more of – and now they can interact with their questions on the spot.
WHSR: How has this broadcast service helped your blog and your brand?
I saw a significant increase in my email list, Twitter followers, interview requests and sponsored content offers after I decided to dedicate more time to Periscope. There have been many recent emails from brands and PR companies that write, “We watched your Periscope, and would love to work with you.”
Blab has helped to bring my readers and I closer together – we chat like we’re all hanging out in a coffee shop. It also helps me show people how I do things that they read about on my blog. For some, seeing how easy it is to make things from scratch can really bridge the gap and get them started on their own “Hippy Natural” journey.
Otherwise, they just pin all my DIY recipes on Pinterest, but never try them because it’s too daunting. Blab has also helped bring in more blog readers and is giving me great confidence in my role as The Hippy Homemaker.
WHSR: How are you promoting your broadcasts?
I make sure to use one or two relevant hashtags in my Periscope titles so that once they are tweeted, people who are interested in that topic can find and watch the video. I also save my scopes on Katch.me and tweet out those re-broadcasts with relevant hashtags. I announce my Periscope “topics of the day” on Facebook and Twitter. Soon, I’m going to repurpose those videos, turning them into little snippets to go live on our Facebook page.
We link back to our blog posts as often as possible during every Blab episode. I prefer to monetize with affiliate marketing and have easily been able to integrate the affiliate links within our Blabs. For example, we add affiliate links to recipe ingredients or products used while broadcasting. We also mention our blogs, Facebook group and personal social media to attract more followers.
Blab also lets you embed your videos into any post. I have a Blab on making elderberry syrup embedded into the bottom of my syrup recipe post that contains affiliate links to the ingredients. My readers are able to watch that video, follow my recipe, and click the links to buy the ingredients. It’s a full circle of marketing.
WHSR: What should bloggers be aware of as they dive into these apps?
One of the top things new Periscopers should be aware of is the time commitment. I do a lot – half hour scopes – but you can keep yours as short as 5 or 10 minutes. However, you also have to factor in additional time elements: how many days you’ll scope, answering residual questions on Twitter or via email, and sitting down to write out an editorial calendar for your channel. The best part is that the time you put in, you will get back, sometimes tenfold.
Because Blab is so new, things are constantly changing. It’s important to keep up with those changes so that you can fully utilize all new features. I follow Blab’s town hall meetings and Twitter feed to stay up to date.
WHSR: What advice do you have for bloggers moving into live streaming video?
My tips to help you be more successful on Periscope:
One of the biggest takeaways for bloggers is to strive to be a great viewer rather than a great broadcaster.
Pay attention to your audience and ask them questions during the scope.
Save and share great broadcasts to Twitter and Facebook.
Type recaps of the topic in the chat for viewers that may have problems following.
Thank the broadcaster for scoping. Many will notice your helpfulness, and those people will take the time to follow your account.
These are my top 5 tips to successfully use Blab:
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Things will go wrong. I’ve had cameras fall, Internet cut out, trolls hop in, and even spilled water on my keyboard. When they do, just go with the flow and move on and you’ll gain confidence.
Watch and participate in other Blabs as often as you can. This will help you gain more followers and you can also take notes on the things to improve your own Blabs. If the Blabbers ask you to jump in one of the seats, DO IT! This will bring you more viewers.
Embed your Blabs into your blog as often as possible. This will get you more blog and Blab views.
Use a cohost. It’s much more fun to have someone in the hot seat with you, and you can share the burden of all the extra work that goes into putting a show together. If you’re nervous, having a cohost to lean on can really help you to open up more.
Be consistent, just like your favorite TV shows, so that your regular viewers know when to come back for more episodes.
Thank you ladies for your time. Both Periscope and Blab are excellent live streaming tools for attracting new audiences and each provides a unique venue for hosting broadcasts. Bloggers should consider which of these tools best fit their niche, audience and personality and jump in as soon as possible to build their brands.
Article by Gina Badalaty
Gina Badalaty is the owner of Embracing Imperfect, a blog devoted to encouraging and assisting moms of children with special needs and restricted diets. Gina has been blogging about parenting, raising children with disabilities, and allergy-free living for over 12 years. She’s blogs at Mamavation.com, and has blogged for major brands like Silk and Glutino. She also works as a copywriter and brand ambassador. She loves engaging on social media, travel and cooking gluten-free.