Trend Report: The Rise of Live Video Streaming

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.
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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. (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? is a live video broadcasting platform for hosting, watching, and joining conversations.
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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.
Industry 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.

Learn More 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
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6 Great Resources to Learn about Social Selling

If you’re like us, you might have been hearing the term “social selling” at an increasingly frequent rate. We hear it at conferences, in LinkedIn forums, in team meetings, on Twitter, and on billboards.
With social experiences like Twitter and Facebook becoming core to the web, this concept of social selling has become a definitive new approach for the ways that organizations think about building relationships. It is a methodology that embraces at its center a driving belief for us at feedly: Content is a currency. That is, that high quality content is more than just an entertaining read. Content builds relationships, drives business, and steers innovation.
In fact, as we’ve talked with more and more of you as part of our regular product development process, we’ve learned that many of you are using feedly as a core content engine to drive your social selling. Many of you are using feedly as your main hub to organize your favorite sources, feed yourself with daily reading, and then deciminate the best stories to your customers.
But just what is social selling?
Social selling is the idea of using content—mostly online—to help educate prospective customers, build a relationship with them, and help guide them to a purchase decision.

Sometimes this means that sales people build personas and share relevant information through social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more. Sometimes it means emailing interesting, relevant content to prospective customers. All of these activities overlap with a bunch of other trends that people have been buzzing about: sales enablement, employee advocacy, personal branding, social media marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, and more.
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A salesperson at a content marketing company, for instance, might share content on her LinkedIn about why good content is important. Or a digital marketing firm might post about the decline of old ad formats and the latest information about the new ones.
Yes, put another way, social selling is a way to drive revenue using content.
Is it really becoming more popular?
According to some sources, yes, it is:

71 percent of sales people believe that their role is changing and will be radically different in five years.
69 percent of sales executives believe that the buying process is changing faster than organizations are responding to it.
75 percent of B2B buyers use social media to be more informed about vendors.

Why? Because statistics are showing that the methodology could be pretty effective.

98 percent of sales reps with more than 5,000 LinkedIn connections meet or surpass quota.
40 percent of salespeople have closed two to five more deals per year as a result of social selling.
Bain & Company found that a 12 percent increase in brand advocacy generates 2X increase in revenue growth
73 percent of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded their quotas 23 percent more often.

Where can you learn more?
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring more about using social selling to help your business. As a starting place, here are the six awesome resources we found to go deeper on social selling. What did we miss? Feel free to share your own favorite sources (maybe it’s a blog you write!) in the comments below.
01 Ogilvy’s Report on Social Selling

The Future of Selling – white paper from Ogilvy & Mather
02 Hootsuite’s Art of Social Selling

03 Salesforce’s mini-guide to social selling
04 Aberdeen Group’s research brief: “Social Selling: Leveraging the Power of User-Generating Content to Optimize Sales Results”
05 “4 Ways to Boost Your Social Selling Profile (Courtesy of Linkedin)”
06 “The Rise of Social Selling

” by Jill Konrath
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