Hit or Hype? Live-Streaming For Your Small Business

Are you using video in your marketing mix? By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic but only 24% of brands today are using online video to market to consumers. Where does live-streaming fit in?

The new live streaming app Blab launched came out of beta in July. According to the Blab team, visitors using the app are tuning in on average 64 minutes per visit! That’s huge.

So, what is Blab? Blab is a live video streaming app that allows multiple people (up to four) to hold an online conversation live. Push a button, and you’re a talk show host.

It’s truly a ‘late-night TV meets Hollywood Squares meets Game Show’ type format that makes for a fun, funky and feel-good atmosphere and lends to very robust conversations.

Blabbing with FriendsWho is Blab for?  Friends, fans, brands, consultants, entrepreneurs, musicians, health coaches, marketers, writers, entrepreneurs — and more. Check out the upcoming Blabs and you’ll find there is something for everyone.

What’s the big deal about Blab?  For me, the big deal about Blab is that it is not focused on one single stream or person, but many people can participate. You can listen in, participate in the Blab comments running down the side of the Blab, or join the Blab as a guest. It has a true ‘people’ feel to it. It is Google Hangouts made a whole lot easier and in a fresher format. 

Note: Blab isn’t the first or only app that provides this functionality. Nurph offers live video chat for twitter, too. 

As a marketer focused on building community for Customer Service, Marketing, and Product Development, what won me over was how easy it is was get one up and running (think seconds, not minutes) and how easy it is to ask participants to your Blab the join the panel. It’s powerful.

Missed our live Blab? You can catch the recorded blab here! (See notes below!) 

What’s the business potential?

While Blabs (Hangouts, Periscope or Meerkat) aren’t going to be for everyone, I see a ton of opportunity for live streaming to help community builders, product managers, marketers and businesses to build relationships and develop audiences.

I think (services like Blab) may be one of the most sincere –and easiest — ways businesses and brands have to connect with communities and fans and give them that ‘Swiftie-feel‘ and something to love them for.

Mack Collier calls it Thinking Like a Rock Star. Brian Fanzo calls it Thinking Like a Fan. I agree with them both and here are a few more reasons to consider live streaming:

  1. 70% of marketing professionals report video converts better than any other medium;
  2. 92% of people share a video after watching it;
  3. Up until just a few months ago, live streaming apps were barely a thing and Google Hangouts were about the only option around;
  4. Nielsen claims 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future;
  5. In August, Periscope crossed the 10 million user mark after only 5 months on the market. It’s not difficult to imagine how live streaming could support marketing and business objectives.

So how can live streaming apps support your business and where do they fit into your marketing strategy?

Join #BizHeroes this week on Blab

There’s no better way to sort out the potential of new tools than diving in and trying them out.

This week we’re moving to Blab to discuss Live Streaming For Your Small Business at #BizHeroes. (<- grab the url here).

Getting started

I’m no Blab expert so we’re going to discover this together. I was asked to contribute to my first Blab just last week. Ian Cleary saw me in the Blab audience and asked me to chime in on the spot. It was powerful, easy and inspiring.

Blab for NewbiesFor anyone who has never joined a Blab, this is a safe place to get your feet wet and ask questions alongside friends and fellow Heroes. For friends who are experienced Blabbers, please jump in and share your thoughts and experiences with the community!

I understand that not everyone can Blab or can listen to audio in the office. No problem. Turn off the volume and join the conversation in the comments. We’ll also check Twitter for answers and try to be as present as possible there.


The structure for this week’s (Sept 8th) #BizHeroes on Blab, 2pm ET

I’ve asked Ian to join us to kick off the first 15 minutes with tips and best practices. He has really solid advice for getting up and running quickly.

After that, Magda and I will ask community members to join the Blab as speakers to share impressions, thoughts and advice during the hour.

This is a first time Blab for us, so please bear with us if there are technical issues. To ask questions during the Blab, type /Q and then your question. It’s that easy!

1:50 – 2:00pm  Pre Blab, blab, set-up and figuring things out

2:00 – 2:15pm  What is Blab and what do we need to know to get started?

Guest: Ian Cleary

Ps. Check out Ian’s tutorial on Blab. It’s helpful!

2:15 – 2:30pm  How is Blab different than other live streaming apps (like Periscope, Meerkat, Nurph and Hangouts?) — or is it?

2:30 – 2:45pm  How do you know when, or if, live streaming is right for your business? What do we need to take into consideration in terms of time and team investment?

2:45 – 3:00pm  What are some ways people and companies are using live streaming? What is your favorite live streaming app? Give kudos to your favorite peeps and services and let us know why you love them.

I’ll be asking anyone who would like to participate on air to join during the Blab. If you’re called on and don’t want to join, you can say no. There is no obligation to Blab on air!

If you’re wondering if the future #BizHeroes Twitter chats will be converted to Blab? I don’t think so. But a #BlabHeroes? Who knows 😉

Magda and I look forward to chatting with you tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept 8th at 2pm ET and hearing what you think about live streaming and apps. Thanks for joining us!

Update: you can view the recorded blab here. To be honest, you should know this wasn’t a flawless blab! We had about 25 minutes of all sorts of technical difficulties — blackouts, frozen screens and more. But hey, it’s in beta and we’ve all been there!

Ian’s intro was fantastic, your community participation was awesome and the second half of the blab was a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who hung out the entire blab.


Kelly Hungerford
Kelly's a Digital Operations Specialist and Social Brand Strategist. She helps Startups and SMBs build lean marketing operations leveraging Social Media to support business goals and connect with the people who matter most. As former Head of Community and Communications for Paper.li, she was responsible for building community-centric operations to support Paper.li's rapidly growing user-base and founding #BizHeroes, Paper.li's Brand Twitter Chat that takes place Tuesdays at 2pm ET.

3 thoughts on “Hit or Hype? Live-Streaming For Your Small Business”

  1. Great read. I’ll be checking out Blab shortly. Making sure I’m on Wifi rather than by 4g. I don’t want to be getting a large data bill at the end of the month!

  2. Well written Kelly,
    We have been listening for long of how Businesses can benefit from Videos and its more evident now a days as we can see so many explainer videos on business websites.
    But not sure how much significant a Blab can be, specially the live streaming Blab.


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