Blab has got the marketing world all worked up in the last month or two. It is a Social Media, live streaming platform that is truly focussed on engagement rather than just simple broadcast. If you’re not familiar with Blab then check out our last two blogs on the subject here and here to get to grip with the basics.
Blab builds on the success of platforms like Periscope, Meerkat and Google Hangouts and goes further to provide a dynamic and interactive video platform. Being such a new platform many people are unsure how to start making the most of it. Whilst Blab is too new to conduct meaningful statistical analysis on, what we have done is put together our 10 top tips for using Blab from our experience so far.
1. Know What You Want To Achieve
The Blab platform can be used in a whole host of different ways. From customer service and expert interviews to industry updates & insight video conferences. You need to decide on your Blab strategy going forward and have a clear goal in mind for each of your Blab sessions. If you want to discuss industry issues then keep to topic, invite the right kinds of people to speak and have a loose agenda to kick things off. If you want to create a weekly podcast using Blab then you can keep things more freeform, but understand what your goal for that action is. A lot of people are hearing about Blab and jumping in at the deep end with no clear strategy or end goal. While this isn’t necessarily bad you’re not going to be getting the most out of it for the time you invest. Treat Blab like any other Social Media you use for business and create a plan.
Because you can have 4 contributors there are a ton of ways you can use Blab to show your customers something new. I can see Blab being really powerful for product demos, giving multiple angles or perspectives whilst someone commentates on what’s being shown. Or a panel of experts giving their analysis of some broadcast or event with viewers offering theirs in the comments or an open seat.
2. Invite The Right People To Speak
You can have a Blab where it’s just you talking, but that’s not going to be all that interesting for the viewers. If you want to get a good discussion flowing then you need to have the right people involved in your Blab. Think about what you’re going to be talking about and who will add to the conversation. A panel of experts can be a great way to start. Some of the best Blabs I’ve been in have had people of differing levels of expertise talking about a subject, this can help organic questions come out and makes the whole broadcast feel less scripted.
The ‘Hot-seat’ feature means you can invite dozens of people to speak and cycle through them as you broadcast so don’t be afraid to make the most of this. Having people come in, give their ‘2 cents’ and vacate their seat so the next person can contribute keeps the conversation flowing. This means people who are waiting their turn will really engage with the people before them, rather than just passively sitting back as they might if they weren’t going to get to speak.
3. Gain Exposure Through Contributing To Popular Blabs
Getting noticed isn’t hard to do on Blab as it stands. You can already get free exposure through the frontpage and the hashtag system makes it easy to find the content you’re looking for. Blab is a Social Media platform however, so the best way to get people to see you is to interact. One of the easiest ways to do this is to find Blabs relevant to you and offer your valuable insights. When people see you contributing they can just click your handle to find out more about you. I’ve personally followed dozens of people already based on their contributions in other people’s Blabs. Don’t be afraid to ask for a spot in the ‘Hot-seat’ on a Blab if you know you’ve got something to contribute!
4. Make The Most of The Recording Options
Blab allows you to record up to 6 hours in one session. This is free video content for your Content Marketing! If you’re the host then once a Blab finishes if you’ve set it to record you’ll be emailed a video file, a separate audio file and an embed code. So now you can put all that great information you shared up on your website, two birds one stone! You can pause the recording function during a Blab if you get off topic and start it up again once you’re back on course.Make sure you select the record option at the start because if you don’t the Blab is lost and you can’t retrieve it. Blabs are saved on the site when they’re recorded and anyone can watch them via the replay function. So this means if you want your Blab to be a one off, ‘off the record’ so to speak you should ensure that it’s not being recorded as these recordings are all public.
5. Balance Social & Professional Image
There’s some disagreement around this point. However I feel it’s an important distinction for most brands and professionals to make. Because of the ad-hoc nature of jumping into a Blab people often aren’t totally prepared to be on screen. Many people appreciate the more approachable, less-professional aspect of Blab, it feels like you’re talking to the person rather than their brand. However this is an area you should be careful around. Just as you wouldn’t have your Facebook display picture as you in some unprofessional situation you should be careful about the image you present on Blab.
This doesn’t mean you need to be in a suit and tie everytime you Blab, but just that you should be aware of your surroundings and situation if you’re jumping into the ‘Hot-seat.’ I’ve seen a lot of US based people jump into Blabs while they’re driving which could be illegal in the UK. Equally rowdy friends in the background or just inappropriate attire can reflect badly on you and your brand. As most Blabs are being recorded this could hurt you in the future. It is certainly worth writing Blab into your Social Media Policy when you get the chance if it’s going to be an avenue you see you and your staff taking advantage of.
It also goes without saying that your profile should be set up to maximise your personal brand, link to your website etc.
6. Set An Agenda & Let People Know
To make the most out of your Blab it’s always good to have an idea of what you want to talk about beforehand. If you’re discussing with experts or industry insiders then it’s also good for them to know so they can prep their questions and answers. Sending a quick email with the key discussion points or topics will help inform subscribers and fans so they can come fully prepared too. You don’t have to stick rigidly to this but it’ll help keep your audience qualified and interested. It can also help to rein everyone in when the Blab goes off topic, as happens quite often, especially when you have people jumping in and out of the conversation.
Sending out a preparation email can also help you get a list of semi-vetted contributors ready to jump into the conversation. Have them let you know they’d like to be a part of the conversation and you can invite them in to speak at certain points to break up the expert discussion. This kind of planning works especially well when you want to use the Blab footage later as a podcast or something along those lines. Along with this you should schedule your Blabs within the platform as this will send out automatic Tweets when you’re starting and send Push notifications to App users.
7. Follow Up
At the end of a Blab remember to thank your contributors. If it’s appropriate add them on your other social networks and begin to take your normal relationship nurturing steps. If you’re using Blab for Marketing and Lead Generation then just broadcasting is only going to go so far. When is there going to be a better time to get connected to someone than after you’ve just finished talking to them? Ask people for their comments, feedback and suggestions.
Your Blabs shouldn’t be one off broadcasts. You want your viewers and contributors to keep coming back every time you broadcast. Keep them enthused by giving a look forward at the end of your Blabs or in your follow up emails. Give them hints about your next big guest or some other reason to come back next time. Setting out a schedule for your fans to know about will help to keep viewership high and also encourages them to share your future events with other people who might be interested. If you’ve finished with some unanswered questions or pressing discussion points then use this to your advantage, schedule a follow-up Blab soon after. This will give you a second bite at the cherry and helps you see how engaged your audience really were.
9. Get Familiar With Commands & Interface
Blab’s UI is very intuitive, but it pays to spend a few minutes getting to grip with everything before you dive into a Blab head first. When you’re watching someone speak or are in a Blab you can give them ‘Props’ by clicking the little icon in the bottom right of their pane. These accumulate over the course of the Blab but disappear afterwards. It’s a good way to show that you’re appreciating what the speaker is saying but the fact that they’re short lived means they won’t become some ego-point people can wave about on the site.
In the chat type ‘/Q’ to have your comment tagged as a question so it’s more obvious to the people hosting the Blab. When you’re hosting a Blab type ‘/Topic’ to change the topic. Doing this as you move over different topics can get you more interest from people searching for certain kinds of content.
10. Cross Promotion Is Key Right Now
At the moment Blab still has a relatively small community but it’s growing all the time. Most of the general public haven’t really heard of Blab yet. This means that if you want your customers to come and get involved you’ll need to make sure they know you’re Blabbing! We’ve found posting up excerpts of Blabs can be a good way to generate interest. Make sure you emphasise how interactive this platform is to your customers and fan base and some of them are bound to want to get involved.