Two weeks ago, my goofy mug (maybe it’s time for a new headshot) was plastered on the Meerkat blog for their #FeaturedFriday live streamer profile. Meerkat, for those who don’t know, is a live streaming app, sharing the market with the likes of Periscope and Blab, to give comedians, speakers, business people, celebrities, and even the average Joe a platform for presenting a slice their lives to viewers all over the world. It’s called live streaming because the feed that people watch is actually happening in real time. You can lay on your couch in New York City and watch a shirtless British man cook who cares what from his kitchen in London. Cool? Scary? Bizarre? A sign of the end of times?
A spontaneous live stream from a hot air balloon festival in Moneta, Virginia
People have mixed feelings about the recent popularity boom of these apps.
And whether you love to stream, prefer to watch, or hate the idea of live streaming in the first place, I’m going to tell you live streaming is impacting the future of marketing in a big way, especially in a culture where instant gratification is the rule rather than the exception.
If you’re on the fence, here are my three reasons to start live streaming right now:
1. You don’t have to plan it.
Whereas a video shoot has to be set up, planned out, edited, etc., a live stream happens in that moment, in real time, usually without much foresight. For example, about a month ago, I sat down with two men living on the street and had a conversation with them all while live streaming on Meerkat (with their permission, of course). It was completely spontaneous, and it gave a glimpse into a very different way of life than many of us are used to. And with Meerkat, you own all your content, so you can save your streams and upload them to your YouTube channel.
2. The community is supportive!
For the most part, there are very few “trolls” out in the live streaming community. And if you find them, it’s easy to block and report them. People are very encouraging, interactive, sharing, and excited about your content. I live streamed a fairly straightforward stream talking about storytelling in business, and I got GREAT feedback from people. Here I was worried it would come off as vanilla and boring (compared to my other streams). But the encouragement I received actually motivated me to stream more often.
3. You can build a tribe.
I have a lot of recurring people who join my feed. I get to know them: their names, where they’re from, their senses of humor. Streaming helps you create human connection on a new level. It feels very sci-fi series-esque (Black Mirror, anybody?) because I have never met these people in real life. But think about virtual service-based businesses– it’s so common these days to provide a service for someone and make money without ever speaking to a human being. On Meerkat, you can schedule regular streams or “episodes” that people will subscribe to and be alerted when your stream starts.
Try it out! Do you use Meerkat? What’s your username? You can find me @paigemedia