Know, Like, Trust. The future of marketing is live video

Infomercials or Infotainment? Live TV is the real reality television. And, if there was a single takeaway from Social Media Marketing World 2016, it was that live video will disrupt the way brands and marketers create content, build communities, and ultimately drive sales. Hosted by New York Times best-selling marketing author Joel Comm, the session brought together three of the hottest names in social media: the ‘Queen of Facebook’ Mari Smith, Blab CEO Shaan Puri and Pinterest Princess Kim Garst.

For context:

  • 73% of marketers say they will increase their use of video in 2016
  • 21% claim video is the single most important form of content marketing
  • 50% of marketers want to learn more about live video, and 58% want to improve Their YouTube knowledge
  • Currently 14% of marketers use live video
  • 89% of marketers say increased exposure is a benefit of social media.

Why do people watch long-form live video?

Kim:  People want to feel as though they’re part of something bigger. It’s all about the experience.

Shaan:  It’s the psychology. You don’t just want to sign up to watch an hour of something; what you want is to see what happens next. That drama is what keeps you in. You don’t know where the conversation’s going to go. It could turn at any moment; any new person could come in at any time. Blab is interesting because you don’t know what people are going to say. It’s unedited and unfiltered. People want to know what you’re really like behind the scenes.

Why type of content is suited to live video?

Mari:  Brands and businesses that have spokespersons could show behind the scene, spotlight customers, spotlight staff, do man-on-the-street segments, host live Q&A, create a weekly news show…

Kim:  There’s no limitation on the type of content – it just takes a creative brain. Infomercials are about delivering information about something that’s going to add value. That’s why people watch and then purchase. The opportunity is to develop your own infomercials.

What is the secret to success with live video?

Kim:  The people who do well are those who are real. This is shifting the way people buy. The psychology of how people consume content has changed. Live video is building that know, like, trust factor at a super accelerated rate. Within two-to-five minutes people will know if they like you.

Shaan: Nobody wants to read your press release. People want to see you in your element. Whether they’re broadcasting in secret, private or openly, the people who are using it well are just hanging. They’re not trying to perform.

Mari: Of course you have to have something interesting to say. Start with the strategic intent, the one purpose of the video. Then, when you do go live, make sure you set the right thumbnail; add captions, tag the page that sponsored the content, download the video, repurpose it, load it up to YouTube… You can create months of content out of a few Facebook Lives. And make sure you include a call to action.

What if you’re introverted? Afraid of the camera?

Mari: It’s true, there’s a huge need for on camera training. The people who are doing well with live video have these skills.

Shaan: How do you get over the shyness? How you look? What you’re going to say? This is why we made Blab. Facebook and Periscope are one-to-may. But on Blab, it’s more like a town hall. Instead of talking to the camera, you talk to three other people, and other people join in the conversation.

Kim: You have to remember someone on the other side needs or wants the content that you’re sharing. I visualise that one person I know I can help and that’s how I get over worrying about my appearance. You don’t have to be perfect. You have to realise it’s okay to stumble over your words. I find I now articulate better, I have more confidence when I speak, and I don’t get nervous anymore. If you’re a brand, you can also be creative about who use for these channels. Maybe the CEO doesn’t resonate or connect well. Maybe people love Carl in customer service, so use Carl.

What is the ROI of live video?

Kim:  The trust factor. That’s what drives sales. The opportunity is you can show up and be that real person, or give people a peak into your company or brand, and build out that awareness. People aren’t connecting logos anymore. Bring out your culture and share that with your community and build your tribe in a way that can connect with people. That’s what ultimately drives sales.

Shaan:  I’d approach it from the view of the return on experience, not the return on investment.

Mari:  Understand there’s not yet mass adoption – it’s early days. Facebook is all about monetisation. Eyeballs are monetisable. Facebook wants those 1.9 billion active users. What you probably don’t realise is Facebook recently tweaked the algorithm so you will get more organic reach while you broadcast live. The moment you stop broadcasting live you see your reach plummet. Facebook is paying six figures sums to comedians and digital celebrities to use Facebook Live. It’s making improvements all the time – rolling out the ability to invite a friend to watch with you. I can see the day when we have multi-person Facebook Lives.

Which platform will dominate?

Shaan:  You never win on features. You win on the total experience. You have to have a different purpose. Everyone else is trying to create a live broadcast platform. Blab is trying to get a community of people – tribes – to have a place to gather. We’re not about broadcasting content to a large audience. We’re about giving communities of people a place to gather where they can talk face-to-face. Our average user watches 82 minutes per day on Blab.  That’s four times what people spend on Facebook.

Mari:  Facebook Live is integrated into the platform, including with messenger, and with real time live customer support. If Twitter is listening, you need integrate Periscope into the Twitter app as soon as you can.

Shaan:  It doesn’t have to be one or the other but as Facebook Live and Periscope start to look more alike, people will choose.



Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media marketing. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer (currently #4 of 100), author of The New Relationship Marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

Kim Garst

Kim is a marketing strategist, speaker and the co-founder and CEO of Boom! Social. She is author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up: Show Up, Be Authentic and Prosper in Social Media, as well as The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest. Forbes has listed her as a Top 10 Social Media Woman Influencer and she has been featured by Fox News, CBS News, The Huffington Post, Business Week and Social Media Examiner.

Shaan Puri

Shaan is the Co-founder & CEO of Blab, one of the fastest growing live streaming platforms. He is a creative business director who has emerged with game changing results in the industry of live video streaming, and helping people build a personal online presence for their audience.


Postscript : Blab closed in August 2016.