People are craving real, honest engagement. The debacle at the Oscars with the announcement of the wrong Best Picture was a prime example of this. Viewers were shocked and amazed, that such a misstep could happen so publicly and on such a grand stage, but they were enthralled.

Live streaming is exactly what people are looking for in a time of contrived Instagram photos and pre-screened video clips. What is live streaming? It is one the biggest and most important marketing tools for your business in 2017.

A prime example of this, is the recent pairing of the social video platform Twitch and Reddit, an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. They announced select programming for the Twitch X Reddit IRL experience at SXSW. Celebrities like Gareth Edwards, director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Ed Boon, creator of the Mortal Kombat series, along with other musicians, actors, and more conducted AMAs (“Ask Me Anything”).

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Photo credit: MATT JOANOU                             “Just getting a laugh out of him was worth it.” @PodSaveAmerica on writing jokes for @BarackObama: #twitchXreddit

The AMA’s are real time engagement on Reddit where people can ask their questions in a frank and open discussion.

Twitch has a reach of 100 million unique viewers and is growing. They have expanded to include Creative channels (channels other than gaming) and these channels continue to expand. And this is only one of the social video platforms (or live streaming platforms) on the internet.

Collaborations and live interactions create a depth of communication with your customers, build relationships and satisfy the need for people (your customers) to be seen and heard in an authentic way.

It is a very effective way to engage in a meaningful conversation about your business.

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Photo credit: Rachel Quirico

Collaborations are also another important marketing tool this year. They are key for expanding the brand of your business. What is a collaboration? Bringing together similar industry or brands like yourself, which will complement each other (but not compete). Gone are the days of standalone brands. Now collaborations also including real time engagements and bringing customer bases together.

For example, Rebecca Coleman has taught these prime principles of live streaming for your business.

First, you want to be in a situation with a strong wi-fi signal. You can use your data, but it might be expensive, and you don’t want to take the risk of dropping the broadcast if your wi-fi isn’t strong enough.

Don’t just stream whatever you’re looking at; make it interactive. Get people to ask questions, demonstrate something, do a DIY or interview someone.

The idea is to make it as engaging as possible.

It’s simple.

Tell your audience what your broadcast is about. Keep it short and snappy. You can even tease them a little with your title.

Give your audience a minute or two to show up–and when they do, it’s nice to greet people and say hi.

Live streaming is certainly a big one right now, also disposable content like Snapchat and Instagram Stories. All three of these allow for real, in-the-moment, behind-the-scenes content that people like to watch.

You need to show some personality on live streaming. But you also don’t want to be too revealing– there is a careful balance.

Just be yourself! It’s nerve-wracking, because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but go with it. I did a live broadcast where I was showing a baked Alaska I’d made, and when I cut into it, I dropped a piece on the floor! Everyone (including me) had a good laugh. It’s okay. No one expects you to be perfect, that’s the nature of live video; just have fun with it!

Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let’s have the very best 2017!

Visit Sacha daily at SachaD.com
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