We got this amazing opportunity to interview Malhar Barai, who shared his thoughts and experience with us. It was indeed an interesting and different niche interview. Let’s begin!
Mapplinks: As they say there is no time like the present to research ways to integrate live streaming into your marketing strategy. How did you come about creating a niche for yourself in live streaming?
Malhar Barai: I would start with, it addressed my FOMO (fear of missing out). I have always looked up to folks in the US while following a certain trend. And like my Twitter Chat #SEOTalk (which incidentally completed 5 years and is the longest and oldest India based Twitter Chat) which addressed an industry whitespace, my live streaming shows also address such whitespace. What we usually find is, recorded show/tutorials of any marketing practice but our show ‘The FnM Show’, previously Blab2Learn, intends to bring the industry learnings via Live streamed shows. Also chew this – 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. So we HAD to do it!
Mapplinks: Our subscribers would like to know when they should choose to incorporate live streaming ? Is it for all businesses or works only for specific industries? What are your thoughts on this?
Malhar Barai: The beauty of live-streaming is, it is industry agnostic. An ecommerce brand can bring their fan experience live similarly a pharma brand can easily give information about a certain medicine. The possibilities are unlimited! But I would say, they have to tie-in with the brand’s overall marketing strategy. Live streaming cannot exist in silo.
Mapplinks: There are many channels that provide and promote live streaming. Which is your favourite digital channel to live stream? And why?
Malhar Barai: While I started with Meerkat and still love Periscope, but in terms of reach and engagement, I find Facebook Live giving better bang for bucks. Instagram Live is good too, but that’s only for brands in certain segments like lifestyle and entertainment. In a larger landscape, Facebook Live still performs better.
Mapplinks: We understand that live streaming is much harder than a recording, Phew! There are no retakes. How did you get accustomed to the hardships in live streaming ?
Malhar Barai: Tough!! But trust me, it will only last for few initial streams. Then you’ll gain confidence and you’ll also know what your audience wants. I remember starting with 0 viewers but when you get consistent, they come and start engaging. They will start accepting your mistakes, your technical constraints or glitches. I have experienced Rishabh Dev’s live video hitting 2000 views, secret was great content.
Mapplinks: What is your advice to our digital viewers who are taking baby steps in the live streaming industry and Why is this something we should invest in now?
Malhar Barai: Start TODAY! Live streaming is surely getting bigger and better. You know, early bird gets the worm. So start building your brand early and leverage the power of instant reach and gratitude. There might be mistakes, silly ones too, but trust the viewers to ignore them (yes they do). Just give value!!
Mapplinks: That was an interesting session. What sets live streaming content apart from the other kinds of content creation?
Malhar Barai: The best part is, it is REAL. Brands can glam it but it is all ‘in-the-moment’. The mistakes cannot be edited unlike recorded videos, they are your own. This makes the brands more humane, which is what people want to see. Don’t we??
Mapplinks: We had a look at your blab2learn series. It was informative and engaging. How was your experience? Share your thoughts!
Malhar Barai: Blab was a new platform and as I said earlier, I saw and participated in many of the US based similar talk shows. Plus, I am a fan of Google Hangouts on Air and saw a whitespace in no Indian live-video based talk show. That’s when I talked with the good friend Dr. Falguni Vasavada-Oza and we decided to dive in. While Blab as since sunsetted, we rebranded as TheFnMShow and partnered with Social Samosa and do our fortnightly show on their Facebook Channel. I still do few live talks on my Periscope. I love the experience of engaging with viewers live on the show, tough to replicate in any other medium.
Mapplinks Academy is India's first agency-integrated live project based growth hacking and new age digital marketing training institute.
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Started by Rishabh Dev, the academy is an initiative to bridge the growth marketing talent gap in the digital ecosystem.