Blab is a new-to-the-scene video-streaming service for personal and professional hangouts currently available on IOS and desktop. You can use it to stream, watch videos or listen to music with people or video-conference with up to three others.

Related: Can Live-Streaming Video Help Me?

That alone sounds like other streaming tools like Google Hangouts or Twitch, but Blab brings a super social interface to the table that other platforms don’t have. Where other live streams are you talking at people, this new option lets you talk with the audience.

Blab is still pretty new, but so far it’s been set up to be a more professional tool than some other social streaming apps.

Not every business and brand is right for Periscope, say, but it seems like just about anyone could fit in on Blab. A lot of people are suggesting Blab as a tool for businesses to do things like run content, hold conferences town-meeting style, broadcast interviews or use it internally for video-conferencing or skill-sharing.

That’s why I’m keeping my eye on blab as a marketing powerhouse.

Why you should be live-streaming in the first place

On a macro level, the popularity of tools like Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat (among many others) just goes to show the growing interest in live-streaming. But the appeal is so much more than that.

The spontaneous, ephemeral, honest feeling that comes with a live video is an incredibly powerful tool for connecting to people and creating a sense of community. It’s really everything you’d want out of a social media presence.

It’s like the difference between watching a movie on DVD and watching it on TV. Watching it on TV feels like more of an event because you know there are thousands of other people out there watching it with you.

As a business, live-streaming content makes that experience feel unique in a way that other social media sharing can't capture. Plus, on Blab, you get the added benefit of having a live text chat (with nifty chat commands, which visually organize questions, comments and topic ideas) and a live Twitter stream right in the window for easy and immediate back and forth.

So, you want to build your brand? Try these 4 tactics.

When you first hear about a new social media platform like this, it’s hard not to think, “Oh great, another thing that I have to keep up with.” One in three business owners wish they could spend less time on social media, so you’re certainly not alone in that reaction.

Social media isn’t easy. I get that. Besides, it takes time.

Related: 4 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand in a Congested Marketplace

And you don’t want to waste your time live-streaming if it won’t accomplish anything, so here are a couple of tips for how to get the most out of this tool.

1. Go in with some topics in mind.

With the way Blab is set up, the kinds of conversations that have focused topics and some planning beforehand are going to be more successful.

If you want to just ramble and see where your own stream of consciousness takes you, Periscope or some other app is probably a better bet. If you want an audience to interact with you, you have to give its members something interesting to actually respond to.

That said, Blab is a great platform if you want to have a Q&A session or broadcast a live interview or something similar.

2. Be consistent.

Live-streaming does evoke a spontaneous, let’s-just-hop-on-and-see-what-happens vibe, but if you’re trying to grow both an audience and a brand reputation, it helps to have some consistency.

That means semi-regular broadcasts (committing to a weekly post on a certain day, for example) and some kind of predictable format and content.

This is definitely a format where it’s okay to experiment with different types of content, but if you’re doing something completely different every single time, you’re probably going to lose some folks.

3. Invite lots of audience participation.

The functionality of Blab is perfect for collaboration. By allowing audience members to just tune into one of the spots on the stream, or at least participate through text comments, you’re giving others a stake in your content.

Building a brand and producing content can get pretty stale after a while if you’re just doing it on your own. When you invite fans and followers to participate, you give them a unique experience. In addition, you draw inspiration yourself and get fresh new ideas from your audience.

4. Have fun!

Yes, you’re using this as a tool to grow your brand and your business, but the beauty of this format is the opportunity for experimentation with more honest, less polished content.

If you’re not having fun in the stream, then whoever’s watching it probably won’t have much fun, either.

You should regard the experience seriously, but you don’t have to take yourself seriously.

Related: Why You Need to Start Video Marketing Now

Conclusion

Blab and other live-stream services are your best friends if you’re looking to increase audience involvement and truly put a face to your brand. With the additional functionality of their chat and cross-platform sharing you’re able to create an active dialogue with your audience. And an active dialogue is a precursor to a sale.