Anya Razina

Anya Razina on Livestream and How it Fundamentally Shifted the Way We Communicate & Create (#279)

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Our guest today: Anya Razina

Anya Razina is the Head of Influencer Marketing at Restream.io. Restream makes it easy to create professional and branded live videos for social media and send them to 30+ channels at once. Anya is a virtual event speaker, Evangelist of Restream Live Studio, and a live show host.

In this interview, Anya talks to us about:

  • What is livestream in the context of the world we live in today?
  • How has the pandemic the way we communicate, in particular making livestream more popular in the past year?
  • And how has livestream (fundamentally) changed the way we create and share content?

Watch our interview

Transcript

Anya Razina & Fei Wu: How to Grow Your Business with Livestream #restream #livestream #sponsorship – powered by Happy Scribe

Today I have a very, very special guest. I just use two varies because I’ve been wanting to interview and chat with Anya Regina from Restaurant for a long time. I was definitely first a user for a long time, you know, for every and actually Restream is one of the proud have on YouTube. We’re going to dive into so many different topics today. In particular we want to talk about how live streaming, especially using Restream, but live streaming in general, can grow your business and exactly how to do that for content creators and for example, podcasters, YouTubers speakers, authors, people you see on LinkedIn, you see on YouTube these days. So I will say there is a part too with Anya, but I think we’re going to tease out some of the information related to sponsorships and how that generally works for creators. So please stick around, use chat, use live chats. And if you guys hop on at any time, just drop us a note and we don’t get to your questions now, I’ll be sure to follow up afterward. So welcome Anya. Thank you so much for being here.

Hey, thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited.

First of all, I love your background. I have no idea that you’re going to have this sort of sunshine background. Is this like a new creation I’ve not seen before?

Yeah, this is relatively new. So we’re using this kind of like a selfie mode, but if you use the wide angle thing, you’ll see there’s even more to this background situation. Yeah, so I have all the plants that are just hanging out with me here and like my little lightsaber, at least that’s how people refer to it. And a couple of other things in the background. Yeah, that’s the new background that we create. It’s actually a tapestry so it’s not painted. It’s kind of like an elegant solution to make sure that we can change them around because we feel like it’s important to set the mood for different seasons and different shows and situations. So, yeah, definitely superhero sunshine behind my back.

Absolutely. So where are you currently located?

We are in Austin, Texas. So this is where our headquarters is. We have two major offices at Restream. One is in Austin and the other one is in Kia, Ukraine. So kind of depending on what you’re working on at Restream, technical side or more marketing, sales, business side, you’re probably in one of those locations. But of course nowadays the world is pretty global and our team is actually very spread out. We have people in San Francisco, in Canada and other countries in Europe, and of course a lot of people are just remote. So it’s a smallish team at very global.

Yeah, you guys are super powerful. And I mentioned this to family, friends, other content creators, and I always tell them that Restream is literally one of the most solid sponsors out there and I know that you’re the head of Influencer Marketing over there and for people who are not as familiar with your title or what that even means, could you give us a high level view of what it is?

Yeah, absolutely. It is a very strange title and whenever I talk to people who came outside of restaurant or social media or live streaming world, it is kind of difficult to grasp like what does it even mean? Influencer marketing or influencer marketing manager. So my mission as a company is to build relationships with content creators, opinion leaders and trendsetters and educate them on the power of live streaming in general and how resume is the perfect tool for that in particular. And then we build relationships around that, around their creativity, around their channels, what exactly they can do, and basically make sure that they help us spread the word, the word about our product to their communities and everywhere around. So that’s the idea. It’s kind of infiltrating internet and just digital space with ideas about live streaming and restream in particular with the help of talented creators and opinion leaders that are out there.

It’s so lovely. And I’m going to ask just add in one more question that we’re going to dive right into live streaming, which is a lot of the brands are still thinking sort of in the old days, you see Coca Cola even back in the day, we’re going to hire talent who’s only here to shoot in a piece of advertising. But instead resume is so proactively working with other content creators. You guys even let other creators to live stream right from your own platform, 30 500 people. Why share the platform? Why is it important to work with other creators as opposed to just hiring people or internally manage everything from restream?

Yeah, that’s a great question and actually rarely hear it kind of position that way. But there are two sides of that story, right? Number one is it’s a little bit of a hack. When we started with Influencer Marketing, it was a very small team. I was basically the individual contributor in there. So I didn’t have many people and I didn’t have the capacity and the resources of actually managing this whole family of creators and content. But the content was very needed because these days people definitely do see a lot of advertising. People probably still watch TV and there are other ways how they consume information. But let’s face it, most people are on social and if you want to get in front of them, you’ve got to work with opinion leaders on that social platform. And especially for someone like us who has a lot of platforms that we support, that kind of became the key. And the part the reason why we wanted to open up our channel for select creators was because we wanted quality content. We wanted from people who already have their audiences, who could introduce them to us. And we wanted to become that hub, that Netflix of content creators, the greater economy.

And it was just kind of a natural solution for that. Invite the best creators, open up our channels to those who pitched great show for us and build on that content, build on that brand awareness, and also encourage and empower creators that we sponsor to do better and to learn and to improve and to grow their audiences accordingly.

When we talk about Livestream, actually, sometimes it becomes this household name to me in my world, people, I would say within my Mastermind on my email list, pretty much everybody knows what lifestreaming is. But I have to respect some folks out there who are thinking, what exactly is live streaming? Are you talking about NBC? Are you talking about gamers exclusively? Like, how do we actually define live streaming these days?

That’s a very good question. So there are definitely a lot of different definitions of what livestreaming is. And I think, first of all, we kind of need to break it down into two major categories. Streaming content, when you are the consumer thinks that you will stream on Netflix or that NBC example, when you’re streaming sports live on TV channels and streaming when it’s more of an outbound effect thing, right? Like when you are creating content and you are offering it in real time live for your audiences and followers. So Restream is covering the second part of things. We’re not in the business of streaming content from other channels or other networks. We allow you to use our very simple and user friendly tools to become a broadcaster yourself. And that’s the number one important distinction. And then when it comes to different industries, yes, historically streaming was very much associated with video games and gameplay was the most common type of content to stream. And I tell you why. Because it’s easy. Because video games are dynamic, they’re beautiful graphically, they already have a storyline most of the time and you don’t have to create all that stuff.

All you need to do is just play. And for a lot of people it’s fun, it’s relatively easy. Some games are more complex than others, but generally it’s pretty easy to just follow the line and the flow of the game and that immediately creates great content. So that’s why historically, gamers were the ones who kind of pioneered the live, real time interactive content on social. But of course, fast forward to 2021, we see people from all industries who are benefiting from that same idea of real time trustworthy, authentic, two way street communication. Something is coming from you as a broadcaster and something is coming back from your community in the form of live chat. So that’s what Restream is doing.

Oh, it’s so wonderful. And I have to say. You know. I was evaluating a lot of. I would say in your world competitors. But Restream just surfaced to the top and what’s really incredible is I made the decision in May 2020. Which I’ve mentioned to you. Aya. That it used to take so much time to record. Produce. Post. Produce these episodes. Launch it to anchor lipson. Whichever platform and you have to wait because you have a schedule and you have to tell your guests later on. And I made a decision last May to basically go live with all my podcast shows. I made the announcement on social media. I held myself accountable. I started to tell all my other, especially publishing authors to do the same up to a launch event. And the results were just phenomenal. I could easily say that my viewer audience were tripled and frankly, people were watching this. I am not a technical. I mean, I studied computer science but I did not really have the patience or frankly the time to learn OBS and just figure out all that stuff and restrain. For me, it just plug and play.

There’s an easy way to update titles and descriptions across more than 30 different platforms. I only use about five of them and it’s just seamless. And right now we’re streaming right from basically a Restream studio, so right from the browser. So yeah. What was it like for you to kind of hear this type of feedback, to learn that, oh my gosh, there are podcasters and authors, all these people using Restream.

Yeah, you’re spot on when you mentioned that it is a lot easier to create content live versus recording. Because I do that too quite a bit. I actually create a lot of series for just a small short videos where I explain one specific feature or one specific use case of Restream. It’s primarily from my own community on LinkedIn, but sometimes the Restream marketing team picks it up and we share it on a more global scale. But it’s insane how when you compare the amount of time and effort that it takes you to create a 92nd video where I just talk about some small feature like how to invite a guest in restroom studio, for example. Whereas when you go live and have an interview with somebody or have a little masterclass on how to use the tool, which are both types of shows that I do definitely prerecorded content takes a lot more time and effort and live video is a lot easier to start with and to create. It takes a little bit of courage because a lot more things can go wrong, but the audience is much more forgiving. So because people accept and appreciate your vulnerability of showing up and just doing this.

And definitely most social media platforms that Restream supports do favor in their algorithms, the live content over the prerecorded content. So you’re also benefiting the thing that you mentioned earlier, how your audience is growing tremendously and how you notice a lot more engagement from your community. It is because live videos are prioritized and so it’s easier to produce. It’s much more authentic and interesting for the audience. It’s a two way street, it’s interactive and it’s also benefiting you as a creator growing on social media. So I think it’s kind of like winning all around.

Yeah, it’s a win win for everybody. And the authenticity part is really important. I want to display real quick, for example, Don Africa. Right now in Africa, in Kenya, it’s 06:40 P.m., who’s tuning in and telling me about how he or she is using Restream on YouTube and Facebook. And it’s very true that I started to notice how all these social media platforms were favoring livestream. And when you guys think about it for a second, it makes total sense because live stream means that it’s there, the interaction is right there and if you have questions, you can ask it. And as you can see, we can actually display the chat as well, which is really interesting to me. This is something that even a year or two years ago, it’s something that we have to purchase so many things, spend a lot of money, kind of just mush everything together and expect them to break during the live show. But now it just works like this and I’m learning so much about myself, frankly. And I kind of want to kind of pivot into the mindset a bit because I was not comfortable on videos for a long time.

I’m not sure about you, Anya. I’ve been on YouTube since late 2019 and kind of working on my courage from recorded content to now this is live content. And I have to say that it sounds kind of jarring, but once you’ve done it a couple of times, it feels quite extremely comfortable for some reason.

Yeah, totally. I have to say that just in general, for anybody, no matter what your abilities and skills and expertise is in, going live is always a daunting and very intimidating experience. And the reason is because you always have about 100 different things that you think are wrong with you or will go wrong with the stream. And those are two different categories, of course, but the combination of them can be really defeating. You mentioned for me personally, I definitely was not originally comfortable on camera. I started live streaming when I joined Regime. I have never done that before. I did work a little bit as a journalist, but it was all, of course, prerecorded. And like you mentioned, it’s a lot easier when you know you can screw up and you know the editors are going to make you look good and it’s going to fix everything. And when I started to go live, I realized that I’m losing that ability, that option to undo or cut certain things. So it was definitely a daunting experience and a lot of self conscious moments. Of course, English is not my native language. I moved here from Europe and of course this idea of being a foreigner, trying to broadcast things and acting as a host was terrifying, I thought, do people even understand what I’m saying?

This is crazy. And a lot of people have all this kind of reasons. I don’t look good on camera, I don’t have the right equipment, I sound weird, I hate the sound of my voice. And of course, with all of those subconscious moments and all the scary things that can go wrong, the Internet will fall out or your lights will break or anything else. Yeah, there’s a scary space where you can put yourself, but you can always remember there’s always one reason to go live, right? And for different people, that reason can be different. Some people are really passionate about their product. Others really want to hear from their community and build those feedback loops through chat messages. Others just feel like, this is the new way of building your brand and either personal brand or product. So just focus on that one reason that makes you think that you should go live. And trust me, all these hundred reasons that make you feel like you’re not going to make it and you’re not cut for this eventually will go away with experience. Give it a try ten times and you’ll be pro.

And for people who are watching right now, you can leave a message. We’re not going to see your face, I promise. And it’s so exciting when Anya said, and I wonder if you have any fear, let us know what it is. If you’re an immigrant living in America or anywhere else, I was really concerned about, like, will people understand? I know I don’t have too much of an accent, but there are certain things and points of references I honestly just don’t know because I never grew up here. But just keep in mind what I learned about livestreaming or podcasting or YouTubing in general, is there’s this secret place of storytelling. And because you didn’t grow up in America, I just say you have such unique perspectives and stories to kind of bring into this side of the world. And I think with so much going on in this world, I feel like we’re obligated to actually share our stories so that people can get to know a little bit about us as opposed to what they see or read in mass media. So let us know your fear. We’re here to support you. And, you know, we’ve got the tech stuff covered.

But also one thing you just reminded me as you’re talking about the equipment, and we don’t need that, and all of a sudden we have this thing now it’s happening in real time. What I learned about using Restream is that I don’t have to give up anything else I’m doing. If I want to edit the content, I can edit that by downloading this easily. Now you can get the audio tracks on two separate tracks. For those of you who are podcasters out there, you’re going to love it because you can balance. Let’s say ANI and I are used very different microphones. I think our volumes actually match pretty well. But sometimes you interview people, one person is much quieter. You can do all of that in post production. Plus, you know, for me, I repurpose all my live streams to my podcast, which has been running since 2014. We have nearly 300 episodes. And I sometimes crop some of these videos and I put it on TikTok for under 60 seconds and all of a sudden I drag a whole new audience. Same thing for Facebook, you know. So, yeah, it is so exciting all around, I must say.

Yeah, totally. And to kind of rewind a little bit back to the accent thing and just being concerned about being different from those iconic news anchors, I definitely had a lot of views around that. And eventually what I learned about accent specifically is that you can actually get rid of it if you want to. It’s just a couple of months as a speech therapist and you can sound as whatever anchor you like. And I thought about this very seriously, I thought about this and then I realized that in the saturated world of different hosts and different types of content, actually sounding weird and having a little bit of an accent or something like a foreign glare to you is a benefit. It makes you stand out. You are different. And now when I’m appearing as a guest, like I’m here right now, it becomes like that interview that stood out, like, oh, that foreign check that said something about livestreaming. So a lot of times, whatever your subconscious fear, little thing that you’re really concerned about, sometimes that can be turned into an advantage, if you think about.

That for sure, and I love this is the part that you bring up. I know that restaurant works with a really big variety of influencers, which is something I absolutely love. Heritage, different skin color, and it’s just in such a rich environment and for all of us to learn as content creators. But Ana, I never really asked you where are you from originally and you talked about your career, but tell us a bit about your upbringing too, before you came to America.

Yeah, sure, that’s a good one. So I typically ask people to guess where I’m from because it’s always very funny to hear the ideas. And I get all kinds of countries, literally from Australia to Argentina. Like, I got the whole globe covered. My most common guess is probably Norway, Sweden, like the Scandinavia, which is close enough. I was actually born in Russia, in Moscow, so most of my life I grew up in Moscow, which is one of the biggest cities in European part of Eurasian continent and definitely very big, like New York Times, two or three, if you think in American cities. And yeah, it was just one of those things. And I moved to the United States when I was 24, so I was basically adult by that time. Like, most of my shaping and forming already happened back in Russia. My family was very international. They were ethically Russian, but they were both very passionate about traveling, and they were taking us everywhere. And English was the same from very early on. So we both learned me, my sister, we both learned English when we were seven years old. And yeah, so it was kind of that kind of interesting environment of being Russian, but also thinking very Western.

And I kind of knew that I will eventually go and probably elsewhere, not necessarily because I don’t love my hometown, Moscow, but because I wanted to see more and I wanted to explore and experiment. And yeah, Austin became my home because I just came here and fell in love.

Yeah, I heard great things about Austin. So many people moving there. I think Ten Ferris is one of those who left San Francisco to move to Austin. Wow, what a journey here. And it is definitely I would say it is definitely a benefit of even talking about our upbringing. That’s something, by the way, that I encourage other people to do. But I feel like I’ve gotten to a point where I’m confident to actually maybe use livestream to create another channel to talk about my upbringing. For the longest time, I always assume that people wouldn’t care because growing up in Beijing, China, was a huge city. It’s so personal to me, and the who would care? But every time I’ve gotten on the podcast, it’s probably been 20, more than 20 at this point. That’s everybody’s first question, what was it like? You know? So I think we’re sometimes wrong about our own. That’s why there’s called assumptions. So get yourself out there, and thank you for sharing. I don’t think any of us really know that much about you, and hopefully in our next gathering, we can hear more about your stories, too.

Totally. Yeah. It’s very interesting. I think it’s very important to give some kind of a personal attach to your content because it’s very easy to get lost in this. Okay, this is my brand, this is my personality, this is my company, this is my thing, and just kind of focus on those. A lot of tech reviewers make that mistake. They kind of focus on technology. Right. Or she is the girl that knows the cameras, and that’s the thing. But a lot of times when you add something personal to it, something about your life, something about what you care about, your passions, your hobbies, something that’s, aside from that persona that you create within that channel, it actually sparks a lot of interest. So I really like where you’re coming from with this. Like, hey, how was the growing up thing going? How is that immigrant life? What are some personal, pivotal points that led you to where you are today.

Yeah, I think frankly, it also says a lot about Restream. Right. I think Restaurant could have easily picked somebody from New York and not just anywhere in the US. And have your not cookie cutter, but, you know, someone who represents a live stream community. You know, I think we know what they are. I think Instagram is a place where you see kind of a bunch of oceans of sadness, but yet they picked you. Actually, it speaks a lot to me as an immigrant creator to see someone and interact with on a regular basis. And Anna, you’re basically the face of Restream, and that’s a very popular app in America. So I really love that. And then in a way that surprise, surprises and delights me in many ways. But I would love to get into a little bit of the growing your business part, because what I’ve seen is you use livestream to talk about new features, that things excites you about Restream. And what do you think are some of the things and lessons that you’ve learned as live streamers or content creators doing really well, that’s actually boosting their businesses, you know, really driving engagements, as opposed to paying for views, paying for email lists.

How do I actually nurture and build a community?

Yeah, that’s a big question because I would say at the end, there is no one formula that would work for everybody because it really depends on the type of content that you’re working with, the type of goals, and kind of like ideas, like, what do you consider a good result? So there are a lot of creators that appeal to massive audiences. One of the things that work for those is being entertaining, being funny, and kind of like jumping on those trending waves of like, what’s the new thing? What’s the next new thing? And a lot of those channels, you find they have millions of followers, millions of subscribers. And generally speaking, getting to that level almost always means hard work and dedication. You will most likely run some kind of paid promotions to gain those followers and subscribers. You will have to network a lot in order to get some help from other bigger creators before you get to that level. And then you become that creator that everyone wants to partner with and kind of like, figure back on your success. There’s a lot of that stuff, but there are also niche creators and kind of to follow up on something that you mentioned about like cookie cutter, New York perfect live streaming host or somebody like that.

Resume as a Tool was primarily designed for creators who are not necessarily professional video editors or hosts. Restroom was designed for people who have a message to deliver, who have a product that they work with. And this is just one of their marketing tools. It’s just an avenue for them to put it out there to connect with their communities. So in that context, when you think about creators in that space, think about niche creators, people who are specializing in something that they are experts, that they have a lot of knowledge about. And this is that pool of sharing those skills, sharing knowledge and building around that knowledge and that brand. And this is what Restream is primarily all about. We do have big, big creators who use us, of course, from different industries. But the core user base for us are, you know that church? I saw that in the comments. There were comments about like, how Regime is a great tool for churches. The church wants to contact their aggregation. People who are using Regime to promote physical products to product launches. And behind the scenes, people who run events, different brands who show how the culture and work looks like at their place, like HR professionals.

There’s so many different aspects to that. And for those people to grow their community and create content that builds engagement is to know your thing. Like know your stuff and be that expert indefinitely. Make sure it’s interactive, make it a two way street, include people in the conversation and that’s what usually helps to grow the engagement and the audience and the subscriber list.

Yeah, that’s definitely the way to go. And I think there’s power in terms of just image. Here you are talking about your product and your product can be anything. You can see the product yourself. And you know, what I love is, as we’re talking in the description below, people want to try Restream. They can, the link is there. They can learn more about future events. It just feels so natural because you’re providing value first and foremost. So I love that. And Annie, I want to really chat with you also about the consistency. Right? So I know that people go live at different times or there may be babies running around, there may be other obligations. So I personally, I confess, I really want to get on the schedule, but at the same time my guests are available at different times. So sometimes I don’t we will talk about prerecorded live in a second. It’s super exciting. I’m going to be using that like three times in may I’ll speak to that in a second? But what’s your take on going live consistently, say on a Wednesday 05:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time versus kind of going live more spontaneously?

Yeah, totally. So I would say in my personal experience, consistency definitely pays. And one of the cool metrics that I have to back this up, aside from my own, just like very personal perception of this, is that since we are working with a family of about 16 content creators currently who stream to retrieve channels as guest hosts, we do track their performance. We do track like, how they, how they do and what shows do better and how. Many views they get on average and what’s the total count. And I can tell that the number one, number two ranking hosts are the ones that have been going live on YouTube channels for the longest time. So people are used to seeing them there, they’re used to their style, they’re used to the type of content and the value that they bring. And they are the ones that are rating really well because people expect them to be there and they kind of know what to expect. And then also the shows that happen weekly generally trend better than the biweekly shows because we have two types. We have the folks who go every other week and people who go live every week.

And it was actually one of the experiments that I did personally with my shows. I had Friday live show, which was on Fridays, but every week it was arguably not the best time because on Friday people are generally checking out and not really interested in anything except for the happy hour stuff. But at the same time the show was gaining momentum because every Friday people knew that it was going to be an interview. I’m going to be there and I’m going to host it. And the new show is actually on Wednesdays, 1011 in the morning. And it is definitely like high profile guests and everything, but because it’s every other week and sometimes we have to shift things around for guests, just like you mentioned, to accommodate their schedules, it definitely gets less engagement and viewership, even though promoted hard and the timing is arguably better. So consistency pays, in my opinion, in my perspective. But that doesn’t mean you have to go live every day and you have to be super anal about the timing. You can move it around a little bit as long as you let your audience know what changes every time and as long as you train them to expect this type of content with your style happening on a regular basis.

Yeah, beautifully said. And I noticed there’s something about you, which is why it’s always been so pleasant to work with you, is that you’re very flexible. I don’t think you’ve ever forced when I say you, I think about Hannah is restroom. Restroom. You never quite force any ideas like you must do this, content creators must do this. And we’ll get into the sponsorship content creation in a second. I think so many people have different questions like how do we stream even find you? How does it all work? But I want to just talk briefly about prerecorded live guys. This was oh my goodness, 2020. Until today, this is like a lifesaver. So one of my favorite features remains today they’re prerecorded live along with overlays. I’m not really going crazy right now with our layout, but here’s the reason. I’m someone who I’m running a business, so I’m fairly busy and I notice as a podcaster and you guys are as contextrates. You know this all of a sudden there’s one week and you have seven interviews, and that is a hell week. I mean, it’s a very happy week connecting with interesting people, but all of a sudden, I’m going live seven times a week, sometimes often twice a day.

Now, I know that’s not really doing my audience a favor. You know, people are busy. Here’s the thing. I can easily and you can to record all these seven different interviews. You can do that right from Restream studio without going live. You have this recorded and then you save this piece of content. Then you go to prerecorded live. You can schedule them live at whatever time that you choose to your schedule. Wednesday, 05:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time. Done. I noticed that that will really help you create consistency and the schedule, and that really works. Now, there’s a second scenario that was life saving in 2020. I worked with a lot of musicians and artists, so now they know they can all sing together on Zoom. Zoom doesn’t sync video audio at all. So they really want to give their audiences the same quality of performance, different instruments. So I helped a bunch of companies to put together these pre recorded live and edit that, and then it just seamlessly go live on Restream across different channels. And they’re like hundreds of engagements from Japan, and you can choose the time easily. So my goodness, I don’t know, I never really told you this, but it’s huge.

Yeah, prerecorded and scheduling videos to go live was another it’s kind of Restream way. What we’re trying to do when the company originated five years ago is to kind of like hack the system here and there. There was a lot of solutions that we were coming up with. It’s like, all right, people on a live stream on Twitch and YouTube. At that time, Facebook Live was just coming around. It was very new, and of course, no LinkedIn was even around. Twitter just came up with periscopes. So there were all these platforms kind of realizing the power of live video, but YouTube and Twitter were by far the biggest, and the idea was like, okay, so of course you want to go live on Twitch if you’re a gamer. You also want to go live on YouTube if you’re a gamer. Why would you choose one or the other? Why not? You go to two places at the same time. And that’s kind of how the concept of multi streaming was born within our founders. And then the scheduler was also part of the saying, like, okay, so sometimes you want to create a perfect video and then but still benefit from those algorithms that favor live video.

And sometimes you did go live like we did today, but of course the audience of yours that prefers to consume content on Saturday is not going to see us because they’re busy. They’re doing something else so rescheduling and pushing the same content life again on a different time zone, a different day, definitely helps you to get a lot more views and a lot more engagement. My personal use with scheduler was around holidays because I chose to be off this December, like past December, just to spend some time with family for Christmas and all these amazing festive activities. And I felt really bad because Friday nights are not happening. So I picked my two favorite episodes, actually four, I think I ran two a day at different times and I just scheduled them and people could rewatch them. I was very clear that those are replays so people who want to comment won’t feel left out that we’re not responding or ignoring their comments. So it’s very important when you’re scheduling to make sure that people understand that this is a scheduled prerecorded live not happening in real time. But yeah, it was great because I already had content, people had something to watch and I didn’t feel bad about not being checked in during the holidays.

So definitely a little life experience out there for you to explore for sure.

And I forgot to even mention that, yes, you can actually do prerecorded live with the same piece of content multiple times. And I remember in late 2019, I just launched my documentary on Amazon Prime and I wanted to do I didn’t want to share the entire all five episodes, but I used one episode with Sarah Cooper actually because she was really picking up steam. And so I shared our interviews on Saturday, I think at Newman’s Standard Time, two to three weeks in a row. And it was really interesting that the people who didn’t catch it the first time were watching it with the second time around. And automation, automation is so important for content creators who don’t have an entire agency backing them up. You don’t have infinite time on your hands. I just feel like we need to respect ourselves as a platform, as basically the original signal to get more done and really grateful for restream. So I don’t want to wait till the very end of this conversation to address something that everybody has been asking me about. For content creators out there, see, this is maybe a segment I’ll cut out and like rerelease as another video, which is how sponsorship works, by the way.

I’m a micro influencer. I have a little short of 150 subscribers on YouTube. Some of you may be thinking like, what is she getting any views at all? So subscriber count is one thing. I do have somewhat substantial amount of views, but Restaurant found me when I was only, I think, a few thousand subscribers or so. Could you tell us a bit about how you stream find creators in the space? Like, who do you look for? What are you looking for? Personality, tone wise?

Yeah. So we do have, when I started. At first it was very manual and medieval way of finding people. It was basically me just kind of scouting internet and looking at YouTube videos, putting the keywords in and kind of trying to understand who are the people who are reviewing streaming technology. That was my first kind of idea, like okay, if you’re talking about cameras, lights and microphones and streaming equipment, you might be good for us and review Restream as one of the software tools. Then just general gear reviewers. And then as we started to move forward with studio product and kind of like catering to marketers social media strategists entrepreneurs. Like that area of people. I was also looking for just people who talk about how to do live videos. How to do digital marketing and those were kind of like two categories that I was looking at well fast over to now of course we have a lot more teammates on at least three and there are certain automations that are going. So we’re constantly searching and scouting multiple platforms. At this time we’re looking at LinkedIn Live Top Voices, we’re looking at YouTubers that are creating relevant content based on our keywords.

And of course we’re also looking at Facebook Groups and Pages, see where people can aggregate to talk about live streaming and possibilities around them and we look at the leaders and the top voices there and of course we then start the conversations and yeah, we’re big on diversity. We try to make sure that we cover different industries because Livestreaming is a solution for churches as much as it is for gamers or entrepreneurs or fitness trainers or financial advisors. There are so many different things in areas that we cover as a tool. So we try to talk to people in different industries and also bring people from different backgrounds because we believe that perspectives and different positions where you’re coming from are very helpful in terms of us delivering our important message which is everyone can be a live streamer.

Love that message. And for those of you who are watching Live right now, feel free to drop a comment. And if you watch this afterward, I usually always grab and just make sure I sign all the questions. And so when you talk about diversity and people creating content, trying to stand out, I think a lot of the content creators, the up and coming ones and they’re building their channel, they’re getting monetized on YouTube for example, where they have a monetized podcast channel. I was wondering, do you approach both YouTubers as well as podcasters, what bloggers even like, what are some of the things that you’re just looking into?

Yeah, so I personally oversee primarily video content and I am a big believer that Life video can be repurposed in all of those things. So I want to tell people that I work with that start with live video or add on with live video to what you’re doing and then everything else is going to come as well. So if you are live streaming and if you’re using tools like very simple tools like discrete, for example, anchor that you mentioned earlier, the live video like this one that we’re doing today can be immediately just in a couple of hours of your editing time repurposed into a blog post because this script actually does the transliteration for you. And everything we set can become kind of like an article interview, which is great for your blogs. You can repurpose this in a podcast. You can also use, again, tools like this script in order to create short clips, just like a little video for your social, for your Twitter, for your LinkedIn, maybe a little audiogram where you found some very insightful piece and you just want to put a picture of your guests and do this little audio factor around it.

And the captions, the closed captions that people can just follow along as they’re scrolling through their social media feeds. So there are a lot of things that you can do from that point when you created that live stream. So that’s what we are mainly looking for. Podcasts are great and we do constantly consider like different brand awareness things. But most of the time my number one goal is to connect with people who are either livestreaming already or thinking about adding that element to their core content because that’s what we are, that’s what we do and that’s the easiest thing for us to partner on because if you’re live streaming, it’s easy to offer what we are offering to your communities.

For sure. I’m going to sidetrack real quick. I just remember, Anna, you recently spoke at a podcast. Is a podcast movement or a different event?

Podfest. Podfest one. Yeah, right.

You spoke to the topic that uses how to use live streaming to increase podcast sponsorships related to sponsorships since I couldn’t make it. So could you tell us a bit about what that means and how podcasters here could be? Thinking about that?

Yeah, absolutely. I really wanted to build that conversation about sponsorship is because that’s kind of one of the biggest pain points for all podcasters. Like, okay, I have content, I have all this stuff like how do I monetize, how do I make this time and effort that I’m putting into this worthy? And a lot of people are struggling with that because there is no sort of say, a book text that gives you the steps and tells you exactly how to get there. And of course, everyone’s journey is different. So I wanted to focus on that again from our perspective as a brand and how we want to collaborate with podcasters and like what that can give to those creators. So the interesting thing about podcasts is that they are pretty much already live streamers, minus one thing, and that’s the camera. So they have everything else except for the camera. They have the mics, they have the audio equipment, they have the ability to edit their content, they have the content itself because if they have been writing podcasts, it means that they have a topic and they have the audience, those people who download those podcasts.

So all they need to do is to add that camera. And then what allows them to do is first amplify their reach because they probably, as podcasters, as professionals, as individuals, build those communities on Facebook, on LinkedIn and Twitter already. And by adding live streaming to their podcasting content, they immediately activate that community. So all of a sudden, except for people who find them through downloads or whatever, people get podcasts. All of a sudden people can find them on all the social platforms. And I’ve seen big, big podcasters do that recently, especially during the pandemic. Some NPR hosts, like Guy Raz is a good example. He was just, you know how I built this podcast? That was his thing. And now he’s also live on Facebook. He’s live on a bunch of different platforms. So that’s just an amplifier right there. And then when you think about sponsorships, what does the sponsor want? There are two things that they want from you. Number one is they want the reach. They want to access your audience and unlock those potential leads for their products. And number two, they want conversions. They want those people to be convinced that the product or the offering that you have for them is worthy of the money that we’re asking.

And also it’s going to solve their problems. So when you as a podcaster come to your brand and say, hey, I have this podcast and we have this downloads and like this are our numbers, that’s a good message. But when you come in and say, hey, by the way, I can build different packages for you, I can do the podcast only, or I can toss in live video and then the same content is going to go like on social, I can tag you, I can tag your LinkedIn stuff, I can tag your Facebook page and everything you need. So you get more exposure, you get more leads and you can actually follow up and come in and comment on the interview that I did featuring you and mentioning you. And that for sponsors is extremely attractive. So that was kind of the conversation that by saying, hey, I’m not just a podcaster, but I’m also a live streamer, you amplify your audience and you also make yourself much more attractive to those people who are writing the checks for brand awareness.

I’m so glad you were bringing that last point. I felt like you read my mind as leading into my next question. A lot of the creators that I work with, I speak with, they don’t fully understand the relationship that it has to be a two way street. And I love that about the way that I work with Restream as well. It’s not like every single video needs to be integrated. I need to be talking about Restream and shouting at everybody to sign up. It has to be that kind of seamless, authentic integration that I need to be a user. But I love the fact that a lot of creators neglect the fact that just because you have a thriving YouTube channel doesn’t mean that you need to forget about the rest of your social reach. For me, for example, I have, I think, nearly around 4000 followers on LinkedIn. I’m actually going live on LinkedIn at the moment. And that can help with the brand or your interview guests to reach that additional audience and then shout, also tagging Restream. Tagging. The brand is also very important. So this is great. Aria, what about in terms of the operational stuff?

What’s really important to a sponsor or a brand? The communication aspect of things, the reliability that people actually deliver what they say or they’re going to deliver in that arena.

Yeah, those are very critical points. When we think about partnering with somebody, of course the number one, the entry point is understanding their audience, how relevant their viewers and followers are to what we are offering. Of course, we primarily work with people who are catering to creators themselves, resume. It’s kind of an interesting product. We are not, so to say, completely a consumer product, but not shoes or purses. You have to be a little bit creative. You have to be a producer or video creator yourself in order to be able to use us. So when you’re working with Prosumers, of course the relevance is super important. So sponsoring channels that are catering to that community is the number one thing that we’re looking for. But definitely the very close next thing is the ability of that influencer partner to deliver on our key results and key goals. Right? Like, so we think about what is our goal in terms of conversion, what is our goal in terms of viewership. And the delivery of that is something that we track religiously. We always look for growth. We want to see those trends. Like you mentioned earlier, we started with about three, 40 subscribers on you and now you’re at 150.

So that’s great. That shows that you’re growing, you’re constantly developing, you’re trying, you’re thriving. So that’s a healthy growth that we are always looking for. And then in terms of reliability, of course it is very difficult to work with people who say, hey, we’re going to create this video suite and then they don’t because that kind of like offsets our whole system of like, what we’re expecting content wise. And we have our KPIs as well internally. So we got to deliver a certain amount of videos and mentions and impressions and all that stuff. So definitely reliability. If you are an aspiring creator and looking for sponsorships should be your priority. And remember that it’s super important. And of course we’ll talk about that more during the sponsorship focused episode. Remember that your first two weeks, maybe a month of relationship with a brand is super important. That’s the most important part because guess what, you won’t have the second chance to make the first impression. And the first month people will look very carefully in terms of what you’re delivering. So make sure whatever you committed to in the first month you’re delivering and over delivering there.

The overdelivering is absolutely true and the first month is actually very labor and I would say mentally intensive for both the brand and the individual. There are contracting involved. You’re talking about the initial video, some of the brands usually from what I can tell, this is not me speaking on behalf of Restream, but my experience has been, hey, how about you do a shout out video. That means just a video mention, but hey, we want to see what else you can do. Could you do a integrated video which is about you’re talking about the brand, you’re maybe comparing the app with something else. So you definitely want to over deliver and be very clear. And any, I remember back in the day, nearly a year ago at this point that you and I had Google Docs where we shared, I would say that, hey, here’s how we plan out additional video topics. What are your thoughts? Was that helpful to you? Have you seen other mechanisms that creators use with you that was like, wow, this really saved me time as an influence marketing manager?

Yeah, there are definitely a lot of platforms and tools that can help you manage that load. We’re using very basic ones. I believe we’re using type form just to collect the sponsored pieces. And then we have some automation that we built internally that allows us to automatically calculate, is this important to the contract? Is this what the influencer is supposed to be delivering? What is the viewer count and that stuff? And there are probably more sophisticated ways to do it, like more tools that are even more precise and specific about what you’re looking for. But definitely if you before, you know, before you scale this stuff, definitely don’t get too hooked up with this whole like, oh gosh, like what kind of tools do I need? Like don’t lose it and just start with a spreadsheet because a lot of times the most important thing is to get started, test it, make sure that your MVP works and then once that happens, then you can definitely figure out what you can automate, what you can scale. So spreadsheet works fine at first and then later on you might build on yeah, absolutely.

So one thing I was going to share with you as well is something I noticed with trends and things that work really well. Including sponsored videos is about breaking down longer videos because for. I mean. This message may be a little more target towards YouTubers out there. But I noticed for a while it’s about. Oh. Your videos need to be more than 1011 minutes long so you can have mid roles. I mean, this is kind of the likelihood of being a creator, getting paid through ads, through sponsors. But lately I noticed that if you look at the watch time, a lot of the videos are actually only watched 30%, up to 50% on a good video. So some of the core stuff, more advanced techniques are just unfortunately getting neglected. People are never going to get there. So I’m lately experimenting with short playlists. So for example, if I want to show Restream 2021, all the new features, I’m going to create a separate playlist. And I know some of the influencers I restream and are doing exactly that. So now part one, part two, three, all of a sudden the same, exact same video, 15 minutes long.

You’re cutting it down to two to three minute apiece. The watch time is going up significantly and I thought that is a great way to over deliver for your sponsor, buying one video, but you’re actually delivering a playlist, but also actually helps you as a creator as well. I just want to share that with you. It’s delightful.

The short content is great. It will always cater to people who have short attention span and who just simply are super busy. So being concise is super important. It kind of sounds counterintuitive. But to create a two minute informative video is harder than to create a 15 minutes video because with 15 minutes you have so much room and you can kind of like take your time and go over things and be a little bit redundant with two minutes. Or especially 30 seconds. If that’s kind of your goal. You really have to think it through. And that’s the exercise that I did on LinkedIn with my 90 seconds. And I had to show a feature within a minute and a half and that was my limit. That was it. So, yeah, some features are super easy to show, like background, yeah, you can show it in 5 seconds, but certain things are a little bit more complex. You have to figure out what in your flow is essential and what can be left out in order to still keep that impression of like, you know what you’re doing. And it’s helpful, it makes sense to people.

Shorts are good.

Yeah, sure. It’s a good I remember a couple of times you said fake, could you talk about this feature of Restraint? And I remember recording videos like, oh, it’s super easy to use. First of all, user friendly. And it literally took me two to three minutes. And part of me was like, I think this video is too short, but it’s actually very effective. People love when you get to the point, people love the titles, including how to Get XYZ done within three minutes. So this is great to respect your time, I promise I’ll let you go. Is there anything that you want to say I haven’t covered? We do have a follow up session on May 6, everybody. If you are interested in sponsorship, please come back during that session. Sign up for my newsletter. I’ll let you know more about the details as well. But yeah, any of how do people find out more about Restream sign up link is below. There is a free version that you can use for a long time.

So, yeah, definitely. Restream free plan is not a trial, as a lot of people think, and it’s not some kind of a temporary thing. You can use resume for free forever. Yes, it will limit your abilities in certain ways and it will not unlock the branding or recordings or like really cool advanced features. But in order to just get started and giving it a try and see if that works for you and your community, that’s a great solution right there. So I guess my last words would definitely be give it a try. Get out of your comfort zone. Try going live. Maybe just do it for your personal Facebook profile, which is free, or your personal YouTube channel. Just get a feel and taste of it and then think about planning that on a bigger scale for your brand, for your product, for your company. So, yeah, and I guess we’ll see you next time in May to talk for really deep dive into sponsorships and collaborations with brand and how that could look for you.

That’s great. May 6 at noon, 12:00 Eastern Standard. If you guys include any sponsorship related questions, I’ll be sure to go to capture that ahead of us. Going live again. Thank you so much, Annie. I’m going to take us off like.

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