Regardless of whether it’s a platform or an individual brand, growing an audience is essential to optimizing the brand’s potential. As the internet grows, people are finding new ways of leveraging individual brand to power a platform or corporate brand campaign; and vice versa. In the “Power of Platform and Influencers” panel, members discussed activities that are critical to growing audiences.

In the last year, live streaming has become a key format, as audiences and platforms were ready to embrace it. The landscape is always changing, and live affords brands the flexibility to build a viewership as the campaign happens – not wait three to six months to create workflows, strategies, a voice, or anything else. It’s a quick way to align an audience with the content they love.

The panel suggested that live is a way to give people a taste and a teaser of content, and encourages brands to get audiences focused on why they should care about the content. In this new world order, consistency matters. For example: going live every Monday for 5 weeks in a row results in repeated viewership, audience growth, and engagement. The audience share content not because they’re told to do so, but because the content resonates with them and the community. The content should answer the why for the audience. The programming strategy is setting the tone for what people expect so it’s easy for them to know when to come back for the things that they want.

For audience growth on platforms, it’s all about the creativity and authenticity. The panelists share that at the end of the day, if you’re not going to create authentic experiences, people are not going to engage or find you believable.

Busker has a new feature rolling out this month which allows brands to schedule broadcasts. People can create shows around specific times in the week, providing the opportunity to promote their show well in advance and let folks know across all social mediums. The strategy is: deliver authentic experiences and leverage what the app has to offer. In Busker’s case, they layered in monetization which is a big differentiator, in terms of commerce. They are now allowing broadcasters to sell their products/services directly on a live stream and it’s native to the experience. “At the end of the day, live streaming is amazing, social interactions are amazing. But it’s a means to an end for some people. They want to make a living. If we can help drive that. We can and we will.”

It’s also really important for creators to be rewarded for their efforts. Panelists note that creating live video is different from creating an Instagram photo or writing a tweet: it requires a lot of time and attention. Adi Sideman shares his belief that “it’s [YouNow’s] responsibility as a platform to ensure that [creators] are rewarded with 2 things,” which include a revenue model that can help them see how much they’ve earned, and tools to create the best possible content.

The creators agreed that if there are ways to integrate live more seamlessly, it would be easier to do more with what they’re good at and stay authentic. They also want to make money, noting that it’s a creative capitalism. In order to define success, brands need to understand the audience they’re reaching and figure out which app or platform will help them get to that demographic.

Jen Kavanagh asked “In a perfect world, what does the engagement flow with the brand actually look like? From the moment you sit down together to conceptualize to execution, what would you like to see happen and or look different than it looks today?”

The panel agreed that brands need to relax their desire to control everything about the execution. “If you believe that perfection is what you seek, and control is something you believe in, then thank you for your time I no longer need to talk to you,” says Brian Fanzo. “If perfection is the ultimate goal, then you are looking at the wrong medium.”

The key piece of the strategy is to experiment together and figure out what the brand’s goals are, who their target audience is, what they are trying to do to stay authentic and get people to take action for your brand and prove their value.

It’s all about instant gratification. This is what’s happening in social media, people want things now. We are really working inside an attention economy, so if you live stream, you can talk about a brand in a way that drives immediate results.