Well, here we are again. Just when we started grasping Snapchat and figured out how to survive Mobilegeddon, a new technology in digital marketing has popped up. Meet Periscope, the hot new app that allows users to share live video broadcasts in real time from their mobile phones and broadcast out to the entire Twittersphere.
You may have heard of Periscope’s direct competition, Meerkat. They’re practically identical programs with one major distinction: Twitter owns Periscope. In March, Twitter cut off Meerkat’s access to its “social graph,” making Meerkat’s contact import feature inoperable. This limited Meerkat’s ability to get its new users to connect with their current followers on Twitter, and in just a quick two months, has Periscipe surging ahead as the leader in the live-streaming video app world. So while this may be a bit presumptive, we’re going to move forward with this through the lens of Periscope, as things are looking meek for the Meerkat.
First, how did Periscope come to be? Creators Joe Bernstein and Kayvon Beykpour explain:
Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.
Most of the initial media attention with Periscope has gone towards the piracy outbreak it is causing. On Sunday nights, a Twitter user can search for “#GameOfThrones #Periscope” and find an abundant number of users streaming the popular HBO series. Likewise, many used the app to watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match instead of shelling out the $100 for the pay-per-view (including this author).
While the piracy issues are taking center stage in the media conversation, there’s a much bigger question marketers are asking:
How do I get business value out of Periscope?
Because Periscope is so new, there is not a defined way for brands to emulate success stories from industry peers. But when you understand that it’s just another way to amplify a social media campaign, then the creativity can begin and businesses can take advantage of this new tool to excite their audience.
With that in mind, we’re outlining seven ways we think brands can use this new tool to connect with their audience at a deeper level:
Take Your Audience Behind the Scenes
Got a new product line for a fall campaign? About to open a new location? If you have content you want your fans to take a sneak peek at before showing them the complete and finished presentation, Periscope is a great way to amplify that.
Early adopters of the app such as fashion brand DKNY have already jumped in. Periscopers recently got access to a video from the DKNY account that brought them into the DKNY closet, providing an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek into a new line.
Increase the Live Experience
Industry events, whether they be trade shows, workshops, or simply just a networking happy hour, can take advantage of Periscope. A trade show or expo always wants more attendees, so why not reach all the people who did not get to attend and give them a taste of what they are missing? Live stream the top presentations, give Periscope viewers a chance to ask questions to a speaker at the show, and provide the best experience you can for those sitting at home. It will only entice them further to come to the show next year.
Showcase Your Proof of Concept
Remember this guy?
He used to live on your television screen and show you how his cleaning products were far superior to the competition. The idea behind his infomercials was to show you, not tell you his product was better than the other cleaning options available.
You see live demonstrations all the time in mall kiosks, trade shows, and everywhere in between. If your value proposition is higher quality, set up your demonstration digitally via Periscope. Hit record and broadcast. It’s that easy.
As businesses have adopted the new world of transparency, Periscope is here to take customer feedback to the next level. Show your customers you care and have your CEO or company representative host an interactive Q&A. Broadcast the stream and encourage your fan base to ask questions in the comments. Use this as a forum to educate your customers and provide them with answers to their biggest queries and to show them that you care enough to listen to their feedback.
Take Influencers to the Next Level
If your hip fashion brand is headed to Coachella and you want Kylie Jenner to talk about your clothes live from your tent, use Periscope. You will see these influencer connections at the “cool events” from big brands throughout the year. And even if it doesn’t touch the 99% of companies that choose not to spend their ad budget on getting top Instagram teens to tell people “these shoes are rad,” you can’t deny that the 1% of businesses who do spend this way will get a lot of business value from influencers on Periscope.
Unless you're Apple or Google, no one outside your company really cares about your internal announcements. Sure, Bob in accounting appreciates being highlighted for his 30 years at the company and Sue, the new Creative Director, is proud to see her name in the press release. But if you really wanted to make your employees feel special, why not promote a live Periscope stream to the company and have the CEO tell everyone who’s watching just how happy he is that Bob spent 30 years with the organization or that Sue’s hire is a game-changer and everyone can’t wait to meet her? Wouldn’t that be more special to the team than seeing it in a company wide memo or in an industry trade?
Other announcements that would be great for Periscope: raffle + contest winners, strategic partnerships with both parties explaining why they are working together, and new product information.
I recently had a conversation with a fast casual restaurateur who told me “I want you to help me with one thing: get bodies in here from 2pm to 6pm. That’s my biggest challenge.”
Considering he has three locations and a rabid social media following, why not announce an exclusive and sought-after item at a different location periodically via Periscope? Come by our West LA location from 2pm to 6pm and be the first to try our newest sandwich at half price!
It’s just one of many ways brands can offer quick deals to its most dedicated and loyal followers.
If you sit back and think about it, much of what Periscope offers is a new way to do what you’ve already been doing. You’ve tweeted exclusive offers and company news before. You gave your followers a glimpse of the spring collection on Instagram. But where Periscope ups the ante is in its ability to humanize that process and bring the brand closer to its followers by using a real person at the company as an interactive and real-time spokesperson for the brand. People like working with people. They want to see, hear, and connect with the person on the other side of the screen.
So take that social media campaign to the next level and download the Periscope app. Test it out and see how your company can get the most out of it. Measure the engagement, and see if it’s the amplifier your business needs.