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How Your Brand Can Become a Part of the Live-Streaming Revolution

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Albert Costill
Albert Costill
How Your Brand Can Become a Part of the Live-Streaming Revolution

It is estimated that in just a few years approximately three-quarters of all web traffic will be video. And, by 2019, mobile phone users are expected to spend on average 21 hours a month watching videos. For the business marketer looking to stay on top of and ahead of trends, this means video is the next frontier worth exploring.

That trend is evident with the buzz surrounding live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope.

While live streaming platforms like Ustream and Bambuser have been around since 2007, Meerkat and Periscope are making it easier for people, and brands, to share moments with the world in a fun and entertaining way.

If you aren’t that familiar with either Meerkat or Periscope, just know that both are live-streaming apps that allow users to create and share videos immediately. Since both apps also link to a user’s Twitter account, user’s can tweet links to the live stream and engage followers in real-time. Currently, Meerkat and Periscope are available for Android & iOS users.

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But, how can your brand use live streaming apps to create relevant and buzz-worthy content? Here some helpful advice and examples of brands who are achieving just that.

A Stream of Innovation: Meerkat vs. Periscope

In a recent Twitter survey, conducted by Research Now, found that 70% of people on Twitter watch videos in their news feed (rather than link through to another site). With 80% of Twitter users also opting to use the platform on a mobile device than a PC, it’s no surprise that they acquired Periscope right out the gate.

Periscope and Meerkat are the two leaders in the live streaming revolution right now. They give companies and individuals alike the ability to live stream video from wherever, whenever, and to whomever they want—for free.

The differences between the two platforms are worth considering if you haven’t signed up for either yet.

Meerkat

  • Meerkat was the first to launch and is a startup with an open API.
  • It’s free!
  • Being a startup, this platform does tend to be a bit glitchy. Users on here are more technically inclined though and, as such, are very helpful if you have questions on how to use the platform
  • Want the ability to plan, schedule, and promote your live feed ahead of time? You can do that a day ahead of the scheduled broadcast with Meerkat.
  • Third-party apps are often needed to access tools otherwise available on Periscope.

Periscope

  • Periscope launched shortly after Meerkat and was quickly picked up by Twitter.
  • It’s also free.
  • Periscope has an easy-to-use interface and a very large user community, which is great for expanding your reach if you know what you’re doing!
  • While you cannot secure a hyperlink ahead of time for promotional purposes, one will be generated automatically when the recording starts and shared on Twitter for you.
  • If you’re looking to do a more targeted video stream (like for internal training purposes), Periscope lets you select your viewers.
  • An additional bonus here is the video “save” function. Anyone following you on the app can watch your live stream within 24 hours of the original broadcast.

Both platforms have grown exponentially since their inception, with thought leaders and celebrities in all fields signing on. Before you jump on and share your first broadcast, it is worth taking the time to figure out how you’ll add this to your marketing strategy.

How to Stream

How would you use live video to your company’s advantage? There are a number of brands already using this quite effectively, so it’s a good idea to take a look at what they’re doing and figure out what would translate the best in your own industry.

Open Lines of Communication

Whether you open the feed to discuss customer support questions or to create Q&A on a product or service, live video streaming is a great way to create and control that conversation with your followers and product end-users. It’s also really important that you establish the face of your company in these videos. People want to feel like they know who they’re talking to and not get bounced around from rep to rep.

Who’s Doing This Well?

Product Demonstrations and Promotions

Everything you do when marketing your company is ultimately so that you can land more sales. Why not use a live video to give people the opportunity to see your product or service in action? Just remember that the point of these videos is not solely to sell, sell, sell. It’s to interact, interact, interact.

Who’s Doing This Well?

Break the News

Anyone who follows your brand would love to be in the know when big news strikes. Be honest about what’s going on with your brand—the good, the bad, and even the ugly. Your followers will appreciate the transparency.

Who’s Doing This Well?

  • Carly Fiorina launching her Presidential bid through a live town hall meeting.
  • Newscasters covering the riots in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • Adidas used Periscope to show the James Rodriguez contract extension.

Increase Your Thought Leadership

Everything you do in marketing is meant to boost your clout. Work to establish yourself as an industry leader by creating live features where you discuss an industry topic. If you have the connections, consider hosting an interview with other leaders in your industry so that you’re not just talking about wonderful you are, but also illustrating your collaborative spirit.

Who’s Doing This Well?

Go Behind the Scenes

Most marketers have come to realize an inside look into a company’s world goes a long way with consumers. Let people take a walk in your shoes and learn some tips and secrets of what makes your brand unique and worth following.

Who’s Doing This Well?

Regardless of your industry, you can make live video streaming work for you. You just need to find the right angle that matches your brand’s identity and speaks to your specific audience.

To Record or Stream

Some marketers may be hesitant to get involved in a video sharing platform that takes away the seemingly well-planned and executed marketing strategies of the past. This generation of consumers aren’t necessarily looking for the well-groomed and perfectly thought-out strategy of “attack” though. They want genuine interactions and live video is the way to achieve that.

Words of Advice

If you’re ready to get into live streaming video, consider the following:

  • Plan, but don’t panic. It’s okay to plan out the general idea of your broadcast ahead of time, but remember that this should feel authentic. Unless you’re offering up a Q&A to talk about a highly sensitive issue or PR scandal, it’s okay to fly off the cuff a bit.
  • Cater to your audience. You can’t expect that uploading a pre-recorded video to your company’s channel and then requesting comments below will garner much interest. Give your audience the chance to comment in real-time and then hear their thoughts and questions addressed by the person on their screen. By doing so, you’re giving them the ability to really have a conversation with your brand.
  • Repetition is key. You probably don’t create a blog post whenever the inspiration strikes, you probably have a weekly or monthly schedule. The same should go for these live video streams if you want them to be effective. Find your niche and plan a regular schedule your followers can come to know and look forward to on a regular basis.
  • Converse, converse, converse. Marketing is all about engagement, right? This is the perfect platform to engage in real-time in front of other followers (or soon-to-be followers) and show them that your brand has a personality too. Read through and answer your followers’ comments in real-time.

Conclusion

Social media is all about joining a community, interacting, and feeling recognized. By using live video streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope, it shows you are willing to take the time and effort to make your followers a part of your company’s community.

Have you used Meerkat or Periscope? What was the response?

 

Image Credits

Featured image: bogdanhoda/Shutterstock.com
In-post Photo: Sergii Korolko/Shutterstock.com

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Albert Costill

Writer

Albert Costill is a co-founder of evolvor.com and a freelance writer who has written for brands like ForRent.com and Search ... [Read full bio]

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