5 Tips For Marketers On Periscope: The New Live Streaming App That Twitter Acquired
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In the last month or so, there’s been a big surge in live video broadcasting. Thanks to smartphone apps like Meerkat and Periscope, users can record live video streams and share them with their existing networks.
For example, a friend used Periscope while walking her dog. She shared a link to the live stream on Twitter, and a few of her followers clicked through and watched her in real time. Kind of weird, but at the same time, kind of cool.
So, why are we writing about live streaming dog-walking videos on a marketing blog? Because video broadcasting apps like Periscope aren’t just for silly, fun, entertaining clips like walking your dog. It’s a new tool that has a lot of potential uses for marketers. Twitter seemed to get the hint early on when they bought Periscope in February of this year, before the app even launched. Here are five things to consider for using Periscope for your business:
1. Consider timing
It’s a bit too early in the game for there to be benchmarks and analytics, but keep in mind that because Periscope is connected to Twitter, that’s where you’ll promote your broadcasts. Do some research on your Twitter audience to find out what times and days they’re most engaged with your posts.
Even if some of your followers miss out, the app will save your videos to the app by default (although you can delete them manually if you want to), and they’ll be available for viewing by your followers for 24 hours. You have the option of saving your videos to your phone’s camera roll too.
2. Use Compelling Titles
The title of your video is the only thing separating Periscope users scrolling through the “Featured” or “Recent” streams section of the app from clicking on your broadcast. All they’ll see is the title of the video and your name. Because of this, it’s vital that your title describes what your video is, and why people should either tune in now, or replay your stream later (up to 24 hours).
Sometimes, the most effective title will tell people exactly what you’re going doing in the video. For example, Elijah Wood posted a video with the title “Jellyfish” whilst visiting the aquarium — which is exactly what the video showed; nothing more, nothing less. Another example? When Engadget broadcasted a video with the title, “Watch our live unboxing of @Microsoft’s @Surface 3 now!” Can’t argue with that.
A title that lets users believe they’re seeing exclusive footage can be super compelling. For example, Ellen Degeneres broadcasted a video titled, “I’m Periscoping live from my show!” for all the viewers at home. Another version of this could be “A Back-Stage Look Into…” or something along those lines.
- Unique (Or Just Plain Weird)
Broadcasting something unique, rare, or just plain weird? Own it. One of my personal favorites was, “My fridge: 100 viewers and I’ll drop eggs.”
- An Invitation to Learn
Guy Kawasaki has gotten really into using Periscope to record talks and conferences. For example, he posted a video of “The Art of the Start lecture at Microsoft.” This performed particularly well as it’s both educational and experiential.
3. Make your broadcast easy to find
When you use Periscope, you’ll have the option to do a private broadcast, share the broadcast on Twitter, and share your location. To get the most views, I’d recommend sharing your broadcast on Twitter and turning on the location tagging option. This way, you’ll reach a bigger audience — and having your video on your Twitter feed gives it a longer tail strategy.
- Posting to Twitter
If you turn Twitter sharing on, then your broadcast will be shared with your Twitter followers in a tweet that follows the following formula: LIVE on #Periscope: [Video Title] [Link to Video]. There’s no option to customize tweets yet. The broadcast will expire after 24 hours, and anyone who clicks on the link will be redirected to a page encouraging them to check out your broadcasts and download the app.
- Turning on Location Tagging
Location tagging was a major privacy concern for many people when Periscope started because it pinpointed the specific location you posted from. Thankfully, they’ve updated the app since then so that your location is recorded as a large geographic region rather than a specific location. So you should feel free to share your location to provide context for your viewers.
4. Respond to comments live
One of the coolest features on Periscope is that people who are watching your stream in real time can comment and “like” the broadcast (which show up as hearts, like on Instagram). Other viewers are able to see these comments and the number of hearts your video has. Acknowledge or even respond to these comments out loud on the live broadcast to encourage engagement and make the experience feel like more of a two-way conversation.
The number of hearts you get helps you get your username ranked in Periscope’s app under “Popular People to Follow.” There’s also a “Most Loved” section in the app that lists users with the most total hearts from all their broadcasts.
5. Experiment with use cases
Since Periscope is still so new, there aren’t solidly defined ways to use it, especially for brands. This is a unique opportunity for you to experiment with different ways of using it and what type of content your audience likes most.
Periscope lets you analyze a few key stats you’ll want to keep track of while you’re figuring out what works. Once your video ends, the app lets you see how many live viewers you had, how many viewers replayed your video, and how many hearts your video received (this number updates automatically as users continue “liking” your video from the time it ends until it expires).
Finally, as you experiment with different recording environments, keep in mind that background noise is easily picked up by microphones — so you’ll want to make sure you’re in a relatively controlled environment if doing a more serious or professional broadcast.
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