How to Leverage Periscope for Your Business or Brand

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I have recently started watching a documentary called “The Long way Down” where Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman ride their motorcycles over 20,000 kilometers around the world.

Periscope and live broadcasting - The Long Way Down

I absolutely loved it.

Upon reflection I realized one of the things I loved so much was that it was real life footage. It was raw, relatively uncensored, and it was truly a once in a lifetime adventure with me tagging along.

With the recent launch of Meerkat and now Periscope, I wonder if the next documentary I watch like this won’t be on Netflix, but in actual real time.

The future is now.

How to Use Periscope for Business

Periscope, a Twitter acquired app allowing anyone to share a live-streaming experience via their smartphone is quickly gaining buzz and traction in the digital (mobile) world.

While there really is nothing new about the basic technological functions that Periscope or MeerKat provide (Video & audio recording, live streaming), the intuitiveness of the Periscope experience fascinates me.

Periscope is a beautiful example of innovation built on existing tools and capabilities.

Whether it be my friends or complete strangers the notion of having a real time glimpse into events and places around the world is truly interesting. The early adopters are starting to play with this fun new connection tool, and so the inevitable question is how will businesses and professionals join the conversation in a meaningful way.

As you begin to explore this new space (which, in it’s function will not be going away) of live experience here are some things to consider:

Strategy

Like with any new channel or business pursuit. Going slow to go fast will ultimately generate you more forward momentum over the long run. Consider why this channel may be a great fit and identify the key value opportunities for your audience as well as the business levers this community can drive. Build your strategy around these two wheels and ensure that all of those micro-kogs in between the two are aligned and spinning together.

Audience acquisition

Early days means real first mover opportunities to capture and engage your audience exist. Periscope is in many ways an extension of Twitter meaning the barrier to entry for many will be lower than a completely new social network. Beyond connecting your Twitter account and following your connections there, how can you extend the reach of your new publishing and engagement asset to expand your initial community.

Here are some suggestions:

Social scope

Nowaday this goes without saying. Analyze the social channels you are playing in and determine which will likely have crossover in content and audience. Be creative and unique in your messaging around this new experience. Tell your Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat communities why they should join you on Periscope - what’s in it for them? If you’ve started with ‘Strategy’ you will be able to clearly articulate this. As always, make sure the creative you are publishing matches the native channel and audience - don’t sabotage your engagement opportunity by posting the same copy & visual across every channel.

Ambassador partnerships

Do you have a group of influencers or ambassadors that are the loyal champions of your brand? Are any of them technology early adopters? Identify these alliances and determine how you can collaborate on a live experience for your users. This should help increase the value you add to your channel as well as cast your community acquisition net further into your influencers qualified audiences.

Industry & Thought Leader Publications

As you build out a content strategy for this platform (see more below) assess whether there are industry synergies in the content you are creating. If so, build a media list (everything from bloggers to online publications) and give those outlets a taste of the value their readership can expect. Hint- record a Periscope session before your media pitch and include it as a snapshot of what you will be facilitating for your audience in real time.

Landing Page Promotion

If you are planning on running events as part of your periscope content strategy, create simple landing pages on your website or ‘hub properties’ where you can give your community 1) context of the event and how it will work (educate them to reduce the technological barrier to entry) 2) tell them why they can’t miss out on this hugely valuable experience (address the key pain point) 3) ensure this will be one of many experiences in the future, there will be lots of great content coming.

It’s all about the Content

It’s perfectly okay and even encouraged to hop onto any new channel or tool including Periscope and play around to get a rock solid understanding of the functionality, limitations, opportunities, and key drivers of the platform. This is however not okay if it becomes the beginning of a haphazard content publishing strategy. Or complete lack thereof.

Again, early days means publishing great content consistently will have the most upside in taking advantage of that first mover exponential growth opportunity. And this doesn’t mean planning just one piece of content, but a consistent flow that will engage your audience on a regular basis.

Adding value will always remain the trump card, but consistency and rhythm aren’t far behind when we talk about building vibrant communities from scratch. Ensure that you don’t bite off too much, it may make more sense for you or your team to publish a short broadcast every day or two that is very low cost and low barrier versus creating a huge event once a month or quarter. Guerilla tactics will always be effective when applied properly to a strategy and channel.

Start small and consistent and build larger scale events as traction increases.

Add value that doesn’t exist elsewhere.

Understand what the unique channel’s opportunity, how it is different from others and where that intersection meets your ability to story-tell in a new way to engage your audience. In other words, figure out what Periscope lets you do that other channels cannot.

      1. Maybe it means taking your community behind the scenes of ‘a day in the life’ for various people in the organization.
      2. Show your viewers how the company works and how you get your product to market.
      3. Interviewing and following category managers as they go on the road and source products for an e-commerce site.
      4. Get out into the vineyard with the head winemaker for a weekly episode on how the grapes are grown (beverage)
      5. Bring your audience into the executive teams morning huddle, around the boardroom, or in the lunch space.
      6. Head out into the field with your company’s latest gadget, widget, or gear to give consumers a sneak peek of what they can expect.

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Win Engagement

There are huge opportunities to engage directly with your audience both within the Periscope experience as well as via your traditional channels as an audience acquisition tool.

If you’re up for entering the Periscope space with a real strategy, than you absolutely need to be ready to respond to your visitors who will be asking questions live in the broadcast as well as

At the end of the day whether you are considering MeerKat, Periscope, U-stream or other live experience platforms the important point to note is that this technology is not going away. As you build your strategies keep in mind that the specific tools and tactics will change as these new technologies evolve - your strategy should remain focused on.

The Elephants in the Room

With the democratization of conversation in this new live broadcasting environment you need to be prepared for any type of question, comment, and potential conversation from your audience.

This will range from the extremely inappropriate to questions about proprietary information and potential 'hot topics' in the business to the completely irrelevant and off topic.

Consider how you or your team will field these inevitable engagement touch points and ensure this standard engagement procedure is understood and acknowledged for all stakeholders involved in this strategy.

Ready, Fire, Aim. Iterate.

The platform(s) will continue to evolve but one thing remains for sure - forward velocity will not be slowing down and live broadcasting experiences like the one Periscope facilitates are here to stay.

Have you identified the angle your brand or business can get in the live broadcasting game to add unique value to your customers? Now is the time to jump in and start testing the waters - take some time up front to develop an execution strategy and then shift to quick iterations and pivots as you go!

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Tyrell MaraComment