Twitter has long been considered an essential component to an effective online marketing strategy. So, when the company purchased Periscope in March, savvy marketers immediately began asking themselves if they should use Periscope as part of their social media strategy.
The answer is, in a nutshell, yes. However, there are some caveats.
What is Periscope?
Before explaining how you should apply Periscope to your own promotional efforts, it’s best to first explain Periscope in some detail, in the event that you’re not quite up-to-speed on the technology.
Periscope is a live video streaming app for mobile devices. It’s advertised with the following slogan: “Explore the world through some else’s eyes.”
That’s what it allows you to do. You download the app and connect with someone else – anywhere in the world – who happens to be live streaming something that you find interesting. You just enjoy the scenery.
The startup that produced the app was purchased by Twitter in March for a reported $100 million. The integration of the two companies allows people to blast out a link to their followers on Twitter. People who click the link will have the video feed show up in Periscope’s home screen. Of course there are also sites, like Periscope Streams, that aggregate the personal broadcasts of Periscope users.
The marriage of Twitter and Periscope is a throwback to Twitter’s roots. Recall that Twitter started as a way for people to answer one simple question: “What are you doing right now?” Since then, Twitter has expanded into a social media giant that’s been used for marketing purposes, but there’s no doubt that numerous Periscope streams answer the very same question: “What are you doing right now?”
Periscope in Social Media Marketing
You should definitely adopt Periscope as part of your overall digital marketing strategy, but avoid using it at the expense of other great strategies and watch out for potential legal issues.
For starters, it should be a supplement to more conventional methods of online marketing. If you’re spending more time on coming up with clever ideas for Periscope streaming than you are on more tried-and-true inbound marketing techniques, you’re likely to find that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. You’re going to experience a diminishing return on investment.
Keep in mind also that Periscope, like so many other aspects of modern technology, can be used by the dark side. People have used the live video streaming service to broadcast copyrighted material. Earlier this year, HBO slammed Periscope because its users streamed the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Be certain to go the extra mile to avoid running afoul of copyright laws in your use of Periscope.
There are many great reasons for using Periscope. Here are a few suggestions.
Connecting with the Younger Demographic
Periscope is a great way to connect with the technically inclined, typically younger crowd. If you’re product or service is right for that market segment, Periscope offers some great opportunities.
Periscope is also a great way to promote image marketing. You can showcase your brand, via video feed, that puts a human face on your company and allows you to project an impression for your brand.
Live Q&A Sessions
You can use Periscope for live Q&A sessions as well. That’s because Periscope allows interactions in the form of comments. During your session, people can post their questions as they would comment on the stream. You, and other members of your team, can then answer those questions in real time.
Behind the Scenes
Another great way to humanize your brand is to pull back the veil and let people see what goes on behind the scenes within your organization. This gives you an opportunity to let employees, partners, and/or contractors discuss what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis, what plans they have for the company moving forward, and maybe even a little about their personal lives.
Many companies, some of which are household names, have used Periscope for online marketing purposes. Here are a few of them.
Red Bull, the company that makes the soft drink guaranteed to keep you up late at night repeatedly browsing through your own Twitter feed, used Periscope to live stream some of its “Guest House” events in March. This was an “ultra-exclusive weekend long party” in Miami that featured appearances from Lil Wayne, George Clinton, and Todd Terry, among others. As a further incentive for people to watch the stream, eye candy was offered in the form of women in bikinis.
Mountain Dew, another brand designed for people who think they get too much sleep, was also a pioneer of Periscope usage shortly after the March acquisition. That company used live streaming as a way to engage and reward its Twitter followers by sending free stuff to people who interacted with the stream.
Christine Ngo, who heads up the digital marketing division of the soft drink company, said that the company’s video “showcased Mountain Dew swag like hats and T-Shirts. Of the many fans who liked/commented on our Periscope stream, we surprised a few fans and will be sending them some cool Mountain Dew gear.”
Take note: The company rewarded people by giving them merchandise that promoted its brand. That’s good marketing.
The Tonight Show
Even the classic late night television program The Tonight Show, now hosted by Jimmy Fallon, used Periscope for promotional purposes. The host brought viewers behind the scenes of the show by live streaming his monologue rehearsal. Sadly, all the jokes for that evening were ruined for the people who watched that video.
You might not have heard of Barkbox. It’s possible that the company’s use of Periscope will change that.
Barkbox used Periscope to live stream video footage of puppies at its office. How can a brand that offers a subscription service for pet products possibly go wrong with that kind of marketing?
Wrapping It Up
There’s little doubt that Periscope should have a place in your social media marketing strategy. However, you should avoid committing to it at the expense of other strategies that have been more successful for you.