Marketing Q & A: Live Video
Over the past few months I’ve been exploring live video platforms Meerkat and Periscope. Here are the results.
Q: Do I really need both these platforms? Tell me just ONE to use.
A: If you’re going to put all your eggs in one basket, use Periscope. Even though Meerkat has better features, Periscope is winning the numbers battle. It has 10 million users to date. Meerkat hasn’t released numbers since May when they had 2 million users.
It feels this way when you’re on the platform. Each time I log into Periscope I find new people are following along. Some that I even know IRL! I’ve also noticed more of my friends are on Periscope. Pretty fun.
There’s one other big hint that Periscope is winning. Some of the biggest Meerkat people (folks on the leader board) are over on Periscope too. And using it more. In other words – even the biggest Meerkat fans are starting to hedge their bet.
Q. How can I learn to Periscope?
A. Before you start broadcasting, download the app and start watching other accounts. Pick some big and popular ones and then pick some people you just like. (My username is Alesya. You’re welcome.)
Watch what people do. Discover how their audience interacts. See if this is something you feel comfortable with. If so give it a go. If not, you can still be very involved in the community by watching, commenting and giving hearts – just like you would on Instagram.
Q. What should I do on my broadcast?
A. Here’s the big tip for broadcast content: Anything that works on LIVE television will do well. Think of the same kind of format for yourself. Some thought starters:
- Does your business include action that would be interesting to see? Food prep, the load in of a newly designed room or event set up would all be fun.
- Are you watching something where you could give color commentary over the visual? Maybe you’re touring your new office for the first time. You can show off your new digs while explaining to viewers why you picked the space.
- Waiting for results? You’ve got a big phone call coming in. It’s going to be a make or break client deal. Be your own reporter and broadcast the call live. Nothing like delivering breaking news to keep an audience hooked.
A word of caution: Simply talking into the camera is rough. I’ve done it – and will continue to for short videos – but it’s hard. Remember, Periscope is a visual medium. It’s much easier to provide excellent content with something fun to SEE.
Q. Any pitfalls to watch out for?
A. There are still lots of bugs in the app. It crashes or doesn’t work correctly often. Also, just like when you are watching TV users come in and out of the app frequently. Think of it as channel surfing on your phone. Don’t let either one of these things throw you. Keep going.
Q. So that’s it? Periscope is the winner. I don’t have to worry about any other live video apps?
A. I wish it were that easy. Facebook recently released Facebook Mentions. It’s live broadcasting, on Facebook, for celebrities. My guess is once they have the kinks worked out they will make the technology available to businesses and then everyone. Another new app, Blab lets you video chat with up to four people while an audience watches.
Live video from your phone is here to stay. The next platform to go live? My guess is a QVC type app. Or Kickstarter with live pitches. Or maybe someone will bring live soap operas back. You get the idea. Start using one of the live video platforms so you can use it best for your business.
Next month I’m super geeked to have Mandy Edwards join me to tackle some sticky marketing situations. Look for her thoughts in October. If you have your own marketing question, feel free to tweet me @Alesya. You just might see it answered here.
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