Periscope, a hot new app for live streaming, has been around for a little over a year, and it's starting to move into mainstream marketing campaigns. Now, I have a confession: I've been watching Periscope as a "fringe" app and was quite skeptical about incorporating it into my video marketing strategy. Until now.
If you've been struggling to figure out how to use Periscope in your marketing activities, here are a few suggestions from one former skeptic.
1. In-the-Moment Event Marketing
When we took a team to SXSW in 2013, we had a grand idea that we would post daily vlogs and man-on-the-street interviews to give our followers a taste of the SXSW energy. We lugged our huge camera and fancy boom mic all over Austin and stayed up until 5AM compiling the footage and audio from the previous day. We thought we were amazing in posting our daily recaps by 7AM! Except... we weren't. You can't capture the energy, announcements, and innovation at a fast-paced event like SXSW using traditional video production; it's just too slow!
Periscope is perfect for these types of events because it connects directly to your other real-time followers on Twitter. People tuning in want to see the quick 'n dirty broadcast of the crazy man on the street at SXSW, the product announcement LIVE from DreamForce, or the quadcopter demos at CES. If you want to give people a taste of the action, in the moment, Periscope is the perfect platform to boot up and share in real time.
2. Behind-the-Scenes Peek
Another grand idea that works perfectly for Periscope is the "behind the scenes" videos that can be misfits in a campaign. For past book launches and book endorsements, our CEO would request a videographer to take a quick video of her saying a few words to post to YouTube or a short video on her phone. The thing is, these 30-second clips were one-offs without specific value as a touch-point in a campaign. But people love hearing her candid thoughts!
As consumers demand more transparency from brands, and talent seeks more insight into the culture of a company, these behind-the-scenes broadcast can be the perfect way to create a series of touch-points that become a stand-alone campaign.
For example, we hosted "The 12 Days of Star Wars" to prepare for the launch of the movie "The Force Awakens." We scoped our daily activities and general cleverness around all the Star Wars excitement in our office. We related it directly to our storytelling methodology and services by talking about the storyboarding and art of Star Wars, the hero's journey, and even how some of the symbols relate to our new IP! As a bonus, potential job seekers get a candid look at our office and employees.
3. Live Q&A Sessions
I've helped moderate a number of live Twitter chats, and while they can be done well, it's often difficult to keep up with the stream of questions, and give meaningful answers in only 140 characters. The appeal of the Twitter chat or a LifeHacker "Ask Me Anything" session, is that it's interactive. Participants feel like they have a direct connection to the person being interviewed, and it's conversational, allowing participants to build on each others' thoughts.
But what if you could do that even faster? With Periscope, people can ask questions via Twitter and receive verbal answers much faster. This can also be a great way to maximize time on the train or in a cab while doing a media tour, almost an "on the road with", which gives marketers an opportunity to pack in even more real-time, interactive content for their audience.
4. Scarce Content
Starbucks knows the value of scarcity; it lures people in with its pumpkin spice lattes, available only for a short time. Marketers have been using this technique successfully for years, and the Periscope platform is built for scarce content. Broadcasts are only available for 24 hours, allowing hosts to offer "limited-time only" content deals. Campaigns that include a tip of the day, a special promo code given during a certain time, or an exclusive look for true fans are a perfect fit Periscope.
For example, if you're trying to introduce a new product or service, you might use Periscope to give people a free look at the offering for a short time to keep the premium feeling of the offering. The freemium model is used throughout the content marketing world, and content that automatically disappears within 24 hours is a great way to extend the freemium model into your video strategy.
Reusing Your Scopes
Of course, planning a campaign and creating content, no matter how "off the cuff" does take some strategy and effort. So, how can you extend the shelf life of your Periscope broadcasts? Tip: Enable the "save to gallery" feature to ensure that all your broadcasts are automatically saved to your phone. This allows you to export the videos to other platforms, and you can embed them in blog posts, add them to your YouTube channel, or share them on Facebook.
Whether you want to share these on other platforms will depend on the content and your overarching video strategy, but having the option to include all the recaps from an event in a wrap-up blog post, or using the Q&A session to transcribe an eBook, is always nice!
I'm not a Periscope expert, but now that I've tried it, I've come up with many use-cases for adding broadcasts to my video strategy. Moments that used to be "throw away" or too small to warrant the time and money to do a fully-produced video are now fodder for additional touch-points in a variety of channels. The platform has forced me to consider the value of each interaction, each project, and each moment, and to ask the questions, "Would my followers be interested in this? Would they like to view it as a video, as an e-book, or as an article?" Now that video is so much more accessible, the possibilities to answer those questions are endless!