While it’s currently unclear whether Meerkat or Periscope will prove to be the live streaming application of choice in the long-term, for the time being, it’s open season for marketers and brands to establish their mark early on within these up and coming social applications.
Companies are often hesitant to experiment with new social channels until the need to do so becomes more obvious; however, by waiting to participate in these communities, you may be missing several early opportunities to engage with your customers.
Focus on raw visual storytelling
Many brands fear using live streaming apps or any other off-the-cuff marketing tactics—it’s just too risky for a brand’s reputation.
Despite these concerns, there are ways that brands can create compelling live broadcasts that are original yet remain feeling raw and uncut. Maintaining your brand guidelines is still a key priority, but to give Meerkat and Periscope an honest shot and appeal to their millennial users, your message should appear loose and incorporate your brand personality.
When crafting content for live streaming, think about a few creative ways to tell your brand’s story and inspire your audience. You can give your customers a look into the people that make the products or services that they love or hold exclusive how-to tutorials on the best ways to use your service or product offerings. For example, UFC promotes backstage access to its star fighters, which gives fans exclusive content and helps generate excitement for upcoming events.
To build an audience for its live content, UFC shared links to its broadcast throughout its other social channels. This approach helps drive more traffic and interest to its Periscope channel.
As other touchpoints, you can stream live Q&A broadcasts with product engineers, engaged customers, company leadership or influencers, or share the expertise of other members of your team—all of which can give your customers a unique way to interact with your brand.
The idea however, is to keep your live streams personal and focused on your viewers’ interests. When they ask questions or provide feedback, answer live and with personality–you are looking to build a valuable engaged community.
Best practices for broadcasting compelling content
When hosting a live stream, choose a headline that aligns with the interests of your target audience to attract potential customers: Live events can help your company build industry authority, create one-on-one relationships with prospective clients and stay informed on the current interests of your target audience. Creating a stream headline that calls out your potential customers can increase the likelihood that you’re interacting with the right people and making the focus of the upcoming stream clear to viewers.
Let your audience dictate the conversation and content chatter: You may have a well-planned live broadcast with a dedicated theme and a strong headline to attract viewers, but in an open and largely anonymous environment such as the Meerkat and Periscope platforms, you should to be ready to change your script at any given moment.
While broadcasting, it is likely that you’ll receive live commentary and questions that dictate the direction of your broadcast. Addressing your viewers’ feedback live is not only an opportunity for your brand to engage with your audience, but it can also attract potential prospects. Learning about what your audience actually cares about can help guide what content you choose to share down the road.
Ask questions that engage and involve your audience: To better influence feedback, ask questions of your viewers and thank them for joining your stream. Consider asking them what they’d be interested in learning about, as well as why they wanted to join your conversation.
Engaging with your viewers is a strong tactic to experiment with when determining whether or not your marketing department should be investing in Meerkat and Periscope moving forward.
Readers: How do you see live-streaming applications changing the face of content marketing? What tactics do you find most appealing? Which platform do you think is more effective—Meerkat or Periscope?