Jul 9 2015
Ryan Manchee

Embracing The Live Streaming Revolution


Live streaming is one of the newest opportunities in social sharing. But what is it and should marketers take notice?

Through a simple app download to a smartphone anyone (or any company) can live stream to their existing social media followers, and anyone else who happens to be looking for a feed via the app or social media. Twitter is the primary vehicle here.

The two apps, which debuted earlier this year and have continued to grow, are Periscope (part of Twitter) and Meerkat. Both offer nearly the same experience: broadcast a live stream and watch as streams evolve and compete, win out completely.

While live streaming has been around for several years, brands are starting to take notice and creating ways to, as Periscope’s tagline says, “explore the world through someone else’s eyes”.  Or at least in this case, through a phone.

With the recent shift to more brands becoming publishers, live streaming could be a natural extension for brands to own their content, and earn views/shares. Consumers, particularly millennials, don’t want to be blatantly advertised to and there is an expectation for good authentic content. This makesthe value exchange for their time/eyeballs fair.

Success for marketers comes in finding a balance between what brands want consumers to know and what consumers actually care about. And since the majority of streams are not available after a broadcast, the sense of scarcity is real, which, of course, only intensifies the consumer’s FOMO (fear of missing out).

So what are some ways brands can embrace live streaming via Meerkat or Periscope?

Product Announcements: unveiling a new product launch or a creative unboxing video for the latest must-have gadget

Live Chat: a real-time time Q+A with a leading political contender, an AMA with the actress starring in an upcoming release, or an opportunity for the product engineer to discuss the inner-workings of the latest release

Behind the Scenes: exclusive access whether it is on a red carpet, backstage, or wherever most people can’t (and probably will never) access

Each of these scenarios create more valuable and personal experiences offering the opportunity for real-time feedback via comments and likes in the app. This active participation (lean-in experience) will be critical to the success of the live streaming platforms, and is one of the unique differentiators from many of the previous live-streaming applications.

Expect to see the search and discovery features advance, as Periscope and Meerkat continue to evolve through new releases and consumer adoption growth.

This is an area ripe for experimentation that requires little to no additional cost, and can be incorporated into an upcoming campaign for experimentation with a little planning.

So start broadcasting that stream and see where your consumers’ vicarious curiosity lies. Does the way you see the world align with what your customers want to view? Why not start streaming and see!