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Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Periscope is a new video streaming application that was initially launched in March 2015 for iOS devices, but has since been expanded to include Android platforms as well. Although the platform was launched only a few months ago, it’s already poised to revolutionize video streaming and take social media by storm.
Still skeptical about the potential for live video streaming? Just take a look at the facts and figures that prove the platform is really taking off:
- Over one million people downloaded the Periscope app in the first ten days.
- Less than four months later, Periscope had attracted 10 million regular users that watch 21 million minutes a day.
- Periscope boasts 2 million daily active users.
- 350,000 hours of video stream every day on Periscope.
- Periscope is available in 25 different languages.
Periscope published a blog post on Medium to discuss the rationale behind its rapid success.
“It's most reflective of the value we're creating for people and the world. Success for broadcasters means more time watched on their broadcasts. Success for the audience (viewers who are watching and participating in a Periscope) means more high quality broadcasts in their feeds that they want to watch and participate in. Success for broadcasters and their audience means success for Periscope.”
Periscope could increase its user base even further if it’s able to outperform Meerkat and other competitors. It’ll take time before we know how popular Periscope will become, but existing data shows that it’s definitely a powerful platform for branding—and it’s one that savvy marketers need to be aware of.
Here’s what you need to know about developing your company’s strategy on this new service:
Why Brands are Turning to Periscope
Although it’s only been around for a few months, Periscope has already gained the attention of a number of leading brands. Nestlé and JCPenney are among the companies that have incorporated it into their social media marketing strategies, and Nestlé’s Drumstick campaign illustrates how marketers can use this new app to their marketing advantage.
“Applications like Periscope allow a brand (or person) to create an urgency in the content they are creating — viewers tune in ‘live’ and need to do so right away, or they’ll likely miss it,” Sean Ryan, director of social and mobile marketing at JCPenney, stated in an interview with Digiday.
There are several reasons that brands are flocking to Periscope. This new app is a powerful way for companies to engage with their customers, create a more personal connection with their brand, and provide a live forum to educate people about their products and services.
While large brands like Nestlé and JCPenney are clearly benefiting from using Periscope, smaller brands could arguably benefit even more. As many of these companies are working on a limited budget, Periscope could be a powerful way for them to leverage their marketing campaigns to reach more people for less money.
That said, the effectiveness of your campaign will depend on the specific strategy you execute. It’s important to do your homework before creating a Periscope campaign to promote your brand.
Key Takeaway: Periscope is clearly a very promising opportunity for large brands, as many of them are already embracing it. Smaller businesses should think about different ways that they can use this new service to grow their brand.
Mapping Your Periscope Campaigns
Periscope is still a very new service, so you may find yourself struggling to determine where to begin. Here’s a straightforward process to help you get your campaigns off the ground:
Step 1: Outline the Goals of Your Periscope Marketing Campaign
Before you start promoting your brand on Periscope, you’ll need to have a clear set of measurable goals that will help you understand whether or not your efforts are generating positive returns. Here are a few possible goals to consider for your campaign:
- Making your users feel more engaged with your brand
- Helping potential customers learn more about your products and services
- Fostering personal relationships between the company founders and target audience
When Nestlé created its first Periscope campaign, the goal was to give customers a different experience with their product. While the company recently celebrated its 110th anniversary, it still recognized that Periscope could be a great medium to reinvent its brand in the digital age. They created an account in June and started livestreaming from a dozen different locations where customers were trying out their ice cream products. This gave customers around the world the opportunity to have a personal experience with the product in settings that they’d probably otherwise never visit.
Nestlé’s goal was to give its customers a unique experience with an age-old brand. However, newer companies may want to explore other strategies that begin from the ground up. Depending on the age of your brand, you may need to educate customers that have never heard of your company before—and that requires a lot of planning before you even get started.
Key Takeaway: Your goals need to be specific and measurable. If your goal is to increase customer engagement, then you may want to measure it through social media activity or online brand mentions. If you’re trying to educate customers about your products, try monitoring changes in customer perception to see if your Periscope campaign affected their opinion.
Step 2: Create Your Periscope Profile
You’ll obviously need a Periscope account before you can start using the platform to engage your followers. Fortunately, setting up a Periscope account is very straightforward. Simply follow the steps listed below:
- Download the Periscope app. If you are using an iOS device, then you can download it at the iTunes Store. Android users can find it in the Google Play store.
- Connect Periscope to your Twitter account. There are detailed instructions for doing so on this page.
- Choose a name for your Periscope account. Obviously, it’s best to incorporate your business name into your account name, but you can also choose an account name that reflects your company’s unique value proposition.
- Start building your Periscope presence. (More on this later.)
Key Takeaway: Setting up your Periscope profile shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Conceptualizing your marketing campaign, on the other hand, will be much more time intensive.
Step 3: Come Up With Ideas for Streaming Sessions
Once you have your goals clearly laid out, begin brainstorming ideas for the kind of video content that will help you reach them. Creating a live video marketing campaign will be a bit different from marketing your brand on YouTube, because you’ll need to improvise as you interact with your audience. You’ll need to be flexible while actually streaming, but it’s still important to have your ideas and general content mapped out in advance.
Conduct Focus Groups
You can use Periscope to gauge customer perception of your products in order to improve on them or tweak your marketing. One of the best ways to do this is to use the streaming service to run focus groups. Invite a few people in your target market to experiment with your product and give their feedback while on camera.
Since you’ll be conducting your focus group through live streaming, you’ll be able to eliminate many of the geographic barriers that would have otherwise made it difficult for various people to participate, essentially allowing you to receive feedback from a broader range of customers.
Provide Interactive Customer Support
Providing adequate customer support is crucial, as customers will—naturally—speak more favorably about your brand if they have a positive experience. Helping frustrated customers solve their problem not only allows them to use your product with ease, but it makes them happy—no insignificant feat since happy customers are loyal customers.
Many brands have used videos as a way to provide more detailed information for customers who plan to use their products for the first time. Mima Kids, for example, created this YouTube video to teach customers how to install their new high chairs, which many new parents found very helpful.
The limitation with these videos, however, is that they can’t always cover the specific problems that customers may face with your product. Using Periscope, on the other hand, you can work directly with customers to discuss the difficulties they’re dealing with and give them an opportunity to raise specific questions that you can answer live. You can even save these streaming sessions for customers with similar problems to review in the future or post them on your FAQ page.
Stream Major Events
Are you organizing any major trade shows or other functions? You may want to broadcast it through Periscope. Doing so gives you the chance to expand the reach of your events, generate more publicity for your brand, and possibly attract a larger audience for future events you will host.
Key Takeaway: The sky’s the limit when it comes to Periscope streaming options. Use these ideas as a jumping off point, but get creative about the ways that streaming video can enable you to connect directly with your prospects and customers.
Step 4: Build Your Following
Streaming to one person isn’t as effective as connecting with 100, which is why you’ll want to have a strong presence established on Periscope before you execute your campaign. To build your following, try these strategies:
Follow Others on Periscope
Periscope works a lot like Twitter, and one of the key similarities is that you can follow other people in the hopes that they’ll follow you back. Look specifically for brands, pundits, organizations that cater to prospective buyers, and other leading industry voices that have something to say about your brand and its messages.
Promote Your New Periscope Profile on Your Social Networks
Leverage your existing social profiles to start promoting your Periscope profile. Your Twitter account is probably the best place to start, since the functionality of the two platforms is so similar, but you’ll also want to let your Facebook followers and email subscribers know about upcoming streaming sessions that you plan to hold on Periscope.
Run Paid Promotions
Really want to invest in streaming video? Consider using Facebook, Adwords and other PPC advertising networks to promote your brand on Periscope. These places allow you to zone in on specific demographics, which will help you create an interested, targeted audience (of course, before running your campaigns, you’ll need to make sure you have your audience very clearly defined to avoid wasting ad spend).
Get Other Periscope Members to Plug You
One of the most effective ways to build a following on Periscope is to get other people on the service to share messages about your brand. Make sure that they cater to the same demographic and provide a clear selling point to encourage people to check out your Periscope page.
Key Takeaway: Your following will make or break the success of your Periscope campaigns. Don’t go all in on creating content before you’ve invested in building an audience to consume it.
Step 5: Start Generating Content for Your Streaming Sessions
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to achieve with your Periscope campaign. So what’s the next step? That’s right—it’s time to start actually producing content for your Periscope sessions!
Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you start streaming:
Find a Professional Setting to Stream
The setting you’ll use for your streaming sessions needs to reflect your desired brand image. Certain startups may be able to get away with broadcasting from their basement, but you’ll generally want to find a more professional setting with an aesthetically-pleasing background. If you don’t have a good venue in mind, at least make your setting as professional as possible.
Prioritize Your Branding Goals
You may have several goals in mind for your Periscope marketing strategy, but you’ll need to decide which of these goals is most important. Are you going to lead off with a streaming session to educate your customers about using your products? Or will you start by using Periscope to expand exposure to new audiences?
It takes time to put Periscope streaming events together, so first decide what’s most important to you. Your priorities may differ depending on the life stage of your brand and any specific challenges you’re facing. For example, a new company will want to focus on using Periscope to educate potential customers about their products and services. On the other hand, an established brand struggling with some reputation problems after a product was found to be too complex for their users may want to use Periscope to hold a training session to teach people how to use it.
Choose a Voice for Your Sessions
Finally, you need to choose someone to host your Periscope events. If you’re confident in your public speaking abilities, you can host the event yourself. Otherwise, you’ll need to delegate that responsibility to someone else.
Your spokesperson for each video needs to be both articulate and knowledgeable about the video’s subject. This means that the ideal voice for some of your Periscope events may not be right for others. For instance, you might need a technical expert to host events on product support, but someone from your marketing department for branding-focused sessions. Choose wisely, as the hosts you select will become de facto faces of your brand.
Key Takeaway: Periscope videos are meant to be casual, but the effort you put into planning them should be anything but. Be careful in selecting your setting, goals, and voice, as these elements will contribute significantly to the success or failure of your campaigns.
Step 6: Create Your Value Propositions
Generating content to promote your brand is all well and good, but at the end of the day, you’ll want to be sure that the videos you’ve created can be used to drive sales. If a particular Periscope session will be part of your sales funnel (as opposed to one that delivers customer support), you need to optimize its content to boost sales.
According to a report from ON24, the conversion rate of webinars is about 42%, which may be comparable to conversion rates for Periscope. However, there are a number of factors that could strongly influence these rates. The value that you deliver and the strength of your call-to-action are probably the two most significant variables that will determine the success of your Periscope marketing campaigns.
For this reason, be absolutely certain that your Periscope sessions provide exceptional value to your audience. Earning your viewers’ trust is critical if you want to convert them into actual buyers. However, you’ll also need to make sure that your videos contain very compelling calls-to-action. Find a unique value proposition and use that angle to encourage customers to buy your products or support other conversion goals.
Key Takeaway: Don’t just create Periscope videos just for the sake of being active on this new platform. Keep your conversion goals in mind, and make sure that any sales-oriented videos you create are serving these aims effectively.
Step 7: Measure Effectiveness
Ultimately, your Periscope events need to support your brand vision—and you should ensure that your monitoring process isn’t too subjective, leaving you overly optimistic and investing hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on a campaign that isn’t being run optimally. For this reason, you need a clear set of metrics to determine the effectiveness of your Periscope marketing campaign.
How do you go about this? Here are a few ideas to consider:
One of the easiest ways to measure customer engagement comes directly from Periscope itself. Video viewers can send hearts during your streaming sessions to indicate that they like the content you’re producing. This will give you a sense of the interest that viewers have in your Periscope sessions and the support they have for your brand.
Are you using Periscope to promote your products or upcoming events? Create a system to measure conversions from people who watched your Periscope sessions. There are a couple ways that you can do this:
- Create a dedicated landing page for Periscope viewers and measure conversions from there.
- Put a tracking URL in your Periscope videos to determine which conversions were initiated from Periscope.
- Simply ask new buyers which channels inspired them to engage with your brand. Make sure that you list Periscope and other mediums in a list with radio buttons.
Keep in mind that some conversions can take months to complete, though it’s important to start tracking them from the very beginning to determine whether your Periscope campaigns are effective.
Ask for Feedback
Always follow-up with your viewers to see what they thought of your broadcasts, as they may have some great feedback and some ideas for improving future sessions. Take any less-than-enthusiastic feedback with a grain of salt and use it as an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Key Takeaway: They say that what gets measured, gets managed—and in this case, measuring your Periscope results, whether through engagement, conversion rates or feedback, will help you manage your campaigns for the highest possible ROI.
Step 8: Test and Optimize
If you’ve been following the Single Grain blog for a while, you know that we’ve written extensively on the importance of optimizing and improving every marketing campaign. Periscope marketing is no exception. After you’ve collected data on your goal metrics, use it to start exploring ways to improve your campaigns.
Unfortunately, testing Periscope campaigns isn’t going to be quite as easy as other marketing strategies. If you were trying to improve the effectiveness of a landing page, for instance, you could simply run a PPC campaign to split test different variations. Periscope events, on the other hand, are more difficult to split test, since you have to improvise for customer questions and can only run so many sessions, given the time they take to prepare.
Key Takeaway: Use your judgement when it comes to testing and improving your Periscope results, but make sure it’s a enough of a priority that you’ll be able to continually meet your conversion goals.
Step 9: Keep Learning from Other Periscope Hosts
Theoretically, you could call it a day after you’ve tested and improved your Periscope campaigns to the point of perfection. Of course, we all know that perfection is never really attainable, which means that the testing never really stops. Even if you’re seeing remarkable success with your Periscope campaigns, you should still look to others for new ideas to improve your results even more.
To do so, consider signing up for the events that other Periscope marketers are holding. Watching others in your own industry is a good place to start, but you can also find inspiration from marketers in other niches. Take notes on the types of factors that really leap out at you. Would these factors inspire you to become a buyer? If so, they may be factors you should include in your next campaign.
Key Takeaway: Periscope marketing campaigns are very easy to set up, but you need to make sure that you have clearly laid out goals before launching them. Constantly test and look for ways to improve engagement and conversions in order to drive the highest possible ROI with this exciting new medium.
Launch Your Periscope Marketing Campaign Today
Periscope may be a new platform, but it’s clearly got a lot of potential. Every entrepreneur—no matter what industry you’re in or what types of customers you serve—should create an account and brainstorm ideas to start marketing their brand today.
Have you ever used Periscope to promote your company? Share your insights and experiences in our comment section below: