How brands are using Periscope in social media marketing strategies.

Posted September 4, 2015 in by

periscopeOn the heels of a transparency trend, Periscope made its debut. It’s the ultimate way to show consumers and fans behind-the-scenes sneak peeks or conduct live Q&As. But for those who may still be wondering what Periscope is and how it can fit into their social media marketing strategy, read on.

Periscope, owned by Twitter, was the second of two popular live-streaming broadcast apps to launch. The first was Meerkat, but with a heavyweight like Twitter behind it, Periscope quickly caught up to Meerkat in the number of users (10 million accounts have been created since its launch at the end of March).

At its core, Periscope is a mobile app that allows users to broadcast live video to audiences who can “heart” (similar to Facebook’s “like” function) the content and also submit comments and questions in real time. If you miss a live stream, the mobile app keeps videos for 24 hours, and then they’re gone forever. Currently, the app does not allow users to save the live-stream broadcasts for future use, but Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour recently hinted in an interview that several changes might be on the way because of consumer feedback.

So, who is using this new marketing tool?

Monster brands like Target, Adidas, GE, Taco Bell and even the New York Yankees are leveraging Periscope as part of their social media strategies to engage fans and consumers in real time and, of course, increase their Twitter following in the process.

Here are five ways brands are using Periscope:

Integration. Marcel Agency in France integrated a Periscope live stream into a television commercial campaign for a French telecom company. The campaign required the participation of viewers through Periscope to decide the fate of the main character, Victor, who, in the commercial, is using the telecom company’s Internet connection. The combination of traditional and new media struck a successful chord for the French telecom company.

Celebrity Takeovers. One of the first brands to explore using a celebrity on the platform was JCPenney with Eva Longoria. The actress launched a new bedding collection with JCPenney in April and used the live-stream app to talk with fans and answer questions. Brands that already boast a huge celebrity endorser, such as Beyonce with Pepsi, could see millions of fans tune in for a live-stream broadcast and experience a boost in sales.

Announcements and Special Offers. Forget promotional tweets and paid Facebook ads. Target utilized Periscope to promote its collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer in April, and the line sold out online and in stores almost immediately. Target found its first Periscope experience so successful that it used the app again in May to announce its next designer collaboration. Brands are finding that using Periscope over traditional social-media tactics creates an opportunity for a more personal approach, rather than clogging consumers’ news feeds with paid ads.

Sneak Peeks. Coach used Periscope during a fashion show in London in June to give its fans a look into what it would be like to experience the show from the front row. Viewers of the live stream also got to go backstage with the models and take part in a Q&A with the show’s creative director. For those more interested in sports, the New York Yankees broadcast a batting practice from Yankee stadium earlier this year as well.

Everyday Moments. The Twitter-owned broadcast platform has also been used to show audiences everyday moments. Maybe you’re an investor who lives in California and has never seen the opening bell ring for the New York Stock Exchange; now it’s possible. Or, maybe you’re a sports fan and wonder what it’s like to hang out with your favorite athlete on his or her day off; now you can, thanks to Red Bull.

Brands can evaluate their success by tracking viewership during live steams, the number of replays, the number of hearts, and the length of watch time each viewer spends on the stream.

This list is not inclusive and will continue to grow as more brands begin to incorporate live-streaming video into their social-media strategies. So what’s next for Periscope? Keep an eye on the 2016 presidential election. Candidates are almost certain to try and connect with voters through the app.

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