Using Live Streaming To Help Grow Your Business
Today I want to address the issue of using live streaming apps to help enhance your marketing and grow your business. I know that there are many early adopters out there who are already very familiar with using live stream, but this is something that is relatively new to me and something I have not yet tried out. However, recognizing that this tool has many advantages, I have taken some time this week to do some research to learn about this technology and how it works.
From my research, it appears as though there are two main contenders in the live streaming field at this point; Meerkat and Periscope. Both have pros and cons and share many characteristics, but it seems as though Periscope is winning the war. This is likely because periscope is owned by Twitter. Because Periscope is gaining ground, it is the application I will be trying out in the future, so therefore, is the focus of this article.
So just what is live streaming?
Well, it basically turns each one of us into an on-demand broadcaster. Using our smart phones we are able to access the free downloadable app, set everything up, and start shooting video that is live streamed via the app itself and on our Twitter accounts. Now, just like in the early days of Facebook and Twitter, I have seen a number of videos posted that are the modern-day equivalent of “eating bacon”; there are videos like people walking their dogs, going to lunch, etc. But just because some people are posting these kinds of mundane, everyday activities, that doesn’t mean that this application is without its merits.
Some of the most exciting aspects of this application, at least in my opinion, are how this can fit into your business strategy and enhance your marketing. As we all know, over the past 20+ years, the internet has changed the way that we market our businesses. Once upon a time, relationships were built in person, through personally making cold calls or telephone calls, and each party got to know and trust each other through this personal interaction. Today, much of our marketing is done online and it can be difficult to build trust without this personal interaction. By integrating video into your marketing plan, you are able to start to develop that personal connection. Up until recently, most of this interaction has taken place in the form of webinars and posting videos on places like YouTube, Vimeo, etc., but Periscope adds the ability to broadcast your video to a live audience, engaging them through comments and obtaining their live feedback.
Now this article is not intended to be a primer on how to use Periscope. The app itself has a user manual. In fact, although I plan to try Periscope out for myself and my business, I recognize that there will be a learning curve. And learning to use Periscope might be a bit more intimidating than other apps since it is done in real time. (Although from what I’ve read, I believe you can choose to keep your video private to invited followers only).
My main purpose in writing this article is to point out what I recognize as some great opportunities to use this technology to enhance your business. Some of the ways that I see you can use Periscope to help market your business are:
• Use periscope to provide an explainer video
• Use periscope for question and answers session
• Use periscope to teach something
• Host real time training sessions
Videos created and streamed with Periscope are only available live and in reply mode on Twitter and Periscope for a maximum of 24 hours. However, these videos can be saved to your camera roll on your phone, downloaded and then placed on your Video channel, website, etc.
As more and more people understand the merits of using a service like Periscope and become more comfortable using the technology, I can see it emerging as a tool that will greatly enhance both your marketing capabilities and your marketing reach. And even though I have just recently started to become a bit more comfortable sitting in front of a webcam, I’m excited to give this technology a try.
Update 2023: Periscope was discontinued at the end of March 2021, and Meerkat was replaced in 2016 by Houseparty, which was bought by Epic Games. No matter – there are tons of live streaming apps available. The biggest question is which one to use? The answer will depend on what you are using it for, and what works for your clients and prospects.
Until next time…
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