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Live streaming video is being hailed as the next big thing in social media marketing—and with good reason. Since Periscope, owned by Twitter, launched earlier this year, it has reached more than 10 million accounts and is seeing 40+ years of video being watched on its network each day.

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Of course, there are other options when it comes to live-streaming apps—including Blab, Facebook Live, Meerkat and YouNow—but none has captured quite the same amount of attention as Periscope.

As with any growing social channel, it is essential to evaluate whether this one is right for you and, if so, how to develop an effective outreach strategy for your brand.

Why Scope?

For years, social has facilitated communication between people and brands, but the rising use of live-streaming video now enables face-to-face interaction at scale. This means your employee advocates can showcase the personality and culture of your organization in new and exciting ways.

The rawness of live streams, similar to what’s found on Snapchat, reveals a more authentic side of your business—something most audiences appreciate as a part of a well-curated content mix. Unedited and unfiltered content also invites your customers to connect with your brand in a deeper way, proving you’re actually listening to their feedback and not just reading off a prompt. Your feedback as the broadcaster is also live, which adds to the honesty of the conversation.

Lastly, your Periscope marketing efforts can be repurposed into other formats to further serve your community and expand your brand’s reach. For example, Katch lets you to capture any scopes for viewing later as video clips. Author Michael Hyatt does this well by turning his scopes into YouTube videos.

How NPR, BBC & USA Today Approach Live Streaming

If you decide Periscope marketing is a good fit for your brand, you’ll want to execute your broadcasts in an engaging way right from the start. To that end, here are some insights from two professionals at leading news outlets.

According to Rich Preston, International Bureau Producer at NPR and BBC, the top tips for live-streaming broadcasts are as follows:

  • Start with a game plan. “Like any broadcast, have an idea what your focus is, what you’re going to tell people and what you’re going to show them. This is your chance to give your viewers the extra info and background that doesn’t make it into your final piece.”
  • Be responsive. “Interact with your viewers. Converse, be human and answer questions.”
  • Use an external mic. “As someone with a radio background, this is a biggie for me. Smartphone mics aren’t very good. They pick up all the surrounding sound and are even worse in bad weather. Get the correct cable, and use a proper mic. It will make your broadcast much more slick and professional.”

Meanwhile, Tanya Sichynsky, USA Today Sports Social Media Editor, offered NiemanLab some suggestions for Periscope marketing to ensure your scopes get maximum exposure:

  • Craft compelling descriptions. Sichynsky suggests clearly titling what each scope is about to ensure the notification that goes out on Twitter accurately describes what the broadcast is covering. Context is important, Sichynsky says, since your audience might see a notification on Twitter and not be exactly familiar with what you’re talking about.
  • Allow your broadcasts to be replayed later. “Periscope gives you the option to replay your broadcast after filming, but depending on how good your Wi-Fi or 4G service is, it may take a long time to save,” Sichynsky wrote. “If you’re trying to do one live stream after another, that urgency may cost you the replay function.”
  • Cross-promote your content. Sichynsky has been known to include a link to USA Today’s sports-focused Periscope account at the end of her articles.
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Keep these suggestions in mind as your organization starts experimenting with Periscope marketing—and put your best face forward.


The above Periscope marketing tips are the views of Rich Preston, not the views of the BBC or NPR, and Tanya Sichynsky, not the views of USA Today.