7 Ways to Use Twitter Live Streaming

Twitter Live Video Streaming

Twitter Live Video Streaming

We are only three or so months into live video streaming through Twitter, but it is already starting to build some momentum, generating tens of thousands of tweets per day.  Through Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope, anyone with a smartphone can stream their own video content live to their Twitter followers.  Periscope also allows you to save streams so that people can catch up on them in the future.

Even in its infancy, there are some businesses who are adding this tool into their content strategy.  If you are thinking about joining them, here are some ideas of how you could use live video streaming as part of your marketing plan.

1) Interviews – Not everyone can attract Hollywood’s A-list stars to have a chat in front of their smart-phone, but there are probably interesting people who you could persuade to do so.  Interviews are a good means of finding interesting angles on topics, and I have seen some excellent ones with a business’s staff: a nice way to give your business some personality.

2) Replies to Social Media – If you are receiving the same question on social media over and over again, why not answer it with a video?  Especially if you are able to demonstrate it physically or on a computer screen using your smartphone.  If you run the stream on Periscope, you can point subsequent similar questions to the recording to help them out too.

3) Live Events – Live events are taking place everywhere for all sorts of industries: don’t believe me?  Well, you are missing the Plumbing and Heating Exhibition in London while reading this…!  But not everyone can make events in person, for example a lot of relevant events for me take place overseas, so to be able to catch up on the highlights on a live stream would be great.  Of course, this can open up some copyright issues – just ask Floyd Mayweather.

4) Webinars – We have all sat in on webinars with colleagues at work, but what about if you could open this up to a webinar about a more fun topic?  Podcasts are being tentatively used by some (predominantly big) businesses, and while it is true that video podcasts are still less popular than audio podcasts that might change with live broadcasting where the followers can engage and interact in real time.

5) Behind the Scenes – Everyone likes to take a look behind the curtain, so why not let them?  I have seen some really interesting streams looking round people’s offices and chatting to colleagues, and it doesn’t have that polished promotional video feel to it.  With some audience questions (the polite ones, these streams can attract trolls!), this is a nice way of allowing people to find out a bit more about your business.

6) ‘How to’ Guide – Assuming that you have already put in the ground work of entertaining and informing your audience, you are entitled to sell a little bit!  I have had a lot of conversations over the years about new products and how to describe them in words – not easy in some industries.  But to be able to demonstrate your product in a video immediately makes any new features clear: and a more ‘amateur’ feel to the video will take away some of the corporate selling feel.

7) AMA – As live video streaming is all about interaction, this must surely be the ultimate way of using it.  Named after Reddit’s fantastic sub, AMA means Ask Me Anything.  The traditional rules of AMA state that every question should be answered, not just the positive ones.  So, you might need to put your armour on for this one: there are ways to limit who can comment and block those who get out of hand, but this risky tactic can come with great rewards.

Do you have any plans to use live video streaming as part of your marketing plan?  If so, please leave a comment and let me know!

What is Meerkat?

What is Meerkat

What is Meerkat

It doesn’t always take a lot for the online marketing community to get excited – take Ello, recently described as a great idea but the ‘Betamax of social media’?  But we could be onto something with the next big thing, an app called Meerkat.  It was announced at SXSW back in February, but officially launched in March 2015.  SXSW does have a good pedigree of launching what turns out to be big players (Twitter and Foursquare were launched at SXSW in 2007 and 2009 respectively), but will Meerkat follow in the line of greats, or be the next over-hyped and never used app?

What is Meerkat?

Meerkat is a live streaming social video app.  It allows you to stream content directly from your phone onto Twitter.  You can subscribe to a particular Twitter user or simply attend a Meerkat session.  While you are watching, you can interact with other Twitter users who are watching the stream, and retweet when you are watching.  Streams are not saved though (yet?), so if you miss it, it’s gone.

How can marketers use Meerkat?

  • Product Demos – These make really nice videos, so they will be great for live streaming.  A simple demonstration of what your product can do, particularly if the concept is new, is a powerful way of engaging viewers and showcasing your product.
  • Events – Now, I know a lot of these are paid for, in which case you might just want to tease some content on Meerkat, but for the thousands of free to attend events, being able to stream it to your Twitter audience is a great opportunity.
  • Product Launches – Everyone can have an Apple style event (well, kind of) by streaming your new product on Twitter.
  • Podcasts – Video podcasting hasn’t really caught on with people preferring to just hear their content, but interviews and other visual content could attract bigger audiences with the addition of viewer interaction.
  • Brand building – Being able to show situations which sum up your brand in video format is very powerful: I am sure that some big pro-digital brands are already working on brand marketing video content to try to gain an audience early.
  • Promotions – For marketers who are looking for more of a direct response, you could broadcast codes which can be redeemed in-store or on your ecommerce website – quite a nice way of tracking engagement and response to a new medium.

What does the future hold for Meerkat?

I think that the concept of such a simple way of live streaming is fantastic, we already know that video is a key medium.  Meerkat combines second-screening to a single screen where you can watch and comment all at once, another positive.  It’s interesting how the challenge for broadcasting is no longer having access to the technology, and instead is creativity and getting your content noticed.

But Meerkat already has some competition – Twitter is launching its own live streaming app called Periscope, and Periscope allows you to save your streams.  Saving the streams does feel like a good idea, and unless Meerkat moves quickly, it might just be enough to put Meerkat in the ‘nice try but no cigar’ category.