Could Your Business Use Periscope?

In the world of marketing, stories sell. With live video broadcasting app Periscope, marketers can breathe life into their stories by live streaming content to viewers.

Though other platforms include multimedia and video content, Periscope amplifies these capabilities by broadcasting in real time and thus, allowing posters to immerse viewers into their world. Already, companies have begun to leverage this real-time experience for branding, promotional, and service-related purposes.

Periscope’s creators claim the app can “take you someplace and show you around”, which businesses can leverage in its branding efforts. Mottos and mission statements can describe brand personalities, but live “behind the scenes” broadcasts of company happenings like charity outreach, brainstorming sessions, or interviews with thought leaders can demonstrate these qualities in action. Instead of dictating their brand personalities to audiences, such company snapshots enable them to draw those conclusions independently. This organic strategy empowers viewers to take charge of their relationship with the brand, arms their beliefs with more conviction, and equips them to become brand advocates.

When cross promoted effectively, showing clips of interviews and speeches can also attract new audiences to publications and events. A broadcasted interview between a magazine editor and fund analyst could inspire viewers to search out the full interview, only accessible through a company publication. Similarly, a rousing keynote session by a thought leader could resonate more strongly with previously reluctant audiences than a standard event review. Here, Periscope can disarm any of their misperceptions by showing exactly what they are missing by turning down an event.

Because viewers can engage in face-to-face conversations with the poster, Periscope can also facilitate quicker and more convenient customer service. By holding a “Q&A” customer service session on Periscope, a poster can clarify product features, receive feedback, and provide solutions. Facebook and Twitter’s text-based comments provide feedback, but only Periscope allows for interactive face-to-face conversations between business and client. This interactive touch serves both parties. Posters can infer a customer’s tone and attitude more readily than they could through textual comments, as well as gather instantaneous feedback on new product features. This perceived accessibility and transparency holds positive branding implications as well. And for customers, this streamlined, person-centric strategy provides a welcome alternative to frustration inducing, time consuming call centers. Mobile phone provider O2 found that by integrating social media into their Czech region’s customer service offerings, they could reduce response times by 70%* through more efficient routing of queries and avoiding duplications of effort. These changes resulted in a 90% customer satisfaction rate.

However, with these real-time, bilateral conversations, Periscope users sacrifice ultimate control of their content to their viewership. Periscope’s comment moderation and filtering options currently lag behind other platforms, which heightens the risk of “trolls” hijacking the stream with unrelated or incendiary comments. Considering the live nature of these interactions, Periscope users should anticipate negative feedback and prepare appropriate responses so they do not visibly falter in front of their viewers.

Periscope’s strength lies in the intimacy of its connections, so its content must incorporate promotional features seamlessly and authentically. Periscope’s intimacy raises the related question of engaging meaningfully large audiences. To reach enough people to justify the time and resource costs, posters must replicate these semi-personalized experiences for thousands or even millions of people.

Three dimensional, immediate, and relationship-based, Periscope represents both the innovative possibilities and pressing challenges of marketing’s future. How businesses will leverage this app for growth remains largely unknown but extremely fascinating.

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