The Marketer’s Guide to Meerkat & Periscope

Mobile live streaming app, Meerkat was the darling of SXSWi. Boy, what a difference a few weeks make. With the release of Periscope, individuals and brands alike are still figuring out best practices. Take a peek at either platform and you’ll see everything from live basketball games, to an inside look at the White House Press room, to completely banal streams of coffee shops and office water coolers.

These apps are revolutionizing the game but early adoption paired with well-executed content is what will separate the marketing mavens from the branding babies. Don’t fret though, I’ve experimented with both platforms and put together this quick and dirty guide just for you.

Use Periscope

When it comes to making sure your content reaches the intended audience, Periscope wins. By removing Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph, Periscope has made it incredibly inefficient to find your existing network and follow their streams on Meerkat. It’s not impossible, but when it comes to manually searching for contacts to follow so you can catch something happening live, ain’t nobody got time for that.

The other advantage Periscope has over Meerkat is the playback capability. Where Meerkat is like live streaming meets Snapchat (missed the live broadcast? Better luck next time), brands will have a better time connecting with their audience if followers also have the ability to catch the replay later.

Have a Plan

Newsflash: opening monologues are not impromptu speeches—they have been written and highly produced. Can you imagine watching The Tonight Show if Jimmy Fallon just winged it every night? Ok, so Fallon and The Roots could totally pull that off brilliantly but trust me, you and your startup can’t.

You should approach your Periscope or Meerkat content the same way you would if you were producing a live television show. No need to overdo it, but a brief outline of what you hope to capture and how you plan to capture it can be the difference between incredible experiences and awkward silences. And, by having high-quality content as your anchor, it will make those unplanned moments a sweeter peek “behind the scenes” and feel less like a creepy hidden camera show.

Schedule & Promote

When it comes to scheduling and promoting your live stream, Meerkat has a leg-up on Periscope. With Meerkat you can schedule in app and it creates a sort of landing page for your stream and your audience can “subscribe” and plan to tune in. However, even without an in-app scheduling capability, you can still plan on a day and time for your live stream and share with your audience. You want as many people to view as possible, so why not give them the information and tools to make plans to be there? I know your startup is “amazing” and your cofounders are “so cool”, but no one is going to drop what they’re doing to watch you play ping-pong. But planning a ping-pong battle between investors and startup founders, happening live on Tuesday at 3pm? Now that’s something worth tuning in for.

This is only the beginning of what mobile live streaming can do for branded content, education, and entertainment and I for one can’t wait to see what the startup community does with these platforms.

Photo source: http://bit.ly/1D9osDB

  • Raquel Vincent is a Dallas-based creative with a knack for words and inspired creative direction. When she's not working, you can find Raquel hitting a gallery opening, working on her book, or thrifting for unforgettable vintage finds. She loves music festivals, tacos, and her rescue cat Berlioz.

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