How To Use Periscope As A Marketing Tool For Your Startup

How To Use Periscope As A Marketing Tool For Your Startup

by Victoria Donovan

In case you have no idea what Periscope is, here's a quickie to bring you up to speed:

  • Periscope is a broadcasting app.
  • Users tune in to watch, engage with, and post live streamed video straight from their phones.
  • Twitter thought it was cool enough to buy it for $120 mil a few weeks ago.  

As marketers in the startup space, you need to take Periscope seriously as a marketing tool. You are in one of those rare golden opportunities to be one of those brands everyone talks about who is KILLING IT on a new social platform. Don't blow this one. 

Here are 5 tips for using Periscope effectively.

1. Title Appropriately

Title your broadcast something that will catch your audience up on what they are watching even if they jump in 5 or 10 minutes into your video stream.

2. Incentivize Viewers To Keep Watching

Guys...Don't forget to make your broadcasts interesting. You need to tell a story in your broadcast. Make it something normal people are going to want to watch- No advertisements, no low-quality content. Interesting, engaging stories only. 

Incentivize your users to keep watching by creating suspense.  Say you are live streaming the unboxing of a gift your company got in the mail. Don’t just bust open the box right away. Create a story out of it with a beginning, middle, climax, and end.

Hook your viewers into watching you open it piece-by-piece, section-by-section. Make comments and ask questions. Casually saying stuff like, "I want to recycle these packing peanuts this box has thrown up all over my office into a genius prank to get back at Frank. Any ideas?" is great because people love to chip in their 2 cents about this kind of thing.

The point is that it is your responsibility to get your viewers pumped up about what they are watching. Take this seriously and you will go far.


3. make Measurable goALS

Keep your Periscope broadcasts purposeful.

Figure out how you are going to measure the effectiveness of your video streams. Are you trying to increase traffic to your website? Are you looking to engage conversation to get feedback on your product? 

Whatever goal you are trying to reach through broadcasting on Periscope, make sure you're not wasting your time by assuring each minute of each broadcast is moving you towards meeting that goal in one way or another


Just because Periscope broadcasts are "live" doesn’t mean you shouldn't plan your broadcasts. You definitely should be planning your broadcasts.

Buzzfeed baits you into sharing their articles by posting ultra-relatable, emotional posts that make you think of your friends. When you're broadcasting on Periscope, you need to bait your viewers into commenting and telling their friends about your broadcast. 

 Your standard Buzzfeed shenanigans.

Your standard Buzzfeed shenanigans.

How? Purposefully engineer your broadcasts in a way that gets your audience excited and likely to interact. My personal faves:  

1)   Piss people off juuuuust enough to comment. (I dont mean throwing around ISIS jokes. I mean purposely ignore something blatantly obvious so people will comment with a “WTF! READ THE NOTE!”)
2)   Create a little friendly controversy. (Think Left Twix vs. Right Twix. But not lame.)
 Since when was it not encouraged to eat both Twix? Smh. 

Since when was it not encouraged to eat both Twix? Smh. 

3)   Pull on your viewers heart-strings. (Ahem...there's a reason adorable kitten videos rule the Internet.)
4)   Have one of your team members who is recognizable, funny, or has a killer, strong personality do your broadcasts. (Who's that guy on your team who has to stop and give his blessing to literally half your town when you're out getting a drink. That's your guy. )
 And, when all else fails, in the words of Bill, "F*ck it. We'll do it live."

And, when all else fails, in the words of Bill, "F*ck it. We'll do it live."

5. Learn who Your Viewers are

Finally, pay attention to who your viewers are. This way you can cater your story telling. Your viewers need to feel that watching your broadcast is in one way or another beneficial to them.

Learning who your viewers are + learning what your viewers want = success with using Periscope as a marketing tool.

Now, here is a week's worth of Periscope broadcast inspiration. You're going to do big things. I can feel it.

  1. Live stream the unpackaging of a box, like Mashable did. (I dropped the ball on screenshotting it while it live streamed. It was really cool though, you can trust me on that. There were balloons FLOATING OUT OF THE BOX.)

  2. Live stream a speaker at a conference or startup pitch event. 

  3. Live stream a suspenseful office prank. (Some see pranks as ruining someone's day. We see them as "team building.")
  4. Host an event or attend and event and broadcast cool parts of it. (If you're in Colorado, Built in Colorado has a steady stream of relevant events.)
  5. Design a city-wide scavenger hunt for your broadcaster to lead. (Inviting engagement and comments from your local audience along the way. Naturally.)
  6. Ask Periscopers for support in solving a problem by way of comments. (For example, I saw a guy ask Periscope advice on how to tell his kid that their pet goldfish died.)
  7. Make a deal with your followers. ( Something like, "If 50 people join our broadcast, we will give away a t-shirt to one of our viewers.”)
  8. Go to a concert or game and live-stream it. (Boss, listen. I need box seats to the Superbowl next year. It's for marketing.)

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