Periscope: Live streaming masterclass (part two)

17th August 2015

Take the real-time power of social media and combine that with the increasing usage of video, and you have a winning combination. All the big players want a slice of the social video action. Facebook have recently announced a new feature “live” to its Facebook Mentions app which allows influencers to broadcast to their fans, whilst Samsung’s new mobile phones will enable live streaming to YouTube.

Twitter’s live streaming app Periscope has signed up 10 million users in four months. It now has two million daily active users watching 40 years of broadcasting per day via their smartphones. (Guardian) In part two of our live streaming masterclass, we focus on Periscope and show you how to use it as part of your video marketing strategy.

What is Periscope?

Periscope is an app for IoS and Android which allows you to watch and broadcast video content in real time from your mobile phone. Your business can, not only become a broadcaster, but interact with your viewers in real time. Once the live streaming is over, viewers will have 24 hours to watch it again after which it will be removed from the app.

Periscope top tips

Periscope is easy to set up and use, and before looking at how brands can use this app for video marketing, here are a few general pointers.

Timing and testing

Draw on your analytics from Twitter to assess when your audience is online, and then test the best times to promote and start your live stream. As this is a new way to engage with your audience, it is vital to use the stats gained from Periscope itself to work out the kind of content which works for your audience.

Grab attention

With social video, the shorter the better tends to be the mantra. In general the same goes for live streaming; it is certainly important that you start off by grabbing attention.

Catchy title

When viewers are looking out for content, all they will see is your brand name and the title of your live stream, so ensure that it is something that will make people want to join you.

Speak to people in real time

Although you can disable comments if you want to, one of the key benefits is being able to talk to your customers in real-time. Ensure that you respond to people’s comments and interact with those who show that they like your content.

Be authentic

On social media, it is important to be authentic and transparent with your community. With Periscope, you don’t need to be too polished or rehearsed – the audience are expecting a more personal, natural approach.

Ideas for using Periscope

News and announcements

Social live streaming is an effective way to create anticipation about your latest news or announcements. As it’s happening “right now” viewers will feel that they are really involved and will be ready to share via their own networks. The New York Times announced the Pulitzer Prize winners via Periscope this year.


Periscope is also a useful way to open up events to a larger audience who would not be able to attend. You can give your community intimate access which will help to build loyalty.

Fashion brand, Belstaff used Periscope in an innovative way by creating a presentation rather than a catwalk show around the theme of “desert explorers”. The British Museum gave people access to one of their exhibitions from the comfort of their mobile phone screen.

Behind the scenes

You could invite your audience into your company to help build trust and transparency. Why not periscope a weekly meeting or a vlog with your CEO? The Rolling Stones offered behind the scenes scopes from a secret gig and then the rest of their recent tour. GE, always ahead of the digital curve, were unsurprisingly early adopters of Periscope. In a five day campaign called DroneWeek, they offered viewers a drone’s eye view of their least accessible facilities with expert commentary.

The Huffington Post has embraced live streaming too as a way expand the brand by offering exclusive interviews via Periscope which feel rawer, and allow communities to interact and get closer to the celebrities.


Live Q & A

Another way to use live streaming is to set up a Q & A with your CEO, team members, clients, or celebrity ambassadors. The chat function allows brands to open up the conversation to its customers and prospects. While this needs to be carefully managed, this kind of real-time access allows valuable interactions and builds trust.

Reward your followers

As early adopter, Mountain Dew, tried the app on the first day. It showed ‘swag’ in the video and then surprised followers who commented on the stream with free merchandise. The key take-away here is to think of ways to say thanks to your followers whether that’s by replying to them, offering them exclusive access, a contest or give-away.


Doritos has also used Periscope to run a contest as part of its ‘roulette’ campaign aimed at a young male demographic where one chip in the bag is spicy hot. The campaign also ran across social channels with winners being announced via Vine. The immediacy of social media and live streaming really works with this roulette style campaign, and they encouraged social sharing effectively; to enter contestants had to tag three friends with the hashtag ‘doritosroulette’.

Product launches

You could use live streaming to show your new product in action, and take questions from the audience. Fashion brand, Target, used Periscope as a teaser for its Lily Pulitzer line; this fuelled consumer demand with reports that 90% of the collection sold out in a few days.

Customer research

Social media in general is an effective way to do some quick-fire customer research and gauge responses to your brand. With live streaming, you can take this further and chat to your audience in real time. You could also target specific communities by airing your Periscope to an exclusive audience

How tos and product demos

“How to” videos work effectively online, and really help you answer your audience’s needs (great for SEO). Now you can offer added value with Periscope as the audience can ask questions live. The National Trust caught the buzz of the return of the Great British Bake Off by offering a cookery lesson with its chef.

Have you tried using Periscope yet or are you thinking about it? Let us know via Twitter @hurricanemedia. For help with any aspect of your video marketing, contact us.

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