I tried Periscope and I’m hooked – but what about its marketing value?

I’ve had the app for around two weeks now and its made me cry and laugh till it seriously hurts. Like any other social media or business tool, its not the channel its what you do with it. That said its a very powerful tool and the marketing applications are many.

Pariscope Marketing: Less Is More

Strangely enough I discovered the comparable meerkat through Periscope itself. To me meerkat is not merely as friendly as periscope although Periscope has visibly fewer features. Perhaps simplicity is its strength.


Just a few minutes after I installed it – it started whistling at me – hey I hate people who whistle but I think this is one of the winning features. It’s really friendly even its tone of voice, usability and icons. It’s the only app I have on my phone without muted notifications – I suppose that says a lot.

Can We Take Pariscope Seriously?

So sure enough I started checking out the live streams, the guy who streams himself going to the gym every day, the foodie sharing their obsession, the Guardian Tech’s weekly brain teaser. I was positively intrigued.

But how can this be used for brands? The immediate value of sharing valuable information is evident however what about trolling and people who log on to drag you in the mud or just have a bit of fun with you?

If you log on early you can comment live on the stream and admittedly I have had more fun following the comments than the actual streaming. In fact I haven’t yet found a feed that will change my life but I’m keeping the app for its comical value.

Of course in the long term it will play a big part in branding. The millennial generation is all about engagement and sure enough this app takes engagement to a new level. The ease of use is so amazing that to me meerkat was very easy to ignore since I’d tried periscope first – although people keep going on about the meerkat search feature. In reality the search feature has let me down on both.

Be Prepared: Have a Marketing Plan

As a marketeer I would say use this wisely – make sure you plan the interaction – don’t just broadcast live. People have been treating this like the video version of Facebook – I think that way it can never work for a brand. Like every other social media platform it requires strategy and well planned engagement during the stream.

Inject little ways of measuring engagement – promote other touch-points – give value and use the live commenting well. The biggest mistake I have seen so far (in fact the ones that get trolled) are the ones that are using it like a webinar platform where people ask one or two questions during a 1 hour stream. With periscope people comment every 5 to 10 seconds this means that if you’re not engaging people intensely and fast, these comments are gonna turn funny or nasty because people have nothing to say and are not engaged.

Again for the same reason speed is paramount and therefore so is planning and rehearsing. If you haven t planned your stream and the structure of the interactions you’re going to elicit then you’d better be thick skinned because you’re going to attract people’s negative or funny side.

Don’t Just Engage, Entertain

Another thing I noticed its that people log onto periscope out of boredom. Which means that you’re faced with a difficult audience every time. They’re already bored. So you’d better be entertaining.

However this does not kill the potential for brands, like many social platforms it is best used by people who have a plan, people who have something to say and already have a following in the real world. It is a very powerful tool for educators and training providers and yet again it is a new platform that changes the ballgame.

The app has the strongest potential for brands that are already using highly engaging content online. Brands that spend on getting brand ambassadors that have a following and organise engaging events both online and offline.

Brands that are already using engagement as a driver for sales.


The great thing about Periscope is that it brings engagement to a different level, it will be a game changer for TV programming, perhaps killing off a few PR distribution companies on its path to world domination. This app has all the potential of Facebook and some… it does exactly what its tagline promises, it lets you “Explore the world through someone else’s eyes”.

Find it at periscope.tv

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