Over the past few weeks, a new craze is taking over the digital publishing world: real-time video streaming on social platforms. While these applications -- Meerkat and Twitter's Periscope currently being the big two in the space – only allow one-way communication, they provide companies the opportunity to broadcast streams and chats on social media from a single platform at the touch of a button. (Visa and Spotify, to name a few, have alerady utilized this new medium)
On top of everyone and their brother buzzing about these new platforms, boatloads of celebs are joining the livestreaming bandwagon, driving the popularity of both apps. Madonna debuted her new music video on Meerkat, while Jimmy Fallon and Ryan Seacrest are on Periscope. As you can imagine, these apps are storming the online world.
And it isn't just big-name stars, giant publishers and brands noticing this new way of communicating with people on social media, but individuals too realize they can instantly be their own media outlet.
The rivalling apps may have shifted where the audience is, but one thing is for sure: together they create a reality TV-esque version of social media that is hard to ignore. Sure, this is an exciting new medium for marketers, but the big questions are: Are these channels sustainable and just how big is the potential?
Potentials of real-time publishing
If you ask me, the real-time video craze is peaking at an opportune moment. Why? Well, we marketers are exponentially experimenting with videos, growing video as an excellent marketing medium over the past year or so. Brands are already creating more videos than before. In fact, a large number of businesses are joining the video marketing arena as they consider the popularity of this medium. For brands and businesses that are already creating and sharing videos, there might be multiple ways to leverage the new real-time publishing channel.
From annual meetings, to sporting events, to concerts and new product launches, brands are capturing much of their company culture with the help of video. While it not only helps brands show their "human side," they can also send their message in a manner that’s way more interactive and engaging than plain, boring texts. Real-time publishing will add a feather to the video marketer’s cap by increasing the reach of these videos and by making that real-time connection that today’s customers seek and value.
What brands need to remember
A word of caution: real-time video is a highly spontaneous medium with very little room for error. Once your video is live, it’s up for the world to see. If you’re not careful, you might be at risk of courting a controversy or negative reactions on social media.
In terms of marketing benefits, Meerkat’s ephemeral nature might create short spurts of immediacy but it may lack what is required to make it work for marketers in the long run. Periscope, on the other hand, has the legs to turn into a more viable medium for marketers
Have you tried Meerkat or Periscope yet? I’d love to hear about your experience with the platform and whether or not you think either of them has staying power for our industry.