Peek a boo. Why marketers are eyeing up Periscope on its first birthday

The inherently fast-pace nature of social media means keeping on top of the latest trends can be a full time job. In case you didn’t notice, new kid on the block Periscope celebrated it’s first birthday recently. Boasting 10 million registered accounts and an impressive 1.9 million active users back in August, Periscope has experienced phenomenal growth and become wildly popular worldwide.

Through someone else’s eyes

Periscope’s USP, as highlighted in its tagline, is it’s ability to allow users ‘to explore the world through someone else’s eyes.’ While the popularity of video content on other social media platforms such as Facebook is well known, where Periscope differs is its ability to stream this content live from other users. 

Some of the figures surrounding Periscope’s usage are staggering. According to a recent article by Fortune Magazine, ‘to date users have created more than 200 million broadcasts’ and ‘every day users watch a combined 110 years worth of video through [Periscope’s] native iOS and Android apps.’

Despite the relative infancy of Periscope, this popularity has extended far beyond individual users. The BBC’s Outside Source program has become an avid user, with 30,000 followers regularly tuning in to see first-hand footage of global news events, and Outside Source frequently integrating footage from the platform into it’s TV and radio broadcasts. Other brands who have delved into the world of Periscope include Red Bull, who broadcast their Red Bull Guest House event live from Miami, and Adobe, who used Periscope to stream the release of their latest product Creative Cloud. 

Why Periscope is mobilising users

So just why has Periscope proved so popular? According to a recent post by Forbes, Periscope has successfully tapped into a number of key values that millennials in particular regard highly when it comes to social media. One of these attributes is Periscope’s ability to feel intimate and personal in a way that many other platforms do not. Forbes argues, ‘livestreaming rarely lectures us about how we should feel or what we should spend our money on. Instead, it gives us permission to build relationships with the people who represent the brands we care about – and that makes us feel good.’

Other winners for Periscope include the ease with which it’s content can be consumed, and particularly it’s unedited, under-produced feel as a piece of content. Forbes argues, ‘one of the most endearing characteristics about livestreaming is the fact that it’s all natural’ and that ‘it inherently doesn’t lend itself to being overproduced or feel overly promotional’ - a winner for most millennials bored with high levels of branded, message-promoting media. 

How marketers can get in on the game

While this raw, unedited, user-generated content can be both exhilarating and attention grabbing for some, for many brands this lack of room for control and pre-planning can be frightening. Although this may have made many reluctant to engage with the platform, as Brand Republic points out Periscope ‘is the most interactive and social broadcasting experience there is, and with it comes the ability for brands to connect, share, promote and ultimately sell in ways that were previously unobtainable.’

Brand Republic have put together a list of top tips for brands wanting to use Periscope as a marketing tool. These tips include;

  • Broadcasting valuable content to your followers, whether that comes ‘in the form of knowledge, […] a 10% discount code, or […] the warm fuzzy feeling they get from watching a beautiful sunset’.
  • Allowing the audience to interact with, be part of, discuss and even control the content being created to give a feeling of ownership and creativity to your consumers.
  • Capitalise upon the already vast numbers of influencers and their fan bases to spread your brand’s message and drive sales through the platform. 

For a platform only one year old, Periscope already has enormous reach and its scope for continued growth is immense. As marketers grow in confidence with the platform, it looks likely more and more brands will be buying into the creative possibilities available and reap the rewards of encouraging their consumers to explore the world through someone else’s eyes.

Peek a boo. Why marketers are eyeing up Periscope on its first birthday