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If you’re looking for a better, more personal way to connect with customers, Periscope is the answer. It’s one of the newer and increasingly talked about social technologies that lets anyone broadcast video for free. This gives small businesses an easy, quick and affordable way to be more accessible to customers and to create more personal relationships with them.

But what is Periscope, how does it work and how exactly can you use it to market your small business and connect with your audience? Here is what you need to know.

What is Periscope?

Launched in March, Periscope has quickly become one of the most popular live streaming apps. About 10 million users have registered with the platform so far and the number is growing fast. And here’s another fact: after just five months, Periscope reported that iOS and Android users were watching more than 40 years of video per day. Impressive!

But what is Periscope anyway? It’s a live streaming app from the folks behind Twitter. Think of it as an easy (and free) way to broadcast live video from a mobile device. This means that anyone who’s using the app can view your live stream, no matter where they are in the world.

And here’s another neat feature: anyone watching your stream can leave comments in real-time. The comments show up on the screen and are visible to everyone watching the video. So your video can quickly turn into a live conversation around your content. Users can also re-stream to their followers, which means that any stream has the potential to go viral.

Why use it?

You’d be surprised how many of those 10 million users are using Periscope to promote their small businesses. Here are some reasons why they have taken to this live streaming app:

  • No technical skills required. Sure, you can get a fancy microphone or a special lens for your phone, but that’s not really necessary. All you need is your phone and you’re ready to go.
  • Increased reach with a tweet. While there are other live streaming apps out there, the power that Periscope has with Twitter is huge. When you’re ready to broadcast live, simply click on the Twitter icon and a tweet will go out to all your followers, letting them know that you’re live on Periscope.
  • Get a competitive advantage. This is your chance to stand out. Most likely many of your competitors aren’t using Periscope so make sure you get on it quickly and show you’re ahead of your competition.
  • Real conversations. Being the broadcaster doesn’t mean that communication is a one-way street. What makes Periscope so great is that those watching can give you instant feedback, they can comment or tap on their screens and give you “hearts”, i.e. social proof that shows you know what you’re talking about.
  • Become an influencer. Use this app to do a live stream and share valuable information that your audience is interested in. With Periscope you can build yourself as a credible source for your audience and also help people get to know you better.

If you’re ready to get started, download the app and then set up an account with your Twitter account. You can them find users through their Twitter handles and automatically send a tweet anytime you want to start a broadcast.

What should you broadcast?

Following are some ideas on what to broadcast to your audience to expand your online reach and promote your brand to a fresh new audience.

A closer look at where the magic happens

What makes Periscope so attractive is that it’s natural. There’s no editing or fancy musical or graphical intros. So use it to humanise your brand by providing customers an inside look at your business.

Give them a backstage pass so they can see what life is like at your company. You can stream anything from the fun things you do around the office, clips from during meetings, chats with the CEO, or from team outings. This helps you to connect with customers on a personal level. Plus, it’s a creative way for them to see the faces behind the products.

You can also do this if you’re a “homepreneur” and you work for home. Just give customers a glimpse into your daily life. It also works for coffee shops, libraries or beauty salons. If a picture says a thousand words, then how much could you say with a creative live tour of your coffee shop?

Live product demos

Launching a new product? What better way to build anticipation than promoting a live reveal through Periscope?

You can also use it for a behind-the-scenes look at your current products or services. It can be as simple as showing how a product works and how it can help solve a problem your customers are facing.

Think about it. While images and website copy are essential, they can’t fully explain how a product works. By using Periscope to give a live demo, your audience can see exactly how it works in real-time. Plus, since there’s no editing involved, product demos feel more real and unrehearsed, which helps build trust.

Tutorials

If you sell software or a complex product, why not use Periscope to show live tutorials or hold live training sessions? It’s an effective way to help viewers better understand your product and how to make the most of it.

But don’t stop here. You can also stream videos with advice and tips on other topics that matter to your viewers. For examples, if you’re a plumber you can broadcast short tutorials on how to install a dishwasher or how to replace a broken flush handle. Teaching something of value for free that is related to your business is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Live support

Whether it’s a live Q&A with an expert in your team or an interview with a pioneer in your industry, Periscope lets you get closer to your customers and share useful information. For instance, you could answer tax or accounting questions, or marketing questions.

You can also organise live focus groups to gather some interesting and valuable insights from your customers. So whether you’re looking for input on a new product, a new feature or even a website redesign, live focus groups can help with that.

And why not also use Periscope to provide live support? If you keep getting the same support ticket, live-stream your support to your customers and answer multiple questions in one hit. That’s not only helpful for customers but it’ll also free up some time for your support team.

Announcements

Whether you’re hosting an event, unveiling a new product or announcing a big sale, announcing it on Periscope makes it an exclusive community

If you’re offering special discounts, you can make customers feel extra special and boost sales with exclusive Periscope-only offers. To see if it’s working, create a coupon code just for your Periscope community and then monitor how often customers use it after you announce it on this platform.

Need some more inspiration? Here’s how big brands are using Periscope to engage with their audience and to grow their business.

How to grow your Periscope community

While Periscope is becoming more popular by the day, it’s still new compared to huge social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. So don’t delay. Get on Periscope and use the following tips to get found easier by potential customers:

  • Create catchy titles for your live streams to get people interested
  • Share your location so users can also find you on the map search function
  • Encourage users to follow you so they know when you’ll be broadcasting next

The Periscope platform is growing fast. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, get in the game now and start building your following on this new and exciting platform.

Wrapping up

Periscope is all about engagement, about reaching out to your audience and encouraging a two-way conversation. It offers you an exciting and memorable way to get in front of your audience.

Also, the live element of Periscope makes it more real, more captivating, more trustworthy. It breaks down the barriers between you and your customers. So try it out, if you haven’t already, and then let us know how it’s working for you.

Have any other tips on how to make the most of Periscope? Share them with us in a comment below.

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