Are you seeking new and innovative ways to boost engagement? Have you thought about using live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat? Live-Streaming videos are great ways to interact with your audience in real-time.

Evolution of Live Streaming

The real-time phenomenon is nothing new to social media and the tech world. Social Media platforms and tech companies across the world have been taking advantage of consumers’ desire to get real time information across about the events that matter most to them. Take the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil as an example. Both Facebook and Twitter had installed features that would allow their users to get real time info about the matches, scores etc.

Take Apple as another example. Anytime there was a new product launch or some news that it wanted to report to its customers, it used real time and live streaming technology to deliver it. Anytime consumers wanted to tune in, all they had to do was go to Apple’s Home Page and watch the events as they unfold.

What’s different now is that there are apps that make real time news delivery easier to access.

Meerkat, owned by Life on Air, was the first to enter the marketplace in February, 2015 and is available on both iOS and Android devices.   At any given moment, you can record something with your mobile device, which will trigger a tweet or Facebook post of the link to your stream and notification to your followers and fans.

Twitter followed Life On Air, Inc. with the acquisition of Periscope in March, 2015. The Periscope app differs from Meerkat in that it has special features which allow you to automatically save all videos for a period of 24 hours. This technology opens consumers and marketers to a whole new world to digital marketing. Not only can you see behind the scenes footage, but view it as it is happening as well.

Facebook soon followed in August, 2015 when it announced the launch of Live, a new feature of its “Mentions” app that allows celebrities with a verified page to broadcast live videos to their fans. Celebrities are not only able to start live broadcasts, but to watch comments overlaid in real-time on their news feeds and make the recording permanently available to fans for viewing. Rock and Serena Williams are already taking advantage of this feature.

There’s no doubt that Live Streaming apps are making their mark on the social media marketing world and dominating it as well.

How Brands Are Using Live-Streaming Apps To Boost Engagement:

1. Live-Streaming Contests

Live-Streaming contests gives consumers a good reason to watch the video right there and then as opposed to at a later time or date. Prizes should however be tied to your company and brand, so that when consumers use the gift they’ll be reminded of the person that gave it to them.

Take Doritos as an example. They hosted the Doritos Roulette chips campaign this year. The idea: Buy a bag of the new Doritos Roulette chips. Grab a handful (if you dare)….but be aware that one chip in every handful will be fiery hot! Viewers who watched the video in real time were randomly picked to become contestants for the contest. They would then be eligible to spin the roulette wheel (live and on air) and win prizes. Doritos used Twitter, Vine and Periscope to help them gain participants for the contest.

2. Interactive Customer Service

Live video chats are transforming the way brands are providing customer service by allowing them to instantly communicate with all their customers face-to-face and at the same. Live Streaming Apps like Mayday and Periscope have features that allow you to record customer service messages and save them for viewing/replay by customers at a later time for reference.

Brands like Mountain Dew and Verizon were among the first to pick up on live-streaming technology for customer service purposes. Mountain Dew used Periscope to broadcast a short video focused on the brand’s swag, while Verizon used Meerkat to host a live Q&A with Emily Best and Caitlin FitzGerald. Both garnered positive feedback in the process.

3. Product Demonstrations

Live streaming of product demos is an extremely effective way to boost conversions. Periscope and Meerkat, in particular, is effective because it allows viewers to refer back to your videos on multiple occasions to see your products in action before making their final decision. Other services like EasyWebinar allow users to view videos at a later date but that feature comes at a fee.

4. Improve Transparency

Lack of trust is a huge problem that brands face when trying to market to customers over the Internet. Brands that engage with customers over Periscope or Meerkat will come across as more transparent, simply because they’re willing to show their faces and answer customer questions in a live setting. As a result, these video sharing apps are likely to emerge as one of the most effective tools out there for building consumer trust.

5. Share Breaking News

Keeping customers updated about what is going on in the company is imperative. And instead of involving your company’s entire media production team in the news break, video apps like Periscope and Meerkat now allow you to notify customers about major changes, announce upcoming products and address any timely concern they may have about these events – all from a simple video captured from your mobile device.

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