By now, most digital-savvy startups are not only popping up on Pinterest and Facebook, but also on Snapchat and Instagram. Visual and video-driven storytelling give startups a tremendous opportunity to reach new (and younger) customers. But how can entrepreneurs take full advantage of the live video platform, Periscope?
To find out, I asked 13 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what strategies are most beneficial for companies using the popular social app. Their best answers are below.
1. Gain investor interest
Periscope is unique in that it can be a very personal experience that puts you in the hands of someone who can show you the world — or something as small as the postage stamp on your company’s first shipment. Use this platform to bring a potential investor into your day-to-day; walk them through your life as an owner, and let them see your passion and competency at work.
2. Target millennials
A disproportionate number of users on apps, like Periscope, are millennials. Not only are they watching in significant numbers, but they are highly engaged as well. With very little competition for attention today, Periscope can be extremely lucrative for brands targeting the youth.
3. Launch products
I expect to see Periscope involved with a lot more product launches very soon. There are many companies already using live video to cover product launches or new store openings, because what better way to improve on that experience than to bring your customers along with you and turn an event into a short-term community?
4. Showcase company culture
Consumers love companies that have a personality. Periscope allows any brand to let their audience grab a sneak peak at what they have going on behind the scenes. This type of access can help consumers develop that human element connection, which can quickly create a life long supporter. For a startup, these kinds of supporters can quickly help spread the word and become valuable brand advocates.
5. Tell your company’s story
Periscope is a vast opportunity for business owners, top leaders and even frontline employees to connect with and reach new customers. It spotlights the human faces of your company. People like buying from other people, not faceless institutions. Tell the story of how your company came to be. What problem did you notice, and how did you fix it or stumble upon the solution?
6. Host office hours
No matter what type of business you run, you have customers and partners who share questions and concerns. Periscope is an amazing way to engage your audience and give them information they can use. Hold “office hours” with fans, and give unscripted answers to any of their questions. They’ll feel more connected, and you’ll scale your ability to give support to your fans.
7. Conduct better business analysis
Periscope Data is an amazing tool to create real-time dashboards for advanced reporting such as lead sources, daily opt-ins and an in-depth look at which website pages people are using to join email marketing lists. Internal teams should use this data to improve their business analysis to see what’s working, what’s not, and where there may be gaps in their marketing strategies.
8. Host demos and tutorials
Periscope lets you become a virtual salesperson, giving you the power to not only present your new product or service, but also demo it. This is why channels, such as HSN and QVC, are so much more powerful than catalogs. When you have a real personal showcasing, explaining and demonstrating a product, it elevates it to a level that simple text and images cannot do alone.
9. Host an online event
Sometimes customers or prospects cannot make it to your physical event or seminar so you can use Periscope to create a live event with a Q&A session. This provides a way to get as many target audience members to your event regardless of location. Plus, it can be free or very low-cost, making it even more inviting.
10. Attract talent
If you have a fun place to work, you have a leg up on the competition when attracting talent. However, a lot of times “fun place to work” isn’t quantifiable or easily described on your careers page. Sometimes it’s the softer things — the rapport among the team, the sense of humor, office pranks, etc. — that really make work fun. Periscope is a great way to highlight that.
We have had significant success using Periscope almost like a webinar for hosting fundraising events. It is a very useful tool that every startup should utilize. It is also useful for marketing and getting your message out across all channels very quickly.
12. Get customer reviews
Being able to talk with your customers live about a product and showcasing it to potential customers is probably the best advertisement you can buy. Whether you hold sessions interacting with the product, or ask the customer what they thought about the service, it will get the people following you to want to purchase faster.
13. Demonstrate your product or service
Use it to demonstrate your product or service. If possible, be creative, even if it means being a bit funny or odd. Think about successful Super Bowl commercials — often the plot of the ad has only an indirect relationship to the product or service. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and entertain as a primary outcome.