What is Periscope and How Are Businesses Using It?

October 20, 2015

Periscope is a live steaming video app that came out earlier this year with the support of its parent company, Twitter. Plenty of people took notice of the new app; some called it yet another flavor of the month social app. But others of us dove in and discovered what marketers could use the new technology for. Periscope boasts over 10,000,000 users, more than that many individual posts, and impressions of well over 100 billion (as of August 19, 2015) according to Salesforce.

It’s been a few months since Periscope’s debut so here are some of the brands that are using the new app to its full potential and what we can learn from them.

Red Bull

Red Bull is known for pushing the limits of their content marketing and they are utilizing Periscope exactly for that. They are bringing together the kind of thrill-seeking, sports-loving, adrenaline junkies who make up their core audience to engage in their entertaining community through live streaming of their live events that they host around the world.


Spotify, the popular music-streaming service has also joined the live-streaming video app. Shortly after joining Periscope, Spotify streamed a behind-the-scenes video with Conor O’Brien from the Villagers. Josh Karph, Spotify’s Global Director of Social Marketing, said, “We had 380 or so live viewers and about 1,500 hearts on the stream," Karph says. "On the replay we had another 200 or so. We’re still looking at how the replay streams work and how quickly they get updated, but it looks like the total is about 450 or 500 people who viewed it.”

Since then they have broadcasted exclusive performances of guest artists they have visiting on a regular basis. People have also tuned in for product updates, such as the announcement of Spotify’s mood-based playlists and automatic song selection in May.

DKNY and Target

We’re combining these two retail giants to show how Periscope can be used in the fashion industry. DKNY offered a glimpse behind the runways and into the closets of their models through their DKNY PR Girl Periscope account. While Target offers new product line teasers with interviews from designers and other connected to popular products.

How Can Your Business Use Periscope?

While big brands will always get more attention, there is plenty of opportunity for small to medium businesses to create your own niche and drive engagement by using Periscope. Here are some ideas:

1. New Product Release – People are always drawn to novelty. Showcase a product in anticipation of a release date, do a live unboxing or provide a firsthand look at beta testing and prototypes.

2. Live Q&A – This type of Q&A would be perfect for more complex fields where people may not have the full understanding of your products of services. You can use these opportunities to humanize your brand, address pertinent issues and solve problems. Having a regular Q&A session can lead to regular engagement and feedback from your customers.

3. Celebrity Takeover – Even though your business may not have access to a celebrity, you can use a local celebrity such as a mayor or local expert to come on and speak. You could even create your own “guru” for your business to do a Periscope Takeover and show customers some tips and tricks for your products or services.

4. Behind the Scenes – As you may have been able to tell from the big brands, behind-the-scenes streaming is very popular. Give a factory or office tour, show some teasers of your process, and get people engaged with your business.

5. Build Your Twitter – One of the biggest advantages of using Periscope over other streaming apps is the ability to grow your Twitter following. While Periscope may not stay forever, growing your audience on multiple channels can help you communicate with your audience better down the line.

Now is the time to start experimenting with Periscope if you want to test if it’s a good fit for your business. Make sure you’re not doing it just to do it. But at the same time, don’t assume live streaming isn’t right for your brand. Consider how Periscope could humanize your brand through fun, interesting, and entertaining glimpses into your world.

Need help with your Digital marketing or social media strategy? Contact Sales & Marketing Technologies to discover new possibilities to promote your brand and increase revenue through online marketing channels.

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