It’s unlikely to have escaped your notice but in the last few years, video has become a staple of social media. Live streaming video is a small but rapidly growing segment this online video revolution and there can be no doubt Periscope stands as the Twitter or Facebook of its moment.

In this article I want to look at what Periscope is, how it works before going on to explore some tactics to help digital marketers make the most out of it.

What exactly is Periscope?

Developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein before being acquired by Twitter in 2015, Periscope is a mobile live streaming app for iOS and Android.

Twitter in fact purchased the app a full month prior to its official launch, and just 4 months later it was clear live streaming was taking off and Periscope was riding the wave, with more than 10 million accounts active and an astonishing 40 years’ worth of live video broadcasts being watched every day.

A year after launch the numbers were even more impressive, with 40 years jumping to 110 years’ worth of daily viewing and more than 200 million videos broadcast. There can have been no doubt in the minds’ of Twitter’s executives that this was a savvy purchase.

How it Works

Periscope is simple to set up and use, easily allowing you to broadcast live from anywhere. In some way it’s like having your own TV station, except you have total editorial control over the live content that goes out on it. The only stark difference is that you are able choose to make your video messages public or private whenever you broadcast. This allows the app to effectively double up as a more private communication tool, not dissimilar to Skype.

When you broadcast a public live video it’s viewable by any Periscope user. Users can interact by “liking” your broadcast, commenting, and sharing your URL on Twitter. Once you’ve finished broadcasting, viewers can replay your video for 24 hours, after which it’s no longer available on Periscope. The app does, however, save your videos to your mobile device, so they’re still available to use. So, a single Periscope video has a lot of marketing potential.

How can You Use Periscope in Marketing?

Around 2 million people use Periscope daily, and that’s enough to provide some pretty significant potential for grabbing a sizeable audience. Periscope provides the opportunity to connect with an audience like never before. Not only can you interact with your audience in real time, they can watch you as you’re doing it.

This unique aspect of live streaming means that it’s easily one of the most engaging forms of online interaction, giving you an inherent audience connection and a big authenticity boost.

But what exactly can Periscope be used for from a marketing or promotional point of view? Let’s have a look at some popular uses:

  • Make announcements

The live aspect of Periscope makes it perfect for announcing new products or services, competitions and giveaways, as well as other kinds of news. This can help you drive traffic to a website and boost brand recognition and engagement.

  • Go behind the scenes

Giving your audience a peek behind the scenes is fantastic for boosting interest and engagement. People who enjoy your products will love seeing how they’re made, or “meeting” product designers. The off-the-cuff and intimate feel of these kinds of broadcasts can really help to humanise your brand.

  • Generate buzz at live events

The immediacy of live broadcasting lends an air of excitement that’s perfect for generating interest. This is one of the reasons live streaming has really taken off as a means of showcasing brands at industry events. Live streaming helps you reach people who are interested but unable to attend, so it’s great for a wide variety of events, including trade shows and exhibitions as well as product launches and industry parties.

Maximise your Periscope Potential

How can you use that potential to best effect? Like most marketing efforts, being successful on Periscope is about through planning, an effective activation strategy and establishing how you will measure and determine success. Let’s look at some key marketing fundamentals when working with Periscope.

  1. Define your goals. Whether it’s to boost brand recognition, or drive traffic to other platforms or to a website, this essential first step will help you determine how you want to use Periscope.
  1. Analyse your competitors.Check out what your competition is doing on Periscope; what they’re posting and how often. There are a lot of brands and businesses who are really reaping the benefits of Periscope now the popularity of live streaming is growing. Find out who they are and study them.
  1. Find the gaps.How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Maybe they’re missing something essential in the content they provide, or you can create stylistic differences in your own material that will help you stand out.
  1. Build a community.Like more conventional social media platforms, building a strong community is vital for Periscope success. Develop your community by following industry influencers and competitors, interacting with other users, and engaging with your audience. Don’t forget to leverage other social media accounts to this end. And remember to keep reminding your existing Facebook or Twitter audiences that they can follow you on Periscope too.
  1. Be consistent. Like all social media platforms, it’s important to engage with your audience on a regular basis, to ensure that you can hold their interest. Your broadcasting schedule doesn’t have to be overly frequent, but it does need to be regular and reliable.

Evelyn Timson

Evelyn Timson


Evelyn Timson, Managing Director at Aspect Film and Video