Meerkat, Periscope and the Content Marketer

By now you’ve certainly heard of Meerkat, a new technology that allows you to livestream video content over Twitter. It sounds fun, and it is! There’s also Periscope, Twitter’s own livestream app.

At Brandpoint, we first tried Meerkat last week when our social media team Meerkated the final round of our first annual company foosball tournament so that employees working at home that day, along with a some interested clients, could see the a action live. It was a good test.

There’s every reason to like Meerkat and Periscope as apps. They’re easy to set up (we did it in about three minutes). All you need is a modern Smartphone to stream (the apps do the rest). The integration with Twitter is native for Persicope, or a breeze (currently that is the only medium of choice for streaming Meerkat content).

It’s funny, though, that the basic play Meerkat and Periscope offer – a live view of an event or activity happening right now – is really just a new generation of a great old idea: the live webcam started in the 1990s. The difference, of course, is that with today’s mobile technology you don’t have to be chained to your PC to see what’s happening somewhere else.

And you can bet that Meerkat and Periscope are going to be used for more than showing what the weather’s doing where you’re going, or how those eagle chicks in the nest are doing.

But the question is: Where’s the relevance for content marketers? Are Meerkat and Periscope viable and productive tools for helping get your message out? Three considerations come to mind.

Timing

Whether your audience is B2B or B2C, people are busy in today’s busy world. You can announce, promote and play up a livestream event … but is everybody going to be able to log on to Twitter and watch? Fortunately, you can save a Meerkat or Periscope for on-demand viewing later. But then you might as well just use YouTube.

Platform

Currently, Meerkat is only viewable on Twitter. As of course, is Periscope. If you’re going to tie an app to one platform, Twitter’s a pretty good one to do it with. But any livestream app will have to work across media – specifically, on Facebook, but also other social platforms – to be successfully adopted.

Messaging

What’s so important that you have to livestream it? That’s not a smart-aleck question at all. But it is what you have to ask yourself if you’re going to turn Meerkating or Periscoping into more than just something fun to do. Do you have something newsworthy or time-sensitive to say? Meerkat or Periscope may be the answer. But does your webinar need to be on Meerkat for instance? It could be as a side stream, but I wouldn’t give up the base platform.

Like any hot new apps, what Meerkat and Periscope will be used for is still up in the air – especially among marketers. The chief value for content folks like you and me may be creating fun content of newsworthy and timely value on the spot, and having a recording of it for on-demand viewing later.

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