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Caution urged on livestreaming

News, 26 May 2015

LONDON: Marketers need to avoid rushing into the use of new livestreaming video apps such as Periscope and Meerkat and carefully consider what it is they are trying to achieve as well as how they might work with a new generation of influencers.

A new Warc Trends Snapshot, Livestreaming apps – the value of Periscope and Meerkat for brands, examines the rapid rise of unedited content broadcasting via mobile and how brands can best address yet another new platform.

In the few months since these two apps debuted several high-profile brands have leapt on board with differing degrees of success.

The invitation extended to consumers from paint manufacturer Glidden to watch paint dry may have been a good one-off joke that worked because of the platform's novelty but, as is often the case in content marketing, drinks brand Red Bull had a rather more pertinent approach which helped reinforce its core proposition.

It was active on Meerkat by March 11, streaming trials from its Double Pipe snowboarding competition in Aspen, Colorado – and eliciting an enthusiastic user response.

And the following month, several automakers, including smart, Jaguar, Nissan and Toyota, were using these apps to launch new vehicles at the New York Auto Show.

Anna Francis, content manager at MySocialAgency, emphasised the need for meticulous planning and rehearsal. "They [brands] shouldn't dive in head first without developing a clear strategy as to how they can benefit from using the platforms," she said.

"They need to take time to decide what content will be streamed, and most importantly, rehearse it, in order to iron out any potential problems that may occur during a live video session with an audience."

Toby Phillips, a digital strategist at Social@Ogilvy, concurred, adding that brands ought to cultivate a consistent "face" or "personality" on these properties, whether that was one spokesperson or a group of employees that invite consumers into a live company event, or even an outside influencer with whom the brand co-produces a livestream.

"We'll see more 'Periscope celebrities' emerge – just like we saw Vine and YouTube influencers get big," Phillips predicted. "On the brand-side, I suspect we'll see a lot of sponsorships of livestreams in conjunction with influencers.

Data sourced from Warc