When Periscope launched at the end of March, it was pitched as an improvement over the static YouTube commenting feature. Instead of a passive experience where audiences posted comments and video creators checked and responded to feedback at their leisure, Periscope was a dynamic environment, allowing live broadcasts where viewers could comment, ask questions and join in the dialogue in real-time. Viewers send hearts as a form of “virtual applause” and creators receive “push notifications” as new viewers join, which is the equivalent of watching more people walk into the room and sit down for a presentation.
The big question, of course, is: SO WHAT? After all, live streaming is nothing new; it’s been around for the better part of a decade. However, as Northern Lights PR from the UK points out, the audience for live streaming is suddenly much larger due to widespread adoption of smartphones, social media is part of our daily lives now, and Periscope was designed and integrated into the Twitter platform for easy access to your contacts there. Many a marketer head spins when thinking about the possible applications for such a tool. Thankfully, we’ve boiled down eight of the most effective ways companies are using Periscope to boost sales conversions.
8 Ways to Use Periscope to Drives More Sales
1. Periscope Product Launches
Generate buzz for a new product (or the launch of exciting new product features) via Periscope. Kissmetrics reports that viewers are “anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy” after watching a product video. They added that housewares company StacksAndStacks.com saw a 144% increase in sales after people watched their product videos. Likewise, Advanced Auto Parts calculated that video viewers spent twice as long on their site and viewed twice as many pages as those who did not watch videos. You may not have millions of people tuning in like Apple, but live streaming is still a great way to capture the energy and excitement of a live demonstration.
2. Periscope Product Demos & Tutorials
Periscope is an ideal platform to show people exactly how your product works. As one digital marketing consultant put it, Periscope broadcasts seem more rough and unrehearsed, which gives “the impression that your product really is that easy to use.” This facet is especially important if you’re marketing a high-tech product. For instance, PrecisionHawk unmanned drones used Periscope to show off a live-flight demo and conduct on-site interviews with event attendees. The great thing about live demoing is that you have the opportunity to answer questions, show an instant replay and overcome potential buyer objects right away to ensure you make the best first impression.
Often times, when watching a YouTube tutorial for something particularly complex, the presenter moves just a little too fast and we have questions along the way. A Periscope broadcast would give us the opportunity to ask to see a particular step again or ask for more information. You can imagine the applications for a DIY craft or home renovation project, cooking up a gourmet recipe, learning a new software program, or troubleshooting a tech-related problem. Not only helpful, these live tutorials then also serve to show off your expertise and build trust with your audience.
3. Q&A Sessions on Periscope
Q&A sessions accomplish several initiatives that lead to increased sales. First, it builds trust. People like doing business with responsive companies run by experts in their fields and what better way to show that you can think on your toes than to do it in real-time? Periscope Q&A sessions are unscripted and dynamic.
Secondly, buyers expect companies to be “reachable” and “responsive” to their needs via social media channels, and there is no better way to connect to the concerns of your constituents than to address their questions directly in a “town hall forum” type setting.
Thirdly, it gives people a face to put with the company, as Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes explains. “Because the video is live, there’s nowhere to hide and really no room for the standard corporate spin and empty marketing phrases,” he says. “Live streaming is real and raw. This kind of vulnerability might not appeal to everyone, but it’s an excellent way to build community and humanize a brand.”
4. Live Tours
Live tours are something we really push for our real estate clients, whether you’re a builder or an agent. Certain products are best sold through experience. Nothing beats an in-person live walk-through, but in this busy and tech-savvy age, consumers are looking for ways to save time. Of course, live virtual tours also save YOU time and money!
360 Realty Tampa is one such company that broadcasts open houses to reach more potential buyers. “Many times viewers are on the fence about a property and would like to see it prior to traveling. The listing is then placed on YouTube until the property is sold,” explains the company’s marketing rep .
Of course, real estate is not the only industry where live tours boost sales. Healthcare is another great field where you can take parents-to-be on a tour of your maternity ward, show prospective clients your state-of-the-art sports medicine clinic, or give existing customers a sneak peek of the new renovations done at your office. Restaurants, schools, spas, fitness studios , new retail shops — pretty much anywhere you want people to come and do business lends itself to a Periscope live tour.
Candid, informal looks at your company’s day-to-day operations are surprisingly interesting to people, as evidenced by the success of reality TV programming. People love feeling connected and given a special insider glimpse. These videos work to humanize your brand and engage audiences with the story and culture of your firm. Emily Schuman from Roost self-storage and parking company says they use Periscope for “things like chats with our CEO, live talks that our COO gave at 500 Startups, and sometimes just fun things we do around the office.”
Periscope is also a creative platform to show consumers how products are made in real-time, which emphasizes quality and strengthens trust in the brand. We can imagine this setup working really well for brewing companies, restaurants, clothing manufacturers, mattress firms, film sets, TV shows, food manufacturers, and a wide range of other businesses that pride themselves on sourcing of materials or quality production.
6. Announce Exclusive Promotional Deals on Periscope
People LOVE giveaways. Since 52% of people follow a brand on Twitter for the special offers and promotions , Periscope can be a great way to announce coupon codes, percent-off discounts, 2-for-1 sales, free samples, contests and other promotional offers to your Twitter followers. Offering special real-time deals for your Periscope viewers provides an incentive for people to tune-in, while also providing incentive to buy NOW, much like the infomercials of yesteryear.
For instance, Taco Bell used Periscope to hold a mock press conference and invite their fans out for a free “Biscuit Taco” on Cinco de Mayo. Similarly, early adopter Doritos charted new territory with their #DoritosRoulette campaign, which gave Periscope stream viewers a chance to win over $50,000 in prizes , including tablets, longboard skateboards, camcorders, turntables, speaker systems, sunglasses, noise-canceling headphones, robots and more. Reportedly, more than 15,000 people tuned in!
7. Acquire Sales Data
Now that Periscope has acquired 4Tree, a Big Data solution company, you can be rest assured the marketing insights for your Periscope broadcasts are soon to follow. The Periscope platform is expected to ultimately help your sales performance by offering valuable insights into such details like “next-product-to-buy recommendations” and “product pricing” feedback in real-time.
Brian Elliott, CEO of PeriscopeTM, stated in a press release : “Companies are always seeking a better understanding of how customers make purchasing decisions with the range of products, prices and promotions available to them. 4tree allows us to integrate customer data at scale and generate actionable insights fast enough to enable dynamic assortment, pricing and promotions.”
8. Periscope Virtual Parties & Events
Virtual Facebook parties have been a hit for years. “It’s a great way to spend some time with co-workers in a different way,” explains Michael Crom from the Dale Carnegie Institute. From a sales standpoint, you can also use parties to build loyalty. Did one of your customers just have a birthday, retire, get a big promotion, have a child or grand-baby, or get back from vacation? Invite your high rolling clients to a private Periscope session to sing “Happy Birthday” or hold an office celebration in their honor. Showing a little bit of love keeps your brand front and center in buyers’ minds and can drive referral traffic as well.
A Periscope party can be a new way to connect with prospects, particularly when potential buyers are spread far and wide. For instance, Event organizer StartupPop.com hosted an event in Boca Raton, Florida and allowed users from elsewhere the opportunity to join in live with Periscope. At the event, 10 companies pitched their ideas in front of a panel of investors (think “Shark Tank” ). “We had over 100 viewers and people who could not make it watch,” said founder Dan Gudema .