The latest social media networks — Periscope and Meerkat — take video to the next level with live streaming services. Many business owners and managers initially think, “it’s cool, but I can’t use this for my business’s online marketing.” However, in reality live streaming video services are a great way for businesses to reach an audience that is unable to interact with you in person.

While video marketing is often intimidating for small businesses, live streaming for business is a good way to dip your toes in the water before jumping in. Live streaming video networks don’t require you to have any professional filming equipment to create interesting videos that others find interesting — all you need is a smartphone or tablet.

Keep reading for ideas and easy ways to market your business to online consumers by using live streaming.


Share events in real-time

Sharing events in real-time with your online community will increase the connection they feel to your business. The ability to attend a live event that your business video streams adds a human element to your brand and makes people feel like they are actually part of the event. Yes, you read that right, using live video streaming services will make your online community a part of your event!

Live streaming video services have a similar effect as live tweeting at an event, except your audience can ask questions and make comments throughout the video (and you can respond to them).

Rick Hernandez, a realtor for Bohemian Realty in New York City, is a great example of how a business can use live streaming video services for an event and connect with a larger audience. Hernadez has seen great results using Periscope for business because it helps him reach buyers and renters by hosting virtual open houses, or “ScOpen Houses” as he likes to call them.

The New York City real estate market is very competitive, both for residents and real estate companies. To give his real estate company and listings a competitive edge, Hernandez’s ScOpen House brings his product (an apartment) to clients so that they don’t have to physically be at the apartment to take a tour. He walks through different aspects of the homes and answers questions along the way.

Hernandez’s Periscope videos are a shining example of how to make a simple Periscope that gets results. Using live streaming videos has opened up Hernandez’s real estate business to a larger audience who might not be able to take time off work or who live out of town and are looking to move to New York City.

What’s even better is that once Hernadez’s ScOpen House is over, the content of the video doesn’t just disappear — he can continue sharing his ScOpen House, garnering even more interest in his properties. Hernandez also uses hashtags very effectively, amplifying his Periscope marketing strategy by reaching people searching on those keywords.

You don’t have to be a real estate company to use live streaming video for your local business. A hairdresser may show a cutting or dying technique on a client (with their permission), answering questions and giving tips along the way. A car dealership could show the latest cars on their lot, talking about the features of each and including a deal they are running.

Whatever type of event you choose, the fact remains that live streaming businesses reach more people online and create stronger connections by humanizing a business.


Go behind the scenes

Don’t have an “event” to share?

Show people things they never get to see — something behind the scenes!

There is a reason why the TV show “How It’s Made?” is so popular: people are fascinated by going behind the scenes (where they aren’t normally allowed) and learning what goes into the creation of a product/service. Using live streaming video is your chance to show them.

For example, a local retailer could show all the work that goes into creating floor displays or what the back room actually looks like (versus what customers think is back there). A restaurant could show all the before preparation that is done before they actually open for the day — or what is done before one plate is served.

Live streaming is a great way to give customers a behind the scene look at something they normally wouldn’t be able to access, while also adding another item you can recycle on your social media content calendar.


Drive repeat views with “How to’s”

If you’re still not sure how a business can use Periscope and Meerkat, remember that every business has an area of expertise and is the master of a product/service. A “How to” guide is a great place to start for your first video when using Periscope or Meerkat for business.

Unlike a YouTube video that may require extra production help to create and market online, live video streaming makes your business more accessible to consumers so you can create more personal relationships. Live streaming videos put less value on a fantastically produced video and more value on your actual knowledge, making it one of the best ways to grow a small business.

Any local business can share their knowledge in a “How to” video that is live streamed on social media networks. A bar can share a tip on how to make a specialty drink, a general contractor can give a quick tutorial on how to put a shelf up by yourself and, if you don’t have an office, “homepreneurs” can add a little fun to their social media voice by showcasing their coworkers (the kiddos or fido).

While certain activities may seem minor to you, consumers will find them valuable. If someone has plans to do a live streaming video of how to replace a dryer belt, I would definitely join because I need to do that — and I have no idea how!


Product demos and tutorials

Along the same lines as “How to” videos, giving your audience a demo of your product is a great way to draw in viewers who need more guidance than just a the standard tutorial photo and website copy.

By giving a demo of your product on a real-time video broadcast, you will show customers exactly how to use it correctly. In addition, the unrehearsed and “real” aspect of Periscope and Meerkat will give viewers the impression that your product is really easy to use.

For high tech and niche businesses, showing potential clients how easy your product is to use is an important part of the sales process. By using live streaming video services, you can demonstrate the product’s ease of use and let your client witness how the technology works in real-time via a product demo.

For example, a software startup that creates technology for oil and gas companies to optimize energy production can use live streaming video services to give potential clients live tutorials or even hold training sessions for existing ones. Teaching someone something of value is a sure-fire way to position your business as an industry expert.


Live Q&A sessions

Periscope and Meerkat both offer businesses a convenient and simple way to talk to customers by hosting live Q&A sessions — while also positioning your company as an expert.

The ability to think quickly on your feet, a fundamental aspect of live streaming videos, will show customers that your knowledge is better than any customer support webpage or pre-recorded video. If your pre-recorded videos get a lot of traction on sites like Facebook and YouTube, you can always break down your live streaming video into chunks and upload them to different sites.

Expand your local business to a new social network and start sharing your expertise (and content) in a slightly different way, by live video streaming your business events, background or expertise. Not only will this help you connect with a community online, it gives you a chance to have continued visual content available online to share on social media and on your website.

Start integrating Periscope or Meerkat into your social media strategy by scheduling campaigns around each video before and after they are live-streamed through Vivial Social. Be able to not only schedule articles by respond to comments and replies easily and quickly–no matter the social network. Check out Vivial Social today.

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