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Up Periscope: Live-streaming Video for your Social Marketing Toolbox

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by Terry Doherty —

see alsoAccording to several reports I read, video is predicted to be the content of choice by 2017. YouTube exploded on the scene ten years ago, giving all of us an opportunity to upload and share videos online.

In that decade, we’ve gone from “canned,” uploaded video to live video streaming. Mobile live streaming is growing faster than any other piece of the social media landscape ever has. Just look at the “See also” list from the Periscope App Wikipedia definition.

Periscope is the big kid on the block. It came on scene just after Meerkat, but with a bigger splash: Twitter bought the company before it could launch.

Sidebar: Based on the research for this article, many of the benefits and limitations described here could apply to any live streaming platform.


PERISCOPE – www.periscope.tv
verbs: Scope and scoping
Users: Anyone who owns an iOS or Android smart device.
Launched: March 2015


  • An App for live-streaming video.
  • A mobile App for watching and rating video.
  • An apparatus consisting of a tube attached to a set of mirrors or prisms, by which an observer can see things that are otherwise out of sight.

That last definition may seem out of place, but it is not. The foundation of Periscope app is to “see the world through someone else’s eyes,” which is what a periscope does.


Periscope is free App for your smartphone. Since you already carry it around with you everywhere, Periscope makes it very easy for you to get into the video game! Opportunities that we once looked at as “photo ops” before can now be created and shared instantly with video. Live video!

  • Film some testimonials from readers / fans during a book signing.
  • Live stream the cover reveal for an upcoming release.
  • Share that moment when your books arrive and you’re opening the box.
  • Host a Q&A with a fellow author in real time.
  • Broadcast a series of teases as trailers for your soon-to-be-released book.
  • Invite people to a book signing or presentation, just as you’re walking in the door.
  • Go behind the scenes and capture your illustrator at work on sketches for your upcoming book.

Periscope-Image-1Your smartphone is the camera, but the video can be viewed on multiple platforms: a mobile device (via the App), or a laptop or desktop computer (via Periscope’s website).

Periscope can help you reach and engage with new audiences, real time. Users (nearly 2 million each day) visit Periscope to “explore the world through someone else’s eyes.” Sometimes they’re looking to see what’s happening in their neighborhood; sometimes they might want to see what other people are reading. You can help with that!

Scopers share ‘hearts’ when they like something. Not just one heart (like Twitter), but many hearts. “A 3-minute broadcast can yield hundreds of hearts from just a few viewers” Business Insider described it as a “round of applause” from viewers to broadcasters.

Just like other social marketing, when done right it is more than “about me.” Broadcasting is a catalyst for Periscope. It can (and has) inspired conversations. It is about building community, and it offers another way to build trust with your audience.

What is particularly beneficial for marketing Scopers is that content is easily repurposed. In addition to live streaming content, you can also record events and replay those videos elsewhere. [photo credit: Twitter]

    • Repurpose a Q&A about book marketing as a podcast.
    • Add shorter Scopes to your media kit, newsletters, and pitch emails to reviewers.
    • Upload Scopes to your Facebook page or schedule tweets with recent content.

Not only does being able to re-use content this save time, it allows you to cross-promote on different platforms and drive potential customers to where you want the most traffic.


One word: Copyright! Live streaming from the corner coffee shop while the new Adele song is playing in the background is a no-no. The same goes for streaming a seminar presentation or live performance. You need permission. Between late March and June 2015, Periscope received more than 1,400 copyright takedown notices.

Although the activity is live and looks spontaneous, executing that event is going to take planning and attention to detail. In the beginning, it may help to have a partner who can be an extra set of eyes and ears.

Like every other type of social marketing, it is going to take some time not only to create but also figure out what kinds of Scopes get the most engagement. That means (more) trial and error, which most of us have already done with other social platforms.

The good news is that the results of those other trials can save you time with Periscope. Start with your Twitter audience. When are they online? When do they engage with you the most? Use that data as a starting point.

More good news: Periscope lets you restrict who can see a video, and lets you delete your live stream at any time. Those are very helpful aspects of the App while you’re still figuring it out.

One of the universal downsides of social media is time. It moves quickly with Periscope, too. The Periscope App keeps your video available for 24 hours. If you want to repurpose the live-stream video from your presentation this morning, you’ll need to spend some time in “post production” saving it for the future tonight.


Sales can be a secondary goal, but your Periscope strategy should not be built on that foundation.

There are myriad opportunities for creative marketing with live-streaming video. For those who struggle with blogging or other forms of continually updating your fan base, Periscope offers a natural storytelling medium that may be a better fit for you.

Last but not least, live streaming can add authenticity to who you are and what you do. First, there is no Photoshop for live content (yet). More importantly, people can connect to the sounds and emotions in your voice, not a still image. Hearing you read a poem you’ve written or an excerpt from your book can be powerful and persuasive.

  • Twitter bought Periscope while it was still in development.
  • In its first four months, 10 million people registered Periscope accounts. [It took Facebook two years to reach 6 million.]
  • There are nearly 2 million daily, active users.
  • Users watch 40 years of video every day … in one or more of 27 languages.

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