How Periscope can improve B2B engagement.


 

We recently helped BT launch its B2B content on Periscope. 

The live-streaming revolution is officially upon us. And it’s not just for the likes of Zayn Malik and Kanye West; we think the medium has as much to offer businesses as it does pop-stars.
 
Believe it or not, it’s already been 16 months since live-streaming services took the app markets by storm. And after the first year, Periscope announced that 110 years’ worth of live video were watched on the platform every day.
 
The question is: Are you ready to embrace it?

Can Periscope work for B2B?

Okay, a lot of Periscope ‘content’ consists of confused expressions as users test it for the first time, action shots out of car windows, and tours of users’ cupboards. But does live-streaming also have a place in the business world?

Well… yes. 75% of marketers cite events and webinars as the best, most effective, B2B tools¹. And with Periscope, you can suddenly transform an event into an accompanying webinar – broadcasting it to a much wider audience and extending your reach and potential engagement exponentially. It’s a win-win situation. You can capture insights from the event and share them with your Periscope audience, live stream talks, and share behind-the-scenes footage at trade shows and conferences, putting your virtual audience front and centre.

How BT Business did it

We recently worked with BT to share their Connecting… London event, the final leg of a UK-wide tour about the power of networking. It wasn’t an easy journey: getting a client to test something new, let alone something LIVE, can be a challenge. But we’re always up for a challenge. 

We presented the pros and cons and dug out examples of other brands using the medium. There was a dearth of B2B examples, but plenty of B2C. Undeterred we came up with a plan to use Periscope at the event.

At Connecting… London, attendees were joined by four entrepreneurs who had used their connections to build successful companies:

  1. Michael Acton Smith: a serial entrepreneur, most famous as the CEO and founder of Mind Candy, and the man responsible for the Moshi Monsters craze.
     
  2. Tom Foster-Carter: co-founder of Curve, a service that replaces users’ existing credit and debit cards with a single card. 
     
  3. Tom Adeyoola: CEO and founder of Metail, a body-scanning technology designed to support online shoppers in the virtual fitting room. 
     
  4. Matt Johnson: CEO and head of R&D at Bare Conductive, which produces a range of electronics including innovative Electric Paint. 

Thanks to a fantastic selection of speakers – and the reputation the events have built up for being a great place for businesses to connect and network – all tickets were were quickly snapped up.

Great news. Except, of course, that the limited number of tickets, as well as geographical factors, meant that there was unmet demand for the event beyond those able to attend in person. We wanted to make the most of this demand. So the obvious solution for us was to open the event up to everyone via a live internet stream.

This gave us an opportunity to marry the event’s hashtag – #SeeWhatHappens – to meaningful content. 

Practical considerations: planning and testing

So we’d committed to ’scoping (verb. to transmit video and audio via Periscope). Now for the planning...

BT Business is a professional brand. This was a professional event. The broadcast had to reflect that. 

However, Periscope is a smartphone app. That suggested the obvious option of using the phone’s own camera to capture the video. Simple and convenient – but, be warned: there’s no way of knowing if the footage is good enough unless you test the audio visual quality from your smartphone in advance. 
If it works for you, great: you’re ready to roll. 

If it doesn’t, have a plan-B in place. We took the time to work with technical teams to test Periscope with an array of equipment. In the end we settled on a professional TV camera and audio set-up – plugged into an iPhone for broadcasting. 

Three times the expected engagement

As this was the first time BT had used Periscope, and they had no established following on the platform, our expectations for our extended audience were limited. And as it was a breakfast event, most of our Periscope audience would have been in the office.

Despite this, engagement via Periscope was actually three times what we projected. 

Make your content work harder

Today, too much B2B content is not used to its full potential. Our advice: make the most out of the content you’ve already got with the variety of media available to you.

Periscope is just one of the great tools available for this. Got an event coming up? Why not share what’s going on?

-   Periscope the event live. 
-   #Save the broadcast and make highlight clips to share on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. 
-   Share images from the event. 
-   Write up a few take-away blogs. 
-   Publish a SlideShare of these takeaways and share it on LinkedIn.

Live-streaming is a great addition to an already rich content line-up. And is a relatively quick and painless way to introduce video to your artillery. 

The future of live-streaming

What’s next for live-streaming for B2B?

  1. High growth. Live-streaming is on the up. With tools like Periscope finding new advocates in B2B, brands’ content budgets are set to grow too.
  2. Personal authority goes digital. The choice of brand spokespeople was once based solely on in-person charisma. In the live-streaming age, it will be equally important how well you come across on camera. 
  3. User-generated content. Live streaming apps have lowered the production-quality benchmark for broadcasting, and with this the overheads,  encouraging users from all walks of life to take up the broadcasting gauntlet. Expect a new generation of social influencers, with a different perspective on things. Including, if you’re up to it, your brand. 

Wherever it takes you in the future, your B2B live-streaming needs to be accessible, insightful, and – perhaps most importantly – useful. Current top-tier live-streaming options Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook Live each have different strengths, so make sure you’ve done your homework before pressing the button.  
Live-streaming could be the boost your content strategy needs. Interested? Let’s talk. 

¹Content Marketing Institute 2016