As twitter acquires periscope, live video streaming apps will transform social media marketing in the second half of 2015.

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If you are following the social media landscape, you may have noticed that Twitter recently acquired a live video streaming app known as Periscope. The start-up is still at beta stage but seems to point to the future of social media marketing. Looking at a more established rival, in an app called Meekart, which seems to have captured the minds and hearts of tech and social media enthusiasts.

The Journey to the live video streaming app space:

The world of communication and marketing within the mobile world has experienced a form of progressive change lately. We saw how it commenced with Instagram, bringing popularity and wide appeal to the use and sharing of images on mobile devices. So many marketers jumped on this trend, to interact with their customers, by bringing product images straight to their mobile phones. This led to Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in April 2012.

Fast-forward a few months, a new trend that involved micro and looping video was made popular with the birth of Vine in October 2012. Twitter sensed an opportunity and quickly acquired Vine. Facebook saw the opportunity in micro videos, which led her to incorporate this functionality to the Instagram app. While this whole transformation, acquisition and competition were going on a new trend emerged. This trend combined existing social media functionalities and with a twist. You might be wondering what this app and trend is, it is snapchat, which adopted the photo sharing ability of Instagram, but added text and disappearing functionality. When this proved successfully, it then adopted vine’s micro video capability but added the ability to have text and drawings.

The real birth of live video streaming app:

We are currently experiencing the birth of live video streaming app. In this year’s SXSW, Meerkat was the breakout app, as it is believed to allow users to live stream whatever they are doing. The app initially used twitter’s social graph, where the app automatically finds and links with your twitter followers using the app, which is believed to result to instant followers or fans (Twitter has now stopped Meerkat). Bloomberg reports that viewers cannot replay the videos which gives it the same unique feel as snapchat. The businesswire says this about the app: “the gamified viral nature of the tool, combined with the ease of use, makes this a marketer’s dream.”

Why live video streaming will be big in social media marketing in the second half of 2015

Below are some of the reasons why this trend will be big in the months ahead.

Creates the immediacy and urgency feel: Live video streams will help brands come in direct contact with their advocates and potential customers. It will also create the sense of urgency as customers will know if they miss out on the video they will have no chance of a replay. It is to this regard that David McGillivray of AYR, enthused that: “ Meekart makes that immediacy feel even more real. There’s nothing quite like knowing what you’re watching is happening- possibly across the other side of the country, or world- unedited before your eyes.”

Helps gauge brand engagement: Live video streaming will help markers evaluate how engaged their customers are. The metrics involves finding out how many customers tune in to watch a live stream and how many stay till the end.

Brings brands closer to the customers: Live video stream is set to enable brands to get closer to brands. A CEO of a company could schedule an interview with a customer that could be watched by other customers. This helps to bridge the gap between the brands executives and the customers.

Richer and undiluted customer insights: Live video streaming is not edited and provides the opportunity for a marketing department to ask customers about their views regarding a product or service. These views are live and emanates straight from the actual customers.

Eliminates the stress of cultivating the brand’s social identity: Meekart has been asked to stop using Twitter’s social graph. It is anticipated that Periscope will broadcast live from a brand’s twitter account. So marketers will not have to worry about growing their fan or followers before a live broadcast. They can broadcast to their existing twitter followers.

Helps promote transparency: Marketing and product executives could use live video streaming app to show how transparent and eco-friendly their production process is. They could shoot behind the scene shots of their production facilities and conditions of their workforce, to instil confidence in their customers.

Gamification and viral capability: By gamification, I mean the use of game mechanics or thinking in a non-game context. As companies look for an interesting and a more fun way of engaging their customers, live video stream will create that opportunity. Brands could use humour, props and unique characters to engage with their customers through video. These videos could go viral, if there is a high level of engagement.

Ease of use: These apps do not require any video shooting or editing experience- not being a journalist is not an obstacle. Any marketer that has a smartphone or tablet could easily use this app to interact with customers and prospects.

The second half of this year will see a surge in the use and popularity of live video apps. To add more strength to this prediction, just two weeks after launch, brands such as Starbucks, Perrier, Spotify, Everlane, Buzzfeed, TechCrunch and Bonobos’s AYR are all using the Meerkat app. So many more brands are expected to join this train in the second half of this year, bringing more focus on this form of social media marketing.

The live video streaming app could be used for a variety of events and the business wire expects this trend to be huge by stating this: “Expect to see marketers use it to live stream media- and consumer-focused events and interviews, showcase product use, create meet-and-greets with executives, interviews and even provide real-time behind the scene sneak peeks.” I believe this trend will be massive in the months ahead, do you think so?

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