Real-time video apps have been dominating the headlines among marketers lately. Meerkat shot to the top due to its marketing efforts and subsequent attention at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX, this year. Just as Meerkat was hitting its stride, Twitter blocked the real-time video app’s automatic tweet function—a move whose motive soon became clear when Twitter announced the launch of its own real-time video app Periscope. Eventually, Twitter lifted the block, but not without creating a healthy rivalry with its competitor.
Both Meerkat and Periscope offer similar capabilities to broadcast video live via social media. It’s that capability that makes both apps perfect for an event like SXSW where the action is being followed across the nation.
Brands have been quick to capitalize on the new apps’ buzz, incorporating Meerkat or Periscope into their marketing strategy.
The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was one of the first celebrities to utilize Meerkat. The late night personality broadcast himself live practicing his opening monologue prior to that night’s airing of the talk show. According to one Twitter user, 3,000 other followers tuned in for the Meerkat broadcast.
Always the innovator and fan favorite on social media, Starbucks didn’t waste any time trying out Meerkat. The Seattle-based coffee chain offered a live tour of its Starbucks Roastery to Twitter followers using the real-time video app.
Red Bull—another brand that is usually quick to adopt new social platforms—was one of the first to test out Meerkat. The company delivered live-streaming action of qualifiers for the Red Bull Double Pipe snowboard competition in Aspen, CO.
Music performances seem like a perfect fit for a live video app, so naturally Spotify has hosted several performances on Periscope. The streaming site’s first impromptu jam session with The Villagers gathered around 380 live viewers and 1,500 “hearts”—a sign of positivity on Periscope similar to a “like” on Facebook or a “favorite” on Twitter.
Soft drink brand Mountain Dew utilized the Periscope app as a way to reward followers for their engagement. Its three-minute live-stream showcased a table full of Mountain Dew-branded gear and a chalkboard drawing of the word “swag.” Some followers tuning in were rewarded with Mountain Dew swag as a thank you for being engaged.
GE has proven to be comfortable with innovation and experimentation. That quality has expanded to its social media presence, including a few trials with the Periscope app. The brand utilized the live-video feed to broadcast behind-the-scenes Star Talk Radio interviews with scientists Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye.