In today’s digital age, it seems that every day there’s another great app or social platform that offers some value to brands. Digital is here to stay, as is mobile. Every brand, big or small, needs to accept the new reality. Engaging people needs to be optimized for mobile.
The latest trend in the wave of mobile is live video broadcasting, or live streaming. The two main competitors are Israeli-founded, Meerkat and Twitter-backed Periscope – it’s the battle of David and Goliath. Either platform offers live streaming using Twitter followers as the main source of reach. Of course, as with every new shiny app, the question on everyone’s lips is: will this be just another fad, or a key content option for kiruv and Jewish outreach?
History of Live Streaming
A bit of history of may shed some light as to what makes these new apps so interesting. Live streaming is not a new concept. A few platforms have been around for a few years but they never really caught on because of initial networking hurdles. Now that technology and the social media climate have improved, live streaming is more appealing as follows:
Functionality. People are more social media-based these days. Initially, the ‘classic’ video platforms were good, but they forced people to add another network and that was not a recipe for success. Today, people have an appetite for simplicity, making any network that integrates with social platforms ideal.
Privacy. People are more comfortable sharing their lives online, making live streaming more popular. In a social world characterized by constant visibility, people post first rather than enjoying the moment.
Timing. Periscope and Meerkat were launched at the right time. Now they have the potential to be critical components in the next generation of self-publicity, offering new engagement channels for brand communication and increasing reach with new consumers.
Technology. Today, smartphones are equipped with HD video, autofocus and zoom along with many other features that make a stronger case for video streaming. With mobile devices using 4G connectivity and the greater availability of improved Wi-Fi service, we have access to faster and better quality streaming, which was previously a barrier for live video broadcasting companies.
Brands Doing Streaming Well
So should all kiruv organizations jump on to live streaming? It’s a bit too early to really see what brands are really rocking this medium. Two good examples are ToronotPizza and Applebees. These are restaurants giving a unique angle to a brand – they’re highlighting the face to face, live interaction with the consumer, regardless of location.
So Which App Is Better for Brands?
The answer is live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope are making a good arguments why they should be integrated into an overall digital strategy (read: they are not just a fad). Like all apps and social media platforms, the key is strategy and comfort. Look at the companies and brands that are using these platforms like and publish on both Meerkat and Periscope!
3 Tips for Using Meerkat or Periscope
Like all digital content, using Periscope and Meerkat means adhering to basic digital sharing guidelines. Regardless of which app you choose, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
1. Rehearse. Test all of your equipment beforehand, including the lighting and audio. For longer streams, find a cell phone mount or other means to avoid holding the mobile phone. Let the speakers run their lines before going live to ensure smooth content.
2. Strategy. Like any digital marketing, the key is being prepared and knowing the goals before hitting the record button. Otherwise it’s going to fail. Keep a schedule and stick to it.
3. Waivers. While featuring the local team is great, the best content is when you interview or include other people. Just make sure that they agree and sign a release form that gives you permission to publicly display their content.
While David and Goliath continue to battle in the digital Ella Valley, live streaming is definitely something to consider for your organization for the new school year.
Back to you: Has anyone tried either live streaming apps? Which app looks better?
Mordecai Holtz is the Co-CEO of Blue Thread Marketing a boutique digital marketing firm working with brands from startups to cities. Prior to Blue Thread, Mordecai worked for several kiruv organizations to oversee their Israel trips and overall operations.