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Periscope: Small Business Marketing’s Secret Weapon?

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Periscope: Small Business Marketing’s Secret Weapon?

2015 is undoubtedly the year of the live stream. Since the year rolled in we’ve seen the advent, adoption and advocation of platforms such as Meerkat, Periscope and, more recently, Blab by some of the biggest social influencers in the world.

There’s no doubt that each of these three platforms are still in their early days and many of us using live streaming apps are, without a doubt, still in the early adopter minority.

Yet there's no disputing that we’re on the edge of a live streaming revolution.

Or should that be evolution?

As a small business owner, I’ve made the decision that I'm going to use Blab & Periscope as part of my small business marketing, and I’ve decided to focus on these wholeheartedly; integrating them into my own content marketing mix.

“Why Should I Care About Blab or Periscope for My Small Business?”

Download the free Blab & Periscope for Small Business infographicThe barrier to creating high-quality video content is continually moving lower and lower with each new smartphone release, and creating small business marketing content using these devices certainly isn’t too new (hey, in tech terms anyway!).

Brands have been creating content using Instagram, Vine and Snapchat for a long time now, with the celebrity endorsement / personal branding industry having boomed thanks to these these “snapshots” of quality, engaging content.

But, speaking to a small business owner or solo entrepreneur, these “cool” platforms can still feel alien when it comes to marketing. After all, they reply on a “following”; an audience that is accumulated over time – many of us just don't have that following.

More specifically, small businesses can really struggle to attribute ROI to these channels because many small businesses simply don’t see the value in awareness marketing, or “personality driven” marketing – it takes time and frankly, many of us don’t have that time or the resources to be able to create a strong, measured campaign with specific objectives and desired outcomes using these platforms.

The result is “dabbling” – and you know what, also a little fear.

We small business folk often feel like we’re not “supposed” to show personality; we have to remain “business-like” or “professional”.

And without a social marketing budget that allows for the creation of quality content specific to these micro-video platforms, we’re left with the tools we were born with; with our personalities; with our voices; with our faces – everything we need to be successful in business, but everything we’re so uncomfortable sharing with the business world.

These are exactly the tools we need to succeed in business, we all know that, but we struggle to create engaging content using these tools for micro-video platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, because we’ve never had to.

Outside of our elevator pitch, how often do we need to speak to people in 15 seconds or less?

Yup, not too often. So why should we be naturally great at creating quality content for micro-video style platforms?

So, let's spin it around.

Being small business owners, we know how to run a quality conversation, how to run a productive and engaging team session with clear goals, objectives and flow.

And we’re REALLY good at what we do; we’re all experts at something; we’re all passionate about something.

I feel that this is why live streaming using Periscope, Meerkat or Blab is a game changer for small business marketing.

Now, before we dig any further into this, let's address two elephants in the proverbial room:

  1. We don’t need any budget to integrate live streaming with Blab or Periscope into our small business marketing mix.
  2. Video marketing isn't just for brands.
  3. Video marketing IS for EVERYONE, not just ‘the kids'.

The apps are completely free and work on *any* smartphone – and they’re all you need to get started. Sure, you can bolt on a couple of cheap little accessories such as a smartphone tripod, a new lens & a mobile LED light once you’ve found your feet, but they're not essential by any stretch.

I'd suggest that there are only two things that we need to do to integrate live streaming apps such as Blab & Periscope into our small business marketing:

  1. We need to know why we're using them, with a clear goal in mind; and
  2. We need to know what we're going to be saying on each session

Neither of these takes much time, all they take is a little focus.

Creating content that enforces our business values but is centred around our personalities can be really, really easy – yet it takes confidence; confidence to step in front of the camera and be ourselves; confidence to realise that we ARE an expert in something that potential viewers aren't; confidence that it's ok to say “erm” and stumble through our first few sessions.

No one will judge, and you know what – if they do, who cares?

Blab, Periscope et al: game changers for small business marketing?

I wholeheartedly believe that as the small business world charts its inevitable course towards a more personally branded marketing approach, live streaming apps such as Periscope & Blab will change the game for small business marketing – I really do.

Just as Twitter did, this video evolution levels the playing field and pitches brands right alongside our business in the eyes of people. In fact, the powers that be at Twitter itself believe in live streaming so much, that it bought Periscope!

There's little doubt that with short, consistent bursts of high quality content, we can all position ourselves as the experts to our potential customers, navigating the “know, like, trust, buy' journey almost passively.

Please, don't get left behind here: start experimenting with live streaming today and I promise you that within 3 months it'll be second nature and you will have added a brand new, extremely cost-effective marketing weapon to your arsenal.

Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!

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About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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