Are You Ready to Go Live? Live Video Broadcasting for Small Businesses

Are You Ready to Go Live? Live Video Broadcasting for Small Businesses

Social media is a marketing platform where businesses can connect with their target audience. It is ideal to give your company a face, show the people who make the magic happen and give your followers a peek behind the scenes. Never was the credo ‘people do business with people’ truer than now.

But while we were all busy posting photos of our latest event and engaging with our followers, a new trend has shaken up the social media world: Live video broadcasts. If you’d like to find out more about Periscope, Snapchat & Co., check this out!

Participate Or Anticipate

The market for social media apps and platforms is a fast moving one, one that sees rising stars almost as often as one hit wonders. And when one makes it to the top, it’s often the younger generations who first see its potential.

But as the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have shown, other age groups will join over time and often even take over. Which means that no matter what your target audience is doing now, they might be joining in on the buzz sooner than you think. And ideally, you should be ready and waiting when that happens!

Social Goes Real-Time

With apps like PeriscopeMeerkat and Snapchat, social media has become even more immediate and ‘in the moment’ than Instagram will ever be. And businesses big and small are already using it to widen their reach.

I love that estate agents were among the first to present their latest properties on the market by going live and showing interested buyers what it looks and feels like. Soon followed by artisanal bakeries sharing tips for the best sourdough and tech companies giving you a sneak peek at their latest product features.

Inviting people to see what you see right now, to join you on your journey and be part of it, is something social media has always been good at. And with live streaming videos, it doesn’t get any more authentic.

Think how-to videos, demos, live broadcasting from events and conferences, invite followers to join you for an interview with an industry expert or tell the story of your business. And all this while it is happening – and often only available for a short amount of time.

If you or somebody on your team is savvy with a smartphone and doesn’t mind being on camera, have a think about how you can add value to your customers by taking them along on your small business journey — live and in colour.

The Culprits


periscope logo small

example periscope smallPlatform: iOS, Android
Launched: March 26th, 2015
Owned by: Twitter
Users: 10 million accounts after 4 months and 2 million active users per day
Demographic: 29% women, 71% men, 49% 25-35 yrs

In short: Periscope let’s you start a live video and share it with your followers. You have the option of saving the broadcast to share it on other platforms if you don’t do that, people can replay your scope within 24 hours before it gets deleted.

While you’re live, people can type in comments and don’t be freaked out when lots of candy-coloured hearts appear in your video, that’s how people show their love. Here’s how to get started on Periscope. (Photo: Periscope)


meerkat logo small

Meerkat videoPlatform: iOS, Android
Launched: February 2015
Owned by: Life On Air, Inc. (Ben Rubin, CEO)
Users: Over 100,000 videos streamed and 2 million registered users
Demographic: 54% 25-34 yrs

In short: Meerkat is very similar to Periscope. The main differences are that you can schedule a live broadcast to attract more viewers and it doesn’t offer a re-play option. But you can save your video to your phone and share it like any other video on your social media platforms. Find a more detailed comparison of the two live video broadcasting apps here. (Photo: Apple App Store)


blab logo small conversationPlatform: iOS, Desktop,
Launched: April 2015
Owned by: Pigs in Flight, Inc. (Bebo)
Users: no reliable data yet

In short: Blab mixes the live video function of Periscope and Meerkat with messaging platforms like Google Hangout. It’s a public video chat platform where 2 to 4 people can have a conversation about pretty much anything. You can join any live conversation either by video or by typing comments. Here’s how Blab works. (Photo: Apple App Store)


snapchat logo small

example snapchat smallPlatform: iOS, Android
Launched: September 2011
Owned by: Snapchat, Inc.
Users: 7 billion daily video views and over 200 million monthly active users
Demographic: 70% women, 30% men, 71% are 24 and younger

In short: Take photos or videos, add captions or overlay drawings and share them with your friends. But you have to be quick, they’re only available for up to 10 seconds until the content self-deletes. If you want to keep your content for longer you can create a story (basically a folder of related photos and videos) which is available for 24 hours. Find out how to use Snapchat. (Photo: Andrew Macarthy)



If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Cut through the Noise on Social Media
Social Media for Sales [Infographic]
5 Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Small Business
How to Find Inspiration for Your Social Media Content


Published byDenise Strohsahl

Denise Strohsahl is an Edinburgh-based marketing consultant, specialising in helping small, local businesses get more of their ideal clients.