Over the last few years I have featured the use of live streaming for business in the form of using Google Hangouts On Air. But there has always been a challenge for many people using Google Hangouts On Air when it comes to using from a mobile device.
While Google focuses now on a ‘mobile first’ approach, unfortunately there is still no way to use the feature rich Google Hangouts On Air starting an event from a mobile device.
Some of us have been around social media to recall tools such as Qik which enabled us to live stream video from mobile devices almost 10 years ago. But the access to smart phones,wifi and the cost of data plans by mobile phone providers did not help the adoption of these tools. Qik was actually purchased in 2011 by Skype and closed down a year ago.
Over the last number of weeks we have seen the emergence of a number of new mobile live stream apps – and I anticipate there will be more – which many people are experimenting with.
I first came across Meerkat when someone posted about using it on Instagram so I downloaded the app and first experimented using it for events including some workshops I was delivering, both as a way of demonstrating mobile live streaming to students and also to get them to think about the implications for PR and communications professionals of new tools for broadcasting.
When Twitter lauched Periscope a few weeks later, I was at an event in the UK and took the opportunity to live stream an interview with someone from the RNLI about their forthcoming MayDay campaign – the live stream caught the attention of their head of social media.
In both cases I sought the permission of the people featured in the live streams – something I recommend and a topic I discuss at length with students and clients in relation to privacy and digital rights. We are even seeing media and sports organisations exploring what this means for them. The BBC told veteran broadcaster Tony Blackburn to ‘down Periscope’ after he streamed live video at Broadcasting House as he was not authorised to do so. And it has also been reported that Periscope users live streaming the Game of Thrones face account closure. You can find links to these articles in my curation of tips for marketing with Periscope and Meerkat.
I have to say on a personal note that Meerkat have been far more responsive to my emails than Periscope – I raised an important issue relating to copyright with Periscope over a week ago and still have had no response at the time of writing this.
As I have been exploring the use of these new apps, I have recorded some tutorials that you may find of assistance if you are looking to use Periscope or Meerkat in your business.
You can also find examples of organisations using live streaming in my Twitter account where I have shared images curated from events I have watched.
What is clear is that live streaming from mobile devices is here to stay and any one at any age can do so. The question for marketers is how you can put this new series of powerful tools for content marketing and communications to use for your business, and in a way that amplifies your expertise rather than detracts and reflects negatively on your online reputation. I plan to cover more tips in the weeks ahead but do let me know what questions you have that you would like me to address.
If you are considering using live streaming for your business I recommend that you take the time to:
1 – watch presenters who are accustomed to presenting on live streams and that includes a number of traditional media channels – don’t look to ‘self annointed’ Periscope ‘experts’
2 – practice, practice and practice some more – there are a number of ways you can do this privately – even if you are an accomplished speaker and presenter, being live on camera is a very different experience.
I hope you find the videos below of assistance and let me know what your handle is on Meerkat and Periscope as I’d love to follow your channels.
Find the series of video tutorials on YouTube or watch them below.