Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Easy-to-use live streaming tools can help us share our stories

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periscopeWith the resurgence of live streaming tools after the launch of Meerkat and Periscope, which share live streams directly to Twitter, live broadcasting is back in the headlines.

People can live stream whatever is in front of them from their iPhones with these new apps.

Of course, live streams on the Internet are nothing new. When I worked for a regional media company a few years ago, we routinely streamed events online. Since then, Google Hangouts  have made live video chats that can be shared publicly also an option. In theory, people can do a Hangout and broadcast an event that way, too.

Meerkat launched first and Periscope, which is  owned by Twitter, launched a few weeks later. Both basically do the same thing. As of March 28, 2015. both are only available to iPhone users, which means all those Android users aren’t able to live stream this way. As of today! We know that things can change quickly.

Assuming you have an iPhone, you install the respective apps, connect to your Twitter account, enable the microphone and camera, point and go live. The stream will be shared in the app and a link will be shared on your Twitter stream.

I tried Periscope more recently. Others can view your stream and you can see who is viewing it. They can comment and like it as well. Once the stream is complete a replay remains available for people to view.

This can be an easy-to-use tool for anyone – people and organizations alike – to share their authentic stories. Keep in mind that once a live stream is live it’s live and people can see whatever is being broadcast. Live streams don’t get further approvals or chances to be edited.

Live streams can’t be edited while live, so whatever is happening or said is really sharing whatever the actual story is.

That might not be as exciting, though, as it sounds. I saw people live stream their dog walks (I get bored while walking my own dog!), drinking a smoothie and I (for testing purposes) live streamed my eight-month-old sitting in the living room. Her stream even got 12 viewers and a bunch of likes.

Certainly, there’s room for people to broadcast the mundane. The guy walking his dogs was commenting on which dog was currently going or not going to the bathroom, for example.

Many authentic stories are perhaps a tad boring. That likely also means that they won’t keep people’s attention in the long-term.

There certainly are meaningful ways to use these tools. Some things that might be worth broadcasting:

  • Presentations (for the people who can’t attend in person)
  • Breaking news events (I’m thinking of the time I was stuck at Chicago O’Hare International Airport after a fire. That could have been worth live streaming – but only to an extend, too. I wasn’t even near the fire – which was miles away.
  • Visually appealing scenes. One person was showing the pool in a warmer location. That was kind of cool. Really, it’s not video, and could have been a tweeted photo.
  • Events. Organizations could live stream dedications, award ceremonies, really all kinds of events.

There certainly can be useful applications for these tools by organizations. The trick will be to spot them when they are about to happen, start streaming and our audiences (I hope) will get to see an engaging and relevant live streamed story.


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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