In my last blog post, I covered what on earth Meerkat and Periscope are. Now you’re ready to jump in and use them in your next inbound marketing campaign. Great! Here are some ideas to get you rolling!
- Find your most popular blog post and host a live Q&A regarding the topic
At one of the last companies I worked for, we created a series of blog posts on one topic entitled Hitchhiker’s Guides Part 1, 2, and 3 – readers loved them and those posts got more traffic than anything else we put out. Doing a Q&A live with the in-house author of these posts (a mini-celebrity in our niche market) would have been a perfect way to keep the conversation going and answer people’s questions on that topic. (As well as secure our standing as the go-to source on the topic.)
- Recruit an external expert to talk and answer questions about a topic
Outside experts have authority that internal experts will never be able to garner simply because they are seen as independent. Try recruiting one such expert to answer the audience’s burning questions on one particular subject. In “sponsoring” this type of live stream, you gain visibility to new prospects (people who are tuning in to watch the expert, specifically) by providing educational content, not advertising. One note on this idea: keep the sponsorship classy. The speaker doesn’t need to say [insert company name here] every two minutes. Maybe send them a shirt to wear with your logo. Or have your name in the background.
- Book or movie review
Pick a book or a movie that’s related to your industry or product and do a review (ideally, it should be popular enough that most people in your audience have at least heard of it and want to hear what you think). Everyone loves critiques.
- Introductory session about your latest ebook
Do a teaser about your ebook before it comes out. Allow people to ask you questions about the topic and cover why your industry really needs this ebook. (Who knows – maybe some of the questions even make it into a blog post about the ebook? Always be considering how you can repurpose!) At the end, be sure to point the viewers to a special landing page where they can download the ebook!
- Live Q&A after your next webinar
Webinars are a great way to speak to your market on both an educational front (Awareness) and product front (Consideration and Decision). Some people will never take the time to read a 10-page white paper, but will attend a webinar over their lunch. Whereas most webinars have a question-and-answer period at the end, live streaming this portion would give a personal feel that many dry webinars lack. Or do a traditional Q&A during the actual webinar and then host a live stream in the 15-20 minutes after the webinar for a more informal post-show conversation.
- Behind the scenes at a live event
Beyond just webinars, there are conferences, seminars, and presentations that your company inevitably goes to in person. Try doing a “behind the scenes” before or after the event for an insider’s scoop. Let the Internet ask the presenter about what they are going to talk about or why they should attend.
Warning: These “Close” tactics are not for the faint of heart.
- Host a session where people can ask about you versus your competitors
Here’s the idea: put your best salesperson on the spot (or product guy if they know the competition better) and let your leads ask you any and all questions about you versus your competitors, whether that be product questions, pricing questions, company questions, or personal questions. This one is risky because 1) your speaker better know their stuff, and 2) you have to be willing to admit when a competitor is better than you in a certain aspect. But if you are willing to be totally transparent, I believe the marketplace will reward you.
- Have a customer talk about your product and answer questions
Instead of you talking about you, have a customer do it! Find one of your most happy, gung-ho customers and ask them to host a Q&A session about why someone would choose your product, the features that the product has or doesn’t have, and basically get honest feedback. HubSpot did something similar last summer when they asked me to review them on G2Crowd (I’m assuming they knew I was an avid supporter). Imagine how much cooler it would be to ask a customer their honest opinion live. A word of caution: 1) find a customer who really, really loves you, 2) ask him or her to be honest (people can sense dishonestly a mile away), and 3) your product better rock.
- Give a tour of your facilities; introduce team members
People like doing business with other people, not businesses. Show your audience where you work, tell quirky stories about why that pig photo is up in the break room, introduce some of the coders and project managers, and give them a glimpse into the CEO’s office. Humanizing your business goes a long way toward trust.
- Share news
In conjunction with that big press release going out, do a live Q&A with your community. Tell them why this partnership matters. Let them ask you what impact this new greening initiative will have. Have your management team do a panel on how the decision was made. It’s like a mini-press conference, but with the world instead of just reporters.
- Answer tech support questions live
Do a Q&A with your tech support guys and gals and let customers ask their most annoying/nagging/problematic questions to a real person. Tech support can often be a black hole in a company where it just operates on its own and does its own thing. Bring them out into the light! Customer support is super, super important for thrilling your customers – let people see how awesome they are. (And put a human face to so-and-so that they’ve been talking to for ages.)
- Give a sneak peek of your latest product release and get immediate feedback
More informal that a beta launch, a sneak peek would be a great way to show your customers the latest features and get some immediate feedback and questions prior to launch. This sort of real-time reaction can set the product development team on the right path in terms of features, design, and functionality. And customers love to know that their opinion and input matters and that they are part of the “in” crowd who gets to see new stuff first.
There you have it! Twelve ideas for how to use Meerkat or Periscope in your next campaign.
Do you have other suggestions for how inbound marketers could take advantage of these apps? Share in the comments!