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    At Gravitate, we’re constantly taking the pulse of the web by analyzing how the world eats up digital content – what they watch, who they read, and what device they’re using to do so. For every cat GIF on our Slack channels, there’s a link akin to Apple’s 3D Touch changing user interaction.

    When livestream apps Periscope (powered by Twitter) and Meerkat burst onto the social media scene six months ago, we took notice. So, too, did media companies and major brands who were quick to jump on the bandwagon of a sparkling, new social media platform.

    These apps are a live, mobile-focused evolution of YouTube. They give anyone wielding a phone a platform to deliver a live broadcast of what they’re seeing, whether it’s a sunset in Seattle or a backstage tour at a Boys II Men concert. Just point, shoot, and stream. Your followers can engage in real-time with comments and likes.

    Which app should I use?

    Since the arrival of Periscope and Meerkat, there’s been little to no advancement in one app differentiating itself from the other. In fact, with last month’s introduction of Mirrativ – the first app that lets you livestream whatever is happening on your mobile phone screen – we have even less of an idea of which app will take the reins and own this arena.

    So far, there’s also been no proven recipe for consistent use of livestream apps by companies and marketers, but what is abundantly clear is livestreaming is another effective tool to add to your content marketing toolbox.

    If you’re Lady Gaga or the Dallas Cowboys, it may be simple to generate ideas for how you might use Periscope or Meerkat to enhance your brand. For other brands, it gets a little difficult, so here are three ways to use a livestream app in your content strategy plan.

    Engage Your Loyalists

    Periscope isn’t going to immediately jump start your social media audience into wild engagement or launch your follower base into six digits, but it’s an opportunity to engage your existing followers by allowing more intimate interaction.

    Create a three- to five-minute talk as an offshoot of your existing content and allow your followers to dig deeper into your content and brand.

    Example

    What does a new product rollout look like when you craft your content marketing plan? You’ll write a blog post. Maybe you’ll announce it on Twitter.

    Take it one step further and livestream a tutorial on using this new product to complement the announcement. Field questions. Share best practices. Show off your brand’s personality with a personal touch.

    Educate Your Prospects

    Webinars remain a popular form of generating leads and engaging prospects. The transaction is pretty simple for the business and potential customer: give us your email address and phone number, and we’ll give you some free knowledge. It’s a tried and true formula, but the web is also a world inspired by sharing what we know — without the expectation of something in return. Apply some of this line of thinking to your content plan.

    Example

    Periscope and Meerkat don’t need to be a replacement for your webinar, but you can think of them as an opportunity for a mini-webinar without the barrier to entry.

    Get rid of the prepared slide presentation and plan a topic that will generate questions from your audience. For instance, if you’re a medical industry website, provide an expert on a topic that may be generating news interest. Share answers to the three most common questions, and then field more questions from your audience in an informal and quick livestream.

    Generate Awareness At Events

    Are you representing your business at an industry mega-conference? Is your booth lost in the convention center crowd? Consider using Periscope or Meerkat.

    Example

    Use the conference hashtag and a Periscope feed to attract potential customers – show them what you’re offering and who they’ll interact with by stopping by.

    These are just a few possible use cases for marketers. Don’t try livestreaming because it’s the shiny, new object in the social media world. Try it because it’s a low barrier-to-entry way for you to introduce your brand to new customers, educate existing ones, and engage your loyalists.

    If you see a great use case for livestreaming as a marketing tool, let us know in the comments.