Live-streaming app Meerkat was the talk of the town last week at SXSW. Attendees rushed to download this impressively simple real-time video streaming app and begin to leverage its amazing potential in engaging their global audience.
How Meerkat was able to hook so many users and brands in such a brief timeframe is clearly a topic for another conversation. The real question becomes what Meerkat brings to the ever saturated market of social apps all focused on engaging a community or audience.
Meerkat offers tremendous opportunities for brands and individuals looking to communicate and engage with their followers.
Here are a few reasons why Meerkat is so important in today's social marketing landscape.
Live streaming apps may not be new to the market, but what makes Meerkat so amazing is that its mobile first approach. In today's mobile ready market, the app is designed with the mobile user in mind. The fact that they offer a website is an added benefit.
After mobile, seamless integration and user focused product is critical in enabling an app to reach critical mass. A tech influencer coined the term frictionless integration, which pretty much sums up the ease of getting onto Meerkat.
No editing. No wires. No lag time. Simply download the app.
Before Meerkat, broadcasting live events wasn't easy. Major events or concerts, required significant resources including expensive satellite trucks, cables and expensive satellite time.
The ability to broadcast in real time, opens up new avenues for user-generated journalists and marketers. The fact that BBC jumped on the bandwagon by "Meerkasting" (the official term) updates on the Ferguson protests and vigil, is a sign of the app's journalistic power.
In today's market, creating engagement opportunities for Millenials is very important. Meerkat understood that.
Again, Meerkat gives campaigns the ability to stream content live right where Millenials like it- their phones. Sitting in front of a TV is not how this generation consumes, it's mobile first. Meerkat will open up new opportunities for engagement and audience development with young people.
The Value of Twitter Followers Just Went Way Up
Till now, the only companies with the ability to reach live audiences at this scale were news stations. Now, the highly connected celebrities, influencers or The campaigns and media outlets with the largest number of engaged followers will have real structural advantages.
Obviously, the world of digital marketing and social media influencers are already seeing the app's potential. The Meerkat leader board is topped by the who's who of social. Including Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Fanzo, and many others who are maintaining their leader board status on Meerkat's scale.
Clearly, the marketers and early adopters who jump on Meerkat will benefit from its growth trajectory. Meerkat, like Twitter before it, is creating new means for blurring the lines between sales and marketing teams and their prospects and customers. Smart marketing teams will utilize the app to listen to their customers and identify needs to better target product offerings later.
Yes Meerkat is video. Unlike its predecessors, Meerkat is a simple way to create, engage, personalize and build community.
The global reach while personalizing conversations makes Meerkat so unique. No other app has been able to broadcast in real time, engage with a community, while offering a one-to-one personal interaction. Social media at its ultimate form. Great content that is targeted and personal. Any brand (personal or business) can now unleash meaningful content while interacting to each user on an individual level.
This is social media's ROI.
Having said all this, knowing how to create meaningful content that is valuable to an audience remains critical especially in real time. Here are some of the many ways social media marketers and brands can leverage Meerkat:
Create a Weekly Meerkat Updates: With the scheduling feature on Meerkat, creating a consistent series is a cinch. Using Twitter's strong reach with hashtags makes this a killer combination to maximize thought leaders and viewers. During the Meerkat, give time for reading comments, mentions of good points from the audience. Any brand who creates or participates in Webinars, Meerkat is basically a no-brainer.
Identify Prospects and Viewers: As more and more brands adopt Meerkat, more and more powerful information is going to be available to the diligent marketer. In fact, during SXSW one of Meerkast showed that some of Twitter's team (after buying a primary competitor) were using the app to eavesdrop on the conversation.
Knowing which of clients are using Meerkat brings real market data to the forefront. This kind of knowledge offers great potential for future conversations.
Daily Tips: Meerkat is a simple way to offer quick bursts of daily industy related pieces for clients or any audience. Again, scheduling this type of broadcast ahead will bring added value and reach when it's live.
While companies want everyone to be exposed to the company's culture, logistics make it virtually impossible. Streaming via Meerkat is can be used to highlight the fun, behind the scenes moments of a company. Meerkat can be a great engagement tool for customers to see previously unavailable components of a business and its products.
With some creativity, brands could plug Meerkat only deals for those who are watching. Leaking information and releasing secret product tricks or tips could be a simple way to increase viral reach. A brand that can keep their audience guessing what the next Meerkat offer could bring, will definitely increase community reach.