Periscope vs Meerkat: How to Maximize Benefits of Streaming Video

Can live streaming video be leveraged to further strengthen your content marketing strategy? What should you be broadcasting? Why not start with these 9 tips to help you maximize the benefits of these new apps.

Periscope versus Meerkat: some additional comparisons and new developments

In a previous blog we provided a brief introduction to Meerkat and Periscope. We compared some of the key features of these competing live streaming apps.

At this point there remains no clear winner although some may say that’s because Periscope is owned by Twitter. Periscope has a larger community, a cleaner user interface and is associated with Twitter, resulting in users making it their platform of choice. That said, they each have strengths and weaknesses and it may be best for your business to experiment with both apps (which are free) to determine where you can generate the biggest following and create most engagement.

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Tutorials can easily be found on how to get started including this one by Social Media Examiner. A clear understanding of your goals and measurements of success will also help you determine whether live streaming video should be a part of your content marketing strategy and whether one app is more suited to help you maximize the potential benefits.

So what is new?

Both apps are now available on Android with Periscope becoming available at the end of May. New to Periscope this week is the ability for web replays. Anyone can now click a link for a Periscope stream and hit the play button once it opens in their browser.

Prior to the launch, replays were available for 24 hours after a stream ended but only on its apps for Android and iOs.


Periscope web replays tweet - InnovaMap blog post - Periscope vs Meerkat: How to Maximize Benefits of Streaming Video


Meerkat does not host video replays, once the video is finished airing it is no longer available. There are, however, 3rd party options available due to its public API such as Katchkats which allows broadcasters to save and organize their Meerkat streams.

Both apps give users the ability to save their video stream to their camera roll. So regardless of the app, broadcasters are able to upload and share their streaming videos to their audience should they want to.

Meerkat recently announced an update of its own. Their score system will be made available not only for broadcasters but now viewers can also earn points for interacting in live video streams. This will help early-adopters accumulate points and rank on the Meerkat Leaderboard. This leaderboard provides a ranking of the most followed broadcasters so users can quickly identity and build their network.

A few of Meerkats strengths to note is the ability to schedule an upcoming video stream up to 24 hours in advance and get a permalink to share with your audience. In addition, the list of comments can be viewed throughout the stream whereas Periscope’s comments often disappear so quickly that broadcasters do not have a chance to address them.

Although comments can be viewed in the replay the benefit of live streaming videos lies in the ability of the broadcaster to connect with their audience in a very powerful way and engage in real-time. If the comments disappear quickly the ability to interact live is greatly diminished.

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The infographic below compares the key features of Periscope and Meerkat and highlights some of the main differences outline in both blog posts.

Periscope vs Meerkat Comparison Infographic by InnovaMap v2

How Can Businesses Maximize the Benefits of Streaming Video?

The mobile video space is still very new but according to OOYALA’s Global Video Index video viewing is surging on all devices. They expect mobile video viewing per user to reach more than 21 hours a month by 2019, up from 12.7 hours in 2013.

There is no question that video should become a more integral part of a businesses’ marketing mix but the focus when using live streaming apps should be from a storytelling point of view. Think about how you can present your brand in such a way that will garner excitement and encourage viewers to keep watching.

Put yourself in the shoes of your target client, what kinds of information would they find valuable or even exclusive?

The previous Periscope vs Meerkat blog post mentioned some great ways businesses are leveraging streaming videos and having success such as back-stage access at an event, product launches and live Q&A.

Although educating your audience will often be an overarching theme, this recent blog post by WCG made me realize how powerful live streaming can be for an industry such as healthcare. It highlights three physicians leveraging Periscope’s instant audience to answer questions in their respective fields of study and dispel medical myths.

One case in point is Mark Vaughan, M.D., who has recorded over 80 streams some of which can be found on the Auburn Medical Group YouTube channel. His streaming videos include Q&A broadcasts called “Ask the Doctor” and procedures done on patients (with consent).

I watched a patient getting a shoulder cortisone injection. Although I am not in the market to need one yet, I would imagine the opportunity to be able to view the procedure and ask any questions throughout the procedure (and get an immediate response) would be invaluable.

9 Tips for Recording Your Live Video Streams

1. Embrace Portrait Video Shooting

Both apps are designed to be shot in portrait mode. Make sure to frame something specific and relevant to your stream when you hit record. The thumbnail of the stream will be the first fame of your camera when you start broadcast.

2. Compelling Title

Do not leave this field blank. Be sure to choose a catchy title that will capture attention and define your topic. Include hashtags and keep in mind that the video replay is live for 24 hours.

3. No Dead Air

Make sure to start talking right away or at the very least focus the camera on an image describing the topic of the stream. Do not stare at the screen waiting for viewers to join as this will inevitably have viewers watching your replay drop out. Many broadcasters get additional hearts on Periscope replays and hearts help measure popularity.

4. Make Broadcasts Easy to Find

List as public and have location tagged. Periscope does allow users to have private streams, a feature not available on Meerkat.

5. Publicize Stream

Take advantage of 24 hour scheduling for Meerkat streams and promote it to your audience on other social media platforms. Choose the Twitter bird icon before broadcasting to ensure a tweet indicating you have a live Periscope stream is posted to your account. Ask viewers on the stream to share with their network (this would take the form of a tweet).

Publicize Stream - Periscope vs Meerkat: How to Maximize Benefits of Streaming Video

6. Respond to Comments in Real-time

Be sure to address questions and comments from your viewers. Say hello to new viewers as they join and consider restating who you are and the topic of the stream every 3-5 minutes.

7. Find the Right Time to Broadcast

Consider broadcasting based on your audience’s regular social media engagement habits.

8. Think About Length of Stream

Broadcast long enough to gather an audience and have an opportunity to engage and answer questions but keep in mind data rates you might incur at about 400 MB per hour.

9. Consider Some Accessories

To enhance video quality consider a mobile phone lens, desktop tripod, and when outdoors or somewhere noisy use headphones.

One last thing to consider is legal concerns that arise when live streaming video. There is a risk that you may accidentally pick up copyrighted material or illegally invade someone’s privacy. The best advice is to avoid streaming things that are copyrighted as well as events people are paying for.

It is best to inform those around you that they may get in the frame and, that you are streaming live video just to make them aware. For more information we recommend Kerry Gorgone’s article.

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Successful brands understand the power of video storytelling. Businesses that take advantage of live audience interactions through video streaming to build an engaged community will be able to strengthen their overall content marketing strategy.

Be sure to be yourself, listen to your viewers to ensure you continue to provide value and don’t wait to broadcast the “perfect” stream. A live video streaming audience will be forgiving and mishaps are almost a given and lend that human factor.

Jennifer Dalcin, Marketing and Social Media Managers\ InnovaMap - The Science of Content Marketing

Jennifer DalCin
, Marketing and Social Media Manager, InnovaMap

InnovaMap is an Ottawa based content marketing firm, specializing in the health industry. Creating strategic content strategies and online sharing that connects you to your target audience.

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