Be there live while it’s happening! That’s the promise of Periscope. It’s a fairly simple concept: Periscope is an app for mobile devices that allows you to stream live video anywhere, anytime. With Periscope anyone can transmit what’s happening or create their own programming. The folks who invented Periscope have called it “the closest thing to teleportation.” Cool, right?
    Periscope is a relatively new player in the personal and business communication universe. The live-streaming mobile app was introduced by Twitter in March 2015, and has since become an increasingly popular force. After all, as any regular YouTube watcher can attest, there’s a constant appetite for video. Live streaming video kicks it up a notch, adding the element of immediacy to the equation.
    Video is powerful; social media has immediate impact. Combine the two and there’s unlimited opportunity to communicate your views, perspectives, products, services and brand identity to brides.

How Does Periscope Work?
Breaking Down the Details
    Periscope presents its users with several options. For the technologically challenged, Periscope can be used for basic, point-shoot-transmit operation. For users who want more, it can also track how many viewers you have. Finally if viewed on Twitter, you can respond to tweets live as the video is broadcast.  
    The Periscope app loads onto your Smartphone or mobile device. From there, users can transmit video live. Periscope names the video, the app announces the broadcast, and the user shoots the video, which is sent out to their followers.  
    Periscope allows you to broadcast either to an elite group of followers or a larger audience. Viewers can comment during a broadcast and the scoper can respond. The video is saved by the app for 20 hours and is available to followers for viewing. Videos also can be archived.
    Why do bridal retailers need to know about Periscope?

1. Brides are getting onboard. Quite a few folks have already made “scoping” part of their everyday lives. It’s yet another way to share what’s happening, to let other people see the world from their perspective. So, it’s not farfetched to think brides may want to live stream a video of their experience shopping for wedding gowns. Later on, they may even be broadcasting live videos from their weddings!
    Additionally, you need to be aware of Periscope because your brides are probably scoping or watching scopes from other Periscope users. Along those lines you’ll be able to watch your brides’ videos live and comment on them.
    Obviously many brides want to keep certain aspects of their gown-shopping excursions private. Others may want to share every single moment as it happens, and not just tweet, message or pin a highlight of the experience.  
    Generally, since the bride will be trying on gowns, it will be a member of her entourage who captures the event on video, although some brides will opt to do their own broadcasting. How much broadcasting you allow in your salon is up to you. As with other social media, you may have to look at how much exposure you want and what can be or should be considered proprietary.
    If you don’t already have a policy in place about transmitting photos or video from inside your shop, it’s a good idea to think about any issues you might have with it. You happily welcome positive publicity for your shop, but you also like to have a certain amount of control over what happens. A video-streaming policy might advise that broadcasting is limited to specific areas in the store.  
    For example, having a bride sending live video from the dressing room probably isn’t sharing you’d sanction.  Because brides expect and demand a certain amount of discretion on the gown search, you might have to remind “scopers” that other brides have an expectation of privacy, so don’t video them without their permission.

2. Periscope can be yet another tool to communicate with potential customers. The apps allows you to engage more personally with brides and others who are already getting to know you on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media. You can offer an inside look at your business and spotlight anything that’s happening that might of interest or just plain fun.
    It isn’t a huge risk to invest in the Periscope app in anticipation of a special event where live streaming video is the perfect way to share.  It’s not like the kind of commitment made to print, radio television or cable contracts, for example. Not every platform works for every customer base. Start small and see how you like it and what kind of feedback you receive. Social-media professionals advise this approach with any social-media platform.

3. You can create your own content for live broadcast.  Many small businesses are scoping short programs that reinforce who they are and their areas of expertise. This is another great way to create a buzz about your business and enhance your brand. Keep in mind that Periscope programs or content also can be re-purposed on other social-media platforms.
    Small business has embraced this app in a variety of interesting ways. How, why and how much a salon “scopes” is dependent on their specific marketing strategies.
    Companies offer web seminars, Q&A sessions, live focus groups and what basically are live video blogs. Businesses have trumpeted big company news, announced new products, done product demonstrations, and scheduled check-ins at events that matter within their industry.
    As an independent bridal retailer, you can create your own programming. Yes, it’s on a small scale, but social-media experts agree this as a viable way to help reinforce your position as an expert in your niche. All of the information and materials you’ll need are probably at hand to do a “Three Minutes With. . .”-style video covering whatever bridal-related subjects you’d like to present.
    You could also Periscope a drop-in visit from a gown designer when one of their biggest fans is in your store shopping for her gown. You could do live video reports from market. This is the kind of “it’s happening right here, right now” opportunity that screams for video coverage. Periscope also can allow you to share behind-the scenes activity at the shop, like the arrival of new gowns, as it happens and help create a buzz about coming into the store to check them out.
    Another option is to offer Web seminars. A Webinar can be a more casual and perhaps less intimidating way to communicate with brides. A “scope” session can be an informal, impromptu question-and-answer session. You’re the bridal/wedding expert and whoever tunes in can tweet a comment or a question, which you can answer live.
    This format also offers another way to work with other wedding-related professionals as “guests” on your broadcasts. Here again, you’re promoting your shop as the go-to expert for all things bridal. For example, invite a local make-up artist to demonstrate basic skin care regimes in the run-up to the wedding day. A guest photographer or videographer could illustrate what happens during a photo shoot and how to prep for these milestone images.
    Finally, once you’ve mastered the basics of Periscope, you can have some fun with it. The ability to share what’s happening with interested followers can be motivating.  
    Let’s say you have one of those moments with a shopper that happens in bridal. The entire entourage breaks into a happy dance when she finds her gown. You surprise a bride with a special visitor she didn’t expect. With Periscope you can capture the moment at the moment and share it with the world.

Welcome to Bridal Broadcasting

Broadcasting your own programming via Periscope is an enticing prospect. But, like any media venture, you have to examine how it fits into your overall marketing plan. Before you go live, you need to map out just how you can use live, streaming video to communicate with your customers.
    “Video is becoming the dominant medium in online marketing,” says marketing and public relations specialist Bill Corbett Jr. of Corbett Public Relations. “We have been working with YouTube for years and we see the power of video. Live streaming that is easy, and for the masses, is something relatively new.”  
    Before that first broadcast, the hosts or host of the show must be prepared, says Corbett, who regularly broadcasts via Periscope. They need to know what they are going to say and they need to be comfortable on video. Practice is key, and knowing what you will do as part of the show is also necessary.  
    “Look, it’s not national broadcast television, so there is some degree of acceptability for lower quality and inexperience,” he says. “However the viewer – hopefully customer - must always be considered.”
    For this reason it’s important to have an ideal client profile and know who you are trying to reach. Although the market is constantly changing, the good thing about this is that your Periscope shows can repeat themes. After all there may not be much overlap year over year in terms of audience.  
    “I can see programs on how to choose a photographer, how to choose a limo company, how to select an officiant, what to ask when booking a catering hall, what kind of dress is right, how to get the best deal for a wedding ring or even how to deal with stress,” Corbett says. “All of these topics require experience and expertise.  Invite the vendors that you work with, partner with or other experts to join with you.  Share this content and ask them to share it as well.”
    Here are some tips:

Plan your shows. Know what your visuals will be and who will be the host. Will the host be on camera or will you just show product? Keep the visuals interesting.

Do regular shows. Do a show, even if it is short, three to five days a week. Yes, even on weekends. Brides and grooms work, so think about when they are planning and seeking information. You may want to do live shows at night or on weekends. 

Expand your reach. Work with brides, grooms and vendors to provide you with content. You can also potentially have them Periscope weddings for which you have provided support, product or services.

Archive your videos. Periscope videos stay archived for only one day, so you either have to save them to your phone or mobile device or use a site called, which not only saves your videos but also allows you to download them as well as re-share them. With the file, you can then upload this to Facebook, YouTube or other sites. 
    To enhance the quality of the videos you record, use lighting and a lapel microphone.

Promote your Periscopes and re-purpose them.  Work to attract attention before your show. Reuse them on other social media. When you are broadcasting, have someone grab the link and send it out on Facebook and other social sites as well.

Be consistent. Broadcast at the same time and same day of the week. This consistency will help to build an audience.

Consider content. Provide quality, helpful information and don’t hard sell. Brides are stressed out, need info and want to see products – dresses, rings, flowers, tuxes, candles, limos and other related items. Think of how you will show them and who will be on the show with you.

Recruit other experts. Content is important, but live streaming allows for interactivity, so work on providing experts who can answer questions live. Think of a call-in radio show; same concept.

Name creatively. Naming your broadcast is important, so think ahead of time about the name and test and see what works. This will help attract attention.