When Should You Jump On A Marketing Trend?

By August 19, 2015Podcast, With Guests
When Should You Jump On A Marketing Trend?

A Slightly Different Episode Today

Today’s podcast is a little different. And by different I mean “we stole it wholesale from Ryan Hanley.”

We were having a conversation about Periscope, the hot new player in live streaming, and decided to hop on the mics and talk about it. So Ryan recorded it for his Content Warfare show and we… well, we “borrowed” it. So it’s a double release. You can hear it in its original glory on Content Warfare and you can hear our slightly edited version here.

A New Web.Search.Social Title

Today we announce that Ryan is never going to appear again as a guest on the Web.Search.Social Podcast. From now on he is officially on staff, as the Web.Search.Social Content Warrior. We’re pretty sure he’ll be ok with that title, especially since it pays him one dollar more than Ian Anderson Gray, our Chief Executive Research Dude. That means he’ll make a whole dollar!

Ryan Says Periscope Is A Fad. And Then Says It Isn’t A Fad.

Ryan recently released an episode of the Content Warfare podcast where he called Periscope a fad. Then we released a podcast saying we agreed. But the honeymoon wasn’t even over before Ryan changed his mind. Betrayed!

So today we talk about whether or not Periscope is a fad or can be a good marketing tool. Yes, we’ve discussed Periscope before but we thought it was worth having the debate with someone who has a different perspective.

There was much yelling and flailing of fists, we bleeped out the worst words, everybody went home pissed…

Ok, so we pretty much managed to have a debate in which we agreed on everything. But that isn’t nearly as dramatic.

Either way, we bring different points of view that can help you make an educated decision about whether or not to try Periscope – or any new marketing tool.

Periscope Makes For Great Performance Art

My first experience with Periscope was watching a fight between a girl and her boyfriend where they broke up. The catch is that the guy was completely naked the whole time. Now this was hardly real life, but it was pretty entertaining.

Ryan Says There Are Real Use Cases

Like us, Ryan does not believe that “everyone” should be on Periscope. But you can insert “podcast” or “Snapchat” or any tool or platform and the advice is the same.

All of these tools can be valuable but they are most certainly not for everyone.

One use case Ryan mentions is hosting an “office hours” each day. You can open up Periscope, answer a couple of questions and call it a day. That gives you an opportunity to dial into your audience in a real way.

I think that’s a great idea but there are currently better tools for doing something like that. Webinars, Google hangouts and even one of the better new streaming platforms on the block called Blab.

Do “Civilians” Need Real Time Mobile Interaction?

I suspect that outside of us and our marketing community, the average consumer is not sitting around with their mobile phone just waiting for some real time entertainment. And the average business owner isn’t ready to grab a mobile device and start streaming.

Ryan counters by saying that in the insurance industry where he works, most agents are constantly on the go and don’t have time to be at their desktop. They’d be just as likely to grab their phone and make use of it as a tool.

What About Real Time Value?

Ryan poses an interesting idea: what if he was at a conference with Marcus Sheridan, renowned marketer, and they were talking about content marketing? Wouldn’t it be cool for people to tune in and be part of that conversation in a way they would never otherwise be able to do?

Or what if Carol Lynn and I were talking about our new business ventures and ideas? Wouldn’t it be cool if people had an inside view of that and could learn from it in the moment? Unscripted, off the cuff… just real conversations. It sounds compelling.

Too Much Hype

The problem is not Periscope. The problem is hype. For whatever reason, the Internet has decided that Periscope is the thing.

Yet Periscope isn’t THE thing. It’s just A thing.

Carol Lynn says we collectively like the idea of Periscope because it’s voyeuristic and we want to peek into other people’s lives. People don’t necessarily want value. They just want entertainment.

Why would be people want to watch Ryan and Marcus chat? Because they think some “influencer” magical fairy dust will wear off on them.

Ryan seems to think otherwise and speculates that some of that magical fairy dust can wear off on other people.

But Carol Lynn says definitively: no.

Ryan’s influence, intelligence, community and skills won’t wear off on anyone just because they’re watching a conversation.

That’s not to say you can’t learn something from listening to other people, but you don’t need live streaming to do it. You don’t need Periscope to do it. You can do it through any medium.

The biggest problem with the hype is that people feel like they “have to” be on it and that if they don’t jump fast they’ll be left behind. We all agree that you should only use tools and platforms that fit into your marketing, match your personality and give you a place to do your best work.

Don’t Do Something New. Do Something Better.

You are going to be tempted by many new tools. And inevitably someone is going to tell you that surely, this is the tool you need.

But before you try something new, think about ways to make what you’re already doing better. If you’ve got a blog and it’s not generating leads, don’t jump into live streaming because you think that will be the magic bullet. Get your marketing right and then you’ll be able to choose the tools that will help you move your business forward.

Periscope is great for the person who says, “Wow, I’ve been waiting for live streaming! This is going to be perfect!”

Periscope is not for the person who says, “Wow, there’s live streaming? What am I going to do with it?”

Don’t back into your marketing. Select the tools that fit with what you’re already doing well.

Ryan Likes To Try New Things

Ryan is a doer and a tester. He’s been blogging, podcasting and hosting hangouts for a long time. Now he’s ready to try something new and see what he can do with it.

We’re on board with that idea and if that sounds like you, go for it. But remember, Ryan has been incredibly successful with what he’s done in the content marketing world so he’s in a great place to experiment.

Ryan Calls Shenanigans

There are a few people that get the buzzer in Ryan’s opinion and we agree. One of those types of people are those who tell you what you “have to” do. If anyone tells you that you have to jump on some new tool or trend, you can ignore them with prejudice.

Another type of person who drives Ryan crazy is the one who tells you exactly when and how to do something – like exactly what time of day to post a tweet.

And the third person – who drives us all a little bit nuts – is the one who is suddenly the expert on something that’s been around for a week.

Live Streaming Is The Most Seductive Form Of Engagement

Imagine talking to your fans and followers in real time. They’re hanging on your every word. You’re the hero. They love you. They LOL at your jokes and engage with you.

Who wouldn’t want that?

It’s intoxicating and all that love can make you feel like you’re really doing something productive for your business. But just because you’re getting engagement doesn’t mean you’re making money.

We’ve known people with a million followers who have had to pack up shop and get a job. Because engagement doesn’t equal profit.

It can. But you need to mindful of when you’re doing something that’s benefitting your business and when you’re just building a fan club.

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Ralph M. Rivera
Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer at Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company that I founded in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn. In January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. I'm also founder and CTO of Podcaster's Toolbox, a SaaS platform designed to help podcasters plan, produce and promote their shows. I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I are home based near the Jersey shore but we're currently location independent and traveling the country for a year, working and podcasting. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.
Ralph M. Rivera
Ralph M. Rivera
  • What?! Ryan is being paid more than me? This is outrageous! I’m going away to cry bitterly….!

    • Pass the box of Kleenex, Ian, so I can dry my tears. Your salary and mine remain unchanged while Ryan gets a WHOLE dollar! What’s the meaning of this preferential treatment?! Let’s demand all SuperFred salaries remain equal. It’s only fair, right, Ian?

      • Melanie, maybe you should get paid per poem 🙂 I don’t know, I think you guys have strength in numbers… start demanding some changes around here!

        • Sounds peachy keen to me! Write up the “paid per poem” contract and I’ll be happy to sign it. Please don’t start from scratch. That’s way too much work. Just create an addendum to my current contract. You know, a little revision and we’re good to go. 😉

    • Right? I’ll have you know this was without my knowledge. If I were you I’d strike.

  • I think we should have an uprising.. Those of us who hold two titles and this schmo comes in with one and gets more than all of us put together… hmmmphhhh…

  • Oh yeah.. and this new guy, he might have said he wasn’t saying you were wrong Carol Lynn, But he was saying you were wrong… lol

  • I think that people hear stories, like those of Aaron Wood, and they all have these dreams. They think that if they are there “at the beginning” maybe someone will “find them” first and blow them up. It does not help that when a new marketing tool comes out, it is alllll that you hear about, it is all that you see everywhere you go and each page that you open, each (throat clear) podcast you listen to. I personally have recently done my very first video. I still have to post the outtakes, I will tag you guys in them. They are hilarious. Much better than the video itself. I cannot imagine wanting to be on video every day or multiple times a day. Thank God that I don’t have that desire. Every time someone asks me to do it, this horrible anxiety enters the pit of my stomach and I start to sweat. Nothing makes me do that. Why would I put myself through that? And on a daily or weekly basis, NO WAY….

  • Can you tell that I type while I am listening? tee hee…

    I have decided that I want to make Ryan EARN his dollar…. I think we should all find out when he is going to be answering questions on Periscope and be on there throwing some “AWESOME” questions at him….. I think maybe we could stump him if we tried really hard.. Maybe make him blush…