You’ve heard it preached everywhere that social media is constantly shifting and changing and moving. It’s hard enough to stay updated and relevant on the popular platforms without the pending arrival of new platforms that threaten to send your teams into a flurry of stress. But they’re out there and they’re coming, so here are a few we think you should check into or at least keep your eye on.

Live Video Streaming Apps

People are hungry for content and words on paper just aren’t cutting it anymore. People value ease of access and timely delivery; plus, images and video are easier to digest. It’s no surprise that when Instagram broke into the social media space, the digital world breathed a sigh of relief at the arrival of consumable, creative media. But continual innovation has brought yet another player to the table—live streaming video.

Now more than ever, you can bring along your audience into whatever you’re doing whether it’s something exciting like climbing Machu Picchu or simply demonstrating how to eat a Chipotle burrito in two minutes. Maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe you’re even using them already—meet Meerkat and Periscope, the rascals guilty of reordering the landscape of communication yet again.

Both Meerkat and Periscope work relatively the same way, and the competition between the two is intense. Strong opinions shout from both sides, but the verdict is still out on which one is the clear winner or if there is room for both.

The basic set-up on each platform is the same. You download the app, create a profile, and then start streaming the oh-so-interesting video of Mike doing pushups at the office. Sounds fun, right?

In all reality, a lot of good can come from investing in live streaming. Whether it’s using the tool to broadcast a church event across the country, streaming a book or album launch, or showcasing a behind-the-scenes or day-in-the-life-of, you can now facilitate a more personal connection with your users through live video streaming. It gives you a chance to cultivate audiences around the nation and the world.

Meerkat broke into the market first, but with each update and change, Periscope has been clipping on Meerkat’s heels, refusing to be left behind.

Meerkat’s biggest disadvantage currently is Twitter’s recent decision to deny the platform access to the Twitter contact grid. On Periscope, you can follow your Twitter audience with one click of a button. Because Meerkat was denied access to this, its users are left to search laboriously for people by their specific user names.

Both platforms give you the option to post a link to Twitter to notify users of your broadcast, but Periscope also keeps all your broadcasts available for replay for 24 hours.

Overall, the Periscope platform seems a little cleaner than Meerkat and gives the broadcaster more functionality (who can chat, share location, etc.). Our advice? Download both, play around with them and see which one works better for you. Be prepared when the perfect opportunity arises for you to use this fun communication!

The Ten Second Marketing Window

Thanks to smartphones, the average human attention span is somewhere between 8 and 12 seconds. If you don’t stun your audience in that time frame, you lose them. Naturally, Snapchat becomes the perfect place for many to communicate with younger audiences.

With the addition of Discover, marketers really perked up and started paying attention. Now countless brands use the Story feature to share their brand in a fun way. Because young people (and even some older age demographics), regardless of interest, occupation, or industry, are almost equally as invested in Snapchat, any business, organization or ministry can find an audience in the space.

Check out how successful the first Snapchat marketing campaign was. Now brands everywhere are using it, whether it’s a daily update or a sporadic sharing of a fun event or weekend.

Try it out. Create a profile for your church or organization, and advertise your Snapchat presence on other social platforms. See how many users you pull and start creating fun campaign ideas. Don’t worry about adding content everyday, just focus on building out your first campaign, measuring the response, and growing from there. The fun aspect of Snapchat is just that—it’s fun. Here’s where you can breathe a little more, let loose on the marketing reins and have fun with your audience.

Marketing opportunities are everywhere. Sometimes a new platform or communication method may seem completely ridiculous for marketers at first (like Snapchat), but can end up being a gold mine.

The best way to stay on top of revolving trends and the ever-changing app market is to keep your ears and eyes open and research often. When someone mentions a furiously hot selling app, check it out. See if other marketers are using it in creative ways and determine if there’s something that you could be doing with it.

In the meantime, check out these three apps: Kenshoo, Meetey, Frilp—they just might become your next marketing channel.

Digital Growth Strategies