Earlier this year Alex Khan was in Los Angeles. Alex is one of the top Periscope creators, currently with 131k followers and over 46MM likes as of this writing and he is running a blog for the best Periscope tips on AlexKhan.tv. We sat down for lunch at Umami burger for a chat about Periscope, influencer marketing and the evolving ways that people communicate. This is the second in a three part interview with a Alex, who recently had the honor of being a Keynote Speaker at the Periscope Summit.
A lot of influencer marketing is about authenticity and transparency, which is so different than big Hollywood. If you look at Tom Cruise or Emily Blunt they are real people, but their personas are fake. You don’t know who they are or what they are up to. And then, when you do know what they are interested in you find out it’s stuff you can’t relate to, and that hurts the artist’s brand reputation. That authenticity is there on Vine and Instagram, but when you are in Periscope it’s completely in the moment. You’re putting yourself out there. In the morning. In your pajamas. That’s real life.
I think key to success on Periscope is about having something to say, and it’s better if it’s really what you mean and you don´t fake anything. There are some people on Periscope who I’ve been following from the beginning and they did a really good job, but some are holding back. People want to be part of your experience, but you also have to evolve with the audience as they become more sophisticated. For example, the things I did at the beginning of Periscope won’t work today. Jumping around was fine at the beginning, but I need to develop and so I am focussing more on giving best advice in how to use this new medium.
The only way in the long term to be interested to an audience is that you care for them, and they care for you. It’s a mutual agreement between us to go for it. To be who you are. You are not Tom Cruise. You aren’t a celebrity. The only thing that you can do on Periscope is be yourself really well and add value. You can be live and unedited. If you are able to do this, and you have a message, you will do well on Periscope.
Have you seen brands working on Periscope?
There are obvious integrations, like making sure products are in view during a stream. The more sophisticated part is using a product during a stream, and ensuring the Periscope streamer loves the product. Ideally, you want a streamer who says to a brand: “I’m already using your product. Now we can work together because I already like your product.” There’s a mutual interest. The advertiser may not want to reach existing customers, but the advertiser ensures they reach new audiences, and they have more control over product’s usage.
Brands have to keep tabs on the message, the tone and the products that the streamer likes and work with that preferred list of streamers. I do give aways, like one recently for the Apple Watch. I had about 2,000 followers on Twitter, but for the giveaway I got over 500 retweets. That’s huge. I did the entire promotion on Periscope. I talked about the Apple Watch, told the viewers they need to stay until the end of the show and give hearts. In one hour we’ll start, set the time for the giveaway, be sure to follow all my accounts and you have a chance to win. We have a website that chooses a random retweet and it delivers a winner. A 17 year old kid in the Netherlands won the Apple Watch.
Those kinds of promotions do really well. We’re up to 800 retweets, because people retweeted even after the contest was over. It was amazing. In the first minute we got 300 retweets.
How do people get to the Alex Khan level of Periscope stardom?
I was consulting businesses, and you should look at this as a business. As a content creator: who am I ? What value do I bring to people? Try to pre-promote your show and tell your friends about you.
As to gaining popularity I think every life is interesting. Being who you are and sharing with the world information that is unique to you is important. You need to give something valuable: intimacy, fantasy, privacy, entertainment, but it can be education as well. I’m very lucky because I was in the first stage of Periscope. I’m very lucky because when many people center around something it attracts an audiences, just the spectacle of the thing becomes a factor.
It’s important to keep people informed of the work you do. Make sure people know what you are talking about. I’m sure search will improve as well, so you’ll be able to find more people with similar interests.
Finally, make sure your profile accurately depicts your interests. As the search feature improves that text will become very important. Try to use effective hashtags in your Periscope title because that gets amplified on Twitter.
A catchy title with some emoticons, saying hello, letting viewers know what the discussion will be about, introduce yourself and helping them share your stream to their followers. All of these are best practices which result in being discovered in your niche. So, focus on building a reputation in one niche you are passionate about. You will find many more tips & tricks on my blog AlexKhan.tv
Who do you watch?
I’m watching Mark Shaw, Ryan A Bell and Brian Fanzo. I like Keaton Keller because we worked together on the Apple Watch giveaway and we share a mutual interest around tech. I like Tasmin Khan. She has a broadcasting background. It’s great to watch her. I met her here in L.A. and she’s a beautiful and charming person.
I like to tune in to streams and see what’s going on. I tune in a lot to my followers, too to understand my audience and stay connected. With some I really became close, which feels kind of weird but lovely at the same time.
On other platforms I like Instagram as I do love photos. I’m also on FB to engage with my fans, but it’s very different to broadcasting. The interaction is much more subdued. My top platforms are Periscope, Instagram, Facebook, and of course Twitter. In fact my number one platform is Twitter. I get so many messages and retweets daily that I’m on Twitter constantly. Through Periscope my Twitter became my number one social media platform.
Do you work with advertisers? Is that a priority? How do you work with advertisers?
The good thing is that I am using periscope not for a business purpose. I have a company, so I don’t need to make money with streaming. I can focus on my passion and this is engaging with my followers and helping them to achieve their goals with periscope.
So I haven´t done any sponsorships or advertising so far but, if it fits and I can bring a real benefit to my followers I would be open to do it.
Thank you for your time!
Alex Khan continues to travel the world, Periscoping daily, and speaking at conferences.
About the Author
Robert Brill is the Founder and CEO of BrillMedia.co, a programmatic advertising agency and consulting practice.