Periscope, Meerkat and other live-streaming channels are fast becoming the next big thing in social networking, bringing with them their own set of stars and influencers.

But how do brands and marketers tap into this emerging platform and make meaningful partnerships with their stars?

At the Festival of Marketing, Celebrity Intelligence editorial director Nina Tsang sat down with two of the biggest stars emerging from this social sphere; Alex Pettitt and Matt Adlard aka The Topless Baker.

Below are four things we learned, and for more on this topic read:

1. Be brave, be bold

With the medium still in its infancy, not many brands have begun to incorporate live-streaming into their media plans and many need to be convinced that it’s the right thing for them.

As was the case with a client of Matt’s who wasn’t sure that it was the right way to go.

It was, in fact, this that inspired Matt to begin his own Meerkat channel, and after his viewership increased from eight to 1,600 in two weeks, it quickly became clear that this is a phenomenon that is set to grow and grow.

Both Matt and Alex agree that the best advice they could give would be to be bold and experiment with the medium.

They point out that there is a gap in the market for brands to really take ownership of their channels and become innovators and trailblazers in this field; if they’re only willing to take a chance.

2. Don’t expect traditional KPIs 

One factor that could put marketers off from tapping into the live-streaming market is the fact that traditional KPIs aren’t always available, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

Alex asserted that while measurement and statistics relating to Periscope aren’t always accurate, there are ways to track engagement.

For instance, a brand offering a percentage discount on products featured throughout a stream means you are able to track some ROI from the partnership.

Both stars were keen to point out though that the beauty of live-streaming is the real-time interaction you get with consumers.

Viewers are able to ask questions and offer insights during the stream, giving a level of engagement that has never been seen before.

3. Be prepared to relinquish some creativity

When working with an influencer it’s important to give them some of the control over the stream or post.

You need to trust that they know their audience and their platform better than you and therefore know the best way to sell your product to their audience.

Alex is quick to point out that while it’s necessary to have a brief and an ultimate goal, the brand needs to recognise where it can step away and allow the influencer to do what they do best, especially when it comes to new platforms, such as Periscope and Meerkat, where brands may feel out of their comfort zone.

Partnering with influencers active in that space means that brands are getting expertise they otherwise may not have.

4. Authenticity lies at the heart of everything 

It’s a phrase marketers hear time and time again, and the world of live-streaming is no exception; authenticity is key.

Brands need to partner with an influencer that aligns with their own interests and morals. It needs to be a partnership that makes sense for the influencer and the brand.

Alex admits that he actually turns down 90% of the sponsorship offers he receives, as they just aren’t right for his own brand and his channel.

Brands and marketers need to do their homework so the relationship feels as real as possible to consumers and fans.