More people than ever are now using live streaming. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – even LinkedIn! Audiences are tuning in to discover how much they love to watch the ‘B-side’ of their favorite brands.
But streaming is not just a passing trend. It’s one of the most engaging types of online content there is, right up there with podcasts and animated explainer videos. And if brands want to stay current and to engage with their audience, they should consider jumping on the bandwagon ASAP!
Luckily, today it’s super easy to conduct a broadcast. Since all platforms want in, they’ve made it easy for everyone to broadcast at any given time! But just because anyone can broadcast, it doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to do it right. So, today, we’ll go through the basics of how to conduct a successful live stream!
Before the Broadcast
Every video begins with a solid strategy, even Live ones. So, before you even hit that “play” button you need to know that everything’s on check: you’ve double-checked that your equipment works, you know the ins-and-outs of setting up a live stream on the platform of your choosing, and you’ve got a solid topic you can talk about at length!
So, let’s explore those elements in a bit more detail, shall we?
Source Content from Your Audience
You want to stream, but you don’t know what to talk about? Don’t worry — your audience does!
Your audience knows what they are interested in, and the best way to deliver content that’s valuable to them is by asking about what they want to learn! Run polls, ask people about what they want you to speak about through social media, or create themes based on frequent topics or questions from the community.
The best way to get people excited about a topic is to let them pick it! Analyzing your audience and what they want will also give you a hint of where you should conduct your live event — choose the platform where your audience prefers to be.
Double-Check the Basic Technical Details!
A lot of potentially good live videos end up failing. The reason? Something perfectly avoidable — bad lighting, sound problems, connection, or stability issues… But yours won’t suffer these setbacks because you’re smart enough to check all the technical details before you go Live!
- Light: Choose lights that highlight your face without burning your image. There are plenty of professional and semi-professional lights that you can find online at affordable prices. Otherwise, choose a room with lots of natural light.
- Sound: The best option is a lavalier mic (the ones that you clip on to your shirt). These mics are hand-free and are designed to receive the sound directly from your mouth while filtering ambient sound. If you can’t get one of these, at least make sure that your audio is coming across loud and clear, and that you’re in a quiet environment with the least possible ambient noise.
- Internet: A fast and steady Internet connection is essential. Lots of great live streams come to an early end because of the connection failing! And you can bet you audience won’t stick around too long after that.
If you take care of these three technical factors, it won’t matter if you’re filming from a professional camera or your iPhone — your live stream’s basics will be under control.
Promote Your Event Ahead of Time
You can’t just start a Livestream out of the blue and expect people to tune in. Sure, some may do it, but you’ll be losing most of your potential audience just because you didn’t bother to let them know in advance.
Don’t make that mistake; promote your stream. Use social media posts detailing the time and date of the event, or create interactive stories encouraging people to leave their questions or topic suggestions for the live stream. You can schedule a live event on platforms like YouTube or Facebook as well to build anticipation.
Whatever you do, just remember: promote, promote, promote.
During the Broadcast
Time to hit that Live button! Just don’t let your guard off just yet: it’s important to know how to behave during a broadcast to attract your viewer’s attention and keep it.
Offer Context Constantly
Your common sense tells you that it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and your company at the beginning of your video broadcast. That’s how it happens in most online content, right?
Well, while this can be true for blog posts and podcasts, it’s not for live videos. Broadcasting platforms allow visitors to join a stream at any moment, so every once in a while, you’ll need to reintroduce yourself and tell a bit of context about what’s happening.
Engage with Your Audience
When used correctly, live videos are a fantastic tool to engage with your audience because it’s a format that feels more like a two-way conversation than any other one.
Make sure to conduct this conversation naturally by responding to the comments that appear live on air. This will invite more people to share their thoughts and opinions as you go along! Interacting with your viewers will help boost engagement and keep them coming back to your future shows for more – a common practice used by the best video production companies out there that you should try to emulate!
Another part of engaging with your audience is to look right at them. Just like in real-life conversations — eye-contact is vital! So, try your best to look at the camera when you’re speaking, not at the phone screen or monitor (… unless you’re a gaming streamer, in which case, maybe you should be looking at the monitor).
After the Broadcast
No, we’re not over yet! Just like with any other marketing video, there’s some post-production that needs to be done, even if it looks a bit different for live videos. Let’s take a look!
Analyze the Results
Most marketing strategies are based on creating content, analyzing the result of the audience, and improving the content until it meets the campaign’s goals. Live video is not the exception — analyzing the results of your broadcast will give you the data that you need to keep optimizing your future live events!
On platforms like YouTube and Facebook Live, you can see certain metrics for live videos that are very interesting to keep track of. For example, you can see the total number of people who watched at least a portion of the video and a count of how many viewers you had at different points in time — with this information in your hands, you can understand the topics that were most interesting to your audience.
The more you learn about your viewer preferences, the likelier you are to create stronger videos in the future, so don’t give up!
Share It Everywhere!
Live broadcasts are generally not the most polished productions, and sometimes brands get self-conscious of leaving their live videos public on their pages forever. But doing it can be super useful to get to the audience that wasn’t able to attend the event in the first place!
A smart thing to do is to download the video, edit it (trim it up a little, make sure it looks more polished, add branded elements like nametags and logos) and then upload it to your regular channels.
And when you do it, share it everywhere! Locate specific groups of people on Facebook that share an interest in the topic that you talked about, and spread the word about your newly uploaded stream. Or upload it to your IGTV — It will make it easier for your audience to share it with their followers!
Just remember that there’s live for your video after the broadcast ends. Let it shine for -at least- a little longer!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
You’re now ready to create live videos as a part of your branding! Just remember:
- Make sure to promote your live stream as much as you can ahead of time.
- Take good care of all the technical details!
- Engage in an active conversation with your audience, read their comments in real-time!
- Take a look at the analytics of your broadcast and keep improving your game!
And, most importantly, just have fun. Live videos are a great way to bring people and brands together because they show the real, natural, and unscripted side of the brand. So take note of that and just be your -awesome- self!
Are you ready to start using live video?
About the author
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.