Hop on any social channel, and you’ll quickly realize, live streaming has become mainstream, and for good reason. Live streaming is a fun, extremely valuable tool for promoting your brand and growing your audience. And it’s easy, inexpensive, and can be done from almost anywhere. However you will note it’s not the same as professional broadcasting.
Creating engaging, quality content, there are some tricks to the trade you need to implement. Especially if you are using video for marketing purposes and want to look professional and stand out from the competition.
Here are ten tried and true live streaming tips that will help you produce killer content that will keep your audience coming back for more.
1. Know What You Need for Professional Broadcasting
When producing an important event, you will want to be sure you have all the elements you need. This is sometimes outside of your professional knowledge or scope. Consider discussing your professional broadcasting needs with a production company that may facilitate event broadcasting.
Professional broadcasting production companies can alleviate a lot of fears and provide the technical expertise you need to feel confident as you navigate a new terrain in event production.
2. Familiarize Yourself With the Equipment
Even with a simple setup, you still want to do a test run to make sure you avoid any potential mishaps. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of your camera, microphone, and other accessories, so you don’t risk annoying tech issues. You also want to learn all the features available on your recording software and practice running it to make sure everything syncs up before you go live. Again a professional broadcasting company can alleviate fears in the technology department, enabling you to focus on your real sales and marketing goals.
3. Plan for Bandwidth Usage
Bandwidth will make or break your live stream. Your stream’s Mb/s bit rate (process time for video/audio data) needs to be lower than your network’s limit to ensure a quality broadcast for your viewers.
First, test your network speed with a tool like www.speedtest.net. Next, pause or disable all unnecessary apps eating up data bandwidth (Google Drive, etc.). Encode your streamed content using a codec to compress data to ensure a quality, reliable broadcast for your audience.
4. Make a Professional Broadcast Plan
To provide the best experience for your audience, preparation is key. Make checklists for setup and processes to keep yourself organized and confident.
And while you don’t need to write out a detailed script, you should have your takeaway and main points written down somewhere that’s easily accessible during your stream. This will make sure your stream flows organically, and you can stay on track if you do happen to get nervous or distracted.
Learn how to plan a Hybrid event from scratch with these tips from Van Wagner!
5. Set Up a Streaming Schedule
Selecting a regular time to stream live and sticking to it is the best way to grow your audience. Your following will know exactly when to tune in to catch you and tell their friends to do the same.
A consistent schedule also makes it easier to promote your live broadcasts. Send out a few posts on your social channels announcing when you will go live and encourage shares to increase engagement and anticipation.
6. Provide Adequate Lighting
Good lighting can help brighten the mood and your face. Bad lighting can drown you or your video out completely. If the lighting is dim, use a lamp to brighten your face from the front (but make sure it doesn’t create shadows). If it’s bright outside, avoid sitting in front of a window. If you are outside, find a position that doesn’t blind your viewers or leave you streaming in the dark.
7. Keep Camera at Eye Level
You want to look directly into the camera as much as possible to emulate looking into the eyes of your viewer. This fosters a more personal connection, plus it’s the most flattering position for your face!
Important note: if you are using an external display monitor, it’s common to place it directly under your camera. Resist continuously looking down to read comments, etc., or you risk getting distracted, or worse, losing your audience completely.
8. Minimize Outdoor Sounds
If your audience tunes in and can’t hear you, they will most likely tune out before you can fix the problem. Allow yourself enough time before to test the noise level and shut off any fans or appliances.
If you are outside and it’s windy, find a way to block the wind before you dive in. And don’t forget to turn off your sound notifications. Your audience might think the alerts are coming from their device and stop watching to check.
9. Stage Your Scene
Live streaming offers you the luxury of broadcasting from your own home or getting adventurous and taking your broadcast on the road. That said, you want to set up your backdrop so that it’s pleasant to look at but not overly distracting.
10. Wear Appropriate Clothing
You want to make an impression, so dress the part! You are putting a face to a name and a personality to your brand, so make sure to represent. Choose colors that contrast with your background so you stand out, but avoid small prints, stripes, or square patterns that might be distracting. Your best bet is to wear something you feel comfortable in made of solid, vivid colors- that looks polished and reflects your style.
Check out this article from Van Wagner about Hybrid events are changing the game in audience engagement!
These Tips Will Help You Get Better at Livestreaming
Like anything, your live streams will get easier and better with practice. But as you get started, give yourself plenty of time to prepare mentally and logistically before you go live. You will feel more relaxed and focused, which will provide a more enjoyable experience for both you and your audience.
Once you get more comfortable, you can use your streams as a way to increase engagement with your audience via chats, polls, or Q&As. If you can, recruit a moderator to help filter comments and questions, so the audience doesn’t have to sit in silence while you sift through the chat feed.
And remember, no matter how good you are, you are going to make the occasional mistake. Just roll with it and have fun! Use your fumbles as opportunities to show your human side, which is actually the best way to connect authentically with your audience and show your more playful side.