There’s something captivating about tuning into a live event. Whether it is a performance, interview, or a product presentation, we all love to engage with brands that let us interact with them in real-time.
Social media platforms understand this, which is why so many of them have entered the live-video world. Existent platforms like Facebook and Twitter have incorporated native streaming options, and there are even huge streaming-only platforms, like Twitch.
Because it’s so easily accessible, it would be a shame for any business not to jump on the bandwagon. Social live streams are a tool that gets engagement rates through the roof, and it’s open to everyone to use!
But just because anyone can do it, it doesn’t mean they can do it right.
So, in this piece, we’ve gathered all the best broadcasting tips from professional video companies to bring you the right way to do video streaming.
How to Plan a Broadcast
Your live video begins way before you hit that ‘Go Live’ button when you construct a solid strategy. Why are you planning to broadcast? Do you have specific goals besides engaging in a conversation with your audience?
Just like any other effective type of video content, you’ll need to decide what your core message is. There are a million popular reasons why you might want to conduct a live stream:
- You have a new product or service, and you want to promote it.
- You notice that your audience has very recurrent questions about a certain topic, and you decide to have a Live Q&A.
- You want to share some of the behind-the-scenes of your brand with your audience to further your branding or prompt conversions.
… and everything else in between. But whatever your particular reason is, you need to decide it upfront so you can plan your message accordingly.
You’ll also need to think about the platform in which you’ll make the broadcast. As we mentioned earlier, most social media platforms are including live streams on their repertoire, so there should be no excuse — your stream needs to be where your target audience is.
If the majority of your audience interacts with you on Twitter, then go there! Don’t try to force another platform, or you’ll risk losing visibility.
Last but not least, make sure you know all technical factors are under control before you even begin to think about going live. You’ll need a stable internet connection, good lighting and camera resolution, and a place with no background noise that could distract the audience from your content. Keep everything as professional-looking as possible!
To that end, you should always conduct a test run before you go live. That way, you’ll be able to check all the basics of lighting, audio, and image composition, and have fewer things to worry about once you actually go live.
Including CTAs in Your Live Stream
On a regular branded video - think of a classic ad, a How-to, or a whiteboard animation -, you’ll probably add a call to action (CTA) at the end of it. Something asking your audience to buy your product, download an eBook, visit your website… But with live videos, you can’t afford to wait until the end to make your CTAs.
It’s unlikely that every single one of your viewers will stay until the end of the stream – after all, people online have very short attention spans – so you need to start hinting right from the beginning what it is you’d want them to do next.
Choose a single call to action that’s directly related to the main message of your stream and reinforce it at least three times during your broadcast. It can be at the beginning, middle, and end. This is not a hard rule, though. You can do more, provided that there are included naturally in your discourse, and don’t come off as too promotional.
You don’t want your CTAs to feel like a hard sell. Successful live videos work because they’re organic, conversational, and informational, and your CTA should feel as organic as the rest of your stream.
Think of your call to action as a way to kindly guide your audience to their next activity — whether that’s subscribing to a newsletter, checking out a product, or tuning in to next week’s broadcast.
Using Branded Elements on Live Streams
Live streams are supposed to look natural and laid-back so that you’re able to connect with your audience easily. But this doesn’t mean that you can let branding aside! Including branded visuals in your streams – like your logo or custom designs – will help you build a strong, consistent image that fits in with the rest of your content.
Unfortunately, this is something that’s not yet available natively on most social media platforms natively, but you can use some external help to achieve a professional outcome. With websites like Lightstream or BeLive, you can add visuals to help give your stream a more polished, professional look that’s effectively branded.
Moreover, producing a live video with a strong branded image will give authority to your message; it will position you as a trustworthy brand that knows what it’s doing — both online and offline. Best part? Tools like these are as easy as dragging and dropping an image on the stream’s feed, so their learning curve is quite low!
One pro-tip: Make sure that the focus of your video is in your message, not on your visuals. Branding is most effective when it’s subtle.
Promotion is key!
People might just happen to catch your video as you press the button to ‘go live,’ but having an engaged audience during your live stream is not something you’d want to leave up to chance.
The best way to boost those viewing numbers is to promote your live event beforehand. You can do so by starting a countdown on your various social platforms with organic content. If your ad budget allows it, you might want to invest some in promoting your broadcast through ads to reach more people (even those that aren’t your followers yet!).
Live videos show the real people behind the brands — people with real personalities and feelings, and that makes audiences feel closer to the brands that they follow. Most importantly, these videos help create a community, and that’s super important for any company that wants to establish a strong brand image!
Viewers love when their favorite brands do live streams. The algorithm of all social platforms loves streaming as well. So really, there’s no way this can go wrong! Are you ready to include live video on your branding strategy today?
Bio Victor Blasco:
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.