According to LiveStream, a video live stream platform, 80 percent of users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82 percent prefer live video from a brand to social posts. If those numbers don’t convince you that your organization needs to be considering live video as a part of your marketing strategy, I’m not sure what will.
If you haven’t read up on live streaming lately, you may be missing opportunities to engage with your online community, not to mention the chance to grow it. Live streaming allows users to broadcast videos to their networks in essentially real-time, with little or no special equipment necessary. And while the concept of live streaming isn’t necessarily a new one, the idea of giving that “power” to anyone with an iPhone and an internet connection is. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube all have live streaming capabilities — whether it’s using your mobile device, using the built-in camera on your laptop or desktop or connecting to an actual camera. During a live-stream, users can tune in, post comments/questions and share reactions – giving the person in the video (or the videographer) real-time feedback to react to. After the live video has ended, brands and individuals can get insights into how many viewers tuned in and how engaged they were (e.g. average watch time).
Now that we’re all on the same page when it comes to the basics of live streaming, you might be asking yourself, “How do I prepare for my first live video?”
Brainstorm and pick an idea
While the whole live aspect might signal to viewers that you’re shooting your video on a whim, great live videos are well planned and thoughtfully executed. Start by brainstorming ideas that will provide value to your audience. And remember, live streaming should not be confused with a QVC infomercial.
Alert necessary internal audiences
Do an assessment of who needs to know about your plan to go live (e.g. Do you need to notify legal?) and make sure they are given ample time to understand what is happening. This also may include notifying internal subject matter experts or talent whom you may need to convince to appear in your video. Also, make sure you have proper permissions and access to the social media accounts that you’ll be using. You don’t want to find out on the day of your video shoot that you are only a page publisher and not an account admin of the company Facebook page.
Do a test run with your technology
Decide what you’re going to use to capture your live video and do a few test runs. You don’t want to be working out the kinks while your audience is tuning in. This also is a great time to test your audio levels and to ensure that your Wi-Fi connection is fast enough to support your stream. You don’t need a fancy camera setup; streaming from an iPhone can work as long as you’re prepared.
At Hodges we’ve had great experiences using a Mevo camera for our own Facebook Live videos. This tiny camera can shoot in 4K and allows you to quickly cut between tight and wide shots seamlessly.
This also is a great time to do a test run with the talent who will appear in your video, giving them a chance to become more comfortable with the idea of speaking to a live (virtual) audience.
Promote your video
Don’t leave it up to viewers to just tune in on the day of your live video. Promote it through your organization’s various social channels, use targeted social advertising to reach new audiences and send an email out to your existing audiences who might be interested in what you’ll be sharing. And, of course, make sure your internal audiences know about the live stream, too.
Here are two examples of live videos we’ve done for Hodges
You’re officially ready to go live! We can’t wait to see the content you create. If you’re still feeling like you need a few more resources to get you started, here are some tips/tricks from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.