Tips to Consider Before You Use Livestreaming Video

Remember VCRs?

Video, like most technology, has accelerated at a massive rate. New 360 videos and live streaming are opening up new, somewhat unexploited opportunities for content. While live broadcast isn’t a new technology, smartphones have made it extremely popular.

Today, there are several key players in the game:

  • Facebook Live: When it was launched last summer, only “public figures” (aka celebrities) had access. It’s now available to everyone. Viewers can comment, Like and share your Live feed.
  • Periscope: A free app known for overtaking Meerkat. The streams are largely distributed through Twitter and the experience isn’t one-way; viewers can provide feedback in real-time by sending comments and hearts.
  • YouTube Live: YouTube has lagged behind in live. It’s primarily focused on broadcasting events and gaming. However, YouTube announced the rollout of a mobile live streaming product back in June.

Live streaming lends itself to a different level of user interaction and real-time audience feedback. It allows brands to drop the corporate veil and connect human-to-human. It’s a great way to generate excitement around an event, release a new product, or go-behind the scenes. It provides fans with “raw” unfiltered footage.

Each platform comes with its own advantages & disadvantages. Facebook Live is rapidly emerging as the most significant player, but all have great uses. What’s most important is that you follow some general best practices for a successful broadcast:

  1. Build an audience. You should let people know ahead of time when you’ll be broadcasting live by posting something on your News Feed.
  2. Ensure a strong connection. Yup, you need to check to make sure that you have a strong signal before going live. No signal, no dice.
  3. Broadcast for at least 10 minutes. This is essential to drawing in viewers over the course of a stream. Think about it… the longer you’re on the air, the more likely people are to discover your video and share it with their friends. A short, abbreviated stream has a smaller window for a viewer to participate in.
  4. The power of personality. Make it fun. Keep viewers excited.
  5. Find opportunities for audience interaction. Your viewers will be thrilled if you mention their name and answer their questions when you’re live.
  6. Expect the unexpected. Always, with live-anything. There is constantly room for unplanned events or mishaps. Be ready for them.

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