Live Streaming For Businesses and Marketing: 5 Basic Tips
Live-streaming has become an increasingly effective means of social media marketing, as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter publicize live videos, notifying users when friends are going “live” and making live videos jump to the top of feeds. In general, video content performs best on social media, but the extra push given to live videos by the major platforms gives extra reason to consider live-streaming for your business.
Additionally, live-streaming opportunities are expanding. Since many millennials use their computers to stream videos instead of using an actual television, networks and producers are trying to figure out ways to livestream more content in different ways online.
Facebook in particular is making a push for users to become more familiar with live-streaming. On Women’s Day this past March, Facebook launched a campaign, encouraging everyone from world leaders to everyday users to use Facebook Live with the hashtag #SheMeansBusiness to “shine a light on inspiring women and women-run businesses in celebration of International Women’s Day.” Facebook also posted a one-page guide on how to use Facebook live, suspecting users would be unfamiliar with the form.
As Facebook and other platforms make a point of encouraging live-streaming, live videos are becoming increasingly common and effective for reaching an audience. Of course, it’s more difficult and risky to create compelling live content, but the payoffs could be great.
Twitter posted a 5 step guide for how to go live, which can help you make your videos as effective as possible.
The tips are summarized below:
- Notify in Advance
Make sure people know when you’re going live! Give details – when, where, why – to get users excited. If nobody knows you’re going live, you’ll get viewers drawn from the special live-streaming alerts users get, but your viewership will increase if people know when to tune in.
You can send out messages to groups of users, post on other social media platforms, and send out e-mails. Additionally, Facebook recently began alerting users to watch “Popular Live Videos,” sharing new live videos with users who are not necessarily connected to the user streaming. For businesses in particular, having a Popular Live Video could significantly enhance visibility. Twitter also has a version of Facebook’s Popular Live Videos, providing a page of “trending” live-streaming videos.
Make sure to prepare before going live. If lighting or audio are poor, your video will seem unprofessional, and you’ll lose viewers. Make sure to set everything up and do a test run before actually going live. Twitter suggests to check the following things during a test run:
- Audio test to make sure your sound is at the right level and clear.
- Observe any background noise and move locations if it is too distracting.
- To make the camera steady, use a tripod or a very steady hand.
- Make sure your phone is charged! There’s nothing worse than losing battery half-way through a live-streaming video.
- Check connection strength – if it’s too low, the steam quality will suffer or the video will drop out completely.
- Study you own engagement to optimize how and when to start live-streaming.
While users are not expecting a totally professional production, it’s important to make sure these issues are addressed so the video looks and sounds good enough to be compelling. Blurry or hard to hear videos aren’t cool in their casualness, they are unclear and ineffective; if users can’t follow what is happening, they will lose interest almost immediately. However, do not rule out spontaneity – part of the fun of a live video is that it isn’t 100% polished!
- Consider Periscope Producer
Periscope Producer is a tool that allows users to stream videos directly to Periscope through myriad devices, not just a smartphone. This enables businesses or users interested in more professional quality live-streaming to use professional camera, editing rigs, desktops, and more to upload videos or stream them live. This way, you can have better and clearer images and include technological elements like graphics, which can all help make content stand out.
Additionally, Twitter is hoping to release their live API within the coming months, which will enable media firms to plug directly into Twitter’s software instead of having to establish a deal with a social media platform or use its Periscope app. This will make it easier for businesses to live-stream high quality videos.
- Have a Catchy Title
Remember that headlines matter; they are what “catch” customers. If your title is boring or uninformative, nobody will be interested in the video you post.
Strong titles are short and sweet, but use powerful words to describe the content. Emojis in particular have become popular on Twitter, and can be used in your titles to help your live-streaming video stand out.
While you want your title to seem interesting, make sure it is also related to the video you are steaming. A title helps people find your video when they are searching for something to watch, and it also helps audiences who are interested in your business know your live video contains content they are interested in.
- Make the first 3 seconds strong
Facebook found that 65% of users who watch a video for the first 3 seconds are likely to watch for a minimum of 10 seconds. Essentially, if you are able to catch your audience in the first 3 seconds, they are likely to stick around for more.
For this reason, Twitter advices to avoid slow beginnings that include countdowns, lags, or still images in the first few seconds. You need to give people a reason to watch, and if the pace is slow, users will not stick around.
Essentially, live-streaming is an exciting new method of content sharing that is currently being pushed by the major social media platforms, and utilizing live videos is a good way to reach customers as a business. As live-streaming technologies and techniques develop, we’ll surely see more companies using live videos as a means of marketing. Observe the 5 basic tips provided by Twitter above, and you’ll be off to a great start.