What is streaming
However hard you get prepared, there is always an element of immediacy in such an event: improvisations, puns, slipups, etc.
Even so, live streamers build better relationships with their audiences. They create an atmosphere of trust and intimacy, and their followers readily turn a blind eye to some technical imperfections.
Nevertheless, there are certain "rules of thumb" on how to live stream, and we are happy to share them with you. If you are interested in a theory, you can get more general information on live videos in our previous article. This one is all about practice.
How to live stream
There are several main phases of the whole process.
At this step, you should thoroughly analyze your audience and decide on your purposes.
First, make sure you’ll go live when it suits your audience the most. The general rule is. Usually, people are more active on social media in the afternoon on workdays, as weekends are usually for family and offline activities. But each streaming video platform has its peculiarities, so check them out.
Then, define your purposes. Do you want to attract more followers? Increase brand awareness and customers' loyalty? Promote a new product and push sales up? Answering these questions will also help you to answer the question, "What should I stream?".
The main options are:
- Q&A session. Just let your followers ask whatever they want.
- An interview with a specialist in your field.
- Live stream during some offline event.
- "How to" videos or product presentations.
Choosing a platform
There are many live streaming services, including free ones, such as YouTube Live, Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live, and others. Each of them has pros and cons. For example, YouTube includes ads in any video on a free account. On the other hand, it provides a wider variety of options for planning and setting up.
It may be a good idea to set up cross-platform live streaming on several sites simultaneously. You'll probably need a special app for that, which leads us to the next point.
Check out which hardware and software you need and make sure you have it. Set everything up and give a trial run to ensure it will work as it should when the time comes. If you're an amateur vlogger and can't invest large sums in professional equipment, buy at least a tripod and an external mic, as followers will not appreciate a shaky image or a lousy sound.
Then, depending on your stream type, write a script or note down some key points, so-called milestones. Think about what you're going to do if something goes wrong. Of course, you can't envisage all the possible failures, but it's important not to be taken aback.
The last preparation action — promote your future stream in any way possible. Encourage your followers to share the link, set targeted emails to your subscribers, etc.
Run the stream
While streaming, there are two points to focus on:
- Keep your audience involved. Don't be just a "talking head". Interact with the viewers in the comments, answer their questions, joke, ask them to vote for something, etc. Call them to action at the end of the stream, but without too much pressure. Let them feel needed and significant for you and your business.
- Have fun! Be optimistic, witty, and easy-going. Such an attitude really fascinates the audience.
Don't forget to record your live video!
Analyze the effect
Now it's time to gather stones. Rewatch the stream and analyze all the minor hiccups you had. Don't blame yourself, perfection comes with experience. Just be aware of your weaknesses and work on them.
Then, depending on the initial purpose, analyze the results. Have the sales soared? Do you have more followers? Use all the analytics the platform provides.
It's not the end, though. You can repurpose your recorded stream and milk it for all it's worth.
- Edit video and post as a separate piece.
- Cut video into smaller chunks and post during a week.
- Extract audio and turn it into a podcast.
- Transcribe it and turn it into an article.
And never forget to have fun! Happy streaming!