Getting Started with Live Streaming

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Though it’s been around for a while now, live streaming is a popular and highly engaging form of content. As more marketers start to use it as a lead generation source, almost every social media channel has now introduced live streaming capabilities into their platforms. Interestingly, even though so many brands have started live streaming, it still hasn’t gotten boring or saturated. This week, we invited social media trainer Alice Fuller to chat about what brands should know before they jump on the bandwagon. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Topic: Getting started with live streaming
Guest: Alice Fuller
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Should live streaming be part of a brand’s marketing strategy?

Absolutely, according to our guest. The reason, she explained, is that live-streaming has become so versatile and the production value of a livestream is far less than a full-blown video. It allows you to focus on getting your core message out quickly.

It’s important that your livestream should be worth your audience’s time. Just because it’s easier than ever to start a livestream across platforms doesn’t mean you can bombard your audience with irrelevant content. As Jim reminded us, make sure whatever you stream is in line with your brand.

All that said, it’s also worth remembering that live streaming may not work for every brand, as Jim pointed out. It’s certainly worth experimenting, but be aware that every audience has different expectations and capacities. If your audience isn’t likely to tune into live streams, perhaps it’s not the right tool for you. However, video content, in general, works well for most audiences. If live streaming doesn’t work out as well as you expect it to, try recorded videos.

Q2: What are the most popular live streaming platforms?

Facebook and YouTube are the most popular platforms for live streaming. But if your audience isn’t in either of those platforms, then wherever they are is your best bet. As our guest explained, if your audience uses mobile devices and apps a lot to engage with you, perhaps Instagram would be a good choice as well.

As Rachel from Express Writers emphasized, follow your audience. They’ll guide you to the best platform for you. If that’s LinkedIn, then even though it’s still a relatively new option, LinkedIn is the way to go.

Q3: Share some live streaming best practices for beginners.

Always be aware of the rules of the platform you’re streaming on. Every platform has its own regulations and consequences for violations. If you use a third-party tool to stream onto a platform, make sure the tool complies with the platform’s rules.

Alberto shared some of his tips as well. Firstly, don’t be shy of the camera. Even though we’re always trying for perfection, remember that your audience isn’t looking for a perfectly post-produced video. They’re looking for the genuine you, so be yourself. The more you livestream, the better and more confident you become, so practice a lot. Make sure that your systems are set up properly and that you have clear audio, and then, just get out there and have fun. After all, any social media activity is about enjoying yourself. If you’re stressing out and hating every moment of your livestream, it’s not going to be as good as it could be.

A great way to avoid stress is to be prepared. Practice a lot, but also, as Madalyn added, have some notes on what you’re going to say and how. This is a great way to stay on track and it helps to get back onto the discussion if you suddenly feel lost for words.

Q4: What are some practices to avoid while live streaming?

One of the biggest no-nos of live streaming is using copyrighted material. Whether it’s a song, background music, images, logos, or company names, avoid them consciously.

Instead, you can always use the free music libraries on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. For other platforms, just get some royalty-free music to play during your livestream.

Teodora shared a couple more great pieces of advice: When discussing a topic, make sure that you’re only discussing one topic. When you dilute your livestream with multiple topics, you distract your viewers.

Secondly, look at the camera. This is essential because it makes your audience feel like you’re speaking directly with them. It’s like making eye contact in a face-to-face conversation.

Q5: What’s the most effective platform for live streaming?

This is a subjective question. What’s most effective depends on your goals. Most live streaming platforms are good if you only want to do a basic livestream. However, based on what you want your viewers to do afterward, the key takeaway of your livestream, the computer you use, and your surroundings, you might find that one platform works better over the other. For example, Facebook might be a good platform to generate awareness, whereas Instagram might be better to get more people to visit your online store.

As Lance pointed out, try various platforms and find the one that caters to your goals. The more you test, the clearer your outcomes will be.

Q6: Should you live stream across multiple platforms at the same time?

It’s a slippery slope. As Jennifer told us, if you know the rules and limitations of each platform and your content is compliant across all rules, you can certainly livestream simultaneously. Otherwise, it’s best to focus on the ones you know best so you can get the optimum results with minimal effort.

Avast made a case for live streaming across platforms at the same time. It’s highly likely that your audience is scattered. Most will also use more than one platform to engage with you. When you multi-stream, you have a better chance of reaching a broader set of your audience.

Q7: What are some ways to monetize your live streams?

Alice told us how most platforms now allow you to collect donations through their platforms. Even though they take a percentage of the money you raise, a subscription is a great way to monetize your live streams. You can also run live ticketed events.

Our guest also explained how you could use live streams to offer live shopping experiences to viewers.

Amazon Explore is an upcoming feature of Amazon Live, Alice told us, which allows you to go live and be a travel escort to your audience. Exciting times indeed!

Jesse reminded us of the importance of telling people how to get in touch. There’s no point in creating great content if you don’t tell your audience how to support you. This will help attract sponsorships to your live streams.

Q8: What tools do you use for your live streams?

Christine’s gadgets are a Sony A6000 with CamLink, a Blue Yeti mic, a Neewer ring light, and 2 Neewer umbrella lights, and an IKEA curtain. She also told us she uses Ecamm to livestream from her Mac and broadcasts it simultaneously to multiple platforms using Restream.

Carla’s go-to tools include a Samsung J7 Crown, an HP Laptop, Loola.tv, and Streamyard.

Our guest noted the value of investing in proper technology, explaining that bad audio is unforgivable. Have the right tools to monitor and adjust your sound levels accordingly. Even if you’re only doing it from your computer, make sure to keep an eye on your audio.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through, and for more insight from our chat with Alice, check out this Twitter thread. For even more great Twitter and social media marketing discussions, join us on the #TwitterSmarter chat. We’re on every Thursday at 1pm ET.


 

About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

Say hello: Personal blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

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