Are you looking to enhance your brand-consumer connection during the coronavirus pandemic?
Live streaming could be the answer! In its most basic form a smartphone is all that’s needed – you could be online and relationship building in seconds. Done correctly, live streaming offers a host of advantages for ambitious businesses.
Read on to discover the key benefits and the best platforms to use.
The Benefits of Broadcasting Live
YouTube and Facebook should be your main focus when dipping your toes in the world of live video. Both offer the ability to broadcast live from either a computer or a smartphone.
Live video helps customers to better understand your business. Through streaming it is possible for the audience to get to know your employees, your culture, and your marketing message. Best of all it’s immediate – you can convey your message in real time and receive instant feedback.
Put simply, using live video can have a larger impact on your audience than several social media posts and articles, in a fraction of the time.
In addition, during the coronavirus pandemic much of the world is on lockdown at home. People are actively seeking new content on social media. The perfect time to turn a negative into a positive and drop your first live stream!
Here are some other advantages of using live streaming:
- Customer Demand – 45% of people think that video is the best online format, while 80% of millennials use videos during purchase research.
- Wider Audience – Facebook Live videos often enjoy at least twice the reach of standard video posts.
- Brand Awareness – More people remember videos than any other type of digital content.
- Stand-out Content – Videos typically gain higher levels of engagement than standard posts. Your video will also remain on your page/channel where it can be found and viewed in the future.
- Increased Sales – More than 75% of marketers say that live streaming helped to increase their sales.
Preparation & Format Ideas
To maximise the number of viewers and ensure that the broadcast runs smoothly, it’s important to prepare well before you go live. A strong internet connection should be the #1 thing on your list, WiFi or a minimum 4G connection are preferred. If the connection is too weak it will definitely reflect poorly on your brand.
Next, create a script or a series of bullet points that will help to maintain the flow of the broadcast – there is nothing worse than long gaps or fumbling about during the course of the video.
Remind people of your upcoming video with several posts on your social media platforms. You could choose to poll your followers on Twitter and Facebook to generate topic ideas (this will also promote your upcoming video).
Remember to ask people to follow you (on Facebook) or subscribe (on YouTube) to ensure they receive notifications when you go live.
In addition, think about the format of your broadcast. Here’s some popular formats to consider:
- Interviews – A good starting point for live streaming newbies. Interviewing another person can give the video a solid structure and help to build your confidence of broadcasting live.
- Bulletins – Use your live videos to provide updates on your company’s plans. Announce product launches, discounts, or competitions you may be running.
- Audience Q&A – Receive questions from fans live as the video is airing. This is a savvy way to improve engagement. Ask fans to comment with a question – you can use their feedback and opinions to improve your services.
Finally, test your stream on a separate account to make sure the video quality and audio are to your satisfaction – verify that the feed settings are private during your test.
So the preparation has been done and you’re ready to entertain the world! Here’s how to go live on Facebook and YouTube
To go live on Facebook:
- Go to the top of your page to write a post
- Click on Live Video
- Give your video an enticing description
- Click on Go Live in the bottom left corner
If you are using a computer rather than a phone be sure to use the Google Chrome web browser.
To go live on YouTube:
YouTube only allows live streaming on channels that are verified, so go to https://www.youtube.com/verify and follow the instructions.
Once you have been verified and want to live stream on a computer:
- Go to your YouTube dashboard.
- Select the Create button.
- Click on Go Live.
On the app:
- Open the YouTube app.
- Click the video symbol in the top right corner
- Tap the camera icon
- Create a title, description and thumbnail image
- Click on Go Live
When you want end the stream click Finish and then select OK.
NOTE: To live stream on the app you need more than 1,000 subscribers. If you have less than this number, live stream from a computer instead.
Some good techniques to use when starting the broadcast are to say hello to your audience, ask them how they are coping during the pandemic, and welcome any commenters by name. In addition, answer any comments or questions the audience have made.
This will begin the video in an engaging, friendly tone, and hopefully set the foundation for success.
PRO TIP: Have one employee watch your live video. They can inform you if there are any connection issues or audio problems.
Once you have gained some experience of the live process, you may well want to tweak and improve certain aspects. If so, you should definitely consider purchasing an encoder.
This is streaming software that allows you to use several cameras and additional video and audio production equipment. It is less convenient than using a computer or smartphone, but does improve the quality and appearance of the videos.
Following Up Your Broadcast
The live video may have finished but relationship building with your audience isn’t over yet…
During the broadcast it is unlikely you had a chance to respond directly to every comment, so go back through the comments and try and reply to each one. Using personalisation will make the audience feel valued, and more likely to tune in next time.
By doing this you may also gain valuable feedback that will help to improve your next live stream. Remember – regardless of whether the comment is positive or negative, all feedback is important!
Looking at your video analytics is also essential to find out what worked well and what didn’t. Both Facebook and YouTube supply metrics on videos that are full of useful information:
- How many people watched
- How long they watched for
- Engagement levels
This type of data will help you to understand what the audience enjoyed and the weaknesses of your live stream. Maybe try different formats for your first few videos, then compare the analytics to see which format tends to work best for your brand.
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