Live video is a great way to grow your community and show up on a more human level. I like to say, “Start where you are.” Don’t feel you have to make large investments in technology before you test whether livestreaming works for you. People want to connect with a person, not a company. Now consider which platform(s) make the most sense for your audience and business needs. Facebook Live Pro: Facebook Live offers a huge, built-in audience and rich metrics. And, on Facebook, you have no control over advertising running next to your content. Con: Instagram doesn’t allow your followers to watch your video in your stream after 24 hours and your stream isn’t searchable. Unlike other channels that send notifications of livestreams, you have no control over whether your YouTube followers see your livestream. Con: Content creators on YouNow have no control over comments, which poses a big risk for brands. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).
Live video is a great way to grow your community and show up on a more human level. Unlike regular video, the live format feels less rehearsed and edited, plus it shows up in your followers’ streams in a different way than regular video. Livestreaming is a great option for delivering breaking news, sharing the excitement and energy of a live event, and doing big reveals after a period of suspense.
Before you dive in to livestreaming
While livestreaming may feel unrehearsed, you need a plan.
Define your audience. Figure out who you are trying to connect with and ask yourself whether you have the expertise or credibility to satisfy that audience. If not, can you invite someone to join you who does?
Hatch a plan. What are your goals for the livestream and what action do you want viewers to take? How will you ensure that viewers take that action? (Watch experienced livestreamers like Amy Landino or Owen Video to see how they balance education and entertainment with promotion.)
Invest modestly. Don’t be overly ambitious out of the gate. I like to say, “Start where you are.” Don’t feel you have to make large investments in technology before you test whether livestreaming works for you. Do invest in decent lighting and sound as a baseline. With experience, you can grow your equipment list.
Embrace consistency. As with any content marketing initiative, avoid the one-and-done approach. If you’re considering livestreaming, make a commitment to publish on a regular schedule.
Be human. Livestreaming isn’t intended to be pristine and perfect. Be yourself; embrace your quirks and sense of humor. If you do, chances are good you’ll connect with like-minded people.
Don’t overproduce it. People want to connect with a person, not a company. Be yourself – be it weird, funny, or quirky. The more of yourself you show, the better. People can spot a phony from a mile away.
Sound and lighting matter. Even with great ideas and an excellent on-air personality, poor sound and lighting will kill your livestream. You need a hands-free microphone, portable lighting, a tripod and/or stabilizer, and a reliable connection to WiFi. I also recommend an additional battery and a Bluetooth-enabled remote for your camera/smartphone.
Promote it. Don’t forget to promote your livestream. Tell others about it before you go live and personally invite like-minded people in your industry.
Choose the platform
Deciding to stream is the…