Unless you’re the kind of person who tends to be camera-shy, you’ve probably considered adding livestreaming to your social media marketing strategy, or perhaps you already have.
After all, what better way is there to attract audiences than to let them actually take part in your event, regardless of where you (or they) are in the world?
However, livestreaming really isn’t as simple as just picking up a camera and shooting whatever is going on at the moment. Like every good social media management campaign, your livestreaming campaign requires a lot of preparation, testing, and skillful timing.
Here are some of the best tips, tricks, practices, and precautionary measures before you do your first live streaming broadcast.
1. Be creative with the format.
There is really no such thing as a single right or “proper” way to live stream an event. It all depends on your target audience’s preferences, your brand, and your own input.Take advantage of the flexibility of the medium to gain a larger audience and more social media buzz. For example, you can host a Q&A session or simply walk them around a beautiful yet presently inaccessible place for them, all via online communication.
2. Be prepared with a backup camera.
Don’t rely on just a single videocam — if that one suddenly breaks down, your efforts will only end up in flames! Get or borrow a second camera of the same or similar type, so that you won’t have a hard time matching the settings on both in case you need a replacement immediately while you’re walking around for the video.
3. Take note of the quality of the audio and the video.
Have decent audio and video quality, as well as good lighting. This is absolutely important if you want your audience to keep watching, and not just lose them as soon as the bus stops.
4. Set important time schedules for setting up equipment and packing up afterwards.
One of the things you absolutely do not want to happen to you is to be forced to rush your setup operations — this is a guaranteed recipe for disaster! Instead, set aside about two to three hours extra, just for setting up and making sure that everything there is in proper working condition. The same goes for when your event is over: make sure that everything still works properly as you pack up. Also, set aside some time so that you can address whatever’s missing on your set and get it/them, if you really need to.
5. Don’t skip the testing phase!
I can’t emphasize the importance of this tip enough. You can never really predict if everything will go exactly the way you planned, especially not with technology. Testing not only allows you to check if your equipment is working, but it also lets you identify problems before they even manifest. Test early and often with the actual gear, location, and actual subject matter. One more thing: Know your upload bandwidth limit.
6. Plan out your broadcast carefully.
What will you be doing? Who will be joining you in front of the camera? Will you even be in front of the camera, too, or do you have a different host lined up for it? Also, do you want it to have a more professional vibe, or would you rather go for fun and relatable (and maybe invite some of the folks behind the camera to join you there as well)?
7. Be sure to record your broadcast.
The key point here is to get as many people to watch your stream as possible. Keeping a record of your broadcast and giving people access to it via their television sets is a very good idea, especially if you want more people to recognize your brand and content.[
8. Lead people towards watching your broadcast — spread the word!
You have so many tools at your disposal — in addition to your social media accounts, you can also use your email address and cellphone to invite attendees, promote your event, and even answer inquiries.
You can even create a landing page for your event, containing all of the relevant details so that your target market can easily find you and tune in and listen to what you have to say. Oh, and if any well-known personalities somehow find their way to your event and participate in it, there’s a more than likely chance that they’ll post about it on social media. Follow them and share (or retweet) away!
9. Get an early head start.
Don’t wait for the clock to hit your designated time schedule before you start your stream. The best course of action is to start it 15 to 60 minutes before the event even actually begins. This will allow you to ensure that everything is working properly, and will encourage viewers to also show up early and start spreading the word about the live stream.
10. Always have an alternate plan.
I’m speaking from experience when I say that it’s really hard to anticipate when things will go haywire. It is thus important to always have a backup plan, especially when it comes to livestreaming. You must be able to anticipate any machine malfunction during our meetup.
With these simple but effective steps, you can guarantee that your livestreamed event will be a smashing success, regardless of which streaming site you decide to use. Which reminds me: Which ARE you planning to be on? Have a look at this infographic featuring A Quick Look at Popular Livestreaming Sites to get a good idea of the features and advantages of some of the most popular livestreaming options out there.
Liz Azyan is interested in the ways new kinds of social data and technology introduce challenges and opportunities to society. Get involved with Liz’s latest project here.