Videos are one of the most effective mediums for marketing, in fact, they generate 1200% more engagement (e.g. shares) than text with images, according to IMPACT. Among various formats of videos, live streaming is in demand.
Live streaming involves less rehearsal and editing, hence it is seen as more authentic and human to interact with users. For businesses, it means another chance to connect with customers, and receive instantaneous feedback.
4 steps to implement a live stream
1. Identify the right platform for your live stream
There are several live-streaming platforms in the market for you to choose from, and each of them has its advantages. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the 4 frequently used platforms.
You can also choose the channel according to your target audience. For example, if you are a Business-to-Business company, LinkedIn Live would be the best choice to target professionals and build business networking. According to LinkedIn, Live streams receive 24x more comments than native video.
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For gaming companies or those targeting eSports enthusiasts however, Amazon’s Twitch is the must-go-to-channel, having an average of 15 million viewers each day.
2. Plan the right content
Although it is less rehearsed, it doesn’t mean you should initiate one without a script. It helps to stay on the objective of the live stream without being distracted. Also remember that the first 20 seconds is pivotal to the success of the live stream, the same for all types of videos. Hence a carefully planned opening with a clear objective will be a good start.
Getting the right content is important and be wise in planning since this content could be used again in the future!
Here are 4 things to consider when preparing for your broadcast in the pre-production stage:
a) Objectives of the live stream
If your objective is to promote the latest product, then a detailed product demonstration or a comparison of previous models would help showcase the new features.
b) Methods to keep the viewers engaged until the end of the live stream
Live polls, rewarding games, Q&A sections, answering comments, all these could help to maintain the interest of the viewers.
c) The host of the broadcast
Employees: They are the ones that know the most about the products, which would be effective if there are questions about the product design and details. It also allows the audience to see the company culture.
KOLs: Leveraging the right influencers could help to reach a new group of audience, garner interest in the company, motivate non-fans to try out new products, etc.
Customers: Having your customers who have tried the products or services first-hand enhances credibility and boosts the confidence of potential consumers.
d) The main feature
Behind the scenes of manufacturing, a tour of the office, a panel discussion, product testing, etc.
Live Stream Example: Benefit Cosmetics Hong Kong.
The objective of the live stream was to showcase their products, by inviting 2 influencers to have a live makeup session using the latest products.
In terms of methods that kept the audience engaged, the host encouraged viewers to leave insightful comments and questions. Once their comments were read out or answered by the host, they will then have a chance to win the products.
Reminder! It’s also important to align your live stream content with others, to remain consistent in your communication and branding. Another tip to lock the audience on your channel is to create a routine—fix a day and time for your streaming.
3. Release a teaser about your live stream
To increase the chance of your live stream reaching most of your audience, remember to utilize your social media channels to promote it. You can share a teaser of the live stream 1 month in advance to make the followers more aware, and give them more time to share the stream on their feed. Start counting down 1 week, then 3 and 1 day before the actual live stream.
4. Set up proper equipment for videos
Although a smartphone is an accessible device for live streaming, we still recommend using a professional camera to ensure the best outcome. The following is a simple summary of the requirements when streaming with one camera.
- Camera with HDMI output
- Computer (Quad-Core Processor, 4GB of Ram, Dedicated Video Card, updated Operating System minimum)
- Capture device (Blackmagic Mini Recorder or Blackmagic Intensity Shuttles type)
- Software (Wirecast, OBS, etc.)
- Access to the Internet with upload and download speed faster than 10Mb
- A hardline that connects your camera with the capture device and computer
To have a successful live stream:
- Select the best platform according to the pros & cons, as well as the target audience
- Before going live, plan in advance based on your live stream objective
- Prepare several ways to engage your audience, and keep them in mind during the live stream