It was not that long ago that it took professional expertise and thousands of dollars in equipment and an expansive production team to broadcast virtual events to a live audience. Even in the early days of live video streaming, you would need to have an in-depth knowledge of the workings of live streaming services. Today, all it takes is a click of a button on a computer or mobile device and you can be live on a social media platform that has the potential to instantly reach large numbers of friends, or potential customers or clients.
Hosting a live streaming event enables you to stand out in the extremely crowded landscape of social media and other digital video platforms, and social media and other technology have made it exponentially easier to navigate. However, to obtain the best results, you need to possess a certain amount of skill and know-how. The following breaks down what you need to know about video services to effectively reach and impact a large section of people all around the world”
How Good Lighting Makes Helps Audience Retention
Lighting design for your live-stream is much more than shining a light on the subject. Proper lighting can help to set the mood for your audience, draw viewers in, and compel them to keep watching. Your lighting design does not have to be complicated or elaborate. A basic lighting setup and/or the use of natural light can still be effective at providing ample light to set the mood and light your subject.
The standard lighting set up includes a three-point technique that includes key light as the primary source to light your subject, fill light that takes away shadows created by the key light, and backlight to add depth and context to the subject. Take the time to experiment with various positions and levels to create the best look on camera.
10 Ways to Increase Your live-stream Viewers
The primary goal of producing a live-streaming event is to reach as many viewers as possible. Simply going live and starting to talk will not have the impact you want without putting the following tips into practice to draw the maximum amount of audience as you can.
Give yourself some time to promote your live-stream well before the event through your social media outlets and email blasts with the date, time, and detailed instructions on how to join the stream. Provide a basic outline of the content and ways they can get involved with chat features and other engagement tools.
2. Get Others to Promote
The people you partner with and work with are a valuable resource for helping to get the word out about your upcoming live-stream event. For those with larger audience bases can be offered promotional considerations during the stream in exchange for promoting your event on their social media and other channels.
3. Brand Stream with Banners, Cover Images
Create dynamic, attention-getting banners, and cover images to help brand your videos. Sharp, professional-looking graphics will lend a sense of credibility to your live-stream. Popup banners on your website will increase exposure and these banners can also be used as your email signature so anyone who receives an email will be automatically reminded of the event.
4. Sign-Ups and Reminders
A great way to increase live-stream viewership is to create a landing page with complete information about what to expect where people can sign up and commit to viewing your upcoming live-stream event. Once people sign up, you can send reminders to join the event.
5. Choosing the Optimal Day and Time
When you hold a live-stream is as important as the content you will be providing. Online tools can provide insights on viewer habits to find the best day and time that will give you the best chance at the largest audience. Keeping track of viewing numbers at various times of the day will help you find a sweet spot for maximum viewer potential.
6. Encourage Sharing
With the click of a button, viewers can share the event with all of their social media contacts, increasing your promotional scope exponentially. Offer incentives or prizes for those who share the stream.
7. Engaging Description
The description of the event on the streaming platform is as important as the title, so do not leave it blank or repeat the title in the field. Writing an engaging description will show potential viewers the value of your live-stream and get them excited about joining.
8. Viewer Interaction
The main point of doing a real-time video stream is the ability to interact with those watching. Ask viewers to post questions and comments in real-time and react to them live on the stream. Make your audience feel like they are an integral part of the event and they are more likely to stick around until the end.
9. Stream Duration
Do not be afraid to do a long-form event or presentation on a live broadcast. One of the best features of going live is the ability to run longer and engage with the viewers. Take the time to interact with the audience and make them feel like the event is substantial, offering a great deal of information and engagement.
10. Multiple Platforms
With the right software and enough bandwidth, you can go live on both Facebook and YouTube which can significantly increase your viewership numbers.
How to Keep Your Live Video Production Relevant
The best way to keep your live video relevant to viewers is to make sure your information is up to date and presented in a clear, concise manner. Bells and whistles are effective at drawing attention and getting viewers invested in the production, but it is the message and the information that will be most valuable to them. Keeping up on the latest features and extras will make you look ahead of the curve and relevant in this ever-changing medium.
3 Ways to Improve Your Live Stream
The best way to improve the quality and impact of your live-streaming is practice. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will get with the technology and functionality of the platform you use.
1. Pre-Production Planning
Preproduction planning is arguably the most important key to the success of your live-stream, and one of the most neglected elements of the process. Take the time to plan out all details and expectations for your live-stream. If possible, assign others to help promotion, staging, lighting, sound, and connectivity. Make sure computers, lighting, and other equipment are in proper running order and fully charged with accessible power sources.
2. Test the Stream
All of your pre-production and promotional efforts will be for nothing if the stream does not work. The last thing you want to be doing is problem-solving connectivity and access issues at the last minute. You should also take the time to test out titles, graphics, and other features that will be used in your live-stream.
3. Postproduction Editing
Do not be afraid to trim the video version that people can watch on-demand later. The chances are you will begin streaming before starting the video in real-time, creating a block of dead air that does not need to be included in the archives.
How to Increase Audience Engagement
Once you get an audience the key is to engage enough for them to want to invest the time to stick around for your live broadcast. When a viewer is engaged in the content you are presenting they are more likely to have a positive experience and make a purchase.
Repeat Key Information
A long live-stream broadcast is typically packed with information and can often veer off into different directions and topics. Make sure you get back to the main topics and information often, repeating your key points to reinforce the message and get viewers who have joined caught up.
You do not have to be a professional broadcaster or stand up comedian to make your stream entertaining and fun. Get viewers involved by setting up some sort of challenge or game that you can follow throughout the duration of the stream. Giving away prizes or premiums is a fun way to keep your audience engaged to stay until the end.
While the information and message you are broadcasting may be dry, you can spice things up and keep your audience engaged by presenting dynamic graphics, physical objects, and other attention-getters to your repertoire instead of a long static talking head or panel wide shot. When possible, using multiple camera angles, transition effects, and multiple video sources will provide a more visually pleasing presentation for the viewers.
Having more than one person hosting a long live-stream event will allow for give-and-take and a more open format that will engage the viewer and make them feel like they are a part of the conversation.
YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch are among the social media video platforms that offer a chat feature allowing viewers to engage with live broadcast hosts in real-time. There is not a better way to make viewers feel like they are a part of the conversation than actually making them a part of the conversation. Asking questions directly to the audience is a great way to get them engaged and involved.
Use Viewers’ Names
Make it personal. When you start the stream, welcome some of your audience by name and always use their names when answering their questions. Frequently using viewers’ names and talking directly to them will not only make them feel engaged and invested, but it will also serve to make your live-stream more personal to the others watching.
Ask, Answer Questions
One of the greatest features of a live event is the ability to get feedback from your audience on the spot. Ask them questions about the information you are presenting. Listen to their answers and respond in kind. Monitor the chat feature regularly to make sure all relevant viewer questions are addressed during the course of the event.
A great way to get your audience engaged is to create a poll asking for their opinions on what they like or do not like about your presentation, the information, or your business in general. Viewers have already made a time investment in you and you can learn a lot from those who have made the effort to join the live-stream.
How to Stage Your Live-Streaming Video
Your audience is not expecting a professional television studio production when tuning into a live-stream, but there are ways to spruce up the look and feel of the stream with these simple tips for staging your event.
The camera is the audience and should be set at eye level with head and side space to let the visuals breathe. Be mindful of not only how your host and other subjects look on camera, but the background as well.
Standard three-point lighting techniques for video presentations are called key light, fill light, and backlight. Striking the proper balance with these three will present the most visually pleasing presentation for the viewer. The key light is used on your host or other subjects as the primary source of light. Fill light fills in shadows from the key light, while backlight shines light from the back of the subject to offer a more dynamic and clear image.
Your live-stream can look great but will do no good if your audience cannot hear anything. Audio design is often the most overlooked aspect of live-stream productions, though clean, clear audio is essential to its success. Test out all microphones being used well in advance to make sure they are in working order. Avoid using the microphone directly on the camera. Lavalier mics, boom mics, and handheld mics will give you the best quality depending on the layout and staging of the event.
How to Host Remote Guests on Your Live-Stream
Having the ability to welcome remote guests to your live-stream adds a powerful element to the impact of your message. Adding other voices to the conversation will help to engage your audience and make your event more compelling for the viewers. Recent technological advances and the popularity of live-streaming in today’s digital age has made it easier to add guests to interviews during your live event.
There are many streaming products on the market today that allow for remote interviews during a live stream. Most streaming solutions require your guests to only have a webcam and an internet connection. Commercial video conferencing is the most basic way to bring in additional voices to the conversation, but there is also a wide range of more professional setups that range in price and functionality.
5 Common Mistakes live-streamers Make
Even the smallest adjustments you can make to avoid these common mistakes can have a significant impact on the quality and draw of your live-streaming events. The key is to be regularly diagnosing the analytics and the quality of the production to determine where improvements are needed.
1. Lack of Planning
Preproduction planning is essential to the success of a live-stream event. Too much can go wrong if you plan on just winging it, no matter how much experience you have or how often you have produced live-streams. Map out all of the equipment and gear you will need, and create at least an outline of the topics to be covered, if not a full script for the event.
2. Lack of Promotion
Putting in the effort of producing a live stream event will be for nothing if nobody watches it. Take the time to get the word out through social media posts, email blasts, and other online marketing efforts to get as many people watching as possible.
3. Fail to Test Stream
Do not assume that everything will run correctly once you click on the live feed. Systems go down, and functionalities and features are changing all the time. Testing out the feed before going live will help to prevent embarrassing mishaps and misconnections. Trust, but verify.
4. Poor Video, Audio Quality
Nothing will turn people away more than a bad picture or audio issues. It does not take a large sum of money to get the bare necessities in equipment to make your live-stream look and sound good.
5. No Backup
Systems go down and feeds are lost, it happens every day. Having a backup computer with all of the information you need at the ready will allow you to move on seamlessly in the event of a malfunction. Also, make sure you have spare batteries and other backup supplies on hand.
Which live-stream Platform Should You Use?
With the explosion in popularity of video and live-streaming on social media platforms, there are a wide range of options to host your live-streaming events. The following is a sampling of some of the most popular live-streaming platforms. Each offers its own unique features and benefits depending on your unique needs and preferences.
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet, second only to Google. In recent years, the massive digital video warehouse has made improvements and upgrades to their live-streaming capabilities. With YouTube Live you are not only connected to the largest video network in the world, but you also have access to comprehensive analytics to see what is working for you and what is not. The live chat feature offers opportunities to engage with your viewers in real-time. You can stream with your webcam directly from your computer’s browser, through the YouTube app, or using a streaming encoder.
Video now dominates this gigantic social network. Facebook has also seen the value and increased popularity in live-streaming. Followers receive instant notifications when you go live, allowing you to interact and engage with your audience on the spot. Facebook Live is a free service that you can run from your desktop or the Facebook app. Once the live-stream ends, the video is automatically saved to your profile or business page. While the video quality is not quite up to YouTube’s standards and it does not come with ways to monetize your streams or videos, the sheer reach of Facebook makes it a valuable tool for live-streaming.
Once the home of gaming-related video and streaming content, Twitch now houses both on-demand video and live-streaming events for all kinds of content types. Twitch is now the leader in live-streaming with more hours watched than any other site. While not an open general live-streaming platform like YouTube or Facebook, it is no longer just for gamers and the company has responded well by adding non-gaming content categories to broaden their reach and scope.
Periscope is a self-sustaining app for Android and iOS and is also used to power Twitter’s live-streaming capabilities. One of the unique features of Periscope is the ability to broadcast audio-only streams, which is ideal for using social media for podcasting applications. You can also invite others into the stream to add planned guests or even audience members to comment or ask questions.
Live-Streaming for Businesses – A Go-To Guide
Live streaming service has never been more accessible and affordable, and businesses are taking advantage of this incredible technology to reach out to customers and potential customers in ways that were impossible just a few years ago. All you need is a computer or mobile device with a solid internet connection to be able to connect instantly to audiences around the world.
Using streaming events to promote your business, and the products and services you provide develops a sense of trust and transparency that leads to increased brand loyalty. It is a much more personal approach that allows the public to engage and interact with you in real-time. This allows you to get instant feedback and allows customers to have any concerns or issues addressed immediately.
- Benefits of using live-streaming for your business applications include:
- Encourages engagement and interaction
- Easily shared
- Entertaining and informative at the same time
- Roll out products, updates, and major announcements
Contact Us – Live Streaming Video Production Company
Coldea Productions is a full-service video production services company offering premium quality services for a wide range of video uses and applications. A dedicated production team of streaming specialists can provide valuable assistance in all areas of the process of video production and live video events. Contact Coldea today for a free estimate for video services!