10 Tips to Ace Your Brand’s Live Streams
Live streams are a big deal in the marketing world right now and have been for a while. What’s more, it’s expected that live streams will grow even more significantly. The size of the global live streaming market is anticipated to surpass $247 million in the next five years.
Consumers spend a lot of time on videos, much more than written content, and if you want to boost your brand’s reach and loyalty, it’s time to cash in on this element of marketing.
You’ll need the right approach, of course, and that’s why you’re here. We’ve got ten awesome tips to help you successfully create live streams. Once you’re done reading here, you’ll have everything you need to make the most out of live streams.
1. HAVE A CONCRETE PLAN
Going in blindly is a bad idea no matter what you do, and that’s especially true in marketing. Brand management is about building a good reputation for your company, and if you went about any marketing strategy half-heartedly, you’d have nothing to show for it. Or worse, your brand would be affected negatively.
If you want to make live streams that aren’t a waste of time and won’t make your brand look bad, you’ll have to plan them far ahead. This is, surprisingly, a step that many brands overlook. They go live without a good plan and end up with many awkward silences, many “um”s and “eh”s, and things go wrong without any way of dealing with them.
You don’t have to write a full script, but you should have a detailed outline that includes everything you want to discuss. That way, the person hosting the live stream will have a clear direction and won’t have to make things up as the stream runs.
Also, plan around when you’ll place your equipment, the location you want to use, the lighting you’ll need, the sound software you’ll use, the internet connection, and everything else that you may need for your live streams. You may not be able to plan for every little thing, but plan for as much as you can, and your live streams will look professional and be a lot more successful.
2. TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT IN ADVANCE
There are few things as awkward as a live stream where the host is talking, no one can hear them, or random equipment stops working. This will lead to the host desperately trying to fix what went wrong, which isn’t entertaining and looks very bad for the brand behind the live stream.
Although audiences will likely be forgiving if small things go wrong, they will get frustrated or annoyed if things keep going south. If your audience paid to attend your live stream, you can expect them to be less forgiving.
Do your best to minimize the number of things that can go wrong by testing all your equipment in advance. Do double-checks and test everything on the day of the live stream as well.
In addition to testing your equipment, you should also consider recording a dry run of your planned live steam. This allows the host and everyone involved to be sure everything sounds and looks right. You’ll also be able to pick up on anything that won’t be beneficial to the actual live stream.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIVE STREAM TOOL
Once you’re sure you know your plan inside out and that you are ready to move ahead, it’s time to choose a live stream tool. It may be tempting to just go for the first reasonable tool or even the most affordable one, but you should put a lot of thought into the tool you select.
Live streaming is believed to have accounted for more than 80% of all internet traffic by the end of 2021. This means there are many, many live streams and people have the luxury of choosing which ones they want to attend. If you use an inferior live stream tool, you likely won’t meet their expectations, and they’ll simply move on to another live stream.
Here is a list of the most popular live stream tools. You can choose from them and have good results.
Since Facebook is such a popular social media platform, it’s a good place to host live streams. You don’t need a lot to get started on Facebook Live — you can start one on your phone and stream to your Page, event, profile, or group through the app. You will have to use streaming software though, and Facebook recommends using Live Producer if you’re live streaming with a camera and encoder.
Instagram actually prioritizes live streams more than Facebook does, so the platform makes it easy. However, Instagram Live videos are ephemeral, so as soon as your live stream is over, the video will disappear. Although this may seem like a drawback, it adds some sense of exclusivity to live streams on the platform. You can also play into FOMO here because your followers who didn’t watch your live stream will feel like they missed out.
YouTube is a great platform for videos, and they offer the extra benefit of allowing your live streams to be searchable. That means your live streams will also be searchable on Google, which is great if you’re trying to reach a new or broader audience.
This is the leading live stream platform, and although it’s mainly used by video gamers, it’s still a fantastic platform for any brand. Twitch is able to draw in about 15 million daily active users, and have three million monthly broadcasters. The core demographic is mainly male, with 65% of users being men, and most of them are under 35. This is a great platform if your target audience is young males.
Periscope is Twitter’s version of live streaming (the social media platform bought it back in 2015). It’s a good choice if your audience is mainly on Twitter.
You can choose LinkedIn Live as well, but it’s a bit different than the other options. You’ll have to apply to be a broadcaster, and the review process could take a few days. When you are approved, you will have to choose a third-party live stream software because LinkedIn doesn’t broadcast directly, unfortunately. Still, if you’re hoping to reach professionals in your industry, LinkedIn Live can be a great way to generate high-quality leads.
It may take a bit of experimentation before you find the best live stream tool for your needs, so don’t hesitate to use more than one until you’re satisfied.
4. CONSTRUCT A COMPELLING CALL TO ACTION
It is good practice to have a clear and compelling call to action not only at the end of your live stream but during it as well. If you don’t, you will miss out on potential returns. Your call to action depends on your goal, and it should be aligned to have the results you want.
You don’t have to make your call to action something very creative or clever; it can be as simple as ‘sign up for our weekly newsletter’ or ‘tell us on Facebook what you learned from our live stream.’ Make sure that your live stream viewers know what you want them to do with clear and precise language.
You can also use your call to action to get more people to visit your website, share news about your brand, or support your social media accounts.
5. SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE LIVE STREAM
It is important that you promote your live stream well in advance, or you’ll end up with an event that isn’t attended by as many people as it could have been. As you can tell by now, a lot of the work that goes into live streams actually happens before you even start recording. Spread the word about your live stream, or no one will know it’s happening!
You will have to include specific information in your promotions, such as what day it takes place and the time. People need to know where the live stream will be hosted as well, so share a link to the platform where you’ll host.
Use all the social media platforms where you’re active to let your followers know about the planned live stream. You can even do a poll to determine the interest in your event.
Send out emails about your live stream in advance as well as a day or two before the actual event, so they don’t forget. Just make sure you’re using good email marketing services that will deliver your emails on time.
6. ENCOURAGE AUDIENCE MEMBERS TO SHARE
When hosting a live stream, the aim is to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible. One way to increase your online reach is by encouraging your audience to share the event with their friends and own followers.
Of course, you’ll have to know your audience well enough to find the right way to encourage them. Use audience profiling if you don’t yet have a good understanding of your target market and how they think.
You can also use incentives such as giveaways and contests to persuade your audience to get more people involved in the event. Depending on what you’re offering and the value of your live stream, you see some impressive growth.
7. FOLLOW THE PLATFORM’S POLICIES
You must comply with the policies and rules of the platform that you use to host your live streams. Every platform is different, so you have to do your homework to ensure you’re aware of all the rules.
For example, many platforms (Facebook is one of them) don’t tolerate audio copyright infringements and will take down live streams that play copyrighted music in the background. Make a point to update yourself on what is okay and unacceptable on your preferred platform way before you plan your content or go live.
8. INCLUDE A Q&A SECTION
Engagement is a big part of why live streams are so popular, and if you want better engagement and more interaction with yours, plan for a Q&A section. You can set aside some time towards the end of your live stream to allow viewers to ask questions.
These sessions will add more value to your live streams and show your audience that they matter. You can also use the questions to get better insights into your audience. You can use this information in the future to plan richer, more targeted content.
It’s even possible that Q&A sections can lead to new ideas for products or services that your audience wants from your industry.
9. HAVE FUN ON THE LIVE STREAM
Although live streams are part of marketing, there is no reason why they can’t be a lot of fun. In fact, your live streams have to be fun, or your audience won’t enjoy them. If your host is enjoying the event, chances are your audience is too.
Going live is scary at first, but as soon as your audience can see that the host is happy to be there with them and that your brand is doing its best to connect with its audience, they’ll be more engaging. This will make the live stream more enjoyable for the host as well.
You should be using live streams to show your audience that your brand is more than just a faceless company, and with fun content, you’ll have more success in doing so. Who knows, you may even improve your brand loyalty as you get new fans for life!
10. EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR LIVE STREAM
A successful live stream has a lot of value, even after your host has stopped recording. Once the broadcast is over, you can save the video to your profile, and people can watch it again in the future. This is easier with platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram that save your videos for later viewing.
You can even take short parts of the video and post them on IGTV as part of your content strategy. In fact, it’s a good idea to link your live stream videos all over the place. Put links in your blog posts, your newsletters, and your social media posts for a wide reach.
After you’ve ended the stream, you can wait a few days and send a follow-up email to everyone who attended. Get their opinion on the live stream and find out what they liked and where they think you could improve.
LIVE STREAM YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
Now that you know how to make awesome live streams, nothing is holding you back. Find your preferred platform, learn their policies, plan your content by keeping the tips shared here in mind and have fun!
Although live streams can be daunting and intimidating at first, you’ll find that they’re not that terrifying. You just need to be well-prepared, which you are now that you’ve learned how to approach them.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs. Connect with him via LinkedIN or twitter.
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