Everything You Need To Know About Live Streaming For Small Business
Live streams are the future of digital media. It’s no coincidence that all of the major user-generated video services, such as Facebook and YouTube, are developing the live streaming aspects of their platforms. Viewers enjoy the idea of watching a broadcast right as it happens. The history of broadcast media is repeating itself through these live broadcast mediums. Back in the old days, the radio was the home for live content. Live video streaming on the internet is the modern version of that. You can use live streaming to build your small business’s online presence. Here is everything you need to know to do it:
Choosing Where to LiveStream
Live streaming is naturally an exclusive kind of content. When you are streaming and engaging with Facebook Live, you can’t do YouTube at the same time. You have to pick your platform and stick with it. The four major live streaming platforms right now are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch. Each one has its quirks.
YouTube and Facebook are both similar to each other, offering a simple live stream interface alongside their other video content.
Twitch is the original streaming site, focused on video game culture. While this won’t make sense for a lot of businesses, you can technically broadcast anything you want in the “Creative” or “IRL” categories.
Instagram is designed for casual live streams. You stream directly from your phone when you use this platform and viewers won’t be able to revisit the stream after the fact. That is mostly good if you already have an Instagram presence. A lot of musicians and artists use this platform.
Most businesses will want to live stream on either Facebook or YouTube. These are the two most general platforms available for the task.
Understand Your Streaming Goals
You should have two goals for your live streaming project. Start by aiming to provide valuable content for your fans. They need to feel good about watching your live stream if they are going to become regular viewers. People tune into live streams to avoid boredom. Teenagers, in particular, become obsessed with streams, often watching the content while doing other activities at the same time. It’s a way to counteract the feeling of loneliness that might emerge from sitting alone in a room. Other live streams are focused on sharing information. An educational program could be away for an entire classroom to go through a lesson together. Your business could do a stream to announce a new product or provide updates on your service.
After you figure out your value proposition, decide what your business will try to accomplish for itself. That is your second, more selfish goal. You may want to gain a certain number of followers or reach a consistent enough audience that you can run ads on your streams. The exact target doesn’t matter so long as it will be worth it. When you have a good reason for people to tune in and a good internal metric to build upon, your live stream will thrive. Your needs and the desires of your audience will be in sync. You should have at least a hypothesis about this stuff before you start streaming.
How to Act on Stream
Streaming is a lot like being a DJ at a radio station. Your host will need to be comfortable talking and able to think on their feet. Your most significant goal is never to have any dead air or silence. There are two different standard visual layouts for a live stream. It can be a camera that is full-screen on your host’s face while they talk and respond to questions. Or you can do a screen share where the viewers can see the host’s computer screen, with the live camera view shrunk down to the corner of the screen. The latter is the most popular style for streaming.
As a rule of thumb, avoid silences that last more than five seconds. Keep the stream active. The host should keep an eye on the chat and try to engage with viewer comments as often as possible.
Great streaming takes practice. The best way for anybody to get better at hosting a live stream is to watch the video afterward. Notice what behaviors seem useful and which ones are annoying or distracting. Take notes and review your thoughts before the next broadcast.
Promoting Your Stream
There are a few tricks you can use to get more viewers on your stream. If the stream is on Facebook, ask everybody involved with the production to share it on their personal page. The good news is that Facebook prioritizes live content in the feed so that a few shares can go along way. You should cut the best moments of past streams into short video clips of 30-60 seconds. Re-upload these as individual videos with catchy titles like “The Five Funniest Moments From Our Last Live Stream Event.” That will help to raise awareness.
If you are serious about your streams, do publicity for them. Try to get industry blogs to cover your new broadcast by playing up the significance of the project. Your live streams will gain significant clout if they get media coverage.
Live Streaming for Small Business
Live streaming is still uncharted territory in a lot of ways. You will have to get creative and find a way to entertain fans of your business in the live format, which requires some trial and effort. With that said, most of the world’s digital attention goes to the brands with the most courage. Take advantage of live streaming and video marketing in Houston and your business can gain a lot of extra momentum online.