This is part II of our guide, it is going to give you everything you need to know about live streaming. Haven’t read part I? Click here to read 4 amazing tips to put to use on your next live stream.
- 8 ways to encourage engagement on a live stream
- How to live stream on 6 key social channels
- Our favorite live streaming solutions and software
- Going live
8 ways to encourage engagement on a live stream
We get this question a lot, so we wanted to answer it proactively for you.
What are some ways I can encourage more interaction and engagement with my event participants?
Engagement is one of the greatest benefits of a live stream. You can have live interaction with viewers all over the country and the globe.
1- Live Q&A
One of the most effective forms of live stream engagement is a live question and answer on the platform. You can encourage viewers to ask questions, which the speaker can then answer in real-time at the end of their presentation (or during, if it’s specifically a Q&A panel). This is a strong way to encourage a more human-based connection for virtual events, and/or it allows you to incorporate online viewers in in-person events.
2- Live polls
Ask your viewers for their thoughts and opinions. Participants love to have a voice in your event, especially virtual events. You could ask them what their favorite feature is on a new product you just launched, or you could encourage them to weigh in about what they’d like to hear next in the lineup of speakers. This not only engages your participants deeper in the live stream, but it can also be a good tool for market research to better understand your audience.
3- Chat box
A chat box is our favorite method of engagement. This lets viewers interact with one another and your brand in real-time, as the event is happening. This allows participants to stay actively involved, so engagement is always at its peak. This is also the best method of networking for virtual events. Some apps will let you save the chat for later use for market research or to show on video replays. We recommend having a moderator (or a few) to respond to certain chats or relay messages or questions to the live speakers, if applicable.
4- Interactive slides
If a presenter is using slides to supplement their talk, it’s a good idea to offer those slides on the live stream platform or as downloadables. This gives your participants the option to follow along, learn more, or click through at their own pace. This is the best way to keep their attention virtually while allowing them to dive deeper into the discussion.
Offer additional information and value through a written format. Augmenting your live stream visual and audio with written information is a great way to boost the efficacy of the discussion and provide even more value to participants. This gives participants something to “go home” with, which will elongate their engagement with the event long after it’s over.
Some ideas of useful downloadables:
- Summary of speaker’s anticipated subject matter on live stream
- Checklist or template for users to implement the info at home
- Sample script
- Interactive slides
- Written guide
- Product catalogue
- 3D renderings of products
- Pamphlets about brand or topic
6- External links
Don’t be afraid to send your event participants to other places on the web (that are related to your event or brand). You can link out to speaker websites so they can learn more about the presenters, product pages as you’re talking about those products, and landing pages that push a specific call to action (like registering for your next event, requesting a consultation, or buying a product). You can also embed links to your social media, so viewers can follow along with other parts of your event as well.
If you want your participants to take action, you need to present them with actions to take. In an event, this kind of action can be any number of things. If you’re hosting a virtual event, the CTA (call to action) might be to send them to another part of the event platform to discover new activities, events, and live streams going on. If you’re live streaming an in-person event, the CTA could be to send in a question for the live Q&A.
You want to pepper in a call to action as much as possible. You want to provide endless opportunities to engage deeper with your brand and event.
One of the final pieces of the puzzle is a moderator who can keep tabs on all of the aspects of engagement. It’s their job to make sure the audience is heard, and any necessary questions/comments are brought to the speaker at hand. This keeps the speaker on track and the presentation flowing forward consistently.
Someone who knows the tech side and the event side should be the designated moderator. You want someone who can leverage the platform’s tools to interact with the audience in your specific brand tone.
How to live stream on 6 key social channels
On YouTube, “Live” is considered its own channel. Different YouTube creators and channels can then post to the live channel in order to live stream and reach new audience members. A “Live” will also be available to subscribers on their YouTube homepage as it’s running.
Incredible YouTube statistics
- 2 billion logged-in monthly users (YouTube)
- World’s second-largest search engine (Search Engine Journal)
- Responsible for more than one-third of mobile internet traffic (Statista)
- One billion hours of YouTube content watched daily (YouTube)
Who is YouTube Live for?
With so many YouTube viewers, it’s an incredible platform for businesses, personal brands, and content creators to interact with their audience. It’s commonly used for consistent streamers, like live gamers, news, performances, and classes.
Brands can use live to connect with their established YouTube subscribers, but it’s also a unique way to reach a wider audience that’s browsing for relevant content.
YouTube Live is arguably the most versatile social platform for live streaming. It also offers the widest reach, both with current fans and new leads. There are also high levels of engagement with YouTube Live’s chat and comment features.
Benefits of YouTube Live
- No cost to live stream on YouTube
- Can stream privately to subscribers when “Unlisted”
- Offers live-chat with viewers
- YouTube Live can be embedded into other sites (like your website)
- Possibility for monetization
- Easy to “save” video to channel for future viewing
Disadvantages of YouTube Live
- Not all channels are monetized
- Little control over audience (anyone can link and comment)
- Lack of live streaming tools (unlike YouTube Creator Studio)
- Some video latency when streaming
Creating a YouTube Live
Unlike some other social platforms, YouTube Live viewers often want a higher level of production quality. They expect that the creator will show their face, share their screen, attach pre-recorded videos and images, stream with multiple cameras (with great lighting and audio quality), add music, use picture-in-picture windows, and more. Unlike Facebook or Instagram where you can sometimes get away with live streaming from your phone, YouTube Live’s audience wants prerecorded video quality and value with the benefits of a live stream.
That’s one of the reasons that we love YouTube Live for in-person events. You already have good videography equipment at the venue for your prerecorded videos, so you can add a few more cameras for high-definition live streaming purposes.
Facebook Live is the “OG” of live streaming on social channels. Facebook is already where people go to connect with loved ones and with businesses, so it only makes sense that live video interaction followed suit. Individuals are using Facebook Live to share updates about their lives (like engagements and baby showers), while businesses are using them to create authentic and genuine connections with real people. Since it’s so easy to use and the barrier to entry is so low, Facebook Live is a recommended platform for any business with a strong and engaged Facebook following.
Important Facebook Live statistics
- 93.7% of businesses use Facebook, so it’s a strong B2B platform (State of Social)
- People watch a Facebook Live video 3x more than average, non-live video (Facebook)
- Facebook Live videos receive 5x more engagement than photo posts (AdWeek)
- Facebook Live had 3.5 billion broadcasts with 2 billion viewers in its first 2 years (Fidji Simo)
Who is Facebook Live for?
Facebook Live is for pretty much anyone, which can be a blessing and a curse. With billions of users and thousands of businesses, Facebook is an incredible avenue to connect with customers, partners, and B2B contacts. Facebook Live, in particular, allows for a deeper level of engagement from which brands are heavily benefiting.
Facebook Live caters to the Facebook crowd, though. If your audience isn’t already engaged on Facebook, they’re unlikely to start using the platform just to watch your Live (unlike YouTube or Twitch, for example).
You’ll want to have an understanding of where your audience is already spending time and engaging with your brand, so you can align your live streams accordingly.
Benefits of Facebook Live
- No cost, available to all viewers and businesses (with an account)
- Private stream available (for groups)
- Live chat and interaction buttons
- Allows previewing
- Advanced analytics and metrics
- Ability to add a description
- Can tag friends, choose location, or add an activity
- Easy to add filters, icons, and graphics
- Simple and easy interaction
Disadvantages of Facebook Live
- Private feeds only available through Groups function (each member needs to have FB account and be individually added to group)
- Wide sphere of competition (so sometimes challenging to stand out)
- Frequent technical issues
- Facebook censorship (they have had concerns in the past, so they’re cracking down on Live videos)
- Won’t connect with every audience (do market research first)
Creating a Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a great platform for beginners and advanced streamers alike. Whether you’re a sole coach or a huge brand, and whether you’re holding your cell phone or using a large camera setup for your event, you can make Facebook work to your advantage.
What do you need to remember to make sure your Facebook Live shows the engagement and results you want?
- First test the video stream on the “Only me” privacy setting. Always test first!
- Create a compelling subtitle for your broadcast in the comments section.
- Reintroduce yourself, your brand, and your purpose a few times. People will log in and out at different times.
- Encourage viewers to like and share the video while you’re live.
- Have a moderator (if not the speaker him/herself) who can engage with commenters. Mention a few by name to say hi, thank them, or answer a question.
- Broadcast for at least 10 minutes. The most effective Facebook Lives go on for about 15-20 minutes (BuzzSumo), so you can get enough people in the room and keep engagement up.
- Don’t be afraid to try out different lenses, graphics, or drawings in your video.
- Tag friends. Add a location. Include an activity. Make it more interactive and engaging.
- Say goodbye with an action-driven sign-off that tells viewers how to further engage with your brand.
- Keep promoting your Facebook Live after it’s over.
Periscope is a live streaming app that’s owned by Twitter. You can go live on Periscope and then notify your Twitter followers that you’re live. While all live streaming can be “whatever you want it to be,” Periscope has an interesting reputation for its unique content, from individuals live streaming their daily lives to brands offering super special behind the scenes content. If you’re looking for a novel way to connect with your audience, Periscope could be an interesting live streaming solution to try out.[Note: We don’t have a lot of reliable, up to date statistics about Periscope. Twitter keeps their information pretty under wraps. However, there are at least 10 million registered users with approximately 1.9 million daily users (Dustin Snout, Twitter quarterly report). In 2015, there was about 350,000 hours of video streamed daily, but we’re unsure of more up to date numbers.]
Who is Periscope for?
The majority of Periscope users are individuals streaming from their phones or tablets. It’s not as popular for larger brands, unless they have a highly engaged following on Twitter. However, people who use Twitter consistently are very consistent about it, and they’re often religious Twitter/Periscope fans. So for those businesses or individuals who have a strong Twitter following, Periscope is an absolute must. It’s an effective way to take the personal and interactive aspect of Twitter to a deeper level that followers appreciate and love.
85% of small and medium sized businesses (that use Twitter regularly) leverage it for customer service (Twitter). That means Twitter and Periscope are also effective tools for building rapport and offering more personalized customer service options for consumers.
Benefits of Periscope
- No cost and easily available
- User- and streamer-friendly
- Real time interaction with “hearts”
- Interactive map feature
- Private stream available through Periscope
- Allows previewing
Disadvantages of Periscope
- Can only stream privately (to Periscope members and account followers)
- Users must have Periscope account
- Only shares to Twitter, not other social accounts (unless you use IFTTT)
- Frequent glitch issues
- Content only available for limited time (unless you change settings and download)
Creating a Periscope (Twitter Live)
93% of Twitter’s video views happen on a mobile device. That means you want to really emphasize the mobile, on-the-go experience as much as possible. Shoot vertically. Show some faces. And encourage lots and lots of one-on-one communication.
You also want to heavily optimize for the “Twitter” aspect of Periscope’s live streaming. Since you can’t add external links, you’ll want to use your bio to link out to websites that you’ll be referencing in your live stream. You’ll also want to craft a tweet with your 140 characters that will introduce and describe your Periscope Live. This takes a little extra finesse–but regular Tweeters are used to it.
Some other pro tips for using Periscope:
- Your thumbnail will be the opening shot of your live stream. So make sure the very first shot is going to give a good idea of the stream. It could be your website homepage, a note, a graphic, your face, or your event’s logo.
- Start with context as to what’s going on. It takes time to get the notification and launch the Periscope, so don’t jump right into the good stuff. Take your time.
- Encourage sharing and interaction. It’s easy for viewers to share the feed, and Twitter users aren’t afraid to send off a quick Tweet to their followers. In fact, Twitter has one of the highest share rates, so definitely optimize on it and ask for shares.
- Take a screenshot of your stats right after the broadcast. Twitter doesn’t keep stats indefinitely.
- Periscope only keeps your live stream for 24 hours. Make sure you share and re-share frequently during that time, and tell people when it will expire to give them a greater sense of urgency.
LinkedIn Live is one of the newest live streaming options in social media, but it’s picked up steam quickly. It’s a useful tool to optimize on the engagement and interaction of live streaming with the top-notch professionalism of pre-recorded video. You can leverage LinkedIn Live to interact with employees, businesses, and customers with the branded quality and authenticity that people expect from your business.
Statistics about LinkedIn Live
- LinkedIn has 675 million monthly users (LinkedIn)
- 5th most popular social media platform, with 27% of Americans using LinkedIn (Pew Research)
- Brands report 7x more reactions and 24x more comments with live video vs standard video on LinkedIn (LinkedIn)
- LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video than any other type of post (Marketing Land)
Who is LinkedIn Live for?
There are 30 million companies on LinkedIn (Hootsuite). It is the number one spot for professionals to connect. It’s not for friends chatting about life or sharing their vacation pictures. LinkedIn is for networking within the business world. An extension of that, LinkedIn Live video is made for connecting with other businesses and professionals.
This doesn’t mean it has to be only for building B2B relationships. It’s a great place to find educated customers who are looking to learn more and stay informed in certain industries.
Our favorite use of LinkedIn Live is actually to connect with employees and stakeholders. (Even if customers tune in, they’ll like knowing what’s going on with the inner workings of your business.) According to LinkedIn, bout 30% of a company’s engagement is through LinkedIn, and employees are 14x more likely to share content from employers than other types of content on LinkedIn.
If you’re looking to increase internal engagement and build connections within your organization, LinkedIn Live is an incredible solution.
Benefits of LinkedIn Live
- Highly targeted audience (business/professional)
- Can be accessed on newsfeed or LinkedIn Pages
- Professional and high quality feed
- Low live stream competition
- Very high engagement from viewers
Disadvantages of Facebook Live
- Must apply for access
- All streams are public (no private streams)
- No preview option
- Must use third-party to stream (Restream, Wirecast, Easylive, etc.)
- Strict guidelines (like no more than one live per day, no prerecorded content, and no overt selling)
Creating a LinkedIn Live
If you’re interested in using LinkedIn Live, you must first complete an application and get approved. Unlike other social platforms, this means there’s a lot less competition in the live streaming sphere–but it also means there’s a higher barrier to entry.
Next, you’ll need to select a streaming tool. LinkedIn itself doesn’t have streaming options, so you’ll need to work with a third party streaming tool that fits your needs and experience level best. You’ll link that platform through LinkedIn’s Resource Hub, and then you’re ready to go live.
Once you’re live, the same rules apply as above. Keep it longer than 10 minutes and focus on engaging, visually stimulating content. Unlike other platforms, though, you can’t get away with just chatting into the camera on your phone. The live stream requires high quality camera and audio with a lot of forethought and planning. We often reccomend planning your LinkedIn Live almost as though you were creating a prerecorded video, so you know how your brand will be revealed and the story of your presentation will be shaped.
Check out these LinkedIn Live best practices straight from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
Instagram Live is one of the most popular live streaming platforms for individuals and businesses. It’s become one of the simplest and most sought-out spots for consumers to interact with their favorite influencers and brands on a more intimate and connected level. Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can use to expand visibility and reach, and live streaming is one of the best ways to deepen relationships and engagement.
Instagram TV is also a new development that has been taking off. We won’t really discuss it here, as it’s for long-form prerecorded video (not live streaming). Still, it’s definitely worth looking into for your video strategy. Check out the only IGTV article you’ll ever need.
Awesome Instagram statistics
- Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users (Statista)
- 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram (Mention)
- 500 million IG accounts use Stories and Live every day, and ⅓ of most viewed Stories are from businesses (Instagram)
- IG helps 80% of users decide whether to buy a product/service (Facebook for Business)
Who is Instagram Live for?
Instagram Live is for any business or influencer who has an engaged following on Instagram. It works especially well for Q&A sessions, product launches/reveals, contests and giveaways, and special guests. Instagram Live tends to be a little less “formal” than other live streaming platforms, so it’s usually best to have a few friendly faces representing your brand.
If you partner with any influencers or have an influencer marketing strategy, Instagram Live will likely be your best asset to work with those influencers to connect with your audience and promote your products.
It’s also important to note that 71% of Instagram’s billion users are under the age of 35 (Statista). If you have a younger audience, Instagram Live is a strong live streaming option.
Benefits of Instagram Live
- Popular live streaming platform
- Save replay of video to Instagram Stories for 24 hours (can save stories to page as well)
- Engage with likes/comments in real time
- Pin selected follower comments at top of video
- Instagram filters and graphics
- Free and low barrier to entry
- Ability to go live with multiple streamers
Disadvantages of Instagram Live
- Not great bandwidth (sometimes low quality)
- Lots of competition with other brands and individuals
- Can’t download for future use
- Can’t be private unless you have a private account
Creating an Instagram Live
Going live on Instagram is pretty straightforward. You can click a button and you’re live, whether it’s on your phone or connected to high-def cameras and audio. You should have a moderator to interact with followers and drive engagement during the stream, and you’ll want to ensure the stream is interesting and fun.
What we think is really unique about Instagram Live is how involved followers get. They tune in to their favorite influencers and brands, and they will be actively engaged with comments and likes, during and after the event. You can even invite specific friends or businesses to join the live stream, so you can encourage high end engagement.
To really optimize on your Instagram Live, you want to have someone on your team ready to track viewer metrics and continue interactions with followers in comments, DMs, and more. This can lengthen the life of your live stream for long-term brand success.
Remember that social media isn’t the only way. You can use a third party live streaming platform to live stream in private virtual events, on your website, or through just about any avenue you can dream up. Do your research to find out how your audience wants to interact with you, so you can create the sort of events that will best engage your viewers.
Psst… We like Twitch, too. It’s an awesome platform for gamers to live stream and interact. We like this beginners’ guide to streaming on Twitch if you want more information on getting started with this niche live streaming platform.
We list some of our other favorite live streaming platforms below.
Our favorite live streaming solutions and software
If you’re a beginner to live streaming, you can try just clicking “Live” on a social media platform to get the basics down. This can work well if you’re just looking for live streaming as a supplemental form of content on social media.
However, if you’re looking to see true results with your live streaming and build a credible name in quality content, you’ll want a professional solution to live streaming. We’ll give you some of our favorite live streaming software apps, so your business can have the best solutions to get started with top notch streaming.
The following solutions are best when you’re looking to create a custom or branded product with your live stream. For example, you’re running a virtual event on your branded site. You’re hosting a virtual conference, and then you can then incorporate one of these live streaming extensions on your site as part of the event for a live Q&A or a live keynote speaker.
1. Vimeo (Premium)
Vimeo is a leader in professional live streaming and video hosting. Their slogan, “Live streaming, without limits” truly delivers.
Some reasons we love using Vimeo Premium:
- Simultaneously stream events on social media and/or embedded on site, right from Vimeo
- HD quality, even with limited bandwidth
- Live streams automatically archived in 4K
- Customizable player
- Password protection and embed permissions for privacy of event
- Graphics additions
- Engagement tools: live Q&A, polls, audience chat, email capture, custom calls to action
- Advanced analytics
- Can connect own equipment (camera, graphics, audio mixers, etc.)
2. IBM Cloud Streaming
IBM is at the forefront of all things tech, and live streaming is no different. They stream over 2 million events monthly.
Some of the may benefits of IBM Cloud Streaming:
- Customizable, branded channel
- Live and on-demand video in one place
- Support for website and social network embedding
- Private video portal (with optional email verification)
- Watson-enabled machine learning
- 24/7 one-on-one support
- High-end analytics
- Automated speech to text (auto captioning)
- Live Q&A, polling, slide presentations, multiscreen video options
3. JW Player
JW Player has a lot of great benefits, but one of our favorite aspects is their quality playback on a variety of platforms. Whether your viewers are on your website, a mobile app, or smart TV, JW Player delivers a consistently professional experience.
- Player embeds in custom, private sit
- Used with custom RTMP
- Focus on ad revenue (Video Player Bidding)
- Engagement analytics
- Video gallery
- Advanced features, based on your individual needs
- Custom pricing
4. Brightcove Live (Enterprise)
Brightcove Live is a reliable platform that lets you live stream on any device, across multiple platforms. It’s a basic choice with lots of advanced options that make it a great option for virtual events.
- Customizable API
- Live ads support
- Monetization of live streams
- Buffer-free, pause-free, and glitch-free promise
- Social channel publication
- Live clipping for social (while stream is running)
- VOD playback
- Pause, play, rewind during stream
It’s time to go live! Are you ready?
We know there’s a lot that goes into hosting an engaging, interactive, successful live stream. Choosing what sort of activities and events to live stream, selecting your marketing channels, learning live streaming software, putting together the equipment, getting a team on board… it’s a lot to handle just for one live stream.
That’s why most businesses outsource their video production and live streaming. Don’t spend time, energy, and resources incorporating an entirely new arm of your marketing campaign.
Partnering with True Film Production allows you to brainstorm, create, and distribute stunning pre-recorded and live videos for your in-person and virtual events.
If you’re looking to increase your views, engagement, and return on video campaigns and live streaming, True Film Production is here to create your custom strategy. It’s what we live for, and it’s what we do best.
Request a quote now to get the ball rolling with your live streaming and video strategy. Reach out now, don’t wait. Since the world has moved more virtual since the quarantine, our lines have been ringing off the hook with businesses looking for a quality video that enhances their digital sphere. Get ahead of the game– now’s the time! We look forward to hearing from you to start brainstorming your next event.
The post The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part II appeared first on True Film Production.