Breathe Life into Your Live Videos

By Brian Bishop     |     September 12, 2017

The future of video is live. Scroll through your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed and you’re bound to come across friends and brands hosting live videos, with varying degrees of success. In fact, the algorithms platforms use are giving live video better reach and precedence. But before you dive in and start going live, we want to share with you some pointers to help you make the most out of your live stream.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Live streams should feel light and spontaneous, but the last thing you want is for your event to go off the rails. Like any good improvisation, planning and preparation are key. The more you prepare, the easier it is to relax in the moment and let the spontaneity arise. Treat a live feed like a live TV show: everything needs to be ready to go ahead of time so you can go with the flow and adjust in the moment to what arises.

First, determine what action you want fans to take in response to your feed. Even though they’re spontaneous, live feeds shouldn’t be aimless. You can offer prizes, give fans the opportunity to ask questions of your guest, or gather email addresses.

Include some curated content in your stream — something you can use during a transition or if something goes sideways. Having something waiting in the wings can help you avoid awkward silences, which can make things uncomfortable for viewers and cause them to disengage.

Brief your guests! In addition to entry-level concerns like scheduling them, you should be sure they know what is expected of them well ahead of time. Of course, you might be doing something surprising or spontaneous on camera, in which case you don’t have to tell them what you’re doing, just that you’re doing it.

Make it Engaging

To make your live event worthwhile, it needs to be engaging (hello Captain Obvious).

There are many ways to do this: build suspense, use humor, wrap a bunch of rubber bands around a watermelon until it explodes. But one tactic we’ve had particularly good luck with is inviting a special guest who is recognizable and attractive to your target community. It can be a win-win for your brand and your guest, especially if you give your guest the opportunity to talk about something they want to discuss in addition to talking about your product or service.

Give your fans the opportunity to ask questions in real time. This gives them more reason to watch and participate in your stream in real time, which is of course the entire purpose.

Probably the most important tip we can offer here is to relax, go with the flow, and make it fun. If you’re having a good time, it’s much easier for your audience to as well. Again, preparation is key to feeling relaxed: make sure everything is ready to go ahead of time, chat up your guest so they feel relax and taken care of, and then let it all go and have fun!

Let Live Live

Most video views actually happen AFTER the event has aired. You did such a thorough job of promoting the event before it happened (right?!), so it’s smart to plan ahead to give your live stream life after it’s over. A service such as Livestream allows you to broadcast your stream to multiple places simultaneously. So in addition to your own Facebook page, you can publish your live feed to your website, your guest’s Facebook page, and any other web property you want. One live stream we published garnered a respectable 3,000 views on our own Facebook page, while the same stream on the guest’s page got an amazing 60,000. Livestream also hosts the archive of the video, as well as stores the raw footage so you can download and repurpose it as you wish. Then you can periodically point back to your live stream to drive further traffic and awareness.

This year video is projected to account for 74 percent of all web traffic, and live video makes it easier than ever to broadcast your message. We hope you’ll follow our tips and create live video content that is compelling, engaging and valuable for you and your audience.

In case you’ve missed it, we’ve created the Fast Forward Video Strategy series to help you craft your video marketing campaigns in a thorough, comprehensive way. Subscribe now to receive the entire series, resources, expert articles and more.

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About Brian Bishop

With 15 years of marketing experience, Brian brings skills in brand development, social media, content marketing, experiential and digital ad buying. Brian strives to build great relationships with clients, establishing a true marketing partnership to help move their businesses forward.

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