Live streaming is one of the most popular up and coming means of digital media marketing today. The ease of communication, interaction and engagement of target audiences can be achieved by live-streaming very conveniently. It is the primary reason behind more and more brands branching out to Instagram live streaming, Facebook live streaming and doing live videos on many other mainstream social media platforms.
Businesses looking for opportunities to make it big with the help of digital marketing ought to use live webcasting in various areas of their work. Be it in educational events, company conferences or live product launches, there are a lot of uses for a live video webcast. Visual communication like this also more appreciated and better understood than a text-based one. Learning how to conduct a live stream can be a bit daunting for those who have never used this tool before. After all, mistakes made in a real-time video with many viewers can’t be.
Why Use Live Streaming for Your Business?
Making live videos can enhance different aspects of your business, here are some of the reasons to use live webcasts:
- Increases your reach and gets your message to a broader audience base
- Generates a lot of content that you can repurpose later on.
- It is interactive and encourages more engagement from the viewers.
- The interactive quality also allows the building of a stronger connection between the host and audience of the stream.
- Live webcasts are different from the other saturated avenues of marketing and make you stand out.
Smartphones have made live video streaming even more accessible, both for the one hosting and the ones watching. You can easily do Facebook live streaming or Youtube live streaming at any place if you have a powerful enough internet connection. But the process to professionally live stream can be a bit more complicated.
Therefore, the whole process of live streaming can be divided into four major parts:
- Recording audio-visuals
- Production phase
- Streaming Real-time
- Post-live phase
Let us now expand these 4 different steps and understand them in detail:
Recording Audio Visuals
Today you can capture videos from many different devices, including cameras and smartphones. In fact, mobile/tablet live streaming has become pretty popular today for its ease and efficiency.
Cameras are a standard feature on smartphones as well as tablets today. It is no wonder that these portable devices make streaming easier. What was not possible before 2014 is possible now. With the quality of cameras being raised with every new device model, the live streams done through them are also of higher quality.
Below are the steps to live stream using mobile devices –
Step 1: Mount or place your device on a tripod
Step 2: Connect the device with a better external audio source than the one built-in
Step 3: Make sure that you have bigger bandwidth internet
Step 4: Choose a platform for streaming carefully after research
Step 5: Keep the focus stable and don’t zoom in or out.
For a professional-looking live stream conducted with a mobile device, your set-up also needs to be a bit more stable and official. Here is a quick guide about how to live stream on Facebook, Youtube, Periscope and Instagram you may read this to learn the platform specific live streaming process.
Despite the simplicity allowed by mobile/tablet live streaming, one cannot negate that video cameras are the best for this purpose. Not only they create a better or HD quality video, but they can also be more flexible in terms of shifting focus and in taking different types of shots. While there are a thousand different types of video cameras available in the market, these are some of the cameras that you should look into for live streaming – Professional, Consumer, Prosumer and Pan-tilt Zoom (PTZ).
There are obviously other options as well that can suit your needs and budget better including DSLR cameras, IP cameras, GoPros etc. If you are using one of these types, make sure that your output video is of the best quality possible with that specific camera.
Although the picture quality is very important for a live video, don’t forget that the audio quality is also equally important. Use good quality audio systems and make sure that the subject of your live stream is clearly audible. You must also know these 8 things about business live streaming services.
The golden rule to follow here is – start small so that you can build up to the level that you want to reach comfortably rather than starting too big.
In simple words, the production phase involves the additional features that enhance your stream. This includes things like titles, overlays, multi-camera shots that switch, etc. All of these and more add to your viewer’s experience of the live stream. Since a single person doing the stream can’t do all of this, additional team members are required. When that is not feasible, people either avoid production works or try some other solutions.
This is a widely used set-up for a single person streaming. If the person don’t want to handle the camera on their own then automated camera set up is the best option. In an automated set-up, they place the camera on a tripod in the back of the room or in the designated area and leave it to live stream.
Production is often made easier with the help of production tools instead of additional manpower or hardware. There are streaming platforms and software that provide some extra features to add to your stream with very little of your own effort.
The golden rule to follow here is – video production is often complex and takes time, make sure that you actually need it, if not, then your stream can work without it too.
Once the steps mentioned above are completed, you need to focus on getting the video to your audience. Make your task easier by thinking of it on two different levels – On what platform to stream and how are you going to do it?
On what platform to stream?
Google hangout, Facebook live, Periscope live, Instagram live streaming and many more other live webcasting platforms are available at your fingertips for you to choose from. What matters here is the platform that your target audience uses the most, be it a social media website or your own. Here is a guide to Instagram live video for businesses that you may read to learn more about it.
How are you going to do it?
The way to do webcasting is by sending your video on the internet. Either do the stream from a mobile, tablet or PC or you can connect your camera device to the local network available around you. There are so many ways to live stream.
The golden rule to follow here is – make sure that your internet upload speed is fast enough for live streaming.
The last part of the streaming process is what happens to your video once you have streamed it on whatever platform that you’ve chosen, whether it is Periscope live streaming, Youtube live streaming or something else. Make sure that your live video is recorded so that even after the stream ends, your viewers can watch the archived video at any time that they want. There are many post-live video management tasks that you need to look into.
Post Live Video Management Tasks
- Adjust setting for automatic archiving of the live videos.
- Trim recorded video to show only relevant parts.
- Place video markers to show important parts of the video.
- The ownership and copyright of your own video can be tricky on the live streaming platforms like Facebook and Youtube; make sure that a recorded copy is kept safe elsewhere.
The golden rule to follow here is – have the ability to download your own archived videos to keep an internal record.
Once you understand all the processes and steps involved in the live streaming of videos, you can do it for your own business and ventures too. After getting the hang of it, streaming gets incredibly simple yet rewarding for your company.