September 30, 2020

Four Ways to Make Live Streaming Work For Your Business

From platforms to production value, here's what you need to know.

It’s rare that something impacts us enough to inherently change our standard operating procedures. It’s even more rare than something is so big that it impacts everyone’s behaviors and methodologies. 

Enter 2020.

Businesses, communities, educational institutions, governments, individuals have all been forced to reinvent the way they operate and communicate, from remote learning to increased safety protocols to huge swings in purchasing behaviors to day-to-day schedules.

One of the biggest changes we’ve seen has been the shift from in-person purchasing, meetings, events and learning opportunities to virtual, video-based interactions. It’s been an incredible technological accomplishment – when it goes well, that is. 

Countless forward-thinking businesses recognized the need for quality video content in this crazy time we’re living in, and they’ve hit the ground running. Nearly three-quarters of all businesses are now using some form of live streaming to promote their businesses. In addition, nearly six in ten executives say they would rather watch video than read text. 

Video is a powerful tool that if done well, can be a huge boost to a business’s overall marketing efforts. Here are four ways to make the most of live-video streaming:

1. Know your platform options and their features and benefits

  • There are dozens of tools to help you implement live-streaming video. Some of these options were around before the pandemic, and some are brand new. The most common platforms include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram Live, Zoom,  Google Meet and GoToMeeting. They all have their pros and cons. It’s important to do research, understand their features and benefits and how those apply to you, and make the best decision for your business.

2. Quality is important

While people are forgiving and understand that we’re all getting used to this new video broadcast world, quality is critical to a successful live stream. Some things to consider are:

  • Quality Audio is arguably the most important and least forgiving for your audience. If video isn’t good, most people will deal with that. However, if people can’t hear what you’re saying, they’ll lose interest and leave quickly. There are lots of relatively inexpensive audio accessories for computers and phones that greatly increase audio quality.
  • Video quality can be greatly improved by doing two simple things: making sure you have a steady video feed and proper lighting. Make sure your camera or phone are mounted on a solid surface. Also, try to use natural ambient lighting if possible. If not, LED lights are a good option as well. Be sure to avoid direct backlighting whenever possible. 

3. Consider greater production value

  • There are times that it may be beneficial to consider a higher production value for your live stream. Perhaps your annual meeting or event has shifted to being live stream only. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with having one camera focused on one area. Your live stream can include multiple cameras, direct audio inputs, music, motion graphics, on-screen titles and direct visual aids. Creating your own news broadcast-quality live stream is absolutely doable with a little guidance and the right equipment.

4. Test everything in advance

  • Don’t be that business that is greatly embarrassed because their live stream has technical difficulties that could have been easily avoided if everything was tested in advance. Regardless of the overall quality of your live stream, it is imperative that a dry-run is done for any broadcast to ensure everything is working properly.

Video and live streaming can be an effective way to transform your business model or compliment your current marketing efforts. Video during the pandemic can be credited with saving many businesses who recognized how the world would change and took the initiative to adapt to those changes. 

But remember, like anything in your business, video should be done well. If you simply phone it in, don’t give it full effort or provide any sort of quality video experience, it will never work. Follow the above steps and you’ll be well on your way to providing a quality live stream video experience.

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