You’ve probably noticed the popularity of video in all formats of media, and video continues to grow. An interesting emerging trend is the decrease in highly produced video content and increase in more live video content. From Snapchat to Instagram Stories to Facebook Live, businesses are utilizing these free and simple tools to tell their business' story and connect with potential customers. Small business owners may be thinking, “I don’t have the equipment or expertise to advertise with video,” but what if I told you that you already have everything you need to get started?
The beauty of live streaming is that you can do it straight from your smartphone! No need for an expensive camera or video editing station. The popular apps that offer live streaming have the tools built in to handle editing and adding fun things like text and stickers to your videos. Any modern smartphone with iOS or Android will offer all the camera specs you need to make a great live video. Now that we have the equipment and software handled, let’s take a look a few considerations you’ll need to make and some tips for getting started.
What Platform Should I Use?
First you’ll want to consider which platform you want to live stream too as each one provides different options for viewing. Some platforms like Snapchat and Instagram will automatically delete your videos after 24 hours, whereas Facebook Live will save your video after your live session ends for people to view later. It’s important to consider your demographic and the content of your video when deciding which social media platform to use. Most businesses would craft their videos differently depending on if they were using Instagram Stories vs. Facebook Live due to tools available in each. After you decide on your platform, here are few tips to remember before you go live!
Make sure you have a strong connection
You’ll need a strong data connection to broadcast live. In most cases being connected to a good high-speed wifi connection will work best, but if you aren’t a 4G data connection will be required. Some apps will gray out the “live” option until it recognizes a strong enough connection.
Know what you want to say
It’s important to consider that your broadcast will be live, meaning that dead air time will come across as awkward and seem like you aren’t an expert on what you’re sharing. We aren’t saying to read a script or seem robotic, but have a general idea of what you want to communicate to your viewers before you go live.
Let Your Followers Know When You’ll Be Going Live
You can build anticipation with your followers by letting them know when you will be broadcasting. When you do this, make sure you start at the time you said you would. No one likes to wait, and we all know how easy it is to get distracted on social media.
Introduce Yourself And The People With You
Don’t assume your viewers know who you are. If you have someone in your video with you make sure you introduce them to your audience and explain why they are with you. Also, if you have a guest, make sure they add value to what you want to communicate and aren’t just a random person in the shot with you.
Interact With Your Viewers
Most platforms will offer viewers a chance to comment or react during the live broadcast, so make sure you respond to those comments or reactions. Maybe open the broadcast up for questions and answer some of them live. If you can’t get to a question in the moment, try and answer in the comments later. If you receive a lot of the same questions or comments that might be good subject matter for another live video in the future.
Know When To Wrap It Up
After you’ve said what you want to say, know when to end your video. No one wants to watch something that is dragging on and on. When you see your viewer count start to drop, start wrapping it up. Your viewers will let you know when it goes too long.
Live streaming can be a really fun and informal way to connect with your customers. People like to feel like they are going behind the scenes and meeting the “real” people behind your business. Live video is a great and inexpensive tool to give your customers and potential customers just that.