This will help you understand why and how to live stream – what to do before, during and after!
A pre-recorded video tells people what happened. Live streaming tells people what is happening.
Some Stats On Live Streaming In 2017 (To Convince You Why)
- Facebook Live is growing – 81% of Internet and mobile audiences watched more live videos in 2016 than in 2015.
- People prefer live video – 80% of people choose to watch a live video rather than read a blog. 82% of people prefer live video over normal content.
- Curiosity sells – people are interested in what goes on behind the scenes. They want to see real people in real-time. 87% would pick live video over traditional television if it meant getting a peek beyond the curtain.
Sources: Livestream and New York Magazine Survey
More Reasons Why Irish Business Needs To Live Stream in 2017
- It’s an amazing opportunity to get in front of your audience.
- Creates a sense of immediacy.
- Creates instant video content which you can re-package as promotional content.
- Raises your brand awareness.
- You have lots of control – make it as complicated or as simple as you like.
Case studies of Irish businesses using live streaming well in 2017:
- The Happy Pear is a fruit and veg store and café owned by Irish twins, Stephen and David Flynn. These guys are killing it on social media here in Ireland and all over the world with online videos and recipes. They recently started live streaming Q&As and the response has been massive. This particular live stream gained over 57k views.
- Department store Arnotts create hype and allow fans to sample them live on Facebook. Here’s one from as far back as November 2016 to launch winter boots. Others include Mac make up lessons, and talk to the stylists in-store.
- BuzzFeed (not Irish but needs to be included as it’s the “Oreo cookie” of live streaming case studies). It drew massive worldwide engagement when two employees live streamed putting rubber bands on a watermelon until it exploded. Odd, yes. Waste of time? Definitely not. It attracted over 800,000 live viewers and scored 315,000 comments. It was Facebook’s most watched live stream ever, until Chewbacca Mom of course…
Okay, you get it.
Live streaming – it’s worth it.
So what now? Let’s break it down for you.
1. You need to prepare and get some kit
Prepare what you’re going to talk about before you start. You don’t have to rehearse every single sentence – but at least be clear of the main points you want to make.
Live Streaming Equipment
You don’t have to have the most expensive camera or the fanciest tripod. For your first few live streams, all you need is your smartphone and an Internet connection. But if you want to up your game, you gotta invest! Here’s a list of some necessary equipment that will bring your live stream from a dodgy selfie video to a well-prepared broadcast!
People will stick around for bad video with good audio, but they won’t watch good video with poor audio.
If you want to get ahead in life, get a mic! Some affordable options we use below:
- Blue Yeti USB mic – good for quiet environments. Average price about €140 – get it on Amazon.
- Audio Technica +AT2100 – a great dynamic mic (picks up what’s in front of it) – average price about €60 – get it on Amazon.
- Rode Video Mic – the closer you are, the better – average price about €106 – get it on Amazon – these plug straight into the microphone port on your computer.
- You also might want to get a pop filter for the microphones – just so all those P’s and T’s don’t P people off!
Most computers these days will have built-in webcams, but investing in an external webcam is a good idea. Not only will you now have multiple cameras to switch from (giving you more angles and making your broadcast look more professional), the new webcam will most likely be better than your built-in webcam.
They range in price – some provide full 1080p quality, but a standard 720p webcam is OK to start out with, and won’t make you look pixelated.
Here’s Logitech’s website where you can compare webcams in a range of prices. You might want to use a DSLR camera, if you have one, fine. If not, stay away from that for now. It can get a little messy.
We recently picked up the Toazoe T1195 from Amazon – average price about €28 – it’s a great light. You can adjust brightness and tone, and it’s very forgiving!
Okay, so if you’ve ignored what we said above or you just want to live stream on the go without carrying bags full of gear around, you can of course just use your phone. We would recommend that you add a mic, use a tripod and maybe some lights.
The Rode Smartlav + Mic – about €65 – plugs into your phone and the mic goes on your jacket, the LuMee case for your phone – about €73 – is used by all the top Instagrammers. It’s a hard case for your phone that comes with built-in lights, so you always look glowing and radiant!
2. Pre-Live Promotion
What’s great about Facebook Live is that you can schedule your live stream and notify your followers that you plan to go live at a certain time. They will get an alert coming up to the time.
It’s also a good idea to promote your live stream across platforms using a simple graphic with the time and topic. We also recommend you make one for ’10 mins before’ and schedule that on the platforms you’re using. Like this:
There are two ways you can live stream on Facebook. The easy way and the better way. Which one will you choose?
(1a)The Easy Way – On Your Smartphone
It’s as simple as 5 taps.
- Tap What’s on your mind? at the top of your News Feed (or Write Something… at the top of your business or brand page).
- Tap Live Video.
- Write a description for your broadcast. This is so important, as headlines grab your audience’s attention. This is the first thing that potential viewers will see on their news feeds. Ideally, it should reference the primary topic, but also be interesting enough to capture attention and persuade people to watch.
- Pick an effect or a mask (if that’s what you’re into).
- Tap Go Live to begin your broadcast. (Do your thing!).
- Then tap Finish when you want to end your broadcast.
(1b) The Easy Way – On Your Desktop
You will need a webcam for this, but luckily most computers have them built in.
- Click What’s on your mind? at the top of your News Feed (or Write Something… at the top of your business or brand page).
- Click Live Video. For business or brand pages, make sure you are posting as your business or brand page, not your personal page – otherwise you won’t see Start a Live Video.
- Click Next once you have written an interesting description.
- Click Go Live once you are happy with the preview.
(2) The Better Way – Via OBS
It’s not simple, but you can do a lot more with Facebook Live if you stream through OBS, a free Open Broadcaster Software. We’ve done a comprehensive post about how to use OBS for Facebook Live over here. Find out how you can live stream like a pro!
WARNING: Facebook Live via OBS only works for business or brand pages.
Here’s a Facebook Live we did last week via OBS with multiple cameras.
- Engage your users by making your content interactive. Your audience will be delighted when you mention their name and answer their questions live. So be sure to encourage comments, keep an eye on comments (or have somebody else at a computer keep an eye on them for you) and, where appropriate, reply to them. Increasing comment counts improves your relevancy score with the Facebook algorithm, so having good engagement helps your reach and gets you pushed out further.
- Build a following. Facebook Live includes a ‘Follow’ button for a reason, but your viewers are probably too engrossed in your stream to notice it, so remind them! The ‘Follow’ button allows viewers to subscribe to your broadcasts, and get notifications whenever you’re live. But don’t stop at that, suggest to your viewers to share the stream to their own newsfeeds, too.
- While you can broadcast for any length of time up to 90 minutes, Facebook recommends you to give at least 10 minutes of your time to the broadcast. The longer your Facebook Live stream is online, the greater the chance is of people discovering you and inviting their friends to watch.
- When you’re ready to wrap up, finish with a closing line, like “Thanks for watching, and see you next time!”. Bonus points for developing a unique and memorable closing. Click the Finish button and the entire live stream will be saved to your timeline and appear like any other video post.
Things to do pretty quickly after you’ve finished:
- Download the video and make some edits: 15 second teaser for Instagram, 2 min highlight clip for Twitter and Facebook. Publish them with the permalink to your stream.
- Edit the description. Now that your video isn’t live streaming, the description may need to be edited to reflect its past-tense nature and you can add links to anything you referenced.
- Choose a thumbnail. Facebook automatically provides 10 stills from your recording. Or upload your own custom image as a thumbnail, get your branding to the thumbnail and project the best image of you and your brand.
- Promotion. If your stream was particularly good, consider promoting this out using Facebook Ads as a Promoted Post to further its reach. We’ve an entire blog post on Facebook Ads and how to leverage their power here.
- Don’t be a stranger. Don’t let this be an isolated broadcast. Go live frequently, as the more time you dedicate to your fans, the more time they will dedicate to you. Frequency is the key to familiarity.
Have You Tried Live Streaming In 2017 Yet?
How did you find it? Maybe you’d like some help with Facebook Live or promoting your Lives with Facebook Ads?
Get in touch with us! And subscribe to our Facebook Live. We’ll have you reaching your audience live in no time.
We’ll always get back to you within one business day.