The live streaming video is having a moment in 2020. As entertainment options continue to be limited out of the house, consumers have become much more willing to give their time to new forms of online content.
More brands than ever have been giving “going live” a try. While many marketers have proven that the medium can be effective, others could use a little help along the way. In this post, I’ll go through 7 tips that can help you create a video that’s both entertaining, engaging, and ultimately an effective tool in your marketing strategy.
1. Promote Before Broadcasting
Just like a movie studio that puts significant resources into promoting a film before its release, you should be putting together a strategy that gets the word out before you go live!
In the days leading up to your broadcast, do a daily post reminding your audience to mark their calendars for a can’t-miss event. Additionally, ask your social media followers to provide you with content they’re interested in hearing more about during your video. This can go a long way in making sure the material you’re speaking on is relevant, interesting, and what your fans want to hear.
Don’t just promote the fact that you’re going to be hosting a live video – tell your audience about the value that your video is going have for their goals. Viewers will be much more likely to tune in if they know that they’re going to learn something during your broadcast.
2. Have a Plan
The appeal of a live video is that it’s an open forum to communicate. With that being said, it’s still important that you have some type of agenda to keep things moving.
You don’t need a script per se, but don’t go into the broadcast thinking you can simply riff for 20 minutes and end up with a great piece of content. In the days leading up to your video, put together an outline that helps you stay on track throughout the production.
As viewers ask questions it’s okay to veer off track, but it’s nice to have a reference point to return to once you’ve addressed any comments. Not to mention, if you don’t write things down in advance, you run the risk of skipping over an important topic!
3. Test Run
Lighting, angles, sound quality…there are plenty of things to take into consideration when deciding where to shoot your video. Doing a rehearsal video is a great way to ensure that nothing is going to distract your viewers or take away from the valuable information you’re providing.
The day before you’re planning to go live, record your video and watch it back. Take some notes on what can be improved and ask colleagues to share their opinion as well. You only get one chance with a live video, so it’s best to make sure you’re prepared to show yourself and your brand in the best possible light (literally and figuratively).
4. Q and A
The main reason for doing a live video over a recorded production is because it allows for interaction with the audience. Those who are viewing your video can respond to your content in real-time, and a productive discussion can be formed from their questions.
You probably don’t want to make the entire focus of your video a question and answer session, but you should include one at the end, and reference it throughout. To make these Q and A’s as good as possible, remind your audience at the beginning of the video to write down any questions they might have and ask them at the end.
If there are any questions that you can’t address without doing some more research, wait until the conclusion of your video and respond to those individuals directly.
5. Team Up to Respond In Real-time
Hosting a live video can certainly be a one-person show, but to effectively connect with your audience try incorporating a team member to monitor comments and respond in real-time.
No matter how skilled you are as a multi-tasker (and as digital marketers, multi-tasking is likely one of your strengths), it’s nearly impossible to catch all comments and put on a worthwhile video at the same time. While you’re the star on camera, have someone behind the scenes working the keyboard to answer viewers’ questions.
Some questions are going to take a detailed explanation that can’t be answered with a quick response, so instruct your assistant to write those down for further discussion at the end of the video.
6. Don’t Forget to Entertain
The goal of most live videos is to pass on some type of useful information to the audience, but that doesn’t mean you need to have the environment of a college lecture. In fact, taking a slightly more informal approach might be more effective.
Plenty of studies have shown that attention spans aren’t what they used to be, so it’s important to make your content fun! Use props, special graphics, and don’t be afraid to mix in a little humor as well.
If your audience actually enjoys and is entertained by your video, there’s a much higher likelihood that they’ll tune in for the next one. Don’t weight them down with facts and numbers, but focus on creating a real human connection!
Most businesses are active on more than one social media platform. Use your reach to spread the word about your upcoming video!
For example, your LinkedIn audience and your Facebook audience might not overlap, so it’s important to post on both sites that you have an upcoming live session that they should tune into. Drop a tweet, make an Instagram post, and generate some buzz with different audiences.
If you really want to increase viewership, don’t be afraid to put a few dollars behind an ad. Even small budgets can reach exponentially more potential viewers!
If you have some anxiety about getting in front of a camera with hundreds of strangers watching, don’t panic. You aren’t Steven Spielberg and nobody is expecting a major production. People will tune in because they want to learn more about you and what your brand has to offer.
Above all, be energetic, passionate, and informative, and you’ll form a connection that is uniquely personal with your viewers.