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Getting Started With Professional Livestreaming.

These days, it doesn’t take long to run into livestreamed videos while browsing social media. The truth is, if you aren’t producing live content, you might be missing out on a great opportunity to engage with your audience. Live content humanizes your brand and allows you to connect with viewers in real time, deepening trust through authenticity and transparency. Professional production with the right video partner can take this even further, setting you apart from other content and drawing attention.


So, how do you get started?



Objectives and success metrics


The very first step to producing a livestream is figuring out what exactly you’re going to do during your stream. You can livestream anything, such as events, Q&A sessions, updates from the C-suite, or interviews. If you’re planning to host events, livestreaming is an easy integration that will add value to the resources you’re already using. If you’re planning to produce video content, simple tweaks can be made to adjust your content for a live setting. Review your marketing or communications plan and determine where a livestream would make the biggest impact in fulfilling your goals and objectives. From there, develop your metrics for success so you can determine your ROI at the end of the project.


Environment


Once you have the “what” locked down, next up is the “where.” Just like any event, you’ll need to find a location that serves your objectives well. When it comes to livestreaming, you’ll need to consider the amount of space for cameras, microphones, and computers; the volume of background noise (roadways, restrooms, foot traffic, etc.) and your ability to control it; the amount, placement, and type of light (daylight from a south-facing window, overhead fluorescent bulbs, etc.); and the bandwidth and stability of the internet connection. This is, of course, on top of any other needs, such as seating for in-person guests. Finding the right location is important because that will inform the next step: determining what your video crew needs on the day of the livestream.


Technology and equipment


Working with your video production partner, you can determine what the best setup will be for your content and location.This includes cameras, lighting, audio capturing, and computers. For something very simple, one camera might do the trick. Oftentimes, however, the run of show benefits from a multicam experience—one wide shot and two more for closeups on hosts and other presenters. You’ll need to have any on-screen graphics, slide decks, and roll-in video ready in advance of the livestream to ensure a smooth workflow while streaming. And since we mentioned a smooth workflow, we always recommend a rehearsal or technical run-through to ensure all audience members—near and far— have a stable stream.


Platforms


The platform(s) you choose to stream your video feed to depend on your goals, type of content, audience, and just plain personal preference. Vimeo and YouTube are great choices for business professionals. Many social media sites also have livestreaming capabilities, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. If you have a large, dedicated following on Facebook, it might make sense to host the stream there. If you need more customization and privacy settings, Vimeo might be a better choice. It could be that you want to embed the stream into a custom webpage on your site. In other instances, you want to broadcast to more than one platform simultaneously to help build your audience. Discuss your needs and wants with your video partners to find the best fit.


Engagement


Real-time interactions are what set livestreaming apart from other video avenues. Take time before your stream to consider creative ways for your viewers to participate. You could have viewers submit questions, respond to polls, or answer quizzes to keep them engaged. An audience chat or comment section could allow them to discuss content among themselves as they watch. What action (if any) do you want viewers to take after participating? You could encourage them to fill out an evaluation, participate in a post-test, or simply give you a follow. Having one or more moderators can ensure things run smoothly and set expectations during and after the event without issue.


Promotion


You know the saying: “If a tree falls in the forest …” The same idea applies to your livestream. It could be of the highest quality—both in production and content—but if no one is around to watch it, that time, effort, and money could be wasted. Make sure to invite your audience well in advance (and send reminders the hour before) to make them aware and get them excited about your livestream! Social media posts and email campaigns can go a long way in getting the word out. You could also consider having attendees RSVP so you can monitor your promotional efforts leading up to the livestream date, assign custom login credentials, and evaluate your ROI post-event.


Post-event opportunities


Just because the livestream is over doesn’t mean you’re done with the content! If you’ve planned ahead to have the stream recorded as well as broadcast, you can continue to use that content. You can post the full event to give those who missed it a chance to catch up as well as reach out to participants and ask for feedback. You can also edit the video into smaller chunks to share on social media or embed in emails and presentations. The sky’s the limit!


Remember: planning and preparation are crucial when it comes to livestreaming, so be sure to spend ample time researching your platform options, verifying that your technology of choice works well, and clarifying your goals to ensure all the elements align. The right livestream video partner will help you keep things running smoothly.

And just like that, you’re ready to host a livestream! What will you cover in your first stream?

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