Live Streaming Events: Things to Consider Before You Go Live
It’s time to get on board with the hottest trend in event marketing: live streaming. Video has made it to the top in the marketing world and if you haven’t jumped on board already, now is the time to take the leap.
Turn your event into an experience that no one can afford to miss by broadcasting your event live online. With YouTube, Facebook and Instagram as just a few of the leading live video streaming platforms, it’s simple to turn your event into an “all-in experience” for your audience. Many marketers already understand how to use these services to create video content, but are you prepared to create your professional live stream?
Live video streaming sounds easy enough. You just set up your cell phone and press “go live;” right? No professional camera or experience is needed…or is it? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to produce a high-quality live stream as it seems. According to livestream.com, 90% of marketing professionals surveyed think the quality of the video is the most important aspect of Facebook live events. It’s not just about what you’re streaming live — it’s how you’re streaming it. There are three important pieces to keep in mind when you’re ready to stream live:
– Your Internet: To give your viewers the best possible experience, you want to stream in HD. For HD streaming, you want to make sure that you have an Internet upload speed of at least 5 Mbps. If you’re improving your stream to 4K or Ultra HD, you’re going to need a minimum of 25 Mbps. It’s important to keep in mind that your bandwidth fluctuates, and your speed can drop drastically if a large number of people are using the same “pipe” to watch your live stream (if you have a group of people watching from one particular location). It’s important to check the venue’s internet speed before you go live.
– Your Set Up: This is your deciding quality factor. Streamed content can be as basic as smartphone streaming to your Facebook page or as sophisticated as a multi-camera production with remote interviews, video rolls, presentation slides and audience participation. The type of program you’re hosting plays a big part in the type of live streaming production you should plan to produce. A concert stream might feature three or more cameras to switch between so the audience can get multiple views of the stage and performer; whereas an all-employee meeting could need only one camera at the main location, an off-site presenter streaming via webcam and a Q&A session with viewers around the world. One other aspect to consider. In the case of a paid live streaming entertainment event, viewers will expect high-quality images and sound whereas the corporate meeting attendees are likely to be more forgiving — as long as the information is clear.
– Your Delivery Platform: YouTube, Facebook, Livestream, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Wowza…You’ve got options! First you must determine who your target audience is: Is your event invite only? Open to the public? Are you charging a fee to view your stream? Do you want your audience to have the ability to interact with your presenter through live chat or a Q&A feature? Do you need to deliver presentation slides, polls or other content alongside the video? Each of the various platforms offer different options and levels of service, so be sure to check out and play around with each platform before you go live and determine which platforms will work best for your live event. When you’re ready to go live, customize your delivery to match your target audience.
So maybe you’re not sure what to stream live, why or where. Live video streams are perfect for any size event from your corporate meeting of ten board members across the state to a multi-day music festival that attracts more than 300,000 each day. Size does not matter because once you’re online, your audience is everywhere you want them to be.
Maybe you’re thinking, “No way. If I stream my event live, no one will show up to the live event itself!” Wrong. Live streaming your event is likely going to grow your attendance. According to Digitellinc.com, 30% of people attending a live streamed event have attended the physical event the following year. If you have successfully created interest and shared highlights of the event via your live stream, that will hopefully entice your audience to attend in person next time around. Make the live stream of your event as exciting as you know it is!
“But no one will tune in to watch my live stream.” Wrong again. If you have an audience on social media, are marketing the live stream on your website or through other paid media, your audience will tune in to watch. In all of your marketing efforts, make sure that you specifically and clearly include the dates and times of the event and include clear instructions on how people can join the live stream events. If it’s a paid-for live streaming event, include payment details and a link to how they can pay to attend the live stream. Calendar reminders are also a must to increase show-up rates.
Video is one of the most creative and effective ways to engage your audience. Studies show that people are more engaged in video than still images or plain text. (Who wants to read a summary of the event when they can watch it all in a video? They could be missing all the juicy details! No one wants that.)
After the live stream is done, remember that you have the ability to review the instant feedback from your viewers through engagement and stream analytics for future marketing use. You can also save your video for playback later on other platforms and can also use it for other marketing purposes.
If your event was for business purposes, like an executive company business briefing, you may even want to get the video transcribed by a professional transcription company like Rev which can transcribe your entire video — including identifying speakers — which makes for a valuable and keyword rich blog post or company resource for later use. The value of your footage will not diminish because you have the ability to repurpose it for just about any purpose.
Not sure where to start or which platform is best for you and your event? Consider working with a production company or marketing firm with experience in this service. It’s cost effective, even if you splurge a little, because you can feel confident that your video content will provide you with improved ROI for your events. As a bonus, utilizing video also means that you could look for and partner with “live stream sponsors” for your event — and where there are sponsors, there is additional revenue. (And who doesn’t like that?!)
When you first get started with video live streaming, it might seem a little scary to press that “go live” button, but just do it. Once you have a few live stream events under your belt, you’ll be a pro in no time!