The annual Summit.Live conference took place from Feb. 22-Feb. 24, 2017, in sunny Los Angeles, California. Many speakers including David Basulto, Luria Petrucci, and Ross Brand took to the stage to educate their audiences on how to make bigger and better livestreams for their brands and their businesses.
Switcher Studio’s own CEO, Nick Mattingly, was invited to be a guest speaker for Thursday’s round of presentations. Nick’s talk revolved around “Blueprints for Live Content,” which went over crucial steps to take before, during and after your live broadcast.
The biggest takeaway from Nick’s presentation was that the best broadcasts are planned and created, rather than spontaneously done. While, of course, not all broadcasts can be planned and some are best done spur-of-the-moment, it is helpful to further your brand and your business by preparing in advance, to keep both yourself and your audience on track.
With live video, the type of content you are showcasing (such as events, news reporting and more) determines how you tell your story, and it is important to plan for that. The platform you use for your broadcast also affects how you tell your story, such as Facebook’s prescheduling feature and comments feature, Periscope’s integration with Twitter and quick integration, and YouTube’s 4K streaming option with 60fps quality.
The following are some things to keep in mind when planning for your live videos:
- Storyboarding. What is your goal in the broadcast? What do you plan to discuss? What are you showing (you speaking, a new product, an interview with an expert, etc.)? What will be the call-to-action for your audience?
- What app will you use? Native apps like Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube are incredibly simple to go live with, but they are limited in functionality. You basically have the single-shot camera, and that’s it. If you use another app like Switcher Studio, Switcher Go, OBS or Wirecast, then you can enhance your broadcast by using images, prerecorded video and multiple angles.
- Any networking concerns? Live video has gotten much easier thanks to improvements to both 4G and LTE networks; however, large crowds and inclement weather can negatively affect the bandwidth available for a broadcast. It is best to use a dedicated personal network such as a home router or a portable router to get the best quality possible no matter where or when you are streaming.
- How does your audio sound? Bad audio kills video quicker than bad video quality. If your audience has trouble hearing you, then they will tune out. Place your microphone as close to your subject as possible and away from ambient noise sources such as wind and construction. Using adapters such as the iRig Pre and the iRig Pro can help you to connect shotgun mics, lavalier mics, handheld mics, and audio mixers for better sound quality.
- Add some graphics. If you are running a business, include an image of your storefront or your logo to add more oomph to your broadcast. If a known guest will be appearing on your broadcast, prepare lower-thirds or personal graphics for the guest. You should also have a graphic to queue up for your scheduled Q&A segments.
- Schedule your streams! As we mentioned before, some streams will be spontaneous, but if you know about your broadcast in advance, schedule the broadcast and share it out. Also, you may want to do a pre-stream to tease your main broadcast and attract more attention.
- Are you riding solo, or do you have a helping hand? If you are the only person operating things on your end, you will need to be able to queue up your assets on your own during your broadcast. If you have a second person to operate things, you will need to be able to communicate with them when to queue up your assets. It is recommended to rehearse your broadcast with this second person before going live.
So, you’ve planned for your broadcast. Here are some tips to help you out during your actual live broadcast:
- Introduce yourself and the topic. If your subject is a new business, then you will want to introduce the venue and let your audience know where you are at the start of your broadcast. If you are the talent or the brand in focus, you will want to place the camera directly on yourself so that you are the first thing your audience sees.
- Tell the audience what to expect. Bullet point the topics that will be discussed during your broadcast, and lead with a brief overview to hook your audience. This way, they know what to expect and can prepare any questions or comments they may have. If you know how long your broadcast will be, then you will also want to announce a time expectation.
- Go into detail on each of your topics. You already bullet pointed your topics at the start of your broadcast; here is where will expand on each one. Be sure to engage with your audience and answer relevant questions on the fly. This is also where you will explain your subject’s goals.
- Recap your content frequently. Not all viewers come in at the beginning of a broadcast, so recapping what happened earlier will help them to catch up. If a viewer feels lost, they will often leave.
- Frame an opportunity to move into a Q&A. Feel free to greet people as they come in and say “hi” throughout the broadcast, but save the main portion of viewer-asked questions and comments for a designated Q&A session. It makes for a good framework to keep your topics on track without interruption.
- Remind the viewers of your Call-To-Action. Are you sending them to your website, a social page, to sign up for a newsletter, to attend an event, to tune in next week? All of the above? Give your viewers a task at the end of the broadcast to keep them engaged and to keep your broadcast most effective.
After the broadcast ends, this is where many streamers tune out and move on with their day. This is not how to get the most out of your broadcast. Post-broadcast, you will want to perform a few additional actions to keep your viewers coming back and to grow your audience further:
- Analyze your broadcast. Did you reach your goals? Did you convey the information that you wanted? Were you able to engage with your viewers and get the desired feedback for your business or your brand? What should you do differently next time?
- Create follow-up content. Can you turn your live video into a blog post? Can you put a snippet of the video onto YouTube or Twitter? Can you make a compilation of multiple past broadcasts to advertise a weekly scheduled show (think: a commercial for your show)?
- Answer the remaining viewer comments. Viewers will continue leaving comments post-broadcast. Be sure to go back through and answer all of them to further drive engagement and keep your audience happy and fulfilled.
- Share your broadcast to other platforms. Pick the platform(s) that is best for you and where most of your audience already is. By sharing your video across these other channels, you increase and grow your exposure. Redirect back to your original streaming platform so that more people begin tuning in live.
- Analyze how you can improve? How can you grow your audience? How can you convey your message better? How can you interact with your audience pre-broadcast? Remember, you can only keep getting bigger and better. You are your own competition.
To view Nick’s presentation in its entirety, be sure to go to Nick.Live to download the PDF. You can also sign up for his newsletter to receive additional content on how to create better videos and future updates.