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Worried about live streaming? Feel like it's as hard as walking a tightrope?
We can relate.
The good news is that live streaming is an art that can be practiced and perfected!
When you use the right video tools and prepare well in advance, live streaming can be easy, fun and an amazing brand awareness exercise.
Explore the best places to broadcast your live, what basic equipment you need, key practice tips as well as how to create a buzz around going live.
What is live streaming?
Live streaming online is different from "streaming a video" as a video is being sent in real time rather than transmitted from a storage space. So, there isn't any time for editing the video before uploading it as everything is being broadcast live. Video conferencing, work-related meetings and screen sharing, social media live broadcasts, or even a simple family video chat are all considered examples of live streaming. Live streaming is a popular employee management technique to keep your remote team’s productivity high.
Live streaming is also one of the most popular types of visual content to attract customers and generate leads. Going behind the scenes, interviews, online tours, product demos, sneak previews, recruitment videos, and webinars are some interesting ways to use lives treaming to grow your business.
Where to broadcast your live stream as a creator?
There are lots of platforms that can make live streaming possible for creators and brands. Take a look at some of the most popular ones.
1. Facebook Live
When talking about the largest social media platform on the planet, you can’t miss its live streaming features. Although a little late to the game (Youtube introduced live video in 2011, Facebook in 2016), Facebook live has the potential to reach an unparalleled audience.
Live video engagement on Facebook is also high. Facebook has previously confimed that “people spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.”
Going live on Facebook is as easy as pressing “Live video” in the new post box. You’ll be directed to the “Live Producer” section and can make changes in the settings.
2. Instagram Live
Facebook’s sister platform, Instagram, has similar features as Facebook. The platform has a large audience interested in video content who are aged between 18-34. To create a live broadcast, tap in your feed and scroll to Live at the bottom right. You can then add a title to the broadcast by tapping on Title. You can see the number of viewers and the comments.
3. YouTube Live
YouTube officially enabled users to watch live streams and some selected creators to start live streams on its platform in 2011. Live streaming on Youtube is completely free but remember that to start a live stream, you need to enable it for your account through a verification process. This verification process can take upto 24 hours.
After the verification, you can instantly start a YouTube live stream. Simply click on the create button and select Go live.
4. Vimeo Live
To use Vimeo live, you need to subscribe to one of their premium plans. Live streaming on Vimeo isn't free because the platform is basically ad-free. This is a different business model than Youtube that makes money by showing ads before, during or after videos.
Some viewers might find Vimeo’s uninterrupted watching experience more pleasant than Youtube live videos, so it's still a powerful video platform to create on.
One handy feature of Vimeo Live is that you can live stream to up to 10 different platforms (such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more) at the same time. This Vimeo feature is called Simulcast. This feature enables you to target your audience on different platforms at the same time with no additional effort.
Dacast is a business-oriented video platform that allows you to host live streaming events on its cloud storage quite easily. Aside from hosting your videos on social networks, you can livestream your videos on your own website with 100% control over your content.
Among the other features of this platform, you can take advantage of top CDNs at no additional costs, 24x7 online support, real-time analytics, powerful security features, monetization features such as paywalls, and more.
VIDIZMO is another business-oriented live streaming platform, which is great if you have to stream to signed-in users from your organization only or on your company's intranet.Highlighted features include the ability to add backup live streams, CDNs and eCDNs for delivery, low-latency HLS streaming, transcoding and encrypted SSL-based streaming.
8 Tips to live stream like a pro
A great deal of your success as a pro is related to your ability to present quality content.
Here are a few techniques and tips to maintain the highest quality of content possible.
1. Invest in quality video tools to stream
Tools could make or break your livestreams, so choose them wisely. There are basically two categories of tools you need to pay attention to:
video and audio recording sources
Video and audio sources are the tools you use to record your video and voice: a camera and a microphone. A lot of people use their smartphones but obviously for a professional live stream a high quality camera and mic are necessary. Check out our guide for top video cameras and microphones.
Video encoders are the tools that convert your raw video files into a digital format suitable for live streaming. Encoders are generally divided into software and hardware encoders. Software encoders are cheaper and easier to use and are more suited for beginner users while hardware encoders are more expensive, have higher quality, and are more suited for intermediate to advanced users.
If you’re serious about live streaming, you should consider investing in premium hardware encoder. Two popular software encoders are Wirecast and OBS Studio. For hardware encoders, TriCaster and TeraDek devices are popular choices.
2. Practice before going live
Fear that there’s no place to get back and edit your mistakes? Totally justified. The best way to fight this is preparation and practice. If you've planned a 10 minute live, why not practice before? You can also try thinking of possible answers to questions your audience might have.
You can deliver your presentation to a test audience (like your colleagues) and ask them to give their opinions about it.
It’s also a great idea to record your presentation and watch it yourself to view it from the point of view of your audience. Trust us, it only gets easier with practice.
3. Look at the camera to connect with viewers
It’s tempting to keep looking at the reference monitor to check your appearance and facial expressions but doing this too much can be jarring to your audience.
If you look directly at the camera and this will help you connect better with your viewers.
Keep the right distance from the camera, provide enough lighting, and maintain relaxed and controlled facial expressions throughout the entire session.
It’s a good idea to have someone else monitor your live streaming session and let you know if anything goes wrong. This way you can be more confident that nothing goes wrong unnoticed and keep your focus at the same time.
4. Invite a guest or find a co-host
Having a co-host or regular guest that could make your content more interesting while reducing your burden! Delegating tasks to people might itself add to the confusion. What is everybody responsible for? What are the milestones? How should the team collaborate? You need to clearly answer these questions (and a lot more) in your project plans.
Using the right collaboration tools could help a lot in managing your team. Before the show goes live, decide how each host should contribute to the presentation: if you’re the main host and mainly deliver the content, decide when and how you want your co-host to jump behind the wheel.
5. Check in with audio quality high
You really don’t want your audience to have difficulty understanding you because the audio quality is poor. Consider buying a microphone with a pop filter so audio is crisp and that your background noise isn't picked up. Look out for echoes and feedback during your practice sessions.
6. Promote your live stream time and place on social media
Create a buzz for your broadcasts! As a content creator, your live streaming session will have a higher impact if you’re appearing in front of a large audience.
One way to grow your audience is broadcasting your live streaming sessions on social media platforms simultaneously. If you have budget to spare, you can consider promoting your content using targeted ads on social media platforms.
You can also reach out to social media influencers and ask them to recommend your content to their audience. Hunter’s email templates can help you reach out to influencers effectively. You can create an email list and send out professional email reminders to your subscribers before your broadcasts as well.
7. Don’t stress about perfectionism
Much of the beauty of live streaming lies in its spur-of-the-moment nature so don't stress about perfection. As Matej Kukucka from StreamBee.io, an analytics SaaS solution for live streamers, explains, live interactions make live streaming much more interesting to people than recorded videos.
“Live streaming is more interesting due to having direct interaction with your favorite creators. The ability to ask a question at any given time and share your thoughts with other people on the stream makes the experience even better. To get the most out of the live stream, creators should interact with followers, answer their questions, and basically become their friends. In general, creators should turn viewers into part of the stream.”
Prepare your content ahead of time but allow yourself some room to be creative and lively.
8. Have backup WiFi and tools
The success of your live streaming depends on many little pieces of the puzzle. That's why it's great to foolproof the streaming setup.
It'd be great to have backups for your tools, including a computer, mic, essential connectors and even a mobile hotspot. Internet connection could be a tricky issue. Check your upload speed to make sure it’s consistent (you can use speedtest.net). You need to have a second internet provider option ready (such as your phone’s internet) in case your regular internet connection goes down.
Ready to live stream like a pro?
Keep your cool and do the best you can but don’t panic over your tiny mistakes! If you want to reuse the recording, try editing your video in Clipchamp for free.