The 9 keys to professional video streaming
Ready to get started?
You've got the camera, the software, the microphone and the lighting. Now all you need to do is start live. But what if I told you there was a way to improve the quality of your video streaming? Read carefully.
As a business owner or content creator (or both), you know how important your audience is. You also probably realise that reaching your audience virtually is the way to go, and adding streaming video to the mix has some important benefits.
But what does streaming video allow you to do?
- For starters, it helps you retain your audience: Offering video streaming enhances your audience's experience by giving your followers closer contact with you and your brand or service.
- You will reach a wider audience. Traditional business owners are no longer limited to the community behind the counter. On the other hand, online businesses can create premium offers to attract potential customers.
You've come this far; you may already have the basic equipment to get started. Read on! And discover the 9 keys to professional video streaming that you didn't know before...
Prepare your set up (with backups)
You know the expression, "less is more"? This does not always apply to video streaming. Often having the best equipment is tantamount to increasing the risk of malfunctions. If you have a minimalist lifestyle where you only buy what you need and what is a priority, you can forget it. You can forget about it.
That said, having backups of your basic equipment is an incredibly smart step to take before you start your first videos. Things may happen that you didn't count on, but you'll be glad when you can seamlessly replace a broken cable with the spare you were careful to buy or the extra memory card, even a second camera or mic.
Consider the audio and lighting of your video stream.
In other words, you need to make your video stream look and sound great. Why? Because your viewers want your video stream to look and sound great. Unlike a pre-recorded video, there's no room for error correction here, so you'll want to make sure you get it right!
Audio and lighting tips to keep in mind before you start your video stream:
- Light your face: If the light source is behind the camera person, only a silhouette will be visible in the video stream.
- Beware of the sun: Outdoor filming is complicated by the glare of the sun. If your audience starts wearing sunglasses to watch your video stream, you may need to think about changing location.
- Use simple backgrounds and solid colours! Good on-camera lighting favours solid colours and materials that are not too bright or reflective.
- Get a lapel microphone: If you are outdoors in windy conditions or near a noisy street, you can keep background noise to a minimum with a microphone that you can attach to the collar of your shirt.
- Always know when the microphone is on: Anyone who is off-camera during a video stream should be completely silent. The extra noise from others on set distracts the person in front of the camera, and you don't want your followers to overhear compromising conversations either.
- Music: Plan this part ahead of time! Don't think you can use Rosalia's new song as the background sound for your online hip hop class. You should research how music licensing is regulated before you start.
Test your video streaming
Preparation + opportunity = success. You know why streaming video is a great opportunity for your brand; now all you need to do is prepare properly. At this stage there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of a smoother video stream:
- Make sure the wifi is good: A simple internet connection speed test will tell you if the wifi and bandwidth can support your video stream.
- Take simple notes: Write down key points to help you achieve your goals.
- Check the timeline with the team: Check the order of events to make sure everything goes as it should.
- Rehearse: Just because it's live doesn't mean that improvising is always the best idea; even the most spontaneous video streams often have an idea or planning in advance.
Look at the camera
Eye contact is important when talking to other people and it's no different when you're in front of the camera. Instead of looking at yourself on a screen, make sure you look directly into the camera - not only will it look more natural, but you'll connect better with your audience!
Interact with your audience in real time
"... A great question from Maria from Toledo! Usually, it's always a great idea ... "
A live chat is a great way to increase audience engagement participation during your video streams. A simple way to engage viewers and prevent them from leaving is to answer their questions live. That's why we're giving you a quick crash course on how to leverage live chat to encourage participation in your video streams:
- Set the rules before you start the chat: It will be more effective and enjoyable for all participants if you do!
- Ask the right questions: Simple questions that only require simple answers in the video stream can easily complement the flow of the session.
- Include your audience: Calling live participants by name is a great way to engage them and show them that they are important to you.
- Show your agenda: Let participants know what's going to happen at the beginning; this way, they can decide to stay until the end to hear all the important points you've told them you're going to make.
- Answer questions: Encourage the audience to ask questions! This is your chance to shine as a thought leader in your niche.
Choose the video streaming platform
Where can your audience watch your streaming video? Here are the most popular options:
Social media platforms: Instagram Live, Facebook Live, YouTube Live or Twitch. Many businesses and content creators choose social media options because they can quickly invite their followers and subscribers to the video stream. Simple? Absolutely. Ideal for the long term? Probably not.
A platform that specialises in video monetisation and distribution. If you want to think long term, a platform like PLAYBAK allows you to get started and monetise your content. With PLAYBAK you can create your own custom website to offer professional video streams, and even offer on-demand content or video streaming recordings for a one-time fee or subscription.
Sell it early
It's time to share the news! It's important to generate excitement around your video streaming debut well in advance. Use your social media and other marketing strategies to create interest and help grow the number of video streams. Read some of the top tips for promoting an online event:
- Be clear about the basic details of video streaming: When promoting your upcoming video stream on different channels, it is important to inform and then remind your audience what they will be able to see, when and where they can watch it.
- Generate need: Make your audience curious about your video stream! A popular way to do this is to show a sneak peek of what's behind the scenes on your social media channels.
- Offer incentives: Another way to generate interest is to offer extras that no one wants to miss out on - think discounts or free demos.
- Involve your audience in the making of the video stream: Involve the audience in advance by asking them to submit ideas or questions ahead of time.
- Create a countdown: There can't be a video stream without a countdown to engage your followers! Start a countdown for your video stream and cross-promote on social media, emailing, and other channels to build anticipation.
Think of your followers as a new friend. If you come into your new friend's life once and then leave their world or environment they are less likely to stick around for long periods of time waiting to hear from you. With video streaming it's the same, whether you plan your video stream once a week or once a month, it's wise to set a schedule so your followers know when to expect your content. Don't be a ghost friend!
Don't try to be perfect
Because it's not going to happen...
Some say that by practising you can surpass the master. And while that's a good approach, don't forget that mistakes happen even in the best of families. Your followers are more likely to connect with you and your brand if you are able to overcome mistakes and show that you are human.
Ole, you've reached the end of our tips for professional video streaming! Here's a quick summary of what to remember before you get started:
- Prepare your set up
- Consider audio and lighting
- Do a test run
- Look at the camera
- Interact with your audience
- Choose the right video streaming platform
- Sell it early
- Be consistent
- Don't try to be perfect
Another important key is to try the PLAYBAK BETA version.
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