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  • Spero Patricios

Everything you need to know about livestreaming.

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

Livestreaming is one of today’s most common ways of consuming content. It goes beyond making LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube Live for small businesses.

Livestreaming is here to stay

Since the events of 2020, working from home and spending more time indoors has become part of many people’s lives. Because of this, companies are taking the opportunity to get into live streaming. Streamers are enjoying their highest views counts ever, which are likely to increase. If you want to hop on the live streaming train, the first thing you need to do is know what you will be talking about.

What is your topic?

It is necessary for live streaming to have a very well defined topic. Your audience should know why they are tuning in to your feed. Successful streamers focus on specific niches and topics. Their viewers will tune in to their feed because they are genuinely interested in the subject.

Now that you have your topic, let’s begin with planning your live stream.

How to plan a live stream

When doing a live stream, it is not a bad idea to have a simple outline. One of the things you should not overlook is having a script. A simple script with a couple of pointers on what you will be talking about will keep track of all the topics you want to cover in the stream. Once you’ve written your script, schedule a day and time for your stream.

With this basic plan, you should be all set, but it is indispensable to understand the most critical part of live streaming.

A good connection is essential

Here are detailed bitrate recommendations for Facebook Live and YouTube Live if you want further information.

One thing to consider with internet speeds is when you are doing interviews. In those situations, you need to keep in mind the other person’s internet connection. It will likely affect the stream’s video and audio quality. If the other person has slow internet, they will lag in your stream, regardless of your good connection.

However, if your connection is stable, you may not lag at all. You cannot do much about it other than trying to turn off their video feed to save bandwidth and have an audio interview only.

Now that we have covered the basic guidelines, let’s briefly cover the platforms available.

Livestreaming platforms

Livestreaming platforms are video hosting solutions that allow users to upload and broadcast video content to their audience. To determine which platform works best for your business, you should identify the goals you want to reach with streaming. There are consumer-grade broadcast platforms such as Youtube Live and Facebook Live. These platforms are designed for independent content creators and amateurs broadcasters.

However, these platforms don’t have the tools to make a professional broadcast, such as having no time restriction on your streams, customizable monetization options, better security and white label video players—no third party branding. One of the professional live streaming platforms is Vimeo, which brands with established social media following and websites use.

After knowing where you are going to stream, the next step will be to make some graphics.

Graphics essentials

Adding graphics to your live stream can make it more engaging and exciting for your viewers. Let’s discuss a few of the essential graphics that you can use in your live streams.

  • Lower thirds – the lower third is placed in the lower area of the screen and shows information such as titles, names, short headlines, etc. It can also display social media comments in real-time.

  • Logo watermark – a logo watermark is placed in the corner of the screen—usually in the right corner. It is always recommended to show the logo in your streams to reinforce your brand.

  • “Starting Soon” graphic – before the live stream starts, it’s is a good idea to have a “starting soon” graphic or looping animation to let your viewers know the live stream will begin soon. A “Starting Soon” graphic will prevent your viewers from staring at a black screen.

  • Stream overlays – graphics animations displayed in a stream over the actual content—video games or video—during a livestream. These streams overlays usually have the streamer’s social networks, a chat screen, webcam/camera screen and a background to show a full video. Stream overlays are popular with Twitch streams.

  • Virtual sets – a virtual set is a television studio that allows the background to be manipulated in real-time. There are many types of virtual sets, be it a very elaborated 3D model of a news studio or just a studio’s simple background image. If you decide to use a virtual set, you will need to have a green screen and live streaming software with chromakeying capabilities.

One thing to understand about using graphics in your live streams is that you need to use dedicated software to add multiple sources/layers.

Integrating a strategy

In a nutshell, one of the most dependable live streaming strategies you can rely on and will undoubtedly guarantee great success is interacting with your audience live. Engaging with your viewers—be it via the chat feature, reading their comments live, or answering emails—will build a much more loyal audience that will follow your content. To get viewers, you need to create a plan for the videos you will make when you make them and promote them. Some strategies could include long live stream content such as live events and conferences or short such as interviews and contests.

Your live streaming strategy should help promote what you have to offer. Doing so tells the viewer why they should choose to view your content. Always aim to create content that moves you towards the goals you want to achieve. Don’t forget to interact and engage with your audience as much as possible.

The next steps

Is vital to be aware of how to tackle a live stream’s complexities. Anything can happen, and you need to be ready. Although live streaming can seem daunting, it is the best way to connect with your audience and is accessible to all.

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