You would have to have been hiding under a rock not to notice the extent to which video and live streaming is coming into play in marketing. “Going live” on whichever platform; Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Periscope to name a few; can seem really daunting, but with thorough planning, this experience can be fun both for you and your audience.

To help you plan for your live streaming, here are our top tips for “going live”:

Promote prior to the event: You’ve made the decision to go live, so tell your audience prior to the event so they can tune in and set aside the time slot. Don’t leave it to chance that your crowd will be online at the time of broadcast.

Introductions: Always start the broadcast with who and where you are, and what you are doing. This gets you and your brand’s name out there even if the viewer doesn’t tune in for the whole broadcast.

Concise takeaways: After the introduction, be concise in what your audience is going to see in this video, and what their takeaway will be. In other words, what information you are going to bestow on the watcher.

Be professional, but with personality: Nobody likes the person who takes everything too seriously, including themselves. Deliver your messages professionally, but don’t be afraid to share your humour (people, particularly us Brits, like this) and let your personality shine through. Be opinionated where relevant, and don’t be afraid to get your point across. Your audience will respect you all the more for this.

Be natural: Never read from a script – there is nothing more dull to watch than someone looking down at a piece of paper and reading word for word in a monotonous tone. You can’t let your true personality show through if it’s on a piece of paper. If you’re worried you’ll run out of things to say, or forget your train of thought, utilise flash cards with 3-5 bullet points positioned underneath the camera. Practice these bullet points prior to going live, repeat them several times so that you have them instilled in your mind to fall back on. If you’re really nervous about how it will go and look on the screen, practice beforehand utilising Facebook’s privacy settings so that only you can see the end result!

Think about the length of your stream and your content: How long a live stream should be is a hotly debated topic. Facebook recommend you stream at least 10 minutes, in order to get viewers on board and watching. We, however, think 5 minutes is probably closer to what people will tune in to watch. Anything longer than this will have to be engaging to make people stay.

No interruptions: Make sure you forward calls on your mobile to ensure no interruptions whilst streaming. If there are any other people in your immediate vicinity ensure they are aware of your going live so that either 1) they don’t disturb you or 2) they are prepared when they join the livestream!

Engage with your audience: Your audience can leave comments whilst you are streaming. To help with that personal touch, always address your viewers by name when answering their comments. To find out more about how personalisation can help you win customer loyalty click here.

Be regular: It can be a good idea to get a regular slot at the same time each week to encourage your viewers and fans to return each week. This will then become part of your marketing strategy and you will remember to promote the activity on a weekly basis. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go live on other occasions that call for it, such as events and special occasions.

Use quality gear for sound and vision: Whilst you’ve probably thought about the device you are using in terms of video quality output, there are some other steps you can take to improve your final end production. Firstly, take any necessary steps to minimise background and ambient noise. Next, think about the position of your phone before you go live. You might wish to use a selfie stick, a tripod, hold it yourself or call upon a team member to be your camera crew. Finally, always ensure you are in a place with a strong broadband connection.

Don’t just use as a live video: Be sure to capture your live stream and host on a platform post-event, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once uploaded to the web, be sure to promote through social to generate more views. If your live stream is longer than 5 minutes, we would highly recommend editing down the original version to ensure viewers see it through to the end.

Don’t be afraid to experiment: Once you have gone live, think of different scenarios you can use for future live streams. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • Interviews – with your team, clients, customers or thought leaders in your industry.
  • Launches – let your audience be the first to learn about new products from your brand.
  • Special promotions and competitions – a way to get people to stay till the very end of your video.
  • Live events – in stores, blogger events, consumer shows, conferences, team building activities. This is where you can really show all the personalities behind the scenes, and not just the face of the brand!

Are you ready to go live? For any advice please email me@rebeccagoodyear.com