There’s a reason that brands have engaged in video marketing for years now: From sponsoring television shows, to making commercials, to running YouTube channels, entrepreneurs have few ways to tell a story that are more powerful than the visual way. Which is why the rise of live online broadcasting has been so successful. Adding to the natural video has, brands that use it can add a new sense of urgency and even audience participation.
It’s a whole new world. Here’s how to get even more out of it.
1. Use third-party add-ons.
Although both Facebook and LinkedIn provide great platforms for live broadcast, they’ve left room for other companies to offer even more. Companies like BeLive let broadcasters match the look of their screen to their brand, make interviews and even talk shows a breeze and provide a way to add captions and chyrons. When you’re broadcasting as a professional, you’ll find that it pays to use professional tools.
2. Get the timing right.
Although your broadcasts will stay online after they’ve been live, you want as many people watching and participating as possible when you go out. Check your stats to identify the time that your largest numbers of users are online and make sure that you’re hitting the biggest possible audience. Alternatively, broadcast to different markets at different times to reach everyone at a time that works for them.
3. Trail the broadcast.
While live video is so easy that you can hit your broadcast button whenever you feel like it, to get a big audience, you’ll need to tell people when you’re broadcasting. So, choose a regular hour. Remind your audience when you’ll be live. Send out a reminder an hour or half an hour before you begin, and build excitement so that people won’t want to miss out.
4. Keep the broadcast focused.
You can broadcast about anything that strikes you but try to stick to one subject in each broadcast. Know what topic you’re going to discuss. Know what you’re going to say about that topic. And know what problem you’re going to solve for your audience or what impression you’re going to leave. Each broadcast should put one strong idea in your audience’s head.
5. Leave time for questions.
One of the biggest benefits of live broadcasts is that they’re participatory. Audiences can use the comments to ask questions that the broadcasters can answer in front of the camera. That’s a huge value. Answer any urgent questions that come up but be sure to leave at least a third of the total time of the broadcast unscheduled for in order to answer questions.
6. Greet arrivals.
As you’re broadcasting, you’ll be able to see the names of people joining the audience. Some will also greet you and other audience members. Greet them back. Mention their names. You might not be able to greet everyone by name but you’ll create a closer relationship and build a deeper sense of community.
7. Ask viewers to follow you.
Most of the people who tune in to your live broadcasts will be your social media audience. But if you’re doing your marketing right, you’ll find that you get plenty of new people: friends of your followers who also want to know about your services. Before you sign off, make sure that everyone watching is following you. That will give them a notification next time you’re live.
8. Go long.
There’s something to be said for short, snappy videos like one-minute tips from CEOs, or five-minute product reviews. But when you’re broadcasting live, you need to allow time for the audience to build. People will come in late. They’ll leave early. They’ll see the notification only after the broadcast has started and might be able to tune in only when they’ve finished whatever it is they’re doing at the time. There’s no ideal length for a live video, but to get the most out of it, you’ll want to aim for at least ten minutes and no more than an hour.
9. Consider your surroundings.
You don’t need a dedicated studio to broadcast a live video but do think about what your audience will see around you. When politicians Skype into news broadcasts, they often make sure that they’re seen surrounded by biographies of world leaders. Authors put their own books in the background. Before you hit the broadcast button, look around you and ask yourself what your room says about you. Make sure that it shows what you do and how you do it.
10. Create a content plan.
A live broadcast shouldn’t be a one-off. It should be one of a series whose segments together turn your audience into a community and your brand into a leader. Before you begin broadcasting, make a list of between five and ten topics that you could discuss during your broadcasts. Just creating this list will force you to think about what you’re going to say and help you to segue from one video to the next.
11. Interview your friends and colleagues.
One easy format for a live broadcast is an interview. BeLive, for example, lets you broadcast a split screen. Audiences see both you and the person you’re talking to, just as they would a live show. Although interviews mean that you have to share the screen time, they offer benefits. The person you’ll be interviewing will give your audience some new content and new insight. You’ll have to give less content of your own. And best of all, when your interviewees market the broadcast to their own audiences, you’ll get to meet a whole group of new customers.
12. Use the sign-off.
Finally, before you’re done, thank everyone for tuning in. Use the sign-off to remind people to sign up for notifications. And tell them exactly when you’ll be broadcasting next.