Livestreams are considered one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience. According to a report released by Facebook, viewers spend three times as much time watching live videos as they do with on-demand video content.
Video may also offer a trust benefit. Consider: Consumers prefer to buy from or hire the services of businesses they know, like and trust. And, consumers are 64 percent more likely to purchase a product after watching a video.
However, as effective as live-streaming may be, it puts you “on the spot” when you go live. You become more aware of the need to make sure that you’re able to capture and sustain your audience members’ interest. And, if you’re not able to keep them interested and engaged from the start of the livestream to its end, you’ll find yourself speaking only to yourself.
So, if you want to enjoy the business benefits that come with live-streaming, you’ll first have to learn how to engage and delight your viewers. Here are four tips to help you do just that.
1. Be solidly prepared before the live stream starts.
A lot can go wrong when you go live. That’s why the best way to minimize errors is to prepare before you start streaming. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been live-streaming for years or you’re just starting out. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of being prepared.
Once you’ve done that, inform your audience when you plan to go live. What’s a successful livestream without anyone to watch it? Hit up your community members, message them and make an announcement on all social media platforms where your target audience hangs out.
Next on the list is to make sure you have a good grasp of the content you want to share with your audience. People can tell if you’re not sure of what you’re saying. So, be confident, positive and full of energy. That’s what will keep your audience engaged. Feel free to keep notes nearby to guide you through the livesteam.
Once you have your content prepared to a T, test the equipment you’ll use to live-stream. Make sure the microphone, camera and lighting equipment are working well. Also, check to see if you have a good internet connection to avoid any glitches. Consider changing locations if you’re unable to catch a good signal.
2. Look directly at the camera.
When you maintain eye contact, you create a connection with the person you’re talking to. And creating that connection is important to keep your viewers engaged. However, maintaining eye contact can be a little tricky when you’re live-streaming.
A rule of thumb is to look straight at the camera and not at the screen. This will give the illusion that you’re looking at your audience. If you look at your monitor or at the screen of your phone, your viewers may think you’re looking away and not at them.
3. Have a “conversation” with your audience.
The livestream may be boring if it’s just you going on and on about a topic. What you must consider is how to keep your viewers engaged. To do this, view livestreams as a means of having a conversation with your audience and building your brand.
When you ask questions or put your points across, your viewers will be responding to you in real-time. You’ll be able to create a deeper connection with them when you interact. So, try as much as possible to respond to the comments.
If you’re using other independent live-stream providers, your audience will be able to interact with you live through the chat box. Although you may not be able to respond to all the comments or chat messages, respond to as many as you can during the live stream, then follow up with the rest once you’re done streaming. That way, every participant will feel you have a genuine interest in him or her. Participants will be encouraged to tune in next time you go live.
4. Bring a guest on board.
You don’t always have to go solo on your livestreams. You can make your livestreams more engaging when you have a guest who goes live with you. But, remember: you need to make sure that you’re offering value in every live stream. So, be strategic about whom you bring on with you.
Your guest could be someone in the industry who you know will give value to your audience. Another good idea is to bring in a former client you worked with. This person could share comments on the experience of working with you and what he or she learned in the process.
This strategy will not only add credibility to your business but make your viewers picture themselves in the guest’s shoes and give them a sense of how it might be like to work with you.