Tips for Live Streaming
Excellence in streaming comes from 3 key things…
Video delivered via webcasting, i.e. “streaming”, is growing exponentially. More and more people and businesses are harnessing the power of live real-time video to broadcast their experiences and messages to the world. Even Facebook has recently added the ability to live stream video right to your Facebook page for others to enjoy YOUR experience in real-time. From weddings to parties to concerts, millions of Facebook users are now streaming videos to share their moments. In addition, a growing number of schools, churches, and small businesses are harnessing the power of the internet to reach a much broader audience worldwide for a fraction of the cost from days gone by.
But what makes for compelling live streamed video? I will break it down into three things:
1) Content. You have probably heard that content is king. But what exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, it means this: don’t bore us. Make sure the content of your video is worthy of sharing in the first place. Let’s be honest here, the view from the cheap seats and the crappy audio of that rock concert don’t make for compelling video. Now if you are backstage witnessing something that few get the chance to, that is another story. But for most of us, we have plenty of content bombarding us daily so what you offer needs to rise above the noise floor of mediocrity. Useful content might be candid speeches on interesting topics, live musical or sporting events, educational subjects or tutorials, or even breaking news.
2) Quality. How many low-res shaky footage clips from the cheap seats of a concert do we really need to suffer through? Let’s face it, most cellphones do a poor job of recording video and even those that are great are rarely wielded by competent users. Making a clip for your own enjoyment or to share with a few friends is one thing but don’t bother to stream that crappy clip, it just creates that much more hay to sift thru to find the worthy needles. If you are attempting to create professional-level content (for a church or school for instance) please try to provide quality audio and video. Production values matter. That means using real mics on the talent, not the built-in camcorder microphone, and real lights that make the video appear clean, not dim and grainy. It wouldn’t hurt to use a proper switching / streaming system to add lower thirds, titles, PiP effects etc. Maybe an affordable all-in-one solution (such as the Stream Breeze Flex) would be a good tool here.
3) Consistency. If you plan on streaming, try to stick to a schedule so that you can build your audience and engage them on a regular basis. If you just send out a stream intermittently, it will be VERY hard to grow your brand. Just like regular TV broadcasting, people want to know when to “check in” to view your content; otherwise, there is a very high chance that they will miss it when it happens. Of course, you can try to counter that by making the streams available for download 24/7, but that negates the advantage of “live” streaming – you may as well just upload the clips to YouTube. Live streaming is designed for you to deliver your message in a timely fashion, to an audience that is tuned in to receive it.
So there you have it, 3 key concepts to help you improve your chances of making your live streaming a success. As always, I welcome an open discussion. What would YOU like to add to the conversation?