In our modern era, livestreaming is everywhere—inviting individuals and businesses alike to promote their videos on the world’s biggest platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. Everyone knows the value of video content in marketing, both as a business and as a consumer. But once you’ve decided to start livestreaming, how do you make your streams a useful and engaging resource?
Today, we’ll take a look at 3 tips for crafting an engaging livestream that your audience can’t wait to watch!
Give Your Audience What They Want
Starting to livestream might seem like a daunting prospect. There’s equipment to learn and platforms to test—and on top of that, you need to determine the content and topic of your stream! Whether you’re overwhelmed with ideas for what you could stream, or you’re having trouble just coming up with your first topic, you can bring it all back to a single idea—no one will watch your stream if you’re not delivering content that they want to watch!
It’s well worth your time to put some thought and research into what type of livestream is most valuable for your audience. Maybe your audience always wants to hear about the next hot new product, or maybe they’re more interested in seeing your existing product in action. Your product or service might be complex, and doing a tutorial or presentation as a livestream could be the perfect way to make it more accessible. Or perhaps you want to take your viewers behind the scenes at your business or host a Q&A to answer your viewers’ most pressing questions!
In a vacuum, none of these livestream ideas are better or worse than the others. The success or failure of each comes partially from what is most useful and engaging to your individual audience. There are many ways to determine what your audience will find interesting, and it’s easy to simply ask! Whether you’re surveying your audience via email, social media, on your website, or even during one of your livestreams, a few quick questions can help you get to the bottom of what content your audience cares about.
Communication Is a Two-Way Street
Livestreaming has many similarities with creating video content, but there’s one key difference that immediately sets livestreaming apart from almost every other form of marketing: the possibility for real-time and immediate interaction with your consumers. Through a livestream’s chat, you can gather instantaneous reactions and feedback on what your consumers think about your marketing—but the communicative nature of livestreaming also makes it a powerful tool for deepening your audience’s involvement in your brand.
Because of its real-time nature, you can give your audience the chance to have immediate input and impact on your livestreams. It could be as simple as hosting a Q&A and taking questions from the chat alongside your prepared questions. It could look like running contests or giveaways during your stream, or it could even extend to incorporating the audience into product design, such as polling for a new color or flavor.
Just like livestream formats, there are countless ways that you can get your audience involved. Ultimately, if your audience is interacting with your livestream, they’re taking a degree of ownership in the stream and by extension, a greater degree of ownership and investment in your brand!
Use the Medium Effectively
As you start planning your next livestreams, we’ve covered choosing topics that are valuable to your audience and keeping the lines of communication open, but there are plenty of other tips for making the best livestream!
- Use your time effectively throughout the stream. Generally speaking, it takes a few minutes for viewers to gather and start watching as the platform sends out notifications. You can ensure that you get those viewers by streaming for at least 10 minutes, or by starting your stream with a countdown timer (if you have a built-in audience willing to wait for a stream to start.)
- Test everything and eliminate technical issues before you start. Nothing breaks viewers out of the stream faster than technical bugs. Losing audio or video is an easy off-ramp for viewers. Make sure your equipment is working by streaming on a test channel before you go live to the world!
- Technical preparations are important, but it’s just as important to be prepared to go on camera. Have an outline for what you want to say and key points you want to cover. You can even have this on camera with you—just make sure you’re using it as a reference and not reading off the page.
- Livestreaming solo can be a lot of work, and it takes practice to keep the stream’s momentum moving forward on your own. An easy way to share the load (especially when you’re starting out) is to have a second person on the livestream with you! Together, your conversation can feel much more natural and the burden to keep the conversation moving doesn’t fall on just one person.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things! There’s some inherent forgiveness built into livestreaming, by virtue of it being a live experience. If you have an idea that you’re interested in trying, give it a shot!
- Do the work to promote your livestreams! Streaming platforms will notify your followers when you go live, but by promoting your upcoming streams on social media and your website and asking viewers to like, comment, and share, you can expand your reach.
- Finally, remember to reuse your livestreams across your other platforms and digital media channels! You can download your entire stream and host it permanently on your YouTube channel or website, edit out smaller segments and sound bites as new videos for social media, take screenshots for promotional materials, and much more!
To learn more about incorporating livestreams into your marketing strategy, click here.