Live streaming: learn how it works to promote your business
With live streaming, your client relationships don’t have to go cold just because you can’t meet people in person these days. Live streaming has recently skyrocketed as a versatile new communication method with integrations in a variety of platforms. This valuable tech tool can go beyond helping you weather the storm. By broadcasting live to your audience, you can actually develop your customer relationships while maintaining a safe distance!
But don’t be scared of the big word: live streaming just means to “Go Live,” and it doesn’t have to be a technical challenge. With all the platforms that now offer this tool, all you need is your desktop camera or smartphone to put your brand out there. Regardless of whether your audience is active on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, or via webinars like Zoom and Webex, going live is a great way to reach your clients!
The contents of a live stream should be all about offering value to your audience. So before you start, consider: what would my audience want to hear about? Is there anything I can help them learn? Are there any trending topics that can make for an interesting conversation?
Live streaming presents a priceless opportunity to inform your audience, stay on their radar, and even attract new customers! So, while it may be a bit scary to put yourself out there, having a solid plan before going live will make the experience worthwhile. Here are a few tips and tricks to show you how live streaming works and how best to leverage this powerful tool.
Ideas for live streaming
Invite an expert to offer viewers business insights
Put somebody else in the hot seat! Interviewing an expert in your field offers a fantastic opportunity for offering viewers an insider’s perspective. Prepare questions that will give viewers valuable insights into your business and your industry. Your viewers will thank you for the tips, and you’ll position your business as one that works with some of the best in your field.
You can also take a case study and make it the focus of your livestream. Lean on the good word of your satisfied customer to help you illustrate a project you delivered.
Answer questions and interact with your viewers
Better known as “Q&A”, live streaming a question and answer session with your customers can offer a fantastic opportunity to interact with your client base and inform them about your products or services in a personable way. While you wait for your audience’s inquiries to start rolling in, begin by answering some frequently asked questions. After your broadcast ends, the resulting video can make for highly informative content for you to share across your business platforms. Think of it as a chance to take your customers behind-the-scenes of your business.
Put your products or services front and center
Live streaming can be a fun and interactive way to demonstrate how your products and services can create value for your customers. By explaining your methods and showing your product or services in action, you can help your customers picture themselves benefiting from your offerings. As you broadcast, fielding questions that roll in about the ins and outs of your products is sure to engage your existing and potential customers.
Offer viewers an expert tutorial
By live streaming a tutorial, you can contribute practical knowledge that will captivate your audience. You won’t only be enticing viewers with the promise of learning a useful new skill, this will also serve to accentuate your position as a knowledgeable expert in your field.
Take it up a notch and host a virtual event
When you can’t host an in-person event, you can host a live event online and make your audience feel like they’re at the center of the action – no matter where they are around the globe!
While organizing a live event is different from putting together an in-person conference or expo, the core management activities remain the same: secure a platform, send out invitations to potential attendees, line up panelists and experts, create an agenda for the big day, and maybe even send out goody bags! You can coordinate roundtable panels, one-on-one networking meetings, and even offer virtual booths for your exhibitors. One platform that offers an excellent solution for this is Hopin, which is an online venue for virtual events.
Tips on how to go live:
Use strong internet connection and have quality streaming software and hardware
You should know how to broadcast high-quality video to represent your high-quality business. To ensure an uninterrupted stream and smooth video, go live using a dedicated internet connection or Wi-Fi instead of cellular data. If a wired connection is not possible, try to set yourself up wherever the Wi-Fi connection is the strongest. Also, test your live broadcast to make sure your devices can deliver a high resolution stream. Keep in mind that as with all of your content, your live broadcasts represent your brand!
Prep your video and sound:
A shaky camera may give your viewers motion sickness before they can even hear your message! Play it safe by using a tripod or phone mount if you have one. If you don’t, prop your phone up against a wall or another firmly placed object where it won’t be jostled during your broadcast.
Similarly, audio is critical for your message to come across clearly. Choose a space that’s quiet and, if you can, set up a microphone for your live stream. If you don’t have a microphone, I’ve found that cordless Bluetooth headphones generally record decent sound without the white noise of a cord rubbing across clothing.
Interact with your viewers
Make your audience members feel like they’re in the room with you! A one-sided monologue isn’t really how live streaming works. You want to seem accessible as well as personable. Respond to your viewers’ questions and comments during your broadcast, but do your best to stay on topic.
Give your viewers a heads up and give them time to tune in
To get more viewers, post an announcement about your live stream event ahead of time. Try creating an event on Facebook or posting an Instagram story with a countdown sticker. It’s a good idea to announce your live stream on multiple platforms so you can cast a wider net for a lively and interactive broadcast. Also, while you could go live for just a handful of minutes, staying live for at least five minutes will allow more users to catch you live.
Save your video after live streaming
Once you’ve thanked your audience and concluded your broadcast, save your video! This will make for valuable content to share across your media platforms, so those who didn’t get to tune into your live broadcast can still learn about your business and stay on the lookout for your future posts. You can even leverage past live streams as content for your future posts!
Lights, camera, action!
Don’t be shy! Now that you know how live streaming works, figure out which live streaming platform is best for you! Use whatever platform your business gets the most engagement from. Don’t forget to thank your attendees for being part of your live stream!
To prepare for your live stream, it may be useful to review my guide for filming your own content. The guide covers essential steps like preparing your message, finding the right place to film, getting ready to be on-camera, and anticipating issues to reduce your anxiety during your live broadcast.
If you have any trouble following these tips, reach out to me with any questions. Have fun!