A Quick Guide to Live Streaming for Absolute Beginners Best Practices and Tips
In this post, we will be looking at the various ways live stream marketing can become a major contributory factor to the growth of your business, especially as live streaming is one of the best ways to build strong customer relations with your audience. So first, I am going to give you a quick rundown of the best practices for running your own live stream session, no matter the platform:
When you get on camera for the first time without making any preparations, you will be disorganized. Therefore, you need to make proper preparations by filming a trial video.
Most people might think live streaming is a great way to simply jump into pitching themselves to customers right away. However, you should avoid doing this at all costs. Instead, you need to first make sure your viewers are comfortable and then slowly draw them into your show by warming them up and engaging with them at a personal human level. Your pitch - whether it be a product, service, or simply asking them to follow your brand - should only be mentioned casually from time to time throughout the stream.
You should also be ready through preparation to politely answer any of the customers’ questions. If you cannot answer immediately, prepare an answer where you instead ask the customer to make further inquiries and call your business phone number, direct message you, or send you an email.
You need to have a clear idea ahead of time of who your target audience is if you want your live stream to find your ideal target customer/follower. This information is of extreme importance when trying to decide which platforms to run your live stream sessions on.
For example, is your ideal customer under 35 years old and based in the USA? Well, then Instagram Live is one of the best places to reach them. On the other hand, is your ideal audience member someone over the age of 50 and based in the UK? In that case, you probably have a better chance of reaching them via Facebook Live.
You then need to take into account which format your ideal audience prefers. Are they visual learners, or do they prefer more traditional text-based learning?
Instagram has a user-base that engages more with visual concepts than text. On the other hand, Twitter has many more text-users than video, picture, and visual concepts. However, Facebook balances all the visual and text concepts into one well-trafficked platform (which is handy since Facebook has more active users at any given time than most of the other social media platforms).
Try to choose the most optimal time for your live stream. It is a difficult decision to make, especially if you are looking to market an international brand. Time zones vary from country to country. And even though some of your customers are ready to burn the midnight oil, most viewers will not wake up in the middle of the night to watch your video.
The solution to this problem is doing multiple live events to cater to most of your viewers. Some companies, however, are limited to only one live event because of time. In this scenario, the perfect time to go live is the time zone most of your audience is in. Make an announcement on what time you will be live; this will help your loyal audience plan to join you for your live sessions, regardless of their differing time zones.
Before going live, ensure your device’s battery is fully charged. It seems like such an obvious thing to check a pre-liveshow, but you would be surprised by the number of social media live stream presenters who forget to do this pre-show check!
So, if you are using a desktop, you should have a fully-charged laptop on standby so you can quickly switch devices in case of a blackout. Also, note that a live stream taking 15 to 20 minutes is likely to consume as much as 20 percent of your laptop’s battery life.
A good way to work out what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to live streaming is to research how other people have run their own successful live streaming projects. This way, you will always have a steady supply of ideas and show concepts for you to try with your own audience.
So, be ready to experiment with your ideas if you feel they might be a hit with your customer base. This means that the notion of live streaming as a marketing strategy has a lot of leeway you can exploit. You should not be shy of going after what you want.
Use live streaming to get to know your customer better. Incorporate more human interactions with your customer, gain their confidence, and, most of all, build trust.
Always have a clear plan for your live streaming shows to work off of, but be sure it allows you some flexibility, too. In other words, you should remember that your show’s plan should not be a strict final copy you show to the world, yet it is always worth being prepared. It’s an old saying, but it bears repeating: “Fail to plan and you plan to fail.”
One of the most important things to remember once you decide to take on live streaming is that constructive criticism from your audience is the key to helping you create better live streaming shows in the future. Therefore, you shouldn't get upset about receiving criticism that is less than favourable about your sessions. Take them on the chin, learn from them, and use them to make your shows better going forward.
An important part of any business marketing strategy is to show your customers you care about what they think. So, coaxing out the openings of your live streaming audience should be something you do throughout the stream. Moreover, you should also mention that you appreciate the fact that they’ve taken the time to watch your live show. You should tell them that you value their feedback and are working on implementing their advice towards improving your future live streams.
To do this, though, it is necessary to make feedback a two-way communication. In other words, don’t simply tell your audience to give you feedback and then not answer their comments or concerns. A ‘personal’ bond with your live stream viewers will go a long way towards connecting with them and building brand loyalty. At the end of the day, no one is going to turn up to watch your live streams if you remain distant throughout the stream.
So, throughout your live stream you should be free and approachable. Make sure you sneak some funny content into your material, as well. Strive to make your audience comfortable. Also, most people do not like the notion of explicit material.
Therefore, you should avoid this depending on the audience and the product or service you are selling. You should also remember to include and respect the different beliefs of people and their principles. Note that this is a good reason why you should carry out research on who your target audience is ahead of time.
If this all sounds a little daunting, it needn’t be. It isn’t hard to show your viewers you are just human and not some corporate hotshot. Everyday folk dislike corporate stiffness because they do not feel comfortable with them - it’s all just too formal and feels inauthentic. So, try to add in some casual fun shows, say, record a game night with your co-workers as a live stream show. This way you can show your audience that your company is all hard-work, but that you know how to have fun, too.