You spent weeks working to create an amazing workshop or town hall. You’ve spent months perfecting an event to launch a product and get important messaging out to your customers. All that hard work, and now it’s hard to say when you’ll be able to get to all those people all in one place, at one time. Should you cancel it? Postpone it? Or continue virtually? Every Zoom call you’ve had has been a technical challenge for your team, not too mention all those security breaches you’ve been hearing about… So, what’s the answer?
Yes folks, it’s time to live stream. Here’s what’s important in order to execute the perfect broadcast:
If you have a professional videographer on staff and cameras with the latest technology,you can create visually-stunning video content. If you’re buying a camera for the first time, make sure it has 4K output capabilities.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Pay attention to your audio setup. Too many people spend too much time thinking about picture quality, and not enough time considering sound quality. In most situations, a live stream is only as good as your ability to hear it.
Perfecting With High Quality Production
Production elements and graphic features that you bring into your stream increase viewer engagement.
If you have the budget for a bigger production, there are a couple bang-for-your-buck additions that will create a better viewing experience:
More than One Camera
Switching between cameras can add variety to your broadcast. Overlaying images and titles provide better context for your viewers who are tuning in. Text graphics can be entered directly into your live streaming software to create more professional looking images.
In the instance you need to strictly adhere to social distancing with production but need a professional crew to shoot your live stream for your essential business, a pan–tilt–zoom camera (PTZ camera) is capable of remote directional and zoom control. They are commonly referred to as robos, an abbreviation of robotic camera. Production companies like Koi-Fly can bring them along to your remote location and never even have to be in the same room with the presenter.
Next Up, Going Live
To live stream, you also need to send that video to the internet in real-time.
Your own company website is the place where you can best serve your viewers with your brand and your resources. But there are a limitless number of additional destinations for your live stream, including Facebook Live, YouTube, and Periscope (Twitter), and a variety of smart TV apps.
But just remember, you don’t need to stream to every destination. If you don’t have a YouTube audience already, it’s probably not worth your time to manage a stream there. Pick a few spots that work for you and focus on growing your audience in those places.
Your Company’s Website or Intranet
Your own site is the place where you can best serve your viewers with your brand and your resources. You don’t need to worry about copyrighted music if the live stream is internal.
Of all of the streaming platforms, Facebook Live is the most popular because of its social power. When you already have a large audience on Facebook, you may find Facebook Live an important destination for your live streams because of its potential for high viewership and your ability to engage with your viewers in real-time.
With over 1 billion unique viewers each month, the platform is an effective space for sharing your digital video content. Consider using youtube as a depository for longer form content with the potential for a longer shelf life.
How To Get It There
All live streaming destinations require sending your stream to the internet.
The top priority for you as a broadcaster is to ensure you maintain a good network for your live stream. Whether you’re using wifi or a cabled connection, read up on minimum bandwidth requirements and the factors that affect them.
If you’re using video cameras for capture and a hardware switcher for production, then you’ll need to connect to a local network. Make sure you have downloaded all of the pre-produced footage so there are no hiccups when you run them live.
Simulcasting to Multiple Platforms
Live streaming to multiple destinations like your website, social platforms, mobile apps, and smart TV apps is possible and a perfect way to get the word out quickly.
Multi-destination streaming is also a great way for you to grow your audience. If you aren’t sending your broadcast to various platforms, you’re missing out on viewership.
You can simulcast to as many destinations as you want, unless one of those spots is Facebook. Facebook Live wants you to only stream to their platform, so they don’t allow sending streams to other social platforms like YouTube Live. You can still stream to your website and Facebook Live simultaneously, though.
In many cases, your broadcast recordings can be just as important for viewers later on, after the initial airing.
Consider where your recorded broadcasts will be hosted for on-demand playback, and put someone in charge of editing them (like your production company) after the fact. If your stream starts late or ends early, you may end up with unneeded footage at the beginning and end of your broadcast. You need a way to cut out any unnecessary video at the beginning or end of your broadcast.
You also may assume that any content you create is owned by you, but it’s not. If you stream to Facebook Live or YouTube directly, those platforms own your videos. They have algorithms for picking up video and sound that infringe on copyright material. So don’t try to use copyrighted, pop music for your live stream or it will be halted midway through. And always back up your video content in another location, where you always have control.
The thought of having to produce your own content, and your own event, is probably a daunting one. Whether you’re a beginner who’s just learning how to create content that works or so savvy you can accomplish virtually anything on your own, there’s a path for you.
So don’t cancel your event. Just pivot. Take a chance. If you have more questions producing your own live stream talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or focus on your important business at hand and let us do the production work for you.
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