How to go live: Brands & agencies share their top tips for live video broadcasts
Marketers on the forefront of live video tell what they've learned about content creation, production details and managing comments.
For brands and agencies wanting more engagement and wider exposure, live video is where it’s at – but producing a live broadcast that gets real results isn’t as easy as opening your Facebook app and going live.
To determine what’s working in this new medium, we turned to a collection of brand and agency marketers for their live video best practices. From pre-show promotions to choosing content, directing production details and managing comments, the following contributors generously shared what they’ve learned so far:
- Maia McCann, Editor in Chief for LittleThings, an online media outlet producing a variety of uplifting content for women.
- Cory McConnell, Director of Video Content at Render Media, the company behind Cooking Panda’s bite-size food videos.
- Bibi Nuñez, Executive Producer of Video & Photo, for the digital media agency CafeMedia.
- Carla Marshall, Editor in Chief for Tubular Insights.
- Scott Maxworthy, Head of Digital Commercialization for the Cronulla Sharks, a professional rugby club in Australia’s National Rugby League.
- Effi Atad, CEO for Showbox, a cloud-based video creation and production platform.
Each of the marketers we interviewed have been on the forefront of live video.
Maia McCann, Cory McConnell and Scott Maxworthy all use live video to engage with their brand’s fans and followers. Bibi Nuñez and Carla Marshall are both on the agency side, working with brands to help produce and analyze video marketing efforts. Effi Atad’s Showbox, a video-creation platform, is used by marketers to deliver custom, branded video content.
When asked for their top tips around live video, here is what they had to say.
Promoting Your Live Show
Promote any live events in advance on all social media platforms. Not only will that alert your audiences to tune in, it also gives them a chance to think of questions or ways to interact. Particularly if the live event features a celebrity or personality with a huge following who has passionate fans. -Bibi Nuñez
When it comes to maximizing exposure for an upcoming live streaming, simply going live at a predetermined time won’t cut it – at least not without promoting it to viewers well in advance.
Rather than giving away every detail upfront, tease the viewer. A short video teaser can be designed to entice the viewer into paying attention, and even counting down, to the time of your live stream.
Influencers are often key to tempting the viewers’ interests and ensuring awareness. Never doubt the power of influencer networks relevant to your brand’s target audience. A few shares on social media from prominent influencers can go a long way. -Effi Atad
Even if you have a subscriber base in the millions, use your other social networks to promote your live-streaming event well before time. Create a Vine, an Instavid, a Twitter video, or a short trailer you can upload to Facebook and/or YouTube to let the public know when, and where they can watch, and most importantly, why they should. -Carla Marshall
Experiment and don’t be afraid to fail. Test different broadcast times, people, and concepts.
Ordinarily, LittleThings doesn’t focus heavily on pop culture, but when Emily Tarver from “Orange Is the New Black” joined us on LittleThings LIVE, our audience was overjoyed. -Maia McCann
Meet the newest cast member of "Orange Is the New Black" Emily Tarver here on LittleThings LIVE.
Posted by LittleThings.com on Thursday, June 9, 2016
Your livestream should have a clear purpose, goal, or event. The easier it is to for the audience to answer the question “Why should I tune in?” the better off you will be.
Length is also important. We’ve had success with shorter, more focused 10-minute livestreams as opposed to longer 20-minute-plus streams.
Having a surprise or teasing a reveal at the end of the livestream increases the likelihood that viewers will tune into the whole video. -Cory McConnell
Come Make Dirt Cups With UsCooking Panda is LIVE and we’re making the most delicious “Dirt Cups” you’ve ever had. SHARE with your friends!
Posted by Cooking Panda on Friday, July 1, 2016
Video is perhaps THE most powerful storytelling medium, and content is everything. But viewers are busy people, and won’t tune in unless there is something worth seeing. Don’t stream a live-event without considering the value it offers to those who choose to watch – whether that’s for information, or for pure entertainment. –Carla Marshall
It’s helpful to use a third party software like Wirecast to increase the production quality of your livestreams. Using a program allows you to add camera angles, cut between them, add transitions, add text, broadcast pre-recorded clips, add watermarks to your content, mix audio levels, and connect HD cameras. The possibilities for what you can accomplish with livestreaming become limited only by your imagination! –Cory McConnell
Lighting and sound are important. There are some limitations in doing lives because we use mainly our phones. Making sure we have the best possible lighting and that we are in a relatively quiet space go a long way in ensuring a solid experience for the audience.
Always match your camera crew and equipment to the desired production result. Could an intern with a smartphone deliver the highest fan engagement, or does it require a professional crew and higher level multi-camera production? –Scott Maxworthy
SHARKCAST TV | Sharks v KnightsSHARKCAST TV |
LIVE: We bring to you The SHARK CAST LIVE, discussing the win over the Roosters, this week’s game against the Knights and plenty of news in between.
Posted by Cronulla Sharks on Thursday, July 21, 2016
Planning ahead is key to make the most of it, so get there early, prepare, and make sure you have everything you need including a tripod. Above all: make sure there is good wi-fi! –Bibi Nuñez
Use the real-time feedback in the comments to your advantage. This is not as easy as it sounds. Having appeared on live broadcasts, the biggest challenge is juggling the task of being on camera with reading and monitoring feedback on an iPad, but it’s so worthwhile.
LittleThings reporter Roxy Haynes demonstrates juggling feedback with telling a story expertly in our live broadcast about Mac N’ Cheez, a stray kitten who lost the use of his back legs but was rescued and given a 3D-printed wheelchair. -Maia McCann
We’re LIVE today on LittleThings with Mac N’ Cheez, the little kitten that could. He was found abandoned on the side of the street, unable to walk. A Good Samaritan rescued the kitten and brought him to the Massapequa Pet Vet, where he received a 3D wheelchair!
Posted by LittleThings.com on Thursday, May 19, 2016
During and immediately following livestreams, we have one of our page administrators in the comments of the video on Facebook engaging with our audience – asking questions, answering questions, making jokes, replying to comments, and getting people excited about the content.
This is a successful way to make the audience feel like they’re a part of this live event as opposed to just being spectators, and reinforce your brand’s community. -Cory McConnell
Don’t rely on the audience to ask the good questions, be prepared with your own if you need to steer the conversation and spur the audience to participate. Bibi Nuñez
After the Broadcast
The live-stream has the potential to live on way past its streaming date, so think about how to promote after the event too.
BuzzFeed knows exactly how to use the live-stream to target an eager and engaged audience, and although this bizarre watermelon experiment generated an impressive 800,000 concurrent viewers at the time of broadcast, it picked up a further 9.2M views in the week after it had been broadcast live on Facebook. –Carla Marshall
Watch us explode this watermelon one rubber band at a time!
Posted by BuzzFeed on Friday, April 8, 2016
Brands aren’t the only ones getting in on live video. You can watch Marketing Land’s latest live video efforts on Facebook, where we broadcast our weekly Marketing Land Live show via Facebook Live: Marketing Land Live July 22 broadcast.