Imagine the scene…you, with a smartphone, ready to broadcast live on social media. What are the risks, and what should you have considered to make your live video a success? We share our best advice, along with a live video checklist, to help you make your broadcast a hit.
1. Live really means live…
When broadcasting live on social media, ‘live’ means ‘live’, and with that comes many unknowns. Anyone could be watching, there are no second chances, and whatever is filmed will likely be on the internet for a long time. Instinctively recoiling in horror? Andy Dangerfield, UK social media editor from BuzzFeed, commented at news:rewired earlier this year that live video tends to get 3x more views and 10x more comments, proving that it is compelling and can be a great way of engaging with your audience.
“…live video tends to get 3x more views and 10x more comments, proving that it is compelling and can be a great way of engaging with your audience.”
2. Is it safe to film?
Though live video can be unpredictable, you can still prepare for things within your control. Think about the safety of yourself and others. Be sure to turn your location services off if you don’t want others to join you. Be security conscious and mindful that you won’t know who is watching you, you could be in your home filming while someone is working out where you live, or distracted and vulnerable while filming in a public place.
3. What does your audience want?
As with any content, consider topics for your live video that your viewers are hungry to see, and in the best format to add value. For example, you may pick experience-sharing ‘how-to’, ‘interview’ and ‘Q&A’ formats for certain topics, or perhaps instructional ‘demos’ would be more appropriate for others.
4. Do you have appropriate permissions?
Accept that not everyone wants to be filmed, be sure to gain permissions, especially if you are filming children or if you are around children. From a reputation and ethics perspective, consider where you are filming, and think about whether you are infringing copyright, for instance, by filming at a live event or using an image that you don’t have rights to use as a background.
5. Are you going to unintentionally offend or upset?
Bear in mind that going live can risk your reputation, as people and potential customers will make judgements based on what they see. Consider whether the environment you are filming in may change, try to minimise the chances that anything you broadcast will upset or offend viewers. Do a quick sense check before making the decision to go live as just because you can – doesn’t mean you should. Inject as much enthusiasm as you can into your broadcast to engage viewers, while being careful of what you say and how you say it.
“Inject as much enthusiasm as you can into your broadcast to engage viewers, while being careful of what you say and how you say it.”
6. Enlist a trusted helper
Be prepared for the potential negative as well as the positive responses. It is possible that at some point you will be trolled, so have a moderation strategy in place to deal with this. I recently attended a live stream ‘how-to’ session where the moderator not only fielded some questions in the comments, but also helped the presenter to stay on track too.
7. Sound matters
Recently I watched a business that was live streaming with unsuitably loud background music…too loud…which had me cringing and leaving quickly. So, to ensure that viewers stay engaged, think about clear and appropriate sound levels.
8. Visual aspects
Visual quality is equally important, although modern smartphones have great stand-alone capabilities, consider whether you could enhance viewer experience by buying a relatively inexpensive camera and microphone add-on. Also, double-check your camera is stable and that lighting is adequate to give a good viewing experience.
Handy live video checklist:
[ ] Do you have a clear sense of what you want to achieve?
[ ] Do you know what your audience wants?
[ ] Have you chosen a suitable format, e.g. how-to, interview, Q&A, demos etc?
[ ] Do you have an appropriate set-up, e.g. Sound, vision, lighting?
[ ] Are your surroundings suitable from an audience and personal safety perspective?
[ ] Are you infringing any copyrights?
[ ] Can you guarantee either your content or surroundings won’t cause offence?
[ ] Do you need any permissions to film, e.g. children, others, location?
[ ] Are you passionate about your chosen subject?
[ ] Do you have moderation strategy for comments?
If you would like help or advice relating to your marketing, then why not give us a call on +44 (0) 1730 719 600. We’d be happy to chat through the various ways we could help you and your business.
Image credit: KrulUA/istockphoto.com