You may be aware that my first exploration of live video tools was almost ten years ago. Since then I have documented case studies of live stream examples for business and education use, written tutorials to help people use live video apps, spoken at conferences about how to build your brand with live video, hosted a weekly live show on the latest live stream technologies, trends and tips, and I have also been a guest on a number of live streams and podcasts sharing live video tips and ideas.
My real passion is demonstrating to business executives, marketing leaders and communications professionals how live video can be integrated into business communications to support the delivery of their strategic objectives.
During 2017, I have increasingly seen entrepreneurs start to experiment with live video especially using their mobile devices as it is easy and free to get started.
Yet so many organisations have yet to start to experiment using live streaming.
During 2016 I was invited to be a guest on a number podcast interviews where I shared my simple S.T.A.R.T. model for live streaming.
It is an approach I go in-depth with at workshops and with private clients, but if you would like to listen to some thoughts on getting started with live video then check out this podcast about mobile live streaming hosted by Link Humans and this podcast about using Facebook Live on the Let’s Talk Tech show.
As live video is continuously evolving and these interviews were recorded a year ago, some of the live video platforms mentioned are no longer available for use and others have new features available. But my S.T.A.R.T. model for live video still applies.
Here is my five-step plan which I hope will be of assistance if you are just getting started using live streaming.
The first letter in S.T.A.R.T is related to being strategic. It is essential that if you are using live video for your business, you understand the goal that you are trying to support in your live video programming. Perhaps it is about building awareness of your company, it may be helping you express your employer brand to attract talented people into your business, it could be to help you boost sales, or perhaps you want to use it to connect directly with your stakeholders at times of crisis and not rely on the media to share your story.
Perhaps your objectives are around building awareness of your company; it may be helping you express your employer brand to attract talented people into your business; it could be to help you boost sales; or perhaps you want to use it to connect directly with your stakeholders at times of crisis and not rely on the media to share your story?
The second letter in the S.T.A.R.T. model is technology.
You can get started live streaming with just your smartphone. I take my clients through a discovery session to help them determine the relevant live video technology platform to use to achieve their objectives – for some people desktop streaming is a more appropriate solution versus mobile live streaming. However, even then I would take into consideration a few other factors.
For example, consider the lighting in the venue or locations you are streaming? How can you take advantage of natural daylight, or do you need to enhance the lighting due to the location you are in.
If you are using your mobile phone for streaming do you have sufficient battery left. If you are using wifi or mobile data, is the connection strong enough? Mobile live streaming uses a lot of data. So either go for an unlimited data contract, use the wifi you have access to, or make sure that you know what your data cap is, particularly if you’re going to do long live streams.
The third letter in the word S.T.A.R.T. is A for audio. Viewers of your live stream may be forgiving if the visual in your live stream is not absolutely clear, providing the content is good or the stream is particularly timely, such as for breaking news. They will be be less forgiving if you have problems with your audio.
A very simple thing that you could do if streaming from your mobile device is use the headset and mic that comes with your smart-phone or your mobile device. This can help you reduce the ambient background sound, particularly if you are outside where you are going to have some wind noise. Of course, you could then invest in microphones if you decide you want to host more professional streams – you can learn about some of the options available here.
The fourth letter in S.T.A.R.T. is R for rights. Rights incorporate issues such as do you have the permission of the people you will be showing in the live stream to film them? As an example, even if you had an in-house event for your organisation, good practice is to make sure people know that you’re going to be filmed on the live stream, in case they do not wish to appear on camera.
If you are attending an event, you need to ensure that the event organiser, the venue and the speakers are happy to be live streamed.
You also need to ensure that you have the permission to share images, videos or music if you choose to in your live stream. If you do not have permission, platforms such as Facebook Live and YouTube may take down your live stream as it breaches guidelines in relation to content ID. For example, Facebook has recently updated it’s Rights Manager as I spoke about on a recent episode of the Live Stream Insiders.
The fifth and final letter is T for testing. Before you even hit the ‘go live’ button, I’d encourage you to test.
For example, how will you title the live stream; have you got the right camera angle; have you ensured that the background will be ‘on brand’ or will it detract from your message; have you tested that a member of your team can moderate the comments; have you prepared your guests to be on camera; do you have your calls to action ready; do you need any visual props?
There are ways to test to private communities or pages so that you do not have to test your live stream publically so that you can produce a professinal and engaging live stream.
I hope these five steps start to give you the confidence to consider live streaming as part of your communications plan.
Recommended Livestream, live video and social video resources
Remember if you have questions about live video for your organisation you can schedule a conversation with me here – it is a FREE service I offer to help you work through the options that are right for your specific requirements and this will help you build your brand online NOT detract from your brand as we see in so many cases.
If you were not able to attend the recent Social Media Summit Ireland conference and are interested in seeing the presentation and accessing my resources you will find them here.
I also have a NEW accountability group for people who have not yet done any live streaming – it’s a free accountability group to help you get started. If you are interested in joining me you can contact me here to learn about how to join us.
Remember – don’t procrastinate – just S.T.A.R.T. to live stream!