With most people being stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, now is a great time for you or your business to get into live-streaming. Here’s what you need to consider (5 min read)
• Announce your live-stream in advance to build anticipation
• Excellent live-streams can be made with just a phone, tripod and microphone
• Choose the best format (portrait vs. landscape) for the channel you’re using
• Do a test-run before you go live to ensure there’s no technical errors
• Enable other pages and brands to share your live-stream to boost reach
Before getting started with the stream, let your audience know it’s happening.
Create a simple but eye-catching post or event announcing what you’re streaming and when, like we did for Offaiah.
To draw in as many viewers as possible, you’ve got to build anticipation and excitement.
Choose a sensible time – most people are now working from home, but this doesn’t mean ‘office hours’ don’t apply.
(Pssst: If you’re working from home too, you might find our top tips useful).
Before the working day (7AM – 9AM), during lunch (12PM – 2PM) or after work (6PM – 8PM) are always reliable options.
We don’t expect you to have Hollywood-level film cameras lying around in your garage.
A top-of-the-line iPhone or Android phone will do the job. Besides, it has been suggested that consumers prefer ‘rough-and-ready’ videos rather than polished content.
While modern smartphone have excellent cameras, the microphones are often lacking.
If you have an external microphone – use it.
If not, position the phone between 6-12 inches away from your mouth and speak clearly.
Too close and it’ll distort the sound – it shouldn’t sound like you’re eating the phone.
Finally, you might want to invest in a tripod. Especially if your live-stream is more than a few minutes long.
Arms are shaky and get tired – tripods do not.
Small phone tripods are inexpensive and can greatly boost the quality of your live-stream.
There is more to live-streaming than pointing a camera. You should be taking specifications into consideration too.
Portrait or Landscape?
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to design mobile-first – this means using Portrait (4:3)
But it depends on both the platform you’re streaming on and the content of the video.
Instagram/IGTV live streams should almost always be in portrait mode – it’s mobile-only after all.
Facebook is used on both desktop and mobile. Here you can be more versatile with your live streams, as both portrait and landscape modes are effective.
YouTube and Twitch host more long-form content and are typically watched in landscape.
Ultimately, it depends on the content.
Portrait mode is great for spontaneous live-streams that only focus on one or two subjects.
If the main focus of your stream is audio (such as a DJ mix), then landscape might be more suited.
This important step is often overlooked.
Unless your live-stream is completely spontaneous, you’ll want to test, test and test again.
Film a short video – then ask yourself three key questions:
1. Can you be heard clearly?
You don’t want your viewers to have to turn the volume up to maximum. Ensure there is no clipping or distortion
2. Are you framed correctly?
Make sure you’re not cutting off an important part of the frame, such as your head or your DJ equipment.
3. How is the lighting?
If the natural light is behind you, move – unless you want to look like a shadow. Consider using artificial lighting.
Send it to a friend for a second opinion.
Make another announcement right before you’re about to go live across ALL platforms – even if you’re only streaming on Facebook or Instagram.
These two platforms also send notifications out to users alerting them that a live stream has started (unless they’re switched off).
Do you have any associated brands, labels or pages that are interested in your stream?
Then enable cross-posting so they can share it on their pages. Collaborating with a carefully-chosen broadcasting partner can greatly boost brand awareness.
For Noisily Festival, we formed a brand partnership with electronic music page Mr. Afterparty, which massively multiplied their reach.
All that’s left is to go live – produce an entertaining live-stream that engages your audience and compels them to come back for more.