Live streaming is the bread and butter of online content. It is one of the best ways to build your brand and improve audience engagement. Live Streaming, to an absolute beginner, looks like a daunting and terrifying prospect. Especially when people offer advice with buzzwords such as bandwidth, snowball yeti microphone, and what on earth are overlays?
Today, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks that break down the essentials of live-streaming, even an absolute beginner to online content will be able to understand and utilise for their live stream.
Figure out the content before you stream
Before you get everything ready to stream, you need to figure out the type of content you put out there. Will you be a gaming streamer? Or will you interview people? Will you do live reactions? You need to work out how long you will stream for and how you deliver it. Yes, this can change as you continue to stream. However, it’s good to know how it’ll run for the first couple of streams and then change it up when needed.
Always have a high-quality microphone and camera.
With anyone being able to live stream, you must have a high-quality microphone and video set up. Why? Because if you want people to stay and watch, you need a decent at worst and brilliant at best audio and visual set-up. As if it's not, you’ll lose your viewers because the content is unwatchable; plus, with how over-saturated the market is, they’ll be able to find five other live streams with better audio and visuals they will watch instead of you. Competition is tough.
Types of equipment needed:
- Webcam (that is good quality)
- Lighting, i.e. LED light
- Microphone (a clip on one or a USB one)
- Green screen (in case you want to change the background)
Keep the setup simple.
When you start to add the equipment to your collection and your computer set-up in general, it takes up a lot of space, plus it's another thing to manage during the live stream. For a beginner keeping up with so much in the beginning, can be very overwhelming. Remember always to keep the setup and the equipment simple.
Check which systems work with your computer.
Before you Livestream, you have to find the right broadcast system for you (that's the system used to record it on a computer). OBS Studio is the professional standard recommended by most streamers. It works on most platforms such as Twitch and works with Mac OS, Windows and Linux, so every computer type is covered. But always choose the one that suits you and your stream; otherwise, you’ve got no computer-based system to record and store it on.
Choosing what’s right is also the same with the platform (which website you live stream from to a potential audience) imagine you are a gaming streamer. The right platform for your Livestream would be Twitch, and an excellent second option would be through YouTube. However, say you live stream travel content. The best option for you would be Instagram or Facebook Live, as those platforms are more suited to on the go content.
Always test stream before doing it correctly.
Before live-streaming at your allotted time and day, test out the Livestream beforehand. Doing so will enable you to see if there are any problems. Such as low video quality, the audio isn’t quite right; the microphone isn’t in the right place for you. Doing a test run can help you find these problems beforehand and make the stream suitable for your potential viewers.
Always promote your live stream.
One thing to do before you live stream is to post about it on social media. Tell people when and where you are streaming. An example: Live streaming on Twitch at 5 PM BST time. It reminds people and lets people know where to find you and gives you the biggest audience possible. It’s also good to signal when you won’t be able to Livestream or if there’s a scheduling change or a special guest.
Also, once you have a schedule, it is good to stick to it as it helps people adjust when you upload. Plus, the algorithm likes it.
During the stream
Communicate with chat
Talking to chat while streaming improves audience engagement and keeps people invested when watching your content. However, depending on your content, you might not want to respond for whatever reason. Try to engage with chat in whatever way, whether by answering questions at the end or sending questions to your guest. Whatever way you do, it gets your audience in chat or is watching involved.
Don’t do anything rude or inappropriate.
I know this probably goes without saying; I’m reminding you anyway. Do not do anything that would be considered rude or inappropriate to your guests or audience. (Unless being edgy is your stick, even then there is a limit) as no one will want to star on your live stream, plus viewers won’t like the tone and leave. Plus, if it’s that serious, Twitter and the rest of social media will cause a storm, and then you’ll have to provide an apology. That never goes down well!
When live streaming, try your best to sound confident and calm. Like you have everything under control. Viewers engage with the content more when the presenter sounds like they know everything but is still friendly. Look into the camera, too, at times. That helps as well!
I hope you enjoyed reading Livestreaming 101 top tricks and trips and that your future live streams go ahead without a glitch.
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