Live streaming involves creating, sharing, and “broadcasting” of videos in real time, so your audience can watch those videos in real time.
Much like live TV, live streaming can be used to share any live event, be it a sports event, a concert, a debate, a training seminar, a conference, a church service… anything.
This makes live streaming a useful tool for business. While COVID-19 may have accelerated its popularity (and even necessity), it’s safe to say that live streaming is here to stay.
And that’s a good thing!
In this blog, we explain how live streaming works, and how it can benefit your business and audience.
Live streaming describes the process of broadcasting real time video footage of an event so that audiences can stream and watch it remotely.
At its most basic level, live streaming requires three things to work.
The first is a “platform” – a provider that offers video streaming services, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Zoom, or Twitch. All are fairly straightforward to use, though some services have limitations or rules that may affect you. For example, YouTube requires you have at least 1,000 subscribers to be able to live stream from a mobile device.
This brings us to the second thing you need – a device that can simultaneously record and broadcast video. This can be as simple as a mobile phone, or as complex as several professional cameras connected to a video mixer and computer.
Finally, you need a reliable internet connection – either Wi-Fi or mobile data. Regardless of whether you use Wi-Fi or data, you need download and upload speeds that can handle live streaming.
Of course, you also need content (something to livestream) and an audience (someone to watch your livestream), but that gets beyond the technical question of how things work.
If you’re doing a simple, short live stream (such as a selfie-style video to connect with customers on a more laidback social network), then a basic live stream setup of Facebook + mobile phone + mobile data may be all you need. This is true of any simple live stream where the video and audio quality aren’t of the greatest importance.
However, if you want to do a more professional live stream of an event, a concert, a training session, a product demo, or anything else, an experienced live streaming producer can exponentially improve the production quality of your live stream.
Why use a pro?
A video production company with experience in live streaming has the knowledge, equipment, and finesse necessary to put together a high-quality video for your audience – in real time.
For example, your live stream videographer can set up several video cameras from different angles (either stationary, or operated by professionals), then mix together the video from these different angles in real time for your real time viewers to see.
They can also incorporate other presentation elements into your live stream, such as PowerPoint presentations, pre-recorded videos, overlays, or end credits.
Your live stream videographer can also utilise strategically set-up professional audio equipment for crystal clear sound.
Ultimately, an experienced live stream videographer can help you produce content of a calibre TV viewers are familiar with, with the potential added benefit of audience interaction.
Considering that HubSpot found that “67% of viewers say quality is the most important factor when watching a livestream”, it’s clear that investing in this kind of quality pays!
Other features to consider
In addition to professionally-operated camera and audio equipment and on-the-spot editing, you can level up your live streaming game through marketing and ticketing.
If you use YouTube for live streaming, you can set up future live streams in advance, and provide your audience with a link to the live stream well ahead of time. This makes organising your event easier, and lets you more effectively market your event in the lead up.
With a link ready to go, you can use social media and email to market your live stream to your target audience. This helps you build a larger audience and gives your event greater reach than regular, in-person events. After all, people can “attend” from anywhere.
If desired, you can set up paid ticketing for your live stream through third-party systems such as trybooking.com. This helps you know how many people will be in your audience, and means you can earn a nominal (or more substantial) return on your investment.
The benefits of live streaming
Live streaming offers a large number of benefits over holding regular, in-person events.
To begin with, your organisation can enjoy big savings, as you don’t need to spend money on room hire, travel, catering, or any of the other extras that usually accompany events.
Even if you sell tickets at a lower price than for in-person events, you can still make a profit, because you’re not covering the same kinds of costs you would otherwise face.
Live streaming also lets you amass a bigger audience than you could in-person – especially if your new audience isn’t local. You’re only limited by the reach and effectiveness of your marketing. The bigger your audience, the more likely you are to profit from ticket sales or promoting your product or services.
Another benefit of live streaming is the fact that you can easily create an engaging environment by encouraging and allowing your audience to interact and participate through comments, polls, Q&As, round tables, and more. This helps people who might struggle to be heard at an in-person event find their voice, and it feels and looks more democratic.
You may also choose to make your live stream accessible live, only, to create a sense of urgency. Alternatively, you can record the event and offer exclusive access to the content after the live stream. Whatever suits your business’s goals and needs.
Another benefit of live streaming is that it lets you remove many traditional barriers to participation. No one has to travel in order to view or participate, and connecting couldn’t be easier. Live streams can be watched via mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, streaming devices (such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast), and even smart TVs.
Are you ready to live stream?
If you have an event you’d like to broadcast to the world – or to a select audience – live streaming is the way to go.
For help with setting up a professional-quality live stream, speak to Starlight Media today.