This is a guest post from Tyler Hayes, Sr. Communications Manager for Cheetah Mobile, creators of the live broadcasting network Live.me.
We get questions all the time asking what are the things to know about live broadcasting. It’s a different behavior from just pointing a mobile device at an event happening and assuming people will be content just passively watching — like TV.
Based on what we’ve seen with Live.me and live broadcasting in general throughout 2016, here are some tips, tricks, and overall best practices.
Live is live
Just because you said something 10 minutes ago, or even 3 minutes ago, doesn’t mean that your current audience was around and heard what you said.
Be sure to continually repeat what’s going on and how people can get involved. Try varying the way you keep people informed.
This is a conversation between you and the audience
The comments pour in on YouTube videos because people wish they could have asked a question, pointed out a correction, added their experience to the conversation, or something else in real-time. The point of being live is that people can comment in real-time so make sure you’re keeping up with those questions and comments if possible.
For those that have huge followings or get so many comments that it’s hard to keep up with, a second person in the room with the broadcaster monitoring the comments can be helpful.
Use the tools to keep the conversation going
All the features of live broadcasting apps are there to keep the conversation going and allow the broadcaster and audience to connect more.
- Comments give the audience a voice.
- The like/heart button shows active viewers.
- The value of virtual gifts sent indicate how much someone wants to be involved.
- Beam (guest broadcasting) allows variety and different people to show up.
- Coin Drops [Live.me specific] allows a broadcaster to give back to viewers.
- Capture lets viewers record clips of the broadcast.
These are a few of the common features available which a broadcaster should use to connect with the viewers in different ways.
Use the apps features, like the ones just mentioned, to set milestones and goals which will bring your viewers along from the start of your broadcast until the end.
Here are some examples:
- I’ll Beam a viewer to talk to when we reach 500 views.
- If we reach 150k likes in the next 10 minutes, I’ll do a Coin Drop.
- Whoever sends a Porsche or higher gets to pick the next song we listen to.
- I’m about sing, everyone tap Capture to record it and share it on Instagram. If 50 people do that, I’ll take singing requests.
You shouldn’t feel pressure because the video is live
There’s a feeling, mostly among people who haven’t tried live broadcasting, that there’s a lot of pressure to perform or do something amazing just because the video is live.
Live broadcasting is mostly about personal connection, so being personable, relatable, and genuine are the best attributes that keep people watching, compared to doing something spectacular or always knowing the perfect things to say.
It’s not just you, the broadcaster, who doesn’t like bullies, viewers don’t like them either. Ignore them when possible and use the reporting/blocking tools in other cases.
Virtual gifts mean something
People pay real money for virtual gifts which means there is a real value, beyond tapping the like/heart button. Make sure you’re validating those people and calling out their names. These are your most active fans.
Plan to spend a minimum of 45–60 minutes broadcasting in order to give your fans the opportunity to see you’re live and have the time to join the broadcast.
Encourage people to follow you
Followers are important on all social platforms, but especially with live broadcasting. People get push notifications when you’re live so be sure to encourage people to tap the follow button through out your broadcast.
Live broadcasting is a skill
One of the most important items to keep in mind is that live broadcasting and figuring out how to utilize an app’s features is a skill and for most people will take time to become familiar with.
Live video is not just about views, gifts, fans, or a single metric, it’s about all of these combined — and more. Live broadcasters are personalities who can keep people entertained, even if they aren’t physically doing much.
Beyond the best practices when you go live, here are some things to keep in mind around the logistics of live broadcasting.
(Internet) connection is king
It can be cool to bring people along to interesting places, but a solid wifi or LTE connection is always cooler. As a viewer, it can be super frustrating to have audio or video freezing or lagging because of the a spotty internet connection.
In an ideal situation it’s best to test the internet signal in a new location before planning and announcing you’re broadcasting from there.
Vertical video for a vertical phone
If you can, make sure to have a vertical stand or selfie stick which also allows your phone to be plugged in if you’ll be broadcasting for a while.
Lighting and audio quality matter
Having good lighting and audio quality can’t be overstated. A good LED light is no longer that expensive and makes a huge difference. If you can find a good portable microphone for your phone, that’s also recommended.
You don’t need to spend a fortune, a little definitely goes a long way with lighting, audio, and any additional equipment for your phone.
Update, update, update
Check the app store on your phone regularly for updates to the app which will improve connection quality as well as often provide new features on a regular basis.