2020 has caused a big stir for businesses around the world. One of the biggest shakeups for many businesses has been discovering their inability to host livestreams and digital events or facilitate online staff communications. Throughout 2020 we’ve seen technologically challenged staff members and organisations struggle with audio, video angles, lighting and platform issues. These mishaps take away from the purpose of the meeting and don’t make the best impression on staff or external viewers. Improving your organisation’s livestream capabilities is a great way to improve communication with both your staff and your customers.
We’re going to look at a few of the hurdles that businesses will have to overcome to bring themselves up to speed to manage livestreaming internally.
What are the benefits of livestreaming?
Livestreaming is a great way to build your brand image and add personality to your marketing or business culture. Livestreams present a unique opportunity for your business to differentiate itself from competitors with the content you feature.
It also acts as a live two-way communication channel for your viewers. Particularly in the marketing space where you want to avoid spamming your audience with information, livestreaming gives you the opportunity to listen and respond in realtime.
Type of livestreams and digital events
There are two main types of livestreams many organisations are now utilising more than ever. The first of these is online meetings and digital events for internal purposes. The second of these is social livestreams for your customers to promote products or services.
Platforms such as Skype, Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom have all grown in popularity through 2020 for team calls. What we’ve found is that each platform has its own set of positives and negatives. You’ll often be provided a free trial so you can work out which platform best suits your organisation. With the right lighting and some basic equipment, you can create a polished production for your audience or colleagues. A lot of the basic video production principles around lighting and equipment apply to your livestreams exactly the same.
Digital events and webinars
There’s very little room for error in the livestreaming world. Our team regularly host streams for organisations around the country. Every single production has backups and redundancies in place to improve the end user experience. These redundancies can be put in place at multiple points through the production process. Whether it’s running multiple cameras, multiple internet connections, multiple streaming platforms or multiple stream channels. These backups might seem like overkill but there’s nothing worse than promising your audience a livestream and then failing to deliver. Having a video studio at our disposal definitely helps eliminate some of these stresses and concerns with hosting an online event.
Depending on the scale of your attendance, there are platforms like Bluejeans that will accommodate smaller events or meetings that you’d like livestreamed. These platforms accomodate the more budget focused companies where production quality isn’t a priority. As the scale of your events grows, so does the strain on the platform. If the event is of a great enough importance and scale, it may reach a point where you need to rely on external support. Outsourcing your stream gives you expert support and a robust platform that has been built to handle the demand.
Livestreaming for marketing
As we discussed earlier, livestreaming presents the perfect opportunity to add character and personality to your marketing strategy. If you know your product well, you’ll be able to take questions online and deliver a personalised experience for your audience. Adding character to your marketing can be a valuable asset in your inbound marketing strategy. This personality is something customers can hopefully relate to and base their trust around.
If you’re a small business with a limited budget, often a mobile phone will suffice for your feed. When you’re ready to take it to the next level, it’s definitely worth investigating external microphones, lighting and cameras to improve the quality of your stream. If you’re streaming from a computer, a little investment into an external web cam or a digital SLR camera to connect can go a long way. This will dramatically improve the quality of your feed and give you more control over your lighting and colours. Set your camera at eye level and be conscious of what is in the background.
The audio for your stream is also highly critical, there are a number of microphones that can deliver much clearer audio for both PC’s and mobiles.
Be conscious of the lighting in your shot, having lights facing the subject and running test streams will help you eliminate any shadows or poor lighting issues. Finally, double check all equipment is running off a power supply, not a battery, and that you have a steady internet connection
Preparing yourself or your talent for a livestream
Now that you’ve got your equipment and platform sorted, you’ve got to make sure that you or your talent are up to the task.
- Stay focused on your product and the people you’re trying to help
- Be prepared to take questions and be willing to take feedback onboard
- Keep happy and energetic, there’s nothing worse than watching a monotonous droning script read
- Know what’s in frame and out of frame for your viewers
- Ask questions and push for engagement from your audience
If you can get everything organised for your equipment setup, on-screen presentation and your content, you’ve got the ingredients to a great livestream. The key to success with livestreams is preparation, whether it’s for content or for your tech, make sure you spend time planning first.
If you’re looking to host a digital event or livestream, get in touch with your team today to talk through your business requirements.