Live streaming has been around for a while now, but has only recently gained more popularity. According to Research and Markets, the live and on-demand video streaming industry is predicted to be worth over £50 billion by 2021. So it should come as no surprise that YouTube has recently upped its game and made YouTube live streaming easier and more accessible for their global creator community. If you are wondering what exactly live streaming on YouTube is, check out our article What is YouTube Live, explaining it in detail.
But before you scramble to your camera and start, there are a few things to think about:
1. Ask yourself, why should this be live?
When planning your live stream do think about the reason you are going live. Going live just for the sake of it usually doesn’t capture the audience. The purpose behind a stream should always be relatable or share-worthy and interesting. Why else would someone watch?
If your content falls into one of these categories, you’re on the right path:
- Things that need to be talked about right now
- A chance for you to talk to your audience
- In the moment events, like behind the scenes, concerts, talks etc.
Imagine this, you have some great news to share with your followers, maybe a great new project you have coming up or you are joined by some other amazing creator and you are about to make the greatest video ever. You are all set, but then the video starts buffering, the viewers can’t hear you and the picture is blurry. Not really the ideal situation.
And it’s easy to prevent these mishaps. Before you start your live stream, check your set up.
- Frame the shot. Keep your frame interesting and move around to find the ideal spot. Be sure not to block the lens with your fingers when using your mobile
- Test the audio. Watch out for any background noise that may disrupt your speaking. Be close enough to the microphone that your audience can hear you clearly
- Check the signal. A cabled connection is the strongest and safest connection, followed by WiFi, but when you’re on the go, make sure beforehand that your mobile data is sufficient and the signal is strong enough. When using WiFi or mobile, think about how other users might affect your connection — it might work perfectly well at an empty venue, but when the venue fills with people who share your connection, will you have enough bandwidth!
The live stream is not just about your content. They are most successful when all components compliment each other. Have a clear title (avoid naming it just ‘live stream’), a great thumbnail and use words that are generally compelling for both your followers and newbies. When considering the title, think about that there will be a notification sent to those who subscribed and this will pop up on their mobile. You want to make sure that the important and enticing part of your title is short so it won’t get cut off.
Ahead of time, promote the date and time of your live stream. Always include the link to where your live stream will be if you are setting it up on your desktop (YouTube will create a page when sheduling a stream). Get as many people to watch as possible, so share it across all your social media platforms and if possible, get other creators to share it too.
What do we mean by this? It’s quite straight forward. Your content should be suitable for everyone to watch. If people that have never heard of you, will they be able to enjoy the stream? Help new viewers to orientate themselves and ensure that your creativity is easy to understand.
This not only applies when going live on YouTube but generally to any content you publish. Stay interesting and mix things up, use different formats and subjects to stay up to date and dynamic.
Particularly for bigger creators, going live is a fantastic way to communicate with the audience. Many opportunities are to be found, tweets can be read out and replied, you can offer shout-outs and reply to questions that people leave in the comment section. Be sure to interact where possible or even offer live stream solely dedicated to answering questions.
This is all about the comments. Depending on the amount of interaction, it can be a good idea to have someone to help you manage the comments. A friend can read the good ones out for you, so you can focus on the content without any awkward breaks and reply to questions or comments. Remember, going live is all about a very intimate experience between you and your audience, so if it works with the format, talk to your fans.
Having a chat moderator can also limit any offensive or abusive comments that people might leave. Fortunately, you have the option to delete anything offensive or insulting.
Once the live stream has happened, revisit the video and clip the best moments together if you want to create a little ‘best moments’ video. You can, of course, also upload the whole stream and make sure it can be watched for years to come.
Was this live stream a one off? Or can this be done as a consistent type of format? People will return to the same format if they enjoyed it and are generally looking forward to weekly events. A regular format can help push channel growth, reach a new audience and help you develop as a creator.