For brands and retail marketers, live online video can be a powerful hook to grab—and keep—customers’ attention to boost brand marketing efforts. According to industry experts, a prerecorded online video will hold consumers’ attention for about two minutes, but live streaming video can keep audiences engaged for 20 minutes or even longer. The trick is to make those live streams must-see experiences or viewers won’t tune in, let alone stick around to make a purchase.
So what can marketers do to ensure live video events will draw and delight target audiences and, ultimately, help drive revenue? In a recent webcast, Fritz Brumder, CEO and founder of Brandlive, a live interactive video platform for brands and retailers, and Stacy Nawrocki, director of product marketing for IBM Cloud Video, offered some savvy advice for marketers large and small.
The live stream video begins, and the carefully prepared speaker begins addressing an audience of thousands of viewers. The presentation is going smoothly until, just a few minutes into the opening keynote, the video freezes. Some viewers sound the alert in the chat window, others try checking their own connection. But many viewers have left: On average, one in five viewers will immediately stop watching a stream with poor video quality and never return.
Most of the time, common live streaming video mistakes—poor sound quality and a broken (or unattended) chat function, among others—are easily avoided with careful advance work. Organizations new to streaming video should heed this advice from Jeff Irwin, customer success manager for IBM Cloud Video. In the process of helping customers implement and manage streaming video, Irwin has identified common mistakes that stand in the way of streaming events and their viewers. So follow these 13 tips to avoid any unlucky mishaps on your next broadcast.
Note that this list assumes that you are using a platform that is scalable, able to reach large audiences without crashing, and is mobile friendly, having adaptive bitrate delivery. If not, these would be priorities as well.
- Failing to account for variables
- Ignoring audio quality
- Not checking your audio
- Forgetting to confirm adequate bandwidth
- Discounting the importance of your location
- Having no lighting plan
- Failing to promote the event
- Being late
- Not running pre-show content
- Making a weak first impression
- Not engaging your audience
- Skipping the chat moderators
- No follow up, CTA or post event strategy
Events have exploded beyond the stage with live streaming. From company announcements, to press conferences and award ceremonies, most events today have two audiences: the one in the room, and the one behind their screens.
For organizers, the expanded reach is a dream come true, as are the insights from live stream analytics. But live streaming also requires a new attention to detail: even the Super Bowl and Apple keynotes have fallen victim to seemingly minor mistakes, amplified by the real-time nature of streaming.
To make sure live streams go off without a hitch, organizers should follow this checklist to ensure a secure connection, reliable equipment and high stream quality. If you are looking more for assistance on which gear to get, though, check out our Video Studio Recommendations white paper.
Point your camera at a religious service, touch the “Go Live” button, and your stream could reach dozens or even thousands of people in places you’ve never heard of. You can’t be sure what effect it might have on your audience.
Maybe you’re a rabbi sitting in front of a webcam in your office, about to play guitar and chat online with visitors to your weekly online-only synagogue. Or maybe you’re behind a camera that will sweep across 4,000 parishioners in a megachurch and send the service out to 50,000 viewers around the world.
Both these examples are among the roughly one thousand religious organizations that share their services on Ustream.tv each week. Whether the audience is vast or small, each producer wants to offer a high-quality, reliable video stream that is a gift for viewers to receive.
We asked experienced producers who stream religious services to share with us the top tips that make their work successful and rewarding. Read on to get their advice. And get started free with IBM Cloud Video (includes Ustream) to stream your own religious service.
- Start with an abundance of bandwidth
- Harness social media
- Emphasize audio to build your impact
- Make viewers feel present
- Connect everyone with the chat module
- The biggest impact might come with the smallest audience
Just about every minute of every day, there’s a live stream event taking place somewhere in the world — on social media platforms, corporate networks, and entertainment company apps. From the recent solar eclipse to the Mayweather-McGregor fight to the MTV Video Music Awards, online users are showing a healthy appetite for seeking out live video events to watch.
Of course, every event needs an audience — and given the effort that goes into a live streaming event, video planners want to ensure that, at start time, there’s a large and highly engaged audience. Social media can be used to whip up enthusiasm before the event, encourage discussion during the live stream, and continue the conversation after it ends.
If you are looking for some additional advice for marketing your video content, or creating marketing videos, also be sure to check out our on-demand 9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Marketing Strategy seminar.
Want to know how to setup a live stream?
This article walks you through 8 steps from start to finish in terms of managing the sources and settings for your live stream. This includes everything from choosing a video source and lighting, to a live encoder and managing your connection. If you consider yourself already setup on the video and audio side, skip to step 4. However, if you want to know more about this step of the process or are considering establishing a studio, please read our Video Studio Recommendations guide.
- Camera or other video source selection
- Lighting setup
- Audio source selection
- Choosing a delivery method
- Selecting an encoder for live streaming
- Inputting encoder settings
- Securing a stable upload speed
An expert in North Korea agreed to an on-camera interview with the BBC in March but a few seconds in, everything went pear-shaped.
First the man’s young daughter walked in and he gently tried to coax her out during the interview. Then his eight-month-old son strolled in on a squeaky walker. Finally, the man’s wife frantically tried to herd both children out of the room.
The clip went viral, to the point where Robert E. Kelly, the so-called “BBC Dad,” felt compelled to give a press conference explaining himself.
Most glitches during a live stream don’t rise to that level of comedic gold, with a lot of them related to delivery issues that could be corrected for through scaling as mentioned in this Scaling Video Delivery to Reach Massive Audiences white paper. Very often, though, unexpected problems during live streams leave the impression that the presentation is unprofessional. But presenters can salvage such moments by taking some cues from the world of improv comedy.
It’s challenging for enterprises to deliver internal video because streaming video consumes so much bandwidth. For instance, if a 100-person company site has a 100 megabit-per-second internet connection, and just 34 people watch a live stream of CEO town hall at their desktops at the same time, they can cause a network outage.
Three main approaches solve the problem. One is unicast delivery, where a single video stream is sent from the source to an onsite unicast server, which caches the content and distributes it to hundreds or even thousands of viewers while minimizing the impact on the internet connection and network.
A second approach is multicast delivery, where a single stream from the video source is received by a specially-configured router, which addresses the video packets so that they simultaneously serve multiple viewers at a site. Cable and telecom companies use multicasting because of its bandwidth efficiency.
When Taylor Swift launched her Wonderstruck fragrance at Macy’s in Midtown Manhattan, she was accompanied by hundreds of excited fans and dozens of media outlets. Also present was video production company Suite Spot, working in the background to make sure the event’s video live stream went off without a hitch.
Suite Spot regularly produces major events like this: filled with high-profile people, large viewing audiences and heavy logistical burdens on the people behind the scenes. While the events themselves can be formidable undertakings, the exposure and excitement generated by a live stream can be a major asset for any company.
Adam Drescher, Suite Spot’s cofounder and partner, explains how he and his team make preparations for success—before, day-of, and after the event takes place—and speaks specifically to the nuances of running live streams at a large scale. Armed with his suggestions, anyone can successfully execute their own live stream for a primetime audience.
Also, if you are looking for tips in bitesize form, be sure to check out our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production guide as well.
Producing video content? Looking to increase your view counts when a new video is published? This article discusses a video promotion strategy that includes 7 different methods to increase viewership. These range from how your content is shared to syndication efforts to bolster the number of viewable locations.
If you already have a video promotion strategy in place and are looking for more advice, also be sure to check out our 9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Marketing Strategy webinar. This will give some additional advice, and pitfalls to avoid, as part of your video marketing strategy.
- Embed your video in multiple places
- Tweet your videos
- Post you video to Facebook
- Syndicate to YouTube
- Create highlights for long-form content
- Publish to a channel page
- Add content to playlists
Please note, this article approaches this topic from a syndication angle. This means getting your content published and discoverable in places that will result in more views. It assumes that your content is already widely accessible regardless of the viewer’s device or connection speed. If you aren’t using IBM Cloud Video and you aren’t sure if your content is, please read our How Adaptive Streaming Solves Viewer Bandwidth Issues white paper.