Tips & Tutorials

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Get It Embedded: How to Attract Viewers to Your Live Shows, Part 2

Inspired as I was by Matt’s Social Marketing entry, I wanted to add my 2 cents worth on the topic: embedded syndication.

By the way, we are completely open to your tips and tactics on how successful ways of promoting live online shows. Leave them in the comments, or write an entry about it in your own blog for us to link to.

Syndication: Get It Embedded

Sometimes it’s hard to get people to watch a show at a prescribed time. Instead of getting viewers to come to you, try going to where the eyeballs are already at.

Whenever possible, embed your stream on web properties that already have inborn traffic. Get stakeholders involved in promoting the show, and while you’re at it, give them your embed code to throw up alongside any online promotion they might do. Think strategically about all the stakeholders involved in your content, if/where they have an online presence, if any other web properties might be interested in these stakeholders, and how to get your stream up so that it makes sense for everyone involved.


For example, if you have a guest musician on your show, have them throw up an embed to the video right on the destination page they might be promoting their appearance, whether it be a Myspace, a blog, or any other online social media presence. Perhaps this artist has an online fan club that might be interested in the content – shoot ‘em an embed code along with the URL. Perhaps the artist himself can put out a call in the beginning of the show to have his fans throw up the embedded video on their pages. And so on and so forth until the point of diminishing return.

It’s a way to hypnotize convert entice eyeballs that happen to be on any given stakeholder site during the actual live stream. The embed code is short, easy, and innately promiscuous; don’t be shy about sharing it far and wide!


Social Marketing: How to Attract Viewers to Your Live Show

As opposed to a blog post or a YouTube video, which are static and people can view at their leisure, your Ustream show is live and you must undertake the difficult task of grouping your viewers together concurrently and at a specified time. Through a combination of long and short term announcements you can use Social Marketing to capture their attention.


Your Blog:
The important thing about your blog is that your subscribers will read it at some point. It might not be now, or in an hour, but chances are they will see the post before the day is over. You won’t be able to use your blog to get instant viewers, but it is a great place to notify them of future shows. Think of it as planting a seed… some will remember and some will forget, but either way they definitely hear about your show (this helps because when you post about it later on Twitter they will remember the blog post). (Tip – Announce your upcoming show three days before – then mention it again the day of)

If Twitter wasn’t your best friend, it is now. Become intimate with this beautiful tool because it is the best way to get instant viewers. Post a message to Twitter ten to twenty minutes before you go live – this way your followers can put aside time and they know its coming up. Post again once you go live. Truth be told a lot of people will forget that you’re going to do a show, especially if its your first time. Twitter is the perfect way to remind them. (Tip – Don’t just spam a link to your show, make sure to keep it friendly and human, maybe ask a question. Then be sneaky and inconspicuously put the link in.)

Newsletters, Social Network Messages:
Use sparingly! I know it, you know it, everyone knows it – Spam sucks. Do not spam. Newsletters and other ways of messaging are good ways to notify potential viewers, however you must do it with tact. Once in a while is fine just don’t use a lot of exclamation points and keep it simple. If they get annoyed then stop immediately – you’re doing something wrong and continuing will only hurt you.

Thats today’s short Social Marketing lesson.

I’ll be posting a series of these so you should probably subscribe to the blog. If you have any questions, or different ideas leave a comment and I’ll respond. Even better – if you have different ideas – go write your own blog post and then send me the link!

(Follow/talk to us on Twitter)

Penny Arcade Draws Comics Live – Creativity to the MAX!

Penny Arcade, the epic top dog of all internet comics, has started using Ustream! In an amazing example of creativity the creators of Penny Arcade have been drawing the comics live!Penny Arcade - “Cookie BRB”

It takes a creative forward thinker to fully take advantage of live video. Unlike television shows, or even live television, Ustream allows you to interact with your viewers. Now with television in mind you wouldn’t know what to do with this – you’d sit there doing your show but fail to acknowledge your viewers. Penny Arcade isn’t even thinking of TV. They’re thinking internets and only internets. The show is awesome.

Not only do they draw the new comics in front of a thousand fans – they talk to the chat by scribbling words across the comic! “getting a cookie BRB” or “hi user3434” isn’t a rare sight on the Penny Arcade live stream.

Its so exciting to see the many ways people think up to use Ustream. Classrooms, eclipses, speeches, tech shows, voice lessons, and now comics drawn in front of yours eyes. I wonder what will be on tomorrow…

Dead Air – The Live Stream Killer

akaufman1.jpgBack in the 1950’s and 60’s, much (if not most) early broadcast radio and television programming was produced and broadcasted live.

The skills of producing a live broadcast were refined and improved through the years. Early radio broadcasters like Alan Freed and Dick Clark, TV soap operas like As The World Turns and The Edge Of Night, most US News coverage, sporting events like the Superbowl and of course shows such as Saturday Night Live all have also used live television as a device to gain viewers by making their programs more (or atleast appear) exciting.

But the skills these producers used, whether for the 1969 Landing on the Moon, the ’96 Dallas Cowboys Superbowl victory or the live episode of ER in ’97, are no different than for a live Ustream show or event. Since we launched the company in March, the most successful broadcasts on Ustream utilize these somewhat forgotten techniques of broadcasting.

So what in the world am I getting at? There are basic production skills Ustreamers can follow to make their live shows and events more appealing and ultimately more successful.

1. Dead Air is a live stream killer. A live broadcast needs to keep flowing, stay interesting, and keep moving. Failure to do so will cause people to stop watching. We are all busier than ever in our lives and don’t have time for dead air.

2. Start The Broadcast Before The Show Starts. Some call it pre-show, others loop music, but letting people know a show will start soon increases the number of people who wait around for it to start. If you are streaming a conference, turn the camera on and stream the audience, even if it hasn’t started yet. If you do a talk show, use Camtwist to loop some music and put text on the feed that says “Starting at 9pm”. If you are streaming your local high school football game, stream the athletes warming up. In my experience, allowing people to start “gathering” to watch the live event dramatically increases your viewership.

3. Take advantage of the chat. We have found that people tend to stick around for a live show about 5 times longer if you have the chat. The reason is simple: engagement. Engagement is both attention AND interaction. Giving people the ability to interact with others during your broadcast will keep them there longer.

4. When Possible, Stream At Sametime Every Week. Obviously this is not possible if you are streaming a one time event, but for episodic content, begin at the same time each week. The predictability of a show helps people plan and makes it easier for them to remember you are on.

This isn’t the full list of techniques, however, they are a few basic things broadcasters can do to increase their viewership. Feel free to post any other ideas to help improve shows.

For a broader and more detailed list, see my blog post on 10 Tips For Microbroadcasting.

Anatomy of a Successful Ustream Event

Ustreamer Ian Lurie takes us behind the scenes of his wildly successful Ustream broadcast of “Conversations With The Candidates,” a live broadcast of the leading Democratic presidential candidates.

Ian talks about how he prepared for the show, including his use of the free CamTwist software to add his client’s logo, CNN-style, to the broadcast, as well as how he used the advanced settings within Ustream’s broadcaster console to manage bandwidth usage during his broadcast.

Ian’s step-by-step directions show you exactly what he did. Even better, he shows how adding the Ustream feed to their Web site helped his client double the number of inbound links. Clear instructions and concrete results make both Ian’s event and his case study a real winner.

To see Ian’s advice please visit:

How To Stream A Conference In 2 Minutes- Easy!

Senator Hillary Clinton LIVE on Ustream We get asked often what is the best way to stream conferences, conventions, tradeshows and events. So we thought we would throw some ideas out to the community for discussion (hopefully some smarter people than me add their 2 cents as well!). With a few key purchases you can be up and running in about 2 minutes.

There are several ways to do this effectively, including using just a regular video camera (DV to firewire or USB). However, many conferences already have professional videographers present at the event who handle camera switching, powerpoint feeds, and videos.

So why not just use their video and audio feeds?

My personal preference is to use a Mac to accomplish this as Firewire tends to handle video better than USB resulting in a smoother stream.

I recommend using the Datavideo DAC-100 DV Converter.20691011.JPG This great piece of hardware runs about $99 (in fact I know of places where you can rent it for around $20/day). The DAC-100 is a Firewire device thats able to take full frame PAL or NTSC analog video and convert it into digital video at 25Mbps (DV25), and back again, all in real time, complete with 12 or 16bit audio. Bottomline: it allows you to pull the video feed from the professional videographers on site. Adobe Flash and the Ustream Broadcast Panel is then able to detect the device as DV Video (Located under the advance settings tab). Most videographers should be able to easily give you a RCA video out that plugs into the DAC-100. For PC’s, I know many people are also using TV cards to convert the analog signal to digital using USB Video drivers that are detectable by Flash (many people use the Osprey Video capture card). So certainly it is possible as well with a PC.

Video setup time equals about 1 min.

arx-mini350.jpgThere are several ways you can get a quality audio feed directly from a sound board or malt box (ie for press, etc) at the conference. Depending on the sound board and a simple trip to Radio Shack, you can convert the feeds down to a 1/8″ stereo input. This feed then goes directly into the line in on the Mac or PC. You can adjust the feed volume from both the sound board or the Ustream Broadcast Panel.

Audio setup time equals about 1 min.

Total setup time equals 2 minutes!

There are a million ways to skin a cat, but this solution takes me about 2 minutes to setup (although I strongly recommend you give yourself more time than that!).

Also, for any help I encourage you to ask our Ustream community from our message board located here USTREAM MESSAGE BOARD! >>

I know the Ustream community has some serious video experts out there, so please feel free to add your thoughts!

Under the Radar Conference

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