7 Basic Things Your Business Should Know About Live Streaming

27 February 2021 0 By Msoouter Kaase
2D depiction of a black desktop, showing a white screen with live boldly spelt in red
Live stream

When you are glued to online videos on your mobile or laptop screen, or you listen to podcasts on your internet-connected devices it is called streaming.

Streaming is a method of viewing a video or listening to audio content without downloading the file.
Not too long ago in history, it took forever waiting for our video or audio files to get downloaded. But today, the story is quite different. We enjoy a far better and faster internet connection which allows us to watch high definition videos online, listen to music online, play games online, and even make video calls. We are eternally grateful to the technology called streaming.

Difference Between Streaming and Downloading

When a business is into creating video and audio contents online, they give their audience the option of either downloading or streaming a file. Some people have little patience to download content and watch it later. And some are jittery about using up their device’s memory. These categories of the audience may see online streaming as the hero that saves the day.
During streaming, the file you are interested in plays as it becomes available, while a download stores the file in your device’s memory which you can access later without using mobile data to play it.

4 Benefits of Online Streaming on Your Business

Businesses are making the most from streaming products and hosting events online. This is more reason your business should embrace live streaming

• Access to Live and High-Quality Content

Before the age of smartphones and the internet, the traditional means to access live events was through television or radio. But today, with their laptops and mobile devices, your audience can stream any high-quality live session you are hosting.
You can bring important updates about new products or service almost immediately to your audience.
For your audience to enjoy high-quality streaming, you should consider using a live streaming service with robust infrastructure and a good content delivery network (CDN).

• Reach Greater Audience

Since you would love to host all your audience at the physical location of your event, there are some limitations that may arise. One way you can override these limitations is to live stream your events. By doing so, you can reach anyone in the world remotely depending on the server capacity of the streaming service you choose.

• Build your Audience Trust

Live streaming gives your audience a sense that they know who you truly are. Since we fail to admit, we are drawn to people or things who are real, unlike scripted and edited videos. Your audience will warm up to you when they see you make the same innocent mistake they make.

• Track the Success of your Live Stream

When hosting a live-streamed event, you can track the number of views and viewers behaviour exhibited. Using streaming analytics tracking tools, you can upgrade your content strategy to improve your delivery.

5 Top Free Live Streaming Platforms and Apps

Do not chicken out when the subject of live streaming is raised. You believe that streaming your business events online will cost you your arm and leg. There are a load of free live streaming platforms designed to meet your business needs.
Take a look at the 5 top free live streaming platforms you can use to promote your business online.

1. YouTube Live
YouTube serves as a streaming hub for video content creators who cut across almost all subjects you can think of. This platform entertains a colossal 2 billion users monthly. Your business can leverage YouTube to grow a large global audience and at the same time monetizing your efforts. Your business can also make use of the YouTube live analytics to gauge your channel’s performance from which you can better improve the quality of your product delivery.

During a live stream, you can engage your audience in chats which you have full moderation over. Using YouTube Live, you carry out edits on your live stream while it’s running.

YouTube doesn’t require a dime for you to enjoy their live streaming feature.

Make Money Using YouTube Live
Your business can monetize YouTube live stream by using the following:
• Pre-roll ads
• Mid-roll ads
• Display and overlay ads
• Super Chat and Super Stickers
• YouTube channel membership

How to go live on YouTube
For an Apple mobile phone,
1. Tap the camera icon.
2. Select ‘go live’
3. Include a title and adjust privacy settings.
4. Click next.
5. Tap on ‘go live’

For an Android mobile device,
1. Tap the video camera icon.
2. Select ‘go live’
3. Click the camera icon to begin the record.
4. Add a title.
5. Click next
6. Click ‘go live’

2. Facebook Live
This live stream feature which was launched by Facebook in 2016 has witnessed about 28% of people viewing Facebook’s live stream each month. Imagine the numerous benefits your business stands to gain when you live stream on the largest social media network in the world.

As a Facebook account holder, you can access the live stream feature wherever you are. To get a better insight into your audience’s engagement with your content, make use of Facebook live video analytics.

Using Facebook Live Producer, schedule and promote future events days in advance. Facebook allows you to enjoy live chats with your audience during a live streaming session. You can make use of Facebook’s trimming feature to edit previous live videos.

Making Money Using Facebook Live
To monetize Facebook live stream, you must meet Facebook’s eligibility requirements. Note that, Facebook has a revenue-sharing policy which any revenue generated from live stream ads will be subject to.

How to go live on Facebook with a smartphone
1. Click on ‘post’
2. Click on ‘go live’
3. Give a short description of your video (optional)
4. You can pick your desired audience for your video by clicking on the three dots at the top right corner of your phone’s screen.

3. Instagram Live
Don’t be fooled by this photo app. Instagram controls about 13% of all live stream viewers on social media. According to Instagram, 90% of all accounts follow a business. This is a good sign that your business can make use of Instagram live to boost sales. Instagram gives your business access to a large global audience for free.

Make use of Instagram live moderation features streaming your live chats.

Monetize Instagram live stream by using In-Stream Ads.

How to go live on Instagram with your mobile phone
1. Tap the camera at the top left corner of your mobile device.
2. Swipe right to access the Instagram live screen.
3. Click on the ‘go live’ button to start streaming.

4. LinkedIn Live
This professional networking platform in February 2020 saw a 158% increase in the number of live streams. LinkedIn doesn’t have a monetizing feature but users of this platform are known to have a greater purchasing power than the average internet user from which your business can cash in.

LinkedIn allows you access to authorities in various professions who are eager to learn about the product or service you have to offer. Make use of LinkedIn live analytics to improve audience engagement. Block, report and delete comments or views during a live session.

To enjoy live streaming on this platform, you must apply first before access is granted you.

How to go live on LinkedIn using your mobile phone
Make use of two phones before you begin streaming. One will be for the video while the other will be for monitoring your audience comments. You should have someone act as the moderator using the second phone.
1. Register on a third party broadcasting tool like Switcher Studio.
2. Authenticate your LinkedIn account.
3. Tap the broadcast button on your third party tool and stream.

5. Twitter Live
In the third quarter of 2020, Twitter had 187 million monetizable daily active users. This app allows you to monetize your live videos while making use of the live video analytics to better serve your audience. Twitter grants you access to live chat moderation.

Make Money with Twitter
So long as you meet Twitter’s eligibility requirements, you can monetize your live stream.

How to go live on Twitter on your mobile phone
1. Tap the camera icon from the composer.
2. Tap live at the bottom selector.
3. Add video description (optional)
4. Tap go live.

5 Devices your Business Needs for Successful Live Streaming

To keep your audience glued to their seats, make use of live streaming software or hardware to broadcast your videos. You don’t have to invest heavily in purchasing these gadgets. With little, you can get basic tools and begin your live stream journey.
There are truckloads of amazing online streaming tools to pick from. But for starters, we will highlight 5 entry-level tools your business can bank on.

• Smartphone
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your mobile device can serve as a high-quality recording device that sits in your pocket comfortably. With your smartphone today and access to good internet, you can go live and engage your audience anywhere you, please.

When using your smartphone to live stream, you can cut down cost since you won’t be hiring video professionals to assist.

What to Lookout for on your smartphone
Choosing what phone will give you quality results is important. Consider the following when picking a phone to go live with.

  1. Quality of Phone camera
    The phone camera of your device can affect the quality of the videos you produce. Although many smartphone brands have improved their camera quality in no small way, some smartphone brands still produce low-quality images and videos.
    Today, phones like the iPhone 12 and Galaxy s10 are among the few phones that can record 4K HD videos.
  2. Battery Capacity
    Today, smartphone companies are rolling out phones with stronger and better batteries yet, your smartphone’s battery capacity can be a challenge. Before going live for a long time, ensure your battery is fully charged, or you are connected to a power source to avoid disappointment.

• Microphone
Besides the video quality, you shouldn’t toy with the audio quality of your videos. You don’t want your audience to think you’re talking from a tunnel. Since you’ll be using your smartphone to go live, we recommend the lavaliere mic. This type of mic can be clipped to your shirt allowing you the freedom to use both hands for other tasks. You can also check out the shotgun-style mic which plugs into the headphone jack of your device.

• Tripod
Except you’re a war correspondent ducking bullets, you have no excuse live streaming shaky and blurry videos. To eliminate unsteady video when you go live, make use of a tripod. This three-legged tool will hold your smartphone in a stabilised position

• Proper Lighting 
You don’t want your audience to dim their eyes just to get a grasp of your video. If they can’t see your face, it will discourage them from going on with the online session.

To give your video a professional look, you making use of the three light sources below.

  1. Key Light
    This serves as your primary light source and should be placed behind your camera.
  2. Fill Light
    This light source will cancel the shadows and glare created by the key light source.
  3. Additional light
    To further enhance your video quality, you can use an additional light source.

• Display Backdrop
If your live stream videos require you sitting in one location, then you should display the right background to improve your audience perception of you. From using seamless paper to virtual backgrounds, your goal is to make your viewers warm up to you. Avoid having a distracting background. You are the centre of attention.

How Long Should a Live Stream Last?

As a newbie to the live stream way, you may be concerned about the duration of your online session. Interestingly, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to your live stream running time.
The purpose for which you are going live will dictate the length of your live stream. You may be giving your audience a crash course, unveiling a product, or having a Q&A session with them. But the high point of going live is to engage with your viewers. So, you can go on live streaming until you’re satisfied that you’ve met your objective.

How to Spot the Best Time to Live Stream

It is doubtful that anyone will enjoy hosting an event where no one shows up. This is why getting people to engage with your content can be challenging.
There is already a mad competition to grab the attention of your target audience. Knowing what time to have your audience attention will require you get down to some serious research and planning.
However, do not be discouraged. Since you’re just starting to live stream, use your first sessions as tests. You can try live streaming on different days and at different times to gain valuable insight into your audience’s size. This will help you to know what particular time attracted larger viewers.
According to a research by CoSchedule which was carried out to spot the best times to post on various social media sites, they discovered the following:

• The best time for B2C companies to post on Instagram is between 8 am 1 pm and 9 pm. For B2B events, the best time falls between 12 to 1 pm, 5 to 6 pm and 8 to 9 pm.

• The best time to post on Facebook for B2C businesses are 9 to 10 am 12 to 1 pm, 4 to 5 pm. While B2B businesses should consider posting at 9 am or between 3 and 4 pm.

5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Live Stream

You don’t have to be a tech whiz to host a live stream. It’s ok to be jittery on your first try, but you’ll harbour no regret in the end. Before hosting an online event, consider the following for a smooth running.

Set your Goals
Because you’re hosting a live stream doesn’t mean you should be less enthusiastic. Setting the objective of the online event will give you a clear roadmap during the live stream.
When setting goals for your online event, answer these questions:
• Who is your target audience?
• What category does your live stream fall under?

Choose Suitable Social Media Platform
Pick the social media platform that has a greater potential of pulling in larger numbers of your target audience. We pointed out 5 free social media networks that can serve your live stream needs.

Hype your Event
Why wait till the last minute before letting your fans know what you have to offer them. You have something of value to share with them, then carry them along. Make amazing use of your various social media handles to promote your big event. Doing so can up the number of attendees.

Live Stream from a Quiet Place
I don’t mean the movie. Ensure your place of choice is free from distraction and unruliness. You want to connect with them alone. Be wary of an environment where distractions take the center stage.

Set your Equipment
Do well to avoid last-minute arrangements when you’ve gone live. Your audience may perceive you as unprofessional. Have your live stream background ready, your smartphone stabilized on a tripod, with battery charged and have your mic in place.

Test your Audio and Internet Connection
Save yourself the embarrassment of having a faulty mic when live streaming. Check your mic’s condition a day or few hours before going live. If you can afford it, have an extra mic handy.
As for your internet connection, test its strength before going live. Reschedule the live stream event when the internet connection is weak.

Live streaming has come to stay. Subsequent innovations will build on the existing achievements made. Make your business more visible and memorable to your viewers by cashing in on the many benefits provided when you live stream your product or service.
Do you feel this subject is too technical? Task Assistants has a team of experienced and capable hands to put your business in the live stream way.

Msoouter Kaase
Author: Msoouter Kaase

He is a team member of Task Assistants. He has over 14 articles published on Qwenu.com. He is also a contributor to Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global. He currently writes for a biotech company which focuses on agro and vet concerns. He is open to working with Nigerian and international clients seeking to have rich content for online and offline marketing materials. Reach him through taskassistants@gmail.com