Live streaming is currently witnessing enormous growth and is growing beyond just a trend. By adding live streaming to your marketing strategy, you not only gain a competitive advantage as a business, but you also develop a powerful addition to your business plan that has the ability to generate more revenue.
Live videos are viewed three times longer than prerecorded videos. Live streaming enables your business to reach and communicate immediately, directly, and in real-time with your audience.
Earlier, skill requirements and technological prerequisites were barriers to enter into the world of live streaming. But now nearly any business can include streaming even on a tight budget. In this blog we will discuss the ins and outs of setting up a live streaming program for your business.
Steps to launch live streaming program for your business
When you want to implement a live streaming program for your business, it is not necessary to follow a basic pattern or path. You can have a set of different goals for your live videos from socializing with your audience to driving sales. You can use different types of content, choose different platforms, and consider the aspects that help you reach your audience the best. Live streaming is a creative endeavor and it comes with a certain degree of freedom.
So here are the steps to launch successful live streaming for your business.
Set your live streaming objectives
Before starting with live streaming, set your live streaming objectives. What do you aim to achieve with your live stream? Do you want to use it as part of a marketing strategy or want to offer it your customers as an add on? Or want to use it as a value-added feature to attract new customers? Whatever be your objectives and goals, plan it before starting out.
Choose your live streaming platform
Choosing how to broadcast is one of the important steps of starting with live streaming. When it comes to choosing a live streaming platform, you have two options: Social media platforms or streaming from your own website. Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube come with inbuilt live streaming capabilities. If you are new to live streaming, you will probably want to start with the free options.
But if you want to gain more hold over branding and want your live streams to look more professional, choosing a live streaming service provider is the best bet. This also helps you to customize your live streaming platform, which is not possible with social media networks.
If you are looking for different ways on how to start a live streaming business, it is critical to have a more advanced setup and the service of a reliable live streaming provider.
Determine your live streaming budget
An ideal live streaming set up not only depends on business goals, it also greatly depends on the budget you have. If your budget is not flexible enough to carry out an elaborate live streaming plan, consider starting out small and build on that later. If you plan to make money from monetizing your live streams, it can help you cover future expenses required to purchase the essentials.
Essentials required to set up a live stream on a budget
No matter what your budget is, you can make live videos that engage your audience to stand ahead of the competition with the basics done right. Here is what you require to set up successful live streams.
To set up a live stream on minimal spending, you can start with your mobile device. With a smartphone, you can stream straight to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and many other social platforms. As the camera quality of new smartphones is great, the majority of live streaming is done with a smartphone camera. But, higher-level productions require a broadcast camera, lighting setup, tripod, and a lot more.
Even if you are starting out with your smartphone, you can invest in a mobile phone set which can make a big difference in video quality without going out of your budget. For streaming big events, you will need multiple cameras to capture videos from various angles.
While smartphones come with microphones to achieve the best audio quality, it is worth investing in an external microphone for your live streaming to boost the quality of your live broadcasts.
Lighting set up
Good lighting setup is important when you set up live stream indoors. Unless you have a lot of natural light coming in, try adding at least one additional source of lighting.
A good Internet connection
It is crucial to have a good internet connection when you set up a live stream. Invest in a powerful Internet connection to deliver the best viewing experience to your audience. Choose an Internet connection with a speed of at least 4 Mbps which is sufficient to stream decent quality live broadcasts. The higher your upload speed, the better your video quality will be.
Live streaming software
To set up live streams for your business that looks and feel professional, it is important to use a live streaming software that will help you manage your live sessions. This allows you to add multiple video sources, use transition effects, and control audio and video settings. Most significantly, it helps you stream to multiple platforms simultaneously.
As you are streaming your live sessions to a global audience who access it from different devices having different capabilities, you need an encoder. An encoder is a device or application that converts your content in a digital format to stream on different devices.
When it comes to the type of encoders, there are hardware and software encoders. If you are on a budget, it is recommended to choose a live streaming software that comes inbuilt with an encoder application.
How to start a successful live stream?
Now that you know how to plan your live stream and choose the gear you need, the next step is to spend some time to decide the contents of your live streams. When you have some idea about the same, you can go ahead to create your live sessions.
Here is a brief of how it works.
Connect your audio and video equipment- If you are using your smartphone to go live from social media platforms, you have to visit the platform and can directly go live effortlessly. Otherwise, physically connect your audio and video equipment to your computer either directly or via a capture card.
Add the audio and video source in live streaming software- You can add multiple sources as well. To start with, you can use OBS (open broadcaster software) which is a free, open source software for live streaming.
Configure the streaming –You can either manually configure the stream or auto-configure it to fit the platform. Mostly you will be aiming at a resolution of 720p or 1080p at around 30fps and a bit rate of 5,000 Kbps.
Connect to the live streaming platform- Use the stream address and key to connect the encoder to the live streaming platform. In certain cases, you can also log in to the platform directly from the encoder. With that, you are ready to go live. When it’s time to stream, you can either press the “start streaming” button in the software to start your stream or schedule it at a set time.
Live streaming is a great way to spread your brand message, increase brand awareness, and establish a personal relationship with your customers. Live videos are getting more and more popular and the number of brands leveraging it is increasing as well. You can start with live streaming without investing much and deliver the best quality streaming. Do you have any tips to set up live streams on a budget? Let us know in the comment section below.