Tell me, have you been asking yourself if mobile live streaming could be beneficial to your business? What’s holding you back? Do you lack the confidence to get in front of the camera? Do you worry that no one will tune in–or you’ll feel overwhelmed by trying to deliver quality content while at the same time engaging with viewers? Maybe you just have no idea what to broadcast.
I’m here to tell you that anyone, including you, can learn to use mobile live streaming to increase sales and build a loyal audience. As you are certainly aware, live streaming broadcasts are the hottest thing in social media right now. Every business–from the smallest to the largest–can use these streams to connect with customers and level the playing field with competitors.
I’m sure you’re asking, how do I get started? Just like learning any other social media platform, let’s take it one step at a time.
- Get Outfitted with the Right Equipment
All you need to get started with live broadcasts is a smartphone. It’s truly that simple. Now, you can add some other things to help you “up your game” while streaming–which I’ll go over here–but none of the things that I will suggest are necessary to stream. You can start broadcasting today, right now in fact, with just your phone.
I use a tripod when streaming because I want my hands free, so I can change screens, put up graphics, and keep the phone focused on me. Because I like to stream on more than one platform at a time (usually Periscope and Facebook Live–sometimes Blab), I use a tripod by Akron that holds two devices at once. The Akron two-device tripod sells for around $99.
Because I’m a gal who likes to be in my best light (back me up ladies, you know how much better a great light can make you look), you can purchase a light that attaches to your tripod or your phone. You can spend a range of money on lights–from $40 up–and while they aren’t necessary, they do tend to make your broadcasts look more professional–especially if the bulk of your streams will feature you talking directly to the camera. My personal favorite is the Diva Super Nova Ring Light. It has a dimmable feature and mounts to a tripod, and it sells for about $250.
I also recommend a good mic source. The mic that comes with the new iPhone is pretty good–it helps deflect outside noise sources and picks up your voice well. If you want something stronger, you can purchase a mic that plugs into your phone, like a Movo, which starts around $20.
- Choosing Content to WOW Your Customers
Now that you have the hardware to make it happen, you need to decide on content. It’s usually the first question I hear when it comes to mobile live streaming; “What should I broadcast about?” My answer–anything! The only thing holding you back is your imagination.
When broadcasting for a brand, I typically coach my clients to keep to a schedule. Once you begin streaming, you can use your analytics–we’ll talk more about this in step 5–to help you find the optimal time for your audience. But if you have something interesting or newsworthy–share it anytime!
Now I know it’s stressful to keep track of multiple social media platforms. So I’ve put together a system that I call Blueprint Strategies to help you streamline the process and integrate live streaming into the rest of your social media channels. Using these strategies will provide you with more social engagement from broadcasts than you ever imagined! To put together a Blueprint Strategy, start out with your broadcasts–decide what you want to share, and schedule those subjects on your calendar. This schedule can be done well in advance.
When it comes time to broadcast, before going live, take 5-10 minutes to lay out the information you plan to deliver to your audience. Remember, the most important person in this process is your follower. First and foremost it’s your responsibility to provide value to him/her.
Once the broadcast is complete, transcribe it from the replay (you can do this, or you can pay to have it done) and use it to write 1-2 blog posts. Each of these blog posts should take less than 30 minutes to write. Once you have the posts done, share the first one and immediately (and hold the second for a post later in the week) then using pointers from the posts, share the link on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
The next step is to pull “tweetable moments” from the broadcast–those are tidbits of knowledge conveyed in 140 characters or less to drive home an idea (don’t forget to link the blog post). You should be able to pull 10 or more of these moments from each stream. Continue by developing as many Facebook and Instagram posts as possible–a good rule of thumb is ten posts per channel. A broadcast should yield around 50 pieces of content for your social media platforms and will provide continuity in your messaging.
3. Get Comfortable on Camera
There’s no way around the process of getting comfortable in front of the camera–it’s just knowing your content and practice. It’s entirely normal to think you’re going to look stupid or you’re going to stumble over your words. There’s no golden ticket that will make you more confident than consistent broadcasting. Plus, with regular broadcasts, you’ll gain followers, hearts and likes.
The majority of clients I’ve worked with feel overwhelmed in the beginning; with how to provide the content they’ve planned and interact with viewers at the same time. I have a little secret that I think will help you get past this fear. When getting ready to broadcast, take 5-10 minutes to lay out the information you plan to deliver. I usually use bullet points with the major ideas I want to convey. Then I make note of natural stopping points between the ideas where I can stop and interact with the audience.
For instance, if I was live streaming this information, after I talked about the equipment above, and before addressing what to broadcast about, I would ask my audience if they have other tripods, lights or mics that they use and want to suggest to other viewers. Also, remember to ask your audience to share the broadcast if they think the information you are providing is valuable and interact with the comments before moving on to the next subject.
4. Rolling with the Punches
Expect technical difficulties. I remember back in the 80’s (I’m dating myself) when television shows would have broadcast problems and display a screen that read,”Technical Difficulties–Please Stand By.”
Even the most experienced broadcasters deal with these issues. Being familiar with the platform you are using will help you deal with most technical problems. The best advice I can give you when you have issues is to keep a cool head and do what you can to salvage your stream. No matter what preparations you make, you can’t always avoid these difficulties. Sometimes, the best course of action is to end the stream, fix the problem and start a new broadcast.
Occasionally the problem is completely out of your hands. Yesterday I watched a broadcast on Blab and the entire system had a glitch–tough break for the brand, but they soldiered through and ended up with confidence in their ability to overcome when issues arise.
As an emergency backup, add a placeholder image to default to, that will keep your audience interested when you have to go off-camera to take care of a technical issue. Of course, if your technical problems persist, there is help. If you are using Periscope, tweet @periscopehelp with the issue (include your Periscope username) and they’ll assist you. Or if you need help with Facebook Live, you can get more information and assistance here.
5. Using Analytics to Increase Your ROI
While the popularity of mobile live streaming is making it one of the most widely used platforms in social media, many users aren’t taking advantage of the powerful analytics available and losing out on sales and followers. I don’t want this to happen to you. After all, you put a great deal of effort into learning to use and develop a live streaming strategy. Now utilize the powerful analytics available to improve.
Below are several platforms that provide you with data to measure your ROI. Depending on the service, you’ll find a myriad of statistics–from engagement rate to demographic information to the best time to stream. Some services are entirely free; others may require a small monthly rate or offer customized services.
Facebook Live Analytics are found on Facebook’s Insights, or you can try Quintly.
Use mobile live streaming to reach remarkable sales! The time to start is now!