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As you know, online marketing is forever evolving. What worked last year might not bring in the customers this year, which is why it pays to stay on top of trends and know what the next hot online marketing technique might be.
Perhaps the only constants in online marketing are search engine optimization and email marketing. If you think back, these are the two big powerhouses that have been performing well for the last two decades.
Everything else? Changes.
With that in mind, what is the next trend that you can count on and prepare for? How will you be attracting your target audiences in the coming months and converting them into sales and revenue?
From what we can tell, this is one of the hottest up and coming methods that is nearly guaranteed to deliver.
Early adapters jumped into live video streaming last year, with good results. But now it’s going mainstream, and if you’re not aboard, you’re going to be left behind.
Platforms such as Instagram Live Video and Facebook Live give you a very personal way to reach your prospects and customer base.
You don’t get to use video edits with this method – it’s like having your audience right there with you, live in your office or wherever you might be. This makes it interesting for both you and your viewers. You can literally film almost anywhere, and they get to see the real you, mistakes and all.
Broadcasting live events is a great way to generate buzz. Expect to see marketers staging more and more outrageous and interesting live ‘shows’ in which they pitch their ideas, advice and products.
Think of the possibilities. You can stream from anyplace and talk about most anything. You can even do live on the street questions of passersby or attendees at your event.
The opportunities are endless and limited only by your imagination.
Here are the keys: Know your audience and what they will respond do. Test using shorter, less publicized live streaming events until you learn what works for your niche and then publicize your events to the max.
Don’t be afraid to experiment or make mistakes. You are human and your audience loves to see evidence that you are just like them.
Be real and be yourself. But don’t be afraid to be an outrageous and yet vulnerable version of yourself as well.
Get guests on your shows to spice things up and provide great information. You might even consider having a co-host so that you can have the continuous back and forth live banter.
The one thing you absolutely, positively cannot do? Is be boring. This is the mortal sin and will lose you viewers faster than almost anything else.
Have notes at the ready so you always have something interesting to talk about.
Keep your ‘umm’s’ and ‘ahh’s’ to an absolute minimum. Look at the camera and smile. Be upbeat whenever possible. People love enthusiasm.
And remember: when you’re speaking live, 80% of your message is non-verbal. It’s the expressions on your face, the hand gestures and all the unspoken communication that people pick up on.
That’s why being upbeat and enthusiastic is so important.
If you want to go beyond theory and dive into live video creation, here’s 22 additional tips to get you started on the right track:
1: Have Two of Everything
Always have a backup of all – ALL – of your equipment. That includes anything that you’re using, even cords, cables and connectors.
2: Charge it
Keep your devices charged and ready to go and keep a backup battery as well.
3: Don’t Blow the Bank
If you’re doing studio style, all you need is a $75 webcam, and $75 microphone and maybe $150 in lighting. This should be plenty give you high-quality look and sound.
4: Expensive Isn’t Always Better
Check specifications on your equipment to know if it’s the best for live streaming. Just because it’s new or doesn’t cost a lot doesn’t mean it’s optimal.
5: Hard Wire is Best, Wi-Fi is Second Best
If you’re indoors, a hard wire connection to the internet is your best bet. Wi-Fi is second best, and cell service is third. If you’re using cell, try to pick a location with a hot spot from another cellular provider as backup – sometime one service is noticeably better than another.
6: Know Your Speed
Check your internet upload speed before broadcasting. (Use a site like speedtest.net) Disable or pause apps you might be running in the background that could slow down your broadcast.
7. Stay Cool
If you’re working outside and it’s hot, put an umbrella over your computer to keep it cool. And find a place in the shade for yourself – no one wants to see sweat running down your face.
Before you go live, run a test to make sure everything’s working well and you know what you’re doing. Learn all the controls and mechanics for the live stream app you’re using BEFORE you go live.
9: Lighting and Sun
Indoors or outdoors, avoid backlighting your subject. This includes windows behind you when you’re indoors. If you’re filming outside, be aware of where the sun is and what it might be reflecting off of.
10: Background Noise
Minimize background noise as much as possible. If it’s windy, you’ve got to place a foam wind cover on your mic or the wind sounds will be too distracting for listeners.
Do not wear stripes or squares if you’re on camera – it does weird things and can be difficult for viewers to look at, not to mention really distracting.
12: Camera Operator
Talk to your camera operator about what you want in the shot, when to zoom and any pertinent details they need ahead of time. Give your camera operator a monitor – they’ll have a much better idea of what they’re capturing.
13: Get Ready, Rehearse, Relax
Get everything figured out and set up in advance. When filming, there’s too much going on to figure things out then.
If you can, rehearse the entire show ahead of time. This lets you see the mistakes you would have made in both equipment set up and execution. Plus, it gives you confidence and reduces pre-show jitters.
Are you nervous? Take deep, slow breaths in and exhale slowly. Smile.
Advertise your live stream starting two weeks ahead of time. Build it up, remind people and turn it into a must-see event. Write a compelling, enticing, curiosity driven description of what viewers will see and discover.
15: Be Consistent
Regular broadcasts are important for building up a regular following of viewers.
Keep it simple, sweetie. There are fewer opportunities to make mistakes that way, and you look more professional.
Consider using graphics or lower thirds to add context. For example, identifying a speaker on the lower-third graphic (think CNN.)
Do you need to illustrate a point? Make a chart. Find the still shot you need. Practice switching to and from it during a mock live broadcast.
18: Back Up Person
Plan to have one crew member who isn’t specifically assigned to a task. When the unexpected happens (and it will!) the available crew member can handle the problem while the broadcast continues.
19: Do Not Do This
Just like radio, dead silence is bad. A few moments of just background noise – in some cases – is alright, such as the sounds of a game or parade you’re covering.
No ‘umm’s’ and ‘ahh’s.’ Yes, we said that one earlier. But please… too many and you will lose audience members because it drives some people stark raving buggy and annoys others.
Find ways to interact with your audience. For example, before and after the broadcast, chat, on-stream, etc. Read and answer questions on air.
21: Get to the Good Stuff Fast
Don’t go crazy with introductions or setting up what’s going to happen. Just jump in and get started.
22: Relax. Have Fun
Don’t expect to be perfect because you won’t be, and that’s okay.
Have fun. You made a mistake? Good. Have fun with that, too. If you’re having fun, your audience is having fun, and they’ll tune in to see you again.
That last tip is absolutely the most important.
You’ll find everything is so much easier if you simply don’t take this process too seriously.
Plus, you’ll want to do it again and again if you’re enjoying it, and that’s how you’ll grow your audience, authority and profits online.