In the words of marketing expert Neil Patel, “Live streaming is accessible and beneficial to everyone, and it’s time you started using it.” That doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes. This blog will look at 7 common pitfalls that businesses fall into when live streaming events.
Live streaming is more popular with businesses today than ever before. Millions of businesses are using live streaming for marketing, promotion, communications, revenue generation, and more. The video streaming market is predicted to be worth $70.5 billion by 2021. Live streaming is making up the majority of that growth.
To be part of that, you need to do live event streaming the right way. That means learning from mistakes that others have made, so you can stream professionally from the get-go. Want to learn how to create popular live streams and professionally stream live video? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our 7 pitfalls to avoid while live streaming events.
Pitfall #1: Using a social media (non-professional) streaming platform
One of the most important pitfalls—and the most common—is using a social media platform for streaming.
The temptation is understandable. These platforms are free, and you may already have an audience there. However, free platforms should be avoided by businesses and others for live streaming events.
That’s because free platforms have many serious drawbacks for professional users. Here is a short, partial list of issues:
- No white-label service — always links back to social site and not your site
- No monetization features
- Limited or nonexistent security features
- Limited or nonexistent API access
- Rights issues — the social site may gain unlimited rights to all broadcast content
- Tech support is non-existent in case of issues
Instead, look for a professional-grade business video streaming platform. But make sure to avoid pitfall #2…
Pitfall #2: Choosing a live streaming platform that lacks key business features
Once you’ve avoided social streaming platforms, you have a second pitfall to watch out for. While you may be using a professional video streaming platform, does it have all the features you need?
When selecting a platform for live streaming events, we have a set of features we recommend looking for. These are the counterpoint of the above features, and include the following:
- White label
- Monetization via a built-in paywall
- Security tools
- API access to the video platform
- You retain full rights to all content
- 24/7 tech support
- Affordable bandwidth costs
- Top-tier CDN delivery
Pitfall #3: Lack of a larger strategy that live video fits into
Whenever you start using a new technique like live streaming events, you shouldn’t just do it for the hell of it.
You should have a plan.
Live streaming events should fit into a broader business strategy. It should probably include other factors like marketing and sales funnels, product/service development, customer analysis, and targeting, and so on.
Based on intelligence and data, live streaming events can be one technique among others that you use to achieve your goal. If you’re primarily a media-based company (like a sports league or OTT-business), it may be the centerpiece of your operations. But you need to build a strategy around the streaming either way.
Pitfall #4: Not testing your equipment before going live
One of the golden rules of live streaming is to always test your equipment.
Let’s take a look at what happened to Chris. Chris in charge of live streaming a concert at an outdoor venue. He did an end-to-end test the night before the concert at an off-site location. Everything worked great. He was confident in his ability to provide a solid stream the following day.
The next day, the equipment was set up and everything seemed great until he tried to stream. At this point, it became clear that the venue internet upload speed wasn’t sufficient. The video quality was coming out choppy. The live stream went forward, but the quality was poor.
Chris made a mistake by not testing at the actual location of the live stream, a mistake he’ll never make again. We recommend testing not just once or twice but many times. Different tests are important as well. Testing individual equipment is always a good idea. However, the key is running an end-to-end test at the location of your event.
Test your stream on all the devices your users would be using like a computer, iPad, iPhone, and Android device. Make sure you’re monitoring throughout the event.
Pitfall #5: Inadequate promotion before your live event
Audiences don’t just appear out of thin air. They have to be built and cultivated. This requires promotion, community building, and more.
The fifth pitfall is inadequate promotion before your live streaming event.
You need to promote any live event in order for it to be as successful as possible. This can take many different forms. On the simple end, you want to take advantage of your social media platforms, email newsletters, and websites to promote your event well in advance. You can also try traditional methods like getting on the radio, on TV, and in print media. Try to get other influencers in your industry to help you promote your events—maybe you can do some cross-promotion to be mutually beneficial. When it comes to promotion, annual or regular events have an advantage, as each event can be used to help promote the next.
Another option for promotion is to partner with a service like AmpLive. They specialize in driving traffic to live streaming events. They can help brings thousands of new, high-quality audience members to your events.
Pitfall #6: Forgetting about audio quality
With so much focus on capturing perfect video, audio can be overlooked. This can be a costly mistake. As we’ve written before, audio is most important for audiences.
If you’ve watched a live stream, you know the importance of good audio. A live stream that has top-notch video but horrible audio is worthless. Vice versa… not so much (except for sports and certain other scenarios).
We recommend that you invest in high-quality microphones and other quality audio equipment. If applicable, use external microphones instead of your camera’s built-in mic to capture better audio, or get a direct feed from the PA soundboard. The closer the sound is to a microphone the better. Don’t count on your camera mic to pick up everything without thorough testing.
Pitfall #7: Stream live video and forgetting VOD
As soon as your live streaming event is over you should be turning your attention to VOD. At Dacast, we allow automatic recording of live streams for instant availability as VOD. This will provide numerous benefits for yourself, your brand, and your viewers.
Some of these benefits include easy access to your material for potential and current followers. Allowing your videos to be accessed and watched with ease builds your reputation and boosts attendance for future live events. If you’re providing training, sharing music or sports, streaming a drama or news show, or launching a new product, VOD replays allow you to maximize your audience size and impact.
Make sure that whenever you stream live video, you don’t forget about VOD!
Regardless if you are new to live streaming or a seasoned pro, there are certain habits you never want to form. Hopefully, this blog has helped you understand common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Are you interested in a professional live streaming platform that provides 24/7 tech support, cost-competitive bandwidth, delivery via the excellent Akamai CDN, and a range of other professional features? If so, we recommend you check out Dacast. We offer a 30-day free trial so you can test out the service yourself. No credit card required! Click the link below to learn more and try it out.
For exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, you’re also welcome to join our LinkedIn group.
Have further questions, thoughts, or feedback about this article? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Good luck with all your streaming endeavors and don’t forget to avoid these mistakes!