A lot of businesses want to take their live streaming to the next level.
You’ve learned the basics, and maybe you’ve even tried it a few times. But the results were lackluster. You don’t want to do video halfheartedly. If you’re going to invest time and money in this, you want to make sure they get the maximum possible return.
Microsoft, for example, got triple-digit ROI on their investment in video training.
To make live video streaming as effective as possible requires skills and knowledge. This post aims to educate you on these topics by answering these questions:
- What actions can I take to take my live stream to the next level?
- How can I become a master of video hosting content?
- What can I do to increase views?
Video has major value for business
Before we dive into these questions, let’s cover a few more reasons why you might want to set up live streaming video on your website.
Businesses are recognizing the potential of video. Live streams are ideal for live events, breaking news, sports, politics, speeches, and so on. Video on-demand is a great fit for announcements, instruction, and training. As a medium for reaching out to customers and colleagues, live video has great power.
Here are some hocking data points about live video and online video:
- It is 50 times easier to achieve a page 1 Google search ranking with an embedded video on your page.
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media.
- Mobile video viewing has increased more than 1,000% since 2012.
- Shoppers who watch videos are 81% more likely to make a purchase.
- Emails that link to video have a 200-300% higher click-through rate.
- Streaming entertainment has overtaken live TV and continues to grow
How businesses use video
As one example, look at marketing consultant Kim Garst. Kim has used live video as the cornerstone of her own content marketing. She does this first by recording a live stream. This content can then be transcribed and re-purposed as a blog post. The audio can serve as a Podcast. Snippets and images can be excerpted and used for social media posts. And slides of summaries can be posted on sites like SlideShare.
And she’s not alone. Small and large businesses are investing in live video.
We’ve all seen business videos that create a stunning amount of emotion in a short time. Check out the famous Dollar Shave Club video as an example. It’s only 93 seconds long, but it does a damn good job of communicating. And it brought their business from start-up to a net worth of more than $600 million. Not bad!
We’ve covered a bunch more case studies before, too. As you see, video is extremely flexible. It can be long or short. Informal or highly scripted. Professional or behind-the-scenes. Live or on-demand. Interactive or not.
How to take your videos and live streams to the next level
Let’s get into the important meat of this article: how to improve your content to boost performance. Here are some of the important factors you can consider:
Use a professional streaming platform
Free live streams apps are everywhere. However, these platforms have many downsides. There are ads everywhere, content links back the social media host (not your website), SEO is poor or nonexistent, and security controls are limited.
Instead, opt for a professional live video streaming platform. These services will provide white label custom branding, a range of security features, and more.
“Transcoding” refers to the process of creating multiple copies of the same video at different quality levels. This allows each viewer to watch the best possible quality, given their internet speeds. The effect of this is minimal bounce rates, higher completion rates, and happier viewers.
DaCast, like some other online video platforms, has built-in cloud transcoding functionality. This allows you to upload a video, then transcode into multiple different quality levels with just a few clicks.
Record live streams
Another way to maximize your video performance is to record all your live streams. Sometimes, people are so focused on live video they forget about VOD. Recording live streams allows you to continue to accrue views and boost performance of that content. Plus, you can reach everyone who missed your live event as it was happening.
As with video transcoding, cloud live stream recording is available for all DaCast accounts. It can be turned out with just a few clicks and will ensure all your live streams are recorded in the best available quality.
Offer rewind for live streams
We’re all late sometimes. That’s why rewind is such a great functionality to include with your live streams. DaCast includes a 30-minute rewind feature on all live streams. This allows late-comers to catch up, and makes it easy for viewers to re-watch their favorite parts.
Use a low latency video streaming provider
Latency refers to the delay between filming an action and that same thing appears on your viewer’s screen. In live streaming, latencies between 30-60 seconds are common.
However, this can introduce problems—especially when it comes to “second screen” use. 80 percent of sports fans use a “multi-screen” approach while watching sports, looking up stats or chatting with friends while watching. It really sucks to have a game winning shot ruined when Twitter tells you what happened before your live stream updates.
To fix this, look for a low latency live streaming provider. Low latency solutions typically have latency in the 10 second or less range. One example is DaCast’s Direct HLS low latency solution.
Use a fast internet connection
Without a fast internet connection, you’re not able to stream in high quality. We recommend you have at least double the upload bandwidth necessary for all your stream bitrates combined.
These days, you can record decent video with a cell phone. But be sure to test things beforehand. You don’t want a big broadcast ruined by bad audio quality or fuzzy video. Most profession broadcasters will choose a single or multi-camera setup with dedicated professional cameras and a hardware or software encoder.
Don’t forget about audio, either. Audio is a lot more important than you think. Invest in getting high-quality audio. Audio is at least as important as video quality.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It’s the science of how to get ranked higher in web search results.
SEO can be a big factor when it comes to getting views. Optimizing video SEO involves writing good keywords and titles (more on this later). SEO is also improved by hosting on your own site rather than on Facebook or other social media sites.
Even the pros can have problems. Fortunately, avoiding this is simple.
Test, then retest. That should be a mantra for live streamers. The system has a lot of moving parts. Camera, audio, internet, script, people, assistants, graphics, viewers. If any one of these systems fails, the whole stream can fall flat.
The solution is to test thoroughly before going live with a video stream. Make sure to discover, isolate, and correct issues before they become problems.
How to increase viewership
You need people to watch what you’re producing. That’s the goal of the whole operation. By starting with live streaming, you’re putting yourself in a good position. Live streams tend to generate urgency and “buzz.” That makes people more likely to sign up and show up.
Marketing professionals know this. According to Troy Evans at Moz, “We’ve known for some time now that a live broadcast will often produce a significant increase in viewership.”
The 2014 Superbowl achieved 1000% growth in live video streaming over the previous year. It’s another sign that the audience has been ready for live streaming for some time. But video streaming is just the beginning. Most people need additional tools and methods to improve viewership.
Here are some of my favorite methods.
1. Spread information before the broadcast
Before your stream starts, you’ve got to generate some excitement. This means posting on your blog, social media, and other platforms. Send emails. Inform your friends and partners. Spread the word as widely as possible.
You may want to encourage people to pre-register for your stream as a way to capture leads. This many also encourage people to show up. You can send reminders before you go live, or use a live countdown. Most people register for live events 1-2 weeks before the event begins. Choose a hashtag for your stream. This allows both you and viewers to engage in social media conversations on the topic.
2. Write compelling titles and descriptions
Titles and descriptions can make or break your video. They’ll either entice people to keep watching, or drive them away.
When choosing a title, you want to iterate. Come up with 10 or 15 ideas, then choose your 5 favorites. Pull out favorite words or phrases. Then do it again. You may want to do a little testing to determine which people are more likely to click on. Consider using a segment of your email list for these tests.
Remember, only about 50-60 characters of your title will show up in search results. That means, you need to get to the point quickly.
You description is where you can go into a little more detail. This should be detailed and include keywords and phrases related to your stream. Remember, search engines can’t parse videos. People can’t either: they need to watch them. Every video description should include a 200-500 word summary of the content. This lets search engines index what your OTT video is actually about—and drive more viewers to your content.
You may also want to include:
- A call to action (such as signup for our email list)
- A link to your website
- Links to your social media channels
3. Tease content
One of the best ways to get more viewers is to tease your content. It’s why TV shows and movies all do it. Usually, this takes the form of pre-releasing snippets of information. These could be images, memes, GIFs, videos, or text/blog posts.
Look for “Tweetable moments.” This is content that’s valuable, interesting, and bite-sized. Content like that has a higher chance of being shared. Remember to include the time and date of your broadcast in these teasers. You should also include a registration link, or a way to sign up for email reminders.
4. Reward your viewers
One way to get more viewers is to reward those who do come. The goal is to provide something of value to your audience. This can take many forms. For example, one social celebrity in Nepal offered to make a phone call to a few randomly chosen fans who commented on his live stream. This eventually generated more than 1500 comments.
Other ways to reward viewers include holding giveaways and raffles. Or, you can offer coupons and discounts. Rewards can also be social. Being the first to learn important or exciting news can be a reward. So can gaining valuable information. Sharing secrets and tips is a great way to generate buzz and get more viewers. The best way to reward your viewers is with good content. Make sure your content is valuable, actionable, problem-solving, or emotive.
5. Lengthen your broadcast
When it comes to on-demand videos, shortness is key. Live streams are different. Partially, this is because “views” are counted differently for live streams. Typically, a view counts every time someone log onto a live stream. This is because the broadcast could end at any time. Even a fleeting viewer could end up watching a significant portion of the broadcast.
This points toward the value of taking things slow when live streaming events. Of course, you don’t want to bore your audience. But you also don’t want to run through all your valuable content in the first 15 minutes.
The longer you’re live, the more chance people have to join you. Viewers will increase with time. More viewers equals more comments, more engagement, more information, and more conversions.
6. Cross Promote
Use all your channels to promote your live stream. During the lead-up to the stream, share the URL. Include the compelling description you have written. Once the event begins, you can share teasers or excerpts. Be sure to use your hashtag in all this material!
Professional video hosting services
Taking things to an even higher level of quality is possible.
Professional video hosting services, sometimes called OVPs (Online Video Platforms), make it easy to manage and implement a video strategy. These services package various tools together into one comprehensive whole. This includes live streaming, video hosting, analytics, monetization, security and access restrictions, embedding, and more.
Things like live-switching between multiple cameras and microphones can make a broadcast extremely professional. So can having pre-recorded content to splice into your live broadcast. This is possible with playlists and live switching.
These are just a few ideas. There are countless other ways to become more professional as a live streamer. But before any of these tricks will be valuable, you need to build an audience.
The bottom line is simple. To increase your viewership by 800%, you have to do a lot of things right. You need to promote, create good content, use SEO to your advantage, and more. Importantly, you also need to use the professional tools a good online video platform can provide.
For our money, DaCast is the best all-around option for video hosting and live streaming on the market today. We help a wide range of businesses get started with live streaming.
For more details, you can check out our live streaming pricing plans and customization options. Are you ready to try our streaming solutions for yourself? Just click the button below to sign up for a 30-day free trial (no credit card required). We’ll have you up and streaming in no time!
Thanks for reading, broadcasters, and good luck with your live streaming video. And if you want regular tips on live streaming, you’re invited to join our LinkedIn group.