In today’s video-dominant world, live streaming software has proven to be particularly valuable for businesses. No matter what the desired end result may be, one common goal for businesses who live stream is to get in front of their target audience.
Starting your first live stream and instantly getting thousands of viewers would be nice, but that’s simply not realistic. Increasing the number of live viewers on your stream requires a bit of strategy and action.
In this post, we’re going to teach you how to get people to watch your live streams on your website and social media platforms. We will also talk about why you would want to stream live video in the first place and the value of increasing stream viewership. We will also cover some simple tips on how to take your streams to the next level in terms of live streaming quality and professionalism.
Table of Contents
- Why Businesses Use Live Streaming
- The Value of Increasing Live Viewers on Streams
- How to Get More Live Stream Viewers
- How to Take Your Streams to the Next Level
- Increasing Views on YouTube and Facebook Live
Why Businesses Use Live Streaming
There are several reasons why a business might want to start live streaming video. Many businesses use both live and on-demand video content for reaching out to customers and colleagues.
Live streams are ideal for live events, breaking news, sports, politics, speeches, and so on. Many businesses are hosting digital conferences, webinars, and similar events with live streaming. Product releases, Q&As, and other virtual events that are designed to get the community involved are valuable, as well.
Here’s a quick look at streaming statistics surrounding the use of online video for business:
- It is 50x easier to achieve a first page Google search ranking with an embedded video on your page
- Visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social media
- Mobile video viewing has increased by 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
Kim uses live video as the cornerstone of her own content marketing. She does this by first recording a live stream. This content can then be transcribed and re-purposed as a blog post, and the audio is saved to be used as a Podcast. Snippets and images can be pulled from the stream to be used for social media posts. Lastly, slides of summaries can be posted on sites like SlideShare.
This entrepreneur is not alone. Small and large businesses alike are using live video content in similar ways.
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 communicates quite effectively. Even better, that video helped to grow their business from start-up to a net worth of more than $600 million.
Review some of our case studies to learn how other businesses have found success by incorporating video content into their business operations. As you can see from those use-cases, video is extremely flexible. It can be long or short, informal or highly scripted, live or on-demand. The key is to use it in a way that makes sense for both your brand and your audience.
The Value of Increasing Live Viewers on Streams
As we’ve established, live streaming can be very valuable to businesses and professional organizations, but why should somebody care how many viewers they have?
High viewership is more valuable to some broadcasters than others. For example, if your goal is to monetize a stream, more is better. The same would apply if you’re trying to build brand awareness.
If your goal is to generate leads or collect email addresses for your mailing list, you’re going to want to take a look at quality over quantity. Depending on what you’re selling, thousands of viewers may or may not be necessary. For example, if you have a service-based business, all you need is a few highly qualified leads. For a product, either physical or digital, more leads may be valuable.
However, if your live stream is meant for internal use, amassing a ton of viewers probably isn’t necessary as you really only need your team or employees to tune in. This could be a training session, a meeting, or something of that sort.
More viewers are not bad, but you should identify your business’s goals before fixating on reaching any specific number of viewers.
Want to try live streaming on a professional platform, but you’re not ready for the commitment? Try Dacast risk-free for 30 days.
How to Get More Live Stream Viewers
By incorporating live streaming, you’re putting yourself in a good position for a decent number of viewers and engagement. Live streams tend to generate urgency and “buzz.” That makes people more likely to sign up and show up.
Marketing professionals confirm that this is true. 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.”
Starting in 2014, for example, the Superbowl achieved 1000% growth in live video streaming over the previous year. That was but one sign that audiences have been ready for live streaming for some time.
However, clicking “Start Stream” is just the beginning. Most businesses need additional tools and methods to improve viewership.
Here are a few tips that you should apply to your live streaming video content strategy in order to get more live stream viewers.
1. Promote the Broadcast
Before your live streams start, you’ve got to generate some excitement. Spread the word to your audience so they know that they can expect an amazing live stream from you.
This means posting on your blog, social media, and other platforms. Email sequences are a great tool here. You may even want to run paid ads to reach beyond your email list or social media following.
Encourage people to pre-register for your stream as a way to capture leads and get a virtual “headcount.” This strategy will likely encourage people to show up rather than just thinking of showing up. You can send reminders before you go live or use a live countdown.
Choose a hashtag for your stream so you can keep track of any posts about your event. This allows both you and viewers to engage in social media conversations on the topic.
2. Use Compelling Titles and Descriptions
Titles and descriptions can make or break your video. They’ll either entice people to click “Play” or drive them away.
When choosing a title, you want to iterate exactly what viewers can expect. Come up with 10 to 15 ideas, and then choose your 5 favorites. Choose favorite words or phrases. Then rinse and repeat until you’ve fine-tuned your ideas and have the perfect name.
You may want to do a little testing to determine which phrasing generates more viewer clicks. Consider using a segment of your email list for these tests. Remember, only about 50 to 60 characters of your title will show up in search results. That means you need to get to the point quickly.
Your 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 “Sign Up 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. Think about the teasers for TV shows and movies. Usually, this takes the form of pre-releasing snippets of information from the video. These could be images, GIFs, short clips, Tweets, or even blog posts.
Look for “Tweetable” content opportunities. This is content that’s valuable, interesting, and bite-sized. Content like that has a higher chance of inspiring shares. 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
Incentivize your live stream by providing a reward for viewers. The goal of this strategy 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. Ultimately, this incentive generated more than 1500 comments.
Other ways to reward viewers include holding giveaways and raffles. Alternatively, you can offer coupons and discounts. Rewards can also be social in nature. Being the first to learn important or exciting news can be a reward in itself. In short, sharing secrets and tips is a great way to generate buzz and get more viewers.
Overall, of course, the best way to reward your viewers is with good content. So, 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. With live streams, on the other hand, this is not necessarily the case. Partially, this is because “views” are counted differently for live streams.
Typically, a view counts every time someone logs on to a live stream, given that 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 doing a live stream for events. Of course, you don’t want to bore your audience. At the same time, you don’t want to run through all your valuable content in the first 15 minutes.
Generally speaking, the longer you’re streaming live, the more chances people have to join you. Viewers will increase with time. More viewers typically equate to more comments, more engagement, more information, and more conversions.
Simply put, you want to use all of your channels to promote your live streams. During the lead-up to the stream, share the URL to the stream on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platforms that you have with an existing following.
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 of these materials.
7. Video SEO
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Simply put, it describes the process of getting higher rankings in web search results.
As you might expect, video SEO can be a big factor when it comes to getting views. In fact, companies using video are likely to have 41% more web traffic from search than non-users. Optimizing video SEO involves writing good keywords and titles (more on this later). You can also improve SEO by hosting content on your own site, rather than on Facebook or other social media sites.
Dacast, for example, allows broadcasters to stream live video right on your website.
How to Take Your Streams to the Next Level
As we mentioned, having a ton of viewers will likely equate to more engagement and conversions. However, if the quality of your content is lacking, the quantity of viewers becomes less important.
As you work to increase your viewers on your live stream, you should also be taking the appropriate steps to enhance your videos and make them even more easily accessible.
Here are a few tips to help you take your live streams to the next level.
Use a Professional Live Streaming Platform
Free live streaming apps are everywhere, but these platforms have many downsides. There are ads everywhere, content links back to the social media host (not your website), SEO is poor or nonexistent, and security controls are limited.
Instead, we suggest opting for a professional live streaming platform, like Dacast. Unlike free services, pro online video platforms will provide white-label custom branding, a range of security features, and more.
Try Dacast risk-free for 30 days.
Transcode your stream to create multiple renditions of the same video at different quality levels. This is called multi-bitrate streaming, and it allows each viewer to watch the best possible quality, given their internet speeds. Paired with an adaptive bitrate video player, viewers are served the best quality stream that their internet connection can handle.
The effect of this is minimal bounce rates, higher completion rates, and happier viewers.
Dacast and other OVPs, have built-in cloud transcoding functionality. This feature allows you first to upload a video. Then, you can transcode it 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 so that you can repurpose the content or viewers can catch a replay at a more convenient time. Sometimes, broadcasters are so focused on the live video they forget about VOD.
By recording your live streams, you can continue to accrue views and boost the performance of that content. Plus, you can reach viewers who missed your live event as it was happening.
As with video transcoding, cloud live stream recording is available for all Dacast accounts. With just a few clicks, you can activate this setting to ensure all your live streams record in the best available quality.
Enable Rewind for Live Streams
We’re all late sometimes. That’s why rewind is such a great functionality to include with your live streams.
For example, Dacast includes a 30-minute rewind feature on all live streams. This allows late arrivals 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 action and when that content appears on your viewer’s screen. In live streaming, latency between 30 and 60 seconds is common. However, this degree of latency can introduce problems. This is especially true when it comes to “second screen” use.
In fact, 80 percent of sports fans use a “multi-screen” approach while watching sports. In other words, they are looking up stats or chatting with friends while watching the live game. Of course, it ruins the live viewing experience when Twitter updates you about a game-winning shot before your live stream updates.
To fix this issue, look for a low latency live streaming provider. Low latency solutions typically have latency in the 10 second or less range. For example, Dacast now offers a Direct HLS low latency streaming solution.
Invest in Reliable Equipment
These days, you can record a decent video with a cell phone, but even though you can, that doesn’t mean you should. Professional-grade equipment is more reliable and consistent.
You wouldn’t want an important broadcast ruined by bad audio quality or fuzzy video. For that reason, most professional broadcasters choose a single or multi-camera live streaming setup, in concert with dedicated professional cameras and a hardware or software encoder.
Don’t forget about audio, either. In fact, audio is a lot more important than you may think when it comes to live streams. In fact, Dacast has found that audio is as important as video quality. Therefore, investing in high-quality audio is a must.
Use a Fast Internet Connection
Without a fast internet connection, you can’t stream live content in high quality. We recommend using at least double the upload bandwidth necessary for all your stream bitrates combined.
When it comes to live streams, even the pros can have problems. Fortunately, avoiding most of these is simple: test, then retest.
That should be a mantra for live streamers. The system has a lot of moving parts, including your camera, audio, internet, encoder script, and graphics. If anyone 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.
Increasing Views on YouTube and Facebook Live
Although we recommend using a professional video hosting platform over a free platform like Facebook, Twitch, or Youtube, some may start off with these free platforms as they are learning the ropes.
We wanted to give you a quick rundown on how to get more views on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch in case this is the direction you’d like to go.
The tips we’ve provided for how to increase stream viewership in general, but you’ll want to get a better understanding of the specific platform that you’ll be using.
How to Get More Views on YouTube Live Streams and Twitch
Twitch and YouTube both use a social structure that allows you to follow or subscribe to a channel. Since this is the case, your content will automatically popup on your followers’ timelines any time that you stream.
This social media structure alone is very convenient and beneficial because it also means that there are built-in tools for commenting and engaging. The algorithms love engagement, so this will bring your post to viewers with similar interests to the ones who are interacting with your content.
SEO is something that we mentioned as a general approach, but you’ll want to dive into the specifics of SEO for Twitch and SEO for YouTube. This will help link your streams to the suggestions on other similar videos and bring viewers over to your channel.
Explore options for running ads for your YouTube or Twitch stream. YouTube allows you to promote your channel with Google Ads. You could also run paid ads that link to your stream on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
How to Get More Viewers on Facebook Live
Streaming on Facebook Live is another outlet to consider. Like Twitch and Youtube, Facebook is a social platform. However, Facebook is not specifically for videos like the other two are, so it comes with lots of limitations and live streaming tools that are less than perfect.
However, one benefit of streaming with Facebook is that it’s easy for your existing followers, fans, and friends to watch your streams and share your content with their friends which extends your reach.
Users can host a live stream on their personal pages, business pages, or groups. Building a loyal community is the best way to increase stream viewership. Nurture your audience by interacting with them regularly.
Boost your engagement to increase exposure by hosting Q&As and other interactive virtual events that will encourage participation from the audience. Another way to continue to increase engagement is to reply to comments on the live feed. If you don’t address them during the video, come back after the stream has ended and leave answers. This will also bump your posts up on your friends’ and followers’ timelines.
Additionally, you can also reach people beyond your following or friends list by running paid ads through Facebook or by sharing your live stream in other popular groups.
To increase live stream viewership, you need to promote ahead of time, create valuable content, use SEO to your advantage, and keep your stream’s quality high. Importantly, you also need to use the professional tools provided by a good online video platform.
With a little bit of strategy and implementation, we’re sure you’ll get more live viewers and hit your streaming goals in due time.
If you’re looking for a professional video platform to host your streams and optimize your viewership, we recommend giving Dacast a try.
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!
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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.