The 8 Best Tactics to Promote Your Live Streams With Video
Over the last year, live streaming has seen major growth due to travel restrictions preventing many other forms of live events. This has created a huge new audience of people who are now accustomed to tuning into streams for events, entertainment, and education. As a result, there is more competition for streamers, making stream promotion a vital skill.
Learning how to get more viewers can be one of the most challenging aspects of live streaming, but there are tried and tested ways to bring in a bigger audience. Promoting a live stream effectively involves engaging your audience and creating promotional content both before and after the stream itself, and when you post is just as important as what you post.
In this post, we will go over the tried and tested tactics on how to promote your live streams.
Table of Contents
- Time Your Announcement
- Create a Mailing List
- Surveys and Polls
- Share Highlight Clips
- Keep Them Waiting
- Promote During the Stream
- Follow Up
This process starts with your initial announcement of the upcoming live stream.
1. Time Your Announcement
Timing is a very important part of how to get more viewers. If you start promoting an event too early, your audience may have forgotten about or lost interest in your upcoming live stream. They can also become fatigued by promotions for the stream if the promotion period goes on for too long. On the other hand, if you don’t start promoting your live stream early enough, there is a risk that not enough people will see your promotions in time to join in.
The right time to start promoting a live stream depends on your approach to streaming.
If you are running a one-off or annual virtual event, then it can be a good idea to start promoting several weeks beforehand to ensure everyone has enough time to book and your tickets sell out.
If you live stream more regularly, such as weekly or monthly, promoting each stream this far in advance could wear out your audience. Although a longer promotion push can help establish an audience when you start streaming, after that, you may only need to post about upcoming streams a day or two beforehand.
2. Create a Mailing List
Creating a mailing list with a reputable email marketing service for your live streams gives you a dedicated channel to stay in touch with your viewers or people who are interested in an upcoming streaming event. As a result, you can send them more information about the stream to maintain their interest without flooding your other communication channels with streaming promotions.
Both email and SMS event marketing can be useful for keeping in touch with your audience due to their different strengths. Email enables you to send detailed messages, images, and video with few restrictions, while the text is more useful for shorter, faster communication. Email marketing for events and entertainment has an average open rate of 20%, while 97% of texts are opened within 15 minutes of sending.
Interactivity is one of the biggest draws of live streaming, and creating a mailing list for your online event helps to keep that interactivity going between streams, such as by responding to frequently asked questions or polling your audience about what they want from future content. It also lets you send out alerts and reminder notifications when you are about to go live, helping to ensure your audience is ready and waiting when you start streaming.
Email Stream Promotion Ideas
- Share your full schedule of upcoming streams
- Always include a call-to-action button that lets your audience book a ticket or set a reminder
- Respond to your subscriber’s most asked questions each month
SMS Stream Promotion Ideas
- Text your subscribers with an alert when you are about to stream
- Send multiple-choice questions that subscribers can quickly respond to with a keyword
3. Surveys and Polls
Surveys and polls are a great way to interact with your audience both during and between your streams. Besides gathering feedback and inspiration for future events, these have numerous uses to engage your audience and draw more attention to your stream. For example, running public polls about topics related to your content on social media can spark a discussion that you can follow up on in a later stream, giving another reason to watch and get your responses or thoughts on the issue.
You can also use live polling to put questions to your audience in real-time. For example, if you are teaching an online class, live polling can enable your audience to take a quiz as a team effort or select the next topic for discussion.
4. Share Highlight Clips
One of the best ways to convince people to watch your streams is to show them what they could be missing out on. Grabbing highlight clips and sound bites from past streams can provide a growing resource of content you can use to promote your streams. Look for parts of your stream that last for a couple of minutes or less in which you address or sum up your viewpoint on an important, attention-grabbing issue.
The online videos with the highest average engagement are less than 2 minutes long at around 70% audience engagement. Just a few minutes longer and the average audience engagement rate drops below 50%. If you are using a video-sharing site like YouTube to post your stream clips, your average engagement rate can have a big impact on how visible your channel is on content-sharing platforms.
Here are some quick tips to ensure your highlight clips help grow your audience:
- Give each clip an attention-grabbing title and description
- Add an intro and outro to the clip itself
- Introduce your channel and schedule
This ensures that people get your stream info when your clips get shared on social media or messaging apps even if they don’t read the description.
5. Keep Them Waiting
This sounds counterintuitive, but it can be a good idea to let your audience wait for 5 or 10 minutes on a pre-stream screen or video after the scheduled stream starts. There are a few benefits to doing this:
- Latecomers won’t miss the start of the show
- It gives you a chance to send out some last-minute alerts and reminders
- Your pre-stream card can share extra details like your social media profiles, streaming schedule, or links to your website
- Your audience can chat and create a pre-stream buzz
- It gives you the last chance to discover and resolve any technical issues without any disruption to the show
Someone who already watches content and streams by other relevant figures in your industry or sphere of interest will be easier to convert to your own audience. As a result, collaborating with other people who attract a similar demographic can be an effective way to boost your own viewership.
This could involve working with someone who has a different but related subject matter to present a complete picture on a topic that touches on both of your areas of expertise. Alternatively, it could mean reaching out to discuss ideas or host a guest speaker. For example, Dacast provides a range of features to enable religious stream audiences to benefit from sermons and discussions with religious leaders worldwide.
Collaborations are a lot more successful when you have genuine chemistry with your guest or another streamer you are collaborating with, so get to know someone and see that they are a good fit for your audience before inviting them or asking to be part of their stream. Before a collaborative stream starts, it can be a good idea to chat with your guest for 10 or 20 minutes before beginning the stream. This can enable a smoother start after your stream intro, as you can get back into or quickly recap the chat you were having before going live.
7. Promote During the Stream
Promoting your stream shouldn’t stop once it starts. Aim to bookend each stream with your streaming schedule and upcoming content plans, as well as giving out this information at least once in the middle of it. This helps ensure that your audience knows what you are up to and when to catch the next stream even if they miss the start or end of your current one.
Besides keeping your audience updated on your schedule, don’t forget to ask your viewers to share your stream and clips, and remind them that they can subscribe to your mailing list for updates and notifications. If you are new to streaming or online content creation, this bit might feel a little uncomfortable.
However, asking your audience to share your content works. Numerous Youtube channels have confirmed that asking their viewers to like and subscribe to their videos results in a significant improvement to their engagement metrics, and the same applies to streaming. Keeping these requests to once an hour or less will help avoid becoming repetitive.
8. Follow Up
A successful stream will result in a bunch of new subscribers, so don’t miss the opportunity to engage them immediately by following up after it. This is a great time to share links to other content related to your latest stream, let your audience know where they can find out more, and prompt viewers for questions and feedback.
For example, if you are using Dacast to run an educational stream:
- Your follow up message could recap the most challenging parts of the lesson,
- Give a test or quiz for viewers to complete,
- Ask viewers if they need further explanation of a topic.
Don’t only follow up with the people on your mailing list, however. Use retargeting ads to reach out to everyone who visited your stream. Like a follow-up email or text, these should be specific to your most recent stream so that they are focused on the same subject matter that brought people into that stream in the first place.
Focus on Interactivity when Promoting Your Live streams
The ability to interact more directly with your audience is the greatest strength of live streaming over simply uploading pre-recorded video.
Try to capitalize on the benefits of that interactivity in your promotion of the stream as well as the streams themselves, by continuing to engage your audience before and after you go online, and enable your viewers to feel like they are participating in the event rather than just watching it.
Whether you are starting or growing your live streaming channel, you can try out the full range of Dacast features to help live stream promotion and real-time interaction for free for 14 days.
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