5 Tips to Maximize Engagement during Live Streams

By Posted Aug 21, 2019 in Social Media Marketing

live stream

The year 2018 saw a huge rise in live streaming through YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter etc. And this trend is expected to grow even more and it’s becoming a part of most of the brands’ marketing strategies. Which is a great idea because live streaming connects the brands and their followers on a much deeper level and that builds loyalty.

But one thing that every live streamer encounters is how to get people to engage with the video or how to keep them from moving on to something else. It can prove to be really challenging but there are few tips that can help you out in this regards:

1- Don’t Live Stream Without A Good Reason:

Before you start broadcasting, you need to think very carefully about whether or not there is a good reason for it or are you just trying to follow a trend. It’s very tempting to use live streaming for everything because it means that you don’t need to edit your videos and while there is still a lot of effort involved with live streaming, it’s usually less than what’s needed carefully crafted and edited videos.

But, keep in mind that even though it’s relatively easier to create a live broadcast, it’s very hard to make it successful. It needs to have some kind of a live element that adds value to your video. For example, live video broadcast will make better sense if you are holding an event that requires audience interaction like Q&A sessions, live interview, games and contests, polls etc. Or something that builds up the anticipation of viewers and they stay to watch the climax like sports, breaking news, awards etc.

If your video doesn’t build anticipation or is not interactive, you should avoid live broadcast and create a regular video to convey your message.

2- Avoid Pauses and awkward silence:

This is a tough thing to do, especially when you are just getting into live streaming. But nonetheless, it’s crucial for the success of your video. That’s exactly why it’s very important that you have a good reason to live stream because otherwise, things would get pretty dicey.

Generally, a live video tends to be around 15 to 20 minutes long and that’s (on average) longer than a viewer focuses on a regular video. If you don’t keep their attention glued to your broadcast, there are plenty of other content that they can choose from. So, to keep them from wandering off, you need to take care of a few things:

  • You should have an agenda for your live stream before you so that you don’t spend seconds or minutes thinking about what to say next or which topic to address etc. This will also make sure that you don’t miss anything important during your live stream.
  • If you are holding a Q&A session, make sure that you have acquired a list of questions from your followers beforehand through social media channels, so that there are no awkward pauses waiting for your audiences to ask a question.
  • Adapt to your current situation and see how people are responding to a topic and change things accordingly if necessary.

3- Imperfection is Okay:

When you are going live, you need to understand that you will make mistakes. There will also be times when you are not looking as good as you want but that’s part of the charm of live videos. People want that touch of imperfection because it connects them with you more personally.

Being camera shy is a genuine thing but it’s not hard to overcome it if you just try to act natural and be yourself. If you are broadcasting by yourself, try talking to a mirror first because it will build up your confidence. If there are other people as well, talk to them as you normally would and encourage them to do the same. Your audiences are made up of people just like you. There is nothing to be afraid of.

But, if you are really concerned that you will say something or do something that might be taken the wrong way or tarnish your reputation, it’s best that you don’t go live.

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4- Plan for Failures:

Before, we talked about overcoming shyness, unexpected reactions, and awkwardness etc. All of that can be overcome because it’s part of the live streaming fun. But what can’t be overcome is that your live stream breaks.
That can happen if your internet connection becomes weak, your camera dies, or any other hardware issue arises. What you can do is that you should have a backup for everything. For example, you should have a spare camera and software encoder (pre-configured) so that if one of them dies mid-broadcast, the show can go on. Same goes for your internet connection. Test everything before the broadcast and don’t be lazy.

5- Create A Buzz Before the Broadcast:

You can host a live event that’s phenomenal and just wonderful but if no followers are there to see it, it will be useless. So, a good idea would be to build excitement aka ‘buzz’ for your event over all your social media channels. Publish a series of posts in the weeks and days leading up to your live broadcast to let your followers know that they will miss out if they don’t watch it. Promote your event by giving them teasers to build anticipation so that they would want to absolutely watch your live stream.

Also, a day or a few hours before your broadcast goes live, post a reminder so that your followers don’t forget about your event. Then, make sure that you deliver on the anticipation and excitement that you built in their heads.

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