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In my new book “Going Live: Livestream your podcast to reach more people” I talk about how to promote a livestream. To schedule livestreams has been a forgotten strategy for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start it up again! This article discusses how to easily do that, but some background first.
In short, my answer had been not to promote livestreams at all until they are live. Then I started sharing promotional images and let people know I will be going live. When I want to promote my Amazon Live channel I might share that link with an image. But there’s actually a better way! I was getting ready to work on a webinar and livestream with Web Insights and decided to once again look into the function to schedule livestreams.
Let’s see how I setup livestreams to different social networks and whether or not it was worth it. The biggest problem I have with the practice to schedule livestreams is that now I have to go live at that time. Stuff happens. Things move around. But it’s also a good reminder to actually go live when we say we will.
How to schedule livestreams – the technical stuff
You can schedule posts natively on some networks, like YouTube, Amazon Live and Facebook. You can’t currently natively schedule livestreams on Twitter or LinkedIn. But I use third-party streaming and production software anyway and those allow me to schedule livestreams on all those channels. You can do that in Switcher Studio and also Restream.
Since I like to stream to LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon at the same time, I found it easiest to set this up in Restream. Here’s how:
Click on events to get started in your dashboard. Not scheduler!
That gives you the option to schedule the livestream or pre-recorded videos. Keep in mind that some networks don’t allow or at least discourage pre-recorded videos. For example, Amazon Live shuts streams down when there’s too much pre-recorded video. LinkedIn and Twitter didn’t have a problem playing 70 minutes of pre-recorded videos before. Don’t make it a habit of it though, would be my tip.
Once you click schedule a livestream, you can add the headline, description and toggle the networks you want to stream to on.
Once it’s saved, you can click over to the different networks to see the “Plans to go live” post.
If you want to multi-stream with Restream and use Switcher Studio as your production platform, that’s also possible. Inside Restream, find the RTMP code for that specific stream and copy and paste it into the “Custom RTMP” area in your Switcher app. This RTMP code is unique to each scheduled livestream and is not the standard one you would use to stream to multiple channels from Restream from your Switcher app. That one never changes. There’s a new one for each scheduled livestream, from what I can tell.
Click into each channel – the edit button – to add a custom image. That image will then show on the thumbnail where the live video will play once you go live.
You can also retroactively (after scheduling the live) update the image by clicking the edit button. For example, I swapped my generic blog image for the specific webinar image.
Is scheduling livestreams worth it?
Honestly, I didn’t think I would say this: But, yes. looking at the early numbers, I would give this a resounding yes.
For example, on LinkedIn, my preview post had 250 views before I even went live.
Keeping that in mind, it’s also important to include other relevant links and information. Not everyone seeing the preview post will watch the livestream and vice versa.
On Twitter, there’s no preview post but the stream goes live when the video starts. On YouTube, it’s showing as upcoming as it does on Facebook. Amazon Live shows streams (you have to set it up in the Amazon Creators app) in the upcoming streams area.
Marketing Expert Neal Schaffer told me on a recording of his podcast that YouTube’s algorithm deprioritizes livestreams. Nonetheless, we agreed it’s still good to livestream to YouTube for people to watch later.
Overall, scheduling livestreams has promotional value and can make production easier. Instead of scheduling other promotional posts, it’s all in one place.