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These livestreaming tips and tricks are produced in partnership with Restream, which allows you to livestream to 30 channels. I appreciate their support. As always, these are my opinions.
Livestreaming to multiple channels has evolved so much. I remember a few years ago when multi-channel livestreaming meant I would put up 4 phones or devices. One for each network – Facebook, Twitter, etc. Those days are long gone and we can now easily livestream to up to 30 channels at once through Restream. Personally, I stream to up to 10 channels and my favorite ones are in order of performance:
Of course, even though the production has gotten easier, you still need to plan the livestream well and I’ve learned my share of livestreaming tips and tricks over the years. And as Jason Falls reminded us previously: Many things can happen:
- Your internet connection might drop
- Remember good lighting
- A decent microphone
- And finally, plan your livestream appropriately.
I share livestreaming tips and tricks here and cover some related topics in this article, including:
- Guests or no guests
- Keyword research
- Headlines and descriptions
- Being audience centric
Livestreaming tips and tricks: Planning
When it comes to planning a livestream I follow this model:
- What can I talk about that my audience might care about?
- What’s my unique differentiator
- What do I have to say?
Then I follow this format loosely:
- Welcome and introduction to today’s topic
- Key topics to discuss
- Quick summary/wrap
Livestreaming tips and tricks: Guests or no guests?
I have guests on some episodes and some episodes it’s just me talking. I try to find the right mix and when I look at the metrics, that seems to be the right answer. Three of my top 5 episodes are just me talking. The other two are with guests.
I record on my own when it’s a topic I personally experienced. Sometimes that means when a new feature in a software tools is rolled out and I have used it already or have an opinion.
Inviting guests can help flush out topics that they have unique viewpoints on. Also keep in mind that lives with guests are way more conversational. After all, you are having a conversation with somebody. Guests also often promote their livestream.
You can easily invite guests (up to 10) in Restream, by clicking on the people icon. Then send them the link to join.
Livestreaming tips and tricks: Keyword research
These give me an idea what words to use and what topics might be relevant to my audience. Some emerging topics might also be worth covering even if there’s little search volume yet.
Livestreaming tips and tricks: Writing a good headline
Writing a good headline for a livestream is crucial to get an audience’s attention. If the headline doesn’t get somebody’s attention in the first few seconds the person might move on to do something else.
In Restream, you can add your headline and description in the dashboard and then update up to 30 networks at once. There’s a limit, but I would recommend to not hit the limit.
Once you’ve written your headline and I would recommend writing everything directly in the system, “Update all” and use the same content for all networks as a base.
You can still go to specific networks, click edit and update content after filing the base.
Tips on writing a good headline
It comes down to clarity and to a degree brevity. Make sure the headline that reflects what the content of the post is about. Accuracy is also important.
When writing a headline think about …
What are the main points of the livestream? You might summarize them in the headline. Try to use keywords in a sentence in the headline.
Ask yourself: What is the most important item I want people to know? I see headlines like this: “Today’s Links” or “Today’s Advertising News” or something else vague like that. Is that really the most relevant headline? I would pick something more relevant out of the content and highlight one thing or summarize the overall theme (if there’s one). For some established brands, vague headlines can work, however. Remember to test, test, test.
In the past I’ve also used the headline as almost the first sentence of the article. The headline kicks it off and then the article flows from there.
Also remember what the message is that you are trying to get across. For example, if I send an email to my family with vacation photos I may be able to title it: “Christoph’s Vacation Photos” and they might look at it. But would that be the best headline for a blog that covers communication-related things? Probably not. This one might be better: “Lessons learned while shooting vacation pictures with my iPhone.” Granted that’s a very different post from just uploading my vacation pictures.
How long should livestream and podcast headlines be?
Under or around 10 words is my recommendation. Ten words is still way longer than headlines in a newspapers. Some examples from recent episodes:
- What actually goes into planning a livestream? Presented by Restream
- Radio replay: How to present yourself better on Zoom calls
- Getting content ideas through Google Question Hub
- How women can embrace the entrepreneurial spirit – a chat with Charlene Walters
- Use these marketing tips to make 2021 better – from experts
They are all around 10 words, which is plenty of space to get the point across.
Technology should really resolve the content creation problem of lengthy headlines
Technology limitations are another reason why why headlines need to pack a good punch early. Many networks cut headlines off.
Even on podcast channels:
The solution is easy in theory: File your headlines in Restream so you don’t go over and keep in mind to keep it to the point and shorter or around 10 words.
Setup and conversation
I’m a fan of split screen with my guest. That’s easy to do in the Restream Live Studio as you can see in this section of the broadcast.
From there you can have a conversation with your guest. I treat my livestreams like a conversation with a friend whom I can learn something from.
Consider their style before the show. Some guests like to have prep meetings ahead of the show. Others don’t care.
Many appreciate starter questions ahead of time. I often write questions after my topic development and keyword research and then share some question ideas with my guest.
I’m a big fan of throwing my content a parade. Usually it looks like this:
- Livestream happens
- Podcast version (audio only) gets distributed
- Article gets written
- Everything gets distributed via email, social, etc.
Restream makes this simple as well. Go into the Video Storage section (the cloud in the left bar) and find the media asset you want to download for further repurposing.
You can download the full video file or just extract the audio file. That’s particularly helpful for me as I need the audio to upload to Anchor where I also edit my podcast version.
Put your audience first
No matter what your topic is on your livestream, always keep your audience top of mind. Is this content relevant and interesting to them?
- We can’t sell products or services
- We can’t sell ads
- We can’t drive conversions
- We can’t spread our stories
- We aren’t known
My “Get Customer-Focused” book addresses the strategy of only doing what is best for the customer. This blog has seen about 1.7 million visitors while my podcast and livestreams have been watched and downloaded around 110,000 times.
The bigger the audience numbers the more I:
- Feel obligated to keep going
- Feel the need to keep optimizing my content
- Feel the need to keep writing about the things people want to read
- Keep optimizing my calls to action
- Can monetize my audience
Ultimately, there are way too many options for audiences to stick with any content creator if they do annoying things or their content is not relevant. That’s why your livestream must be engaging and educational. Personality of the host is also important. If the host isn’t likeable it can be harder for people to watch and listen.
Put some personality into the show. Be human and real.
To create a good livestream:
- Understand and define your audience (aka personas)
- Know what you have to say that might be of interest to them (aka unique value proposition)
- Don’t fail in implementation
Once you have an audience, keep offering value!
The way to stay successful with your livestream is by offering value. That includes following the steps I shared in the video, this article and the podcast. I’m on the livestreaming bandwagon because it shows brand representative’s authenticity. It’s very hard to be fake on a 40-minute livestream in my opinion.
But roll with the humanness, create good content that has a chance to succeed and have a fun and informational livestream.