Live Streaming is really alive! It is going to explode on a global scale this year. It is expected to account for 82% of Internet traffic by 2022. The lockdowns and social distancing measures of the year 2020 have curbed traditional physical events into virtual live events. Thus, with a diverse entertainment ecosystem, live streams have seen impressive growth. Year over year, it has recorded a 99% growth of hours watched. Live Streams last year have been watched for around 1.6 billion hours. The daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has also grown 4x. While 82% of online users prefer a live video to other social media posts. With such great statistics, it may be the right time to harness the power of live streaming. If you are a beginner, here are some smart tips.
What Is Live Streaming?
Live streaming is a technology that allows people to create, share, and watch a video broadcast in real time. It is a bit like a live TV show, yet people need an Internet connection and an Internet-enabled device to create, share, or watch a live stream. Unlike prerecorded videos, live streams cannot be censored, curated, cut, or edited. Some live streaming events are private. Some examples are video conferences on Skype or Zoom. Such real-time video conferencing only allows people who are invited to join the live streaming. To make sure of its privacy, passwords protect the video conference. On the other hand, most live streams are public. This means that hundreds, thousands, or millions of users can watch it. Viewers can comment and interact during the live stream. They can also share emojis and gifts with the host.
Reality TV Shows and YouTube are the inspirations behind live streaming according to a video marketing agency Hong Kong. Here, people can show the world anything they are doing at the exact moment they are doing it. Live streaming gives people a chance to be virtual creators and presenters by connecting to audiences. Live streaming lets people directly connect to their colleagues, family, favorite celebrities, friends, etc. Many live streamers love the sense of being and self-expression that live streaming gives them. Sharing something and getting positive feedback in return can boost their confidence and self-esteem. At the same time, live streamers can also earn revenues through bonuses, brand partnerships, tips, and virtual coin gifts.
How to Get Started with Live Streaming?
Establish Your Live Streaming Goals
A lot of live streamers commit the same mistake of not setting a goal or goals for their live streaming content. Before doing a live broadcast, it is important to establish your live streaming goals. A social media agency Hong Kong has noted the following as the most common goals of live streaming among social media platforms.
- Brand awareness
- Brand engagement
- Build a community
- Drive website traffic
- Generate leads
- Revenue growth
Pick Your Type of Live Streaming Content
The second step you need to do before doing a live stream is to pick the type of content you’ll want to do. Among some popular live streaming content are the following:
- BTS (behind the scene)
- Contests and giveaways
- Educational videos
- Gaming streams
- Q&A (question & answer)
- Product launch
- Product promotion
Pick Your Live Streaming Platform and Software
The third step is choosing the right live stream platform and software you will be using for a live broadcast. A live stream platform is a video hosting app that allows users to do a live broadcast. It is a critical broadcast tool because each platform has a particular type of audience. So, what is important is for a live streamer to use a live streaming platform that matches his audience type. For example, travel vloggers may want to use Facebook or Instagram Live. Gamers mostly do their live streaming on Mixer, Twitch, or YouTube.
Another big step is choosing the right live streaming software. The live streaming software is an encoding program that converts live streaming into digital format. They also help customize your live broadcast by allowing you to add graphics and use multiple audio and camera sources. There are multiple live broadcasting software in the market right now. Among the most popular and robust software are OBS, vMix, and Wirecast.
Set Up Your Live Streaming Equipment
After choosing a platform and software for live streaming, the next step is to set up your live streaming equipment. There are four essential pieces of equipment you will need to power up your live broadcast. These are the following:
- An audio mixer that allows using multiple audio sources and microphones during a live stream.
- A desktop or a laptop to access your live streaming platform and software during the broadcast.
- A microphone to ensure audio quality on your live stream. This is very important for viewers to understand what you are saying.
- Multiple cameras to capture your live stream. They may either be a desktop camera, digital camera, laptop camera, or USB webcams.
A live streamer will also need Internet access with enough bandwidth to power the live stream.
- The minimum bandwidth required for regular live streaming is 0.5 Megabits per second (Mbps).
- The minimum bandwidth required for a standard definition live streaming is 3.0 Mbps.
- The minimum bandwidth required for high-definition live streaming is 5.0 Mbps.
- The minimum bandwidth required for an ultra-HD or 4k live streaming is 25 Mbps.
Test Everything Before Going on a Live Broadcast
Before live streaming, the last step you’ll need to do is test everything. Never underestimate the power of testing before a live stream. A simple test can help you prevent any potential issue or problem and will let you go live on the fast track.