One of the biggest benefits of getting a livestream is that you get to engage with your audience, but how do you get people to actually show up and do things for your livestream so that you can have that engagement and build up for every community that you’re looking for?
I’m going to break down for you how to create a more engaging livestream so that you can just crush it with your live streaming goals.
Let’s dive into these different things that are going to help make sure that your live streaming game is going to be on point. Now, before you even start live streaming, before you even hit that go button, you want to make sure that you have everything in place to make sure that your livestream has the most chance for success, that you have a good view for your webcam, that you have really good internet, that you have good lighting, that you have good sound.
It’s important to make sure that you’re not just going live for the sake of going live. You want to have a warm-up and a lead into it. You’re going to be able to schedule your livestream up to a week before they go live, and no longer than that. Facebook does not let you do anything more than seven days in advance, and YouTube is going to want you to do that as well. So schedule your livestream ahead of time and make sure you have everything very clearly spread out. You want to have your title. You want to have your description. You want to have a good thumbnail and you want to know what time you’re going to be there.
A lot of people ask, can I promote? Can I boost, put money behind my livestream? And the answer is no, you cannot boost or promote a livestream and largely because that content hasn’t been created yet. In order for Facebook or Instagram or YouTube advertising to work, they have to know what the content is going to be. Well, you haven’t gone live yet, so you don’t know what you’re going to say or do yet. Therefore, they cannot approve any kind of boost of post because of their terms and conditions.
However, what you can do is create a Facebook event that will promote your livestream. You can boost that. You can also do posts on your Facebook and boost those as well, or do them on Instagram or wherever else you are using. Whatever your means are for promoting, by having that scheduled link to share, it’s going to make it easier for you to promote your live stream and get more people to attend.
Producing your live stream
So now, we’re going to dive in what you want to do during your livestream to make sure that it flows well and that it’s engaging well. First things first, don’t jump right out of the gate with what you’re going to say. I don’t jump into, “hey guys, let’s dive into this”, because you’re not giving any time for your audience to join in. It takes a second for those modifications to come through for Facebook and YouTube. So give it a little bit of a padding, like a three-minute timer might be a really great lead in for you. By having a countdown timer, it gives time for all of the notifications to happen, for people to join in on you so that you know what’s going on and they can kind of get all set and cozy and ready to consume your livestream that you have created. If you just dive into it, you’re going to hurt yourself.
One of the bonus steps I want to give to you is it’s really great to have a co-host, even if it’s just a guest that comes in on a regular basis to help you. It’s really helpful to have someone to bounce things off of and have conversations with.
Trying to do a livestream by yourself can be really hard. I know, I do it on a regular basis with the Women of YouTube group and a lot of it’s because I’m teaching people how to do things and I’m relying on the comments to get the back and forth started, but when I have a guest on, it just goes so much better and it’s just so much more fun and fluid. It’s much more conversational versus me commenting on comments. So, consider having a guest to have as a banter for you and have that lead in, that warm-up, into your main topic.
Next, you want to tell your audience how to engage with you. Some really good ideas are going to be things like if you’re new here, comment hashtag new and that way you can know who they are, so you can give them a shout out. “Hey Bobby Joe, thank you so much for joining us on the livestream today. I really appreciate it.” “Oh, Sally, I see that you’re here too. I’m so glad you’re joining for the first time.”
Or maybe you ask specific questions like, “hey, what are your big questions that you have about insurance? What are some big changes that you see on the horizon? What are some things that you hate about having car insurance?” Whatever those may be. Have a good question to ask people to get them to comment. When you can tell your audience what to do, it gives them a reason to engage, besides just passively watching what you have because if they are just passively watching, they’re more likely to click away from your video.
Hold Their Attention
One of the things that holds people’s attention on all video, whether it’s live streaming or edited video like this, is having the right transitions. When you have the right transitions and graphics on screen, it holds attention. Whenever you watch my videos, you’re going to see these jump cuts, where you jump into my face or you jump out. I’ll have texts that comes on the screen. I’ll even have a full situation happened, and of course there’s always some fun humor that my editor puts in through GIFs and fun things that he finds.
You can add in graphics and overlays. You can have transitions in between your speakers coming on or when you’re going to ask a specific question or maybe you have different features. That’s why the run of show is really helpful. It’s going to give you those beats of when you can do things.
Then, by adding in the transitions, it allows for that visual and mental break and transition into the next thing that you’re talking about. What’s really cool when you’re using a tool like StreamYard is you can have the visual breaks by just rearranging the layout of the speakers. Maybe you have the speaker that’s talking as the big square that’s on there, and then the other ones are small or maybe all of you are the same size on the screen. Or maybe you even just do a full screen situation where you’re showing how to do something with a screen share. By having those visual breaks, it’s really going to hold people’s attention and keep them watching for longer, and you can do that with your livestreams with a tool like StreamYard because then you can add all these extra things.
There’s nothing more special than when you’re talking directly to your guests, when you’re asking questions or when you’re saying things, when you’re in the meat of it, when people say things in the comments, you definitely want to bring them up on screen and give that person some love and attention. Let’s say we’re having a conversation and I say something really brilliant. Start it and it’ll get better. It’s the best way to do anything that you’re doing in business, and someone’s like, oh my gosh, I love that, or oh, this is such a great tip. You can pull that onto screen and say, oh my gosh, Susie, you’re so right. Oh yeah, Mary Jo, that’s really good too. However it’s going to be bringing the attention and showing love for people that are watching and again, going to hold them longer. The beauty of live streaming is getting your audience involved.
Now, once you are done with your livestream, there’s still a little bit that you can do to draw attention to your livestream. First things first is Facebook has the Watch Party. Watch Parties are a great way for you to re-share your content. I really love this livestream. I’m going to go do a Watch Party for it and get my audience watching it too.
Once you’re done with your livestream, know what’s happened and what’s going on, you can chop it up into digestible chunks. This is called repurposing. You can repurpose your content into other things. So while I might have a 45 minute to an hour long livestream, I can take a section, a specific question and answer part, and turn that into a clip that I share on my YouTube channel or on my social media in other ways. So let’s say someone asks the question, what is the one thing I need to know that’s most important for my insurance changes in 2021? And then the answer to that, and that could be the clip, then that’s a title of the video.