Just a decade ago, the word streaming meant something only to serious computer nerds. High-speed connections had not yet become ubiquitous. Most people still downloaded any long-form video content they wanted to view since they could allow it to download in the background while they accomplished other things.
Since about 2015, not only has high-speed plus 4G and 5G made it commonplace to stream videos, it has made the livestream commonplace. What began with Meerkat and Periscope grew so every day that Facebook and Instagram now provide live video options.
A Quick History of Live Streaming
This type of content quickly grew in popularity once Meerkat and Periscope hit the market. The latter app linked with Twitter just as the ultra-short video app, Vine, had. Twitter audiences became accustomed to the integrated video option and the live stream posts took off. Early streams included marathoner Bruce Van Horn training for the Boston Marathon and journalist/podcaster Omar Gallaga broadcasting “Statesman’s Shots” from Periscope.
As its popularity grew, so did the number of available apps. Technology leaps further increased connection speeds. Meanwhile, improvements to video compression enabled longer video streams and eradicated the jumpy, glitchy video that marked early video phone calls and conferences. The latter use had long been a topic of science fiction that now became a reality. In the wake of COVID-19, most middle management and C-level personnel have video conferenced via Zoom or GoToMeeting, two of the most popular apps available. Although gamers comprise a small percentage of the population, many of them use the video service Twitch to highlight their gaming techniques, connect with other players, and discover new games. Live video has become the thing to build a following.
Creating Live Content
In 2015, the audience for live content largely consisted of other early adopters. In 2020, you can live cast on Zoom and host the overflow on YouTube. With its quick growth, viewers’ expectations also grew. They expect well scripted, professionally presented live video with a twist just as they would with pre-filmed video. For example, while the humans at BMP Studio contribute the data research, target audience defining and scriptwriting, our canine assistants Mia and Pepper contribute on-air talent, humor, and general cuteness.
Of course, what works for one client does not work for the other. We don’t think you need your own Mia and Pepper, but you do need a unique angle to your video presentation, pithy scripts that inform and artfully shot video. You need a message that grabs the audience’s attention and educates on your products. You need a live video presentation that moves them into and through your sales funnel.
Live Stream Equipment
Much of the same video equipment used for studio videos get used as live stream equipment. You might make it through a small meeting on your smartphone using Zoom. Your smartphone provides too little flexibility and power though to create the high-end marketing content needed to jumpstart your sales funnel.
Your video equipment needs vary depending on the complexity of your broadcast. The minimum for a professional product includes a computer with a fast processor and high-quality video/graphics processing card, a software program to feed the stream to the video host as well as to handle the video and audio inputs, at least one camera, microphones, cables and power cords for each device, backgrounds, lights, a set, and props.
One alternative to a computer is a live video encoder with a switcher. You could also purchase a turnkey streaming solution with a streaming box. These feature HDMI and/or SDI ports for connecting audio and video plus live video software. The software provides a simple method of changing inputs, editing, and adding graphics and special effects.
Once you develop your video program and your comfort level in live video, you might want to move beyond live video using the software interface. This is especially true if you want to use a multi-camera setup. In that case, you should add a control surface to your video equipment to make camera switching simpler.
Cast and Crew
Your live video may use only you as a cast member, but if you decide to interview people or to film a skit, you will need a cast. BMP Studio can help you cast appropriate actors and actresses or locate interviewees.
We can also help you get the signed, legal permission you must-have for each and every talent used. Every interviewee, interviewer, actor or actress must sign a formal permission waiver to allow the use of their name and likeness. This keeps you legal and ensures that no person can sue you for using their photo, graphic, or video of their face or body in the video. Just the task of obtaining the written permission of every guest can seem overwhelming to most people, but we handle that for you.
Marketing Your Live Stream
Once you create your live show, you need to share it with people. Before your first live video experience, you need to put together a marketing plan and strategies for the show. You need teasers, short video clips that behave like a commercial for the show. You also need to use major social media like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook to advertise your live show. The push for a one-time live video event differs from that for a long-term live video show, but BMP Studio can handle both.
Before you air your first episode, you need to decide if you will archive the live videos for future viewing. This lets future fans of your show catch up on what they missed. If you want to build exclusivity though, you may not want an archive.
Some live video services offer on-site archiving. For those that do not, you can viably archive live video streams as videos on YouTube. This builds a YouTube channel with regular subscribers who you can point to your live show as well.
Contact Us Today
If that all sounds exceedingly complex, it is. But don’t worry; you don’t need to be an expert at live video because we already are! Let BMP Studio help you today. We already own the needed equipment, backdrops, sets, props, and much more. Our staff can help you create the scripts, cast the video, and shoot it live in our studio or on location. We provide the experienced, expert crew to shoot and edit. After shooting, we also help you market the video on and off social media.
Launching a live video stream takes a lot of work. Your business can benefit from it much like it can from a podcast. Let us help you get started leveraging live video to land more customers. A creative, informative live stream can help you sell your products more effectively across most target audiences. Contact us to get started today!