Successfully Start Live Stream Video Marketing (Yes, you!)

There’s something to be said about not jumping on business bandwagons.

Deciding to not join in on the latest “business trend” might mean you’re keenly aware of how the trend fits into the bigger picture and whether it would be smart to adopt, or maybe you’re not taking it on out of fear even though you know it would be helpful for your business.

That last one, the fear, is something I’ve found a lot of people are experiencing with the latest business trend: live stream video marketing.

At this point, calling it a trend isn’t even accurate.

According to Livestream, 81 percent of audiences on the internet and mobile consumed more live video in 2016 than they had the year before, and 80 percent of those people also prefer live videos over blogs, while 82 percent prefer consuming live video over social posts.

With stats like that, it’s not crazy to claim that you might want to make live stream video broadcasting a defined facet of your overall marketing plan. Here’s why:

  • It captures attention. People like seeing people, and we also are drawn to things that move and make noise. So, in a sea of static updates in a newsfeed, a piece of media that’s moving and has sound naturally captures attention. Of course, more factors go into keeping that attention, but we’ll get there in a minute.
  • It helps build your credibility and trust factor. The sheer inability to edit when you’re live-streaming gives you instant credibility. You’re not able to cut out flubs, you have to respond to live engagement off the cuff, and you’re making yourself available in real time. That level of accessibility is huge for displaying your expertise and allowing people to see your personality and know they see the real you.
  • It’s quick and easy. With live-streaming, it’s as easy as opening an app and hitting “go live.” No need to get graphics together or have an editor on hand. Live-streaming lends itself to being as easy to create as it is to consume, which is ideal for audiences with ever-increasing demands on their attention spans and business owners who want to see a good ROI with the time and money spent on marketing.

So, now that you know why you might want to be incorporating live stream videos into your content strategy, here are the main things you need to consider when determining how you’ll create videos that get watched and drive results for your business.

1. Your content

Beyond the fear of simply going live is the fear of “what do I talk about?!,” and there’s one important thing I want you to keep in mind: Just because you’re recording live doesn’t mean you can’t go in with a plan.

Although you don’t want to sound like you’re reading off of a script, there’s no problem with creating an outline and having some notes to keep you on topic.

Some things you can talk about or show on your live broadcasts include quick tips, behind-the-scenes of your business, peeks into your creative process, exciting announcements, simple hellos to your followers, something cool you think they’d enjoy, or education content based on your expertise.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because live-streaming lends itself to sharing anything from super-short, fun glimpses into your day all the way to sitting down and having an in-depth conversation with your audience.

Start small and with some notes, and eventually, you’ll get more comfortable to the point where you don’t need to do any self pep-talks before going live (we’ve all been there), and you can speak to any topic on the fly.

Also, don’t forget to give a call-to-action in your video. Do you want people to sign up for your list, check out your latest items in your shop, or give you feedback? Tell them what you want them to do!

That’s how you’re going to see the tangible benefits of how live-streaming can benefit your business.

2. Your setting

Once you’ve got an idea of the various types of live stream videos you’ll want to create for your brand, you’ll want to give some thought to your filming locations.

Listen, as exciting and dangerous as it sounds, just because you can live-stream from the back of a motorcycle doesn’t mean you should. (Unless your business involves making custom hot rods in which case, carry on.)

Otherwise, it’s helpful to think of a few areas that you can consistently turn to as the backdrop for your live broadcasts. Maybe it’s a corner in your office or your back patio. Maybe it’s the awesome coworking space you go to a few times a week.

Then, of course, comes the scenario of live-streaming because you’re sharing the location you’re in and what you’re doing there.

In either case, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind: light and sound.

Try to find a well-lit area where the source of the light is shining on you and not behind you so that people can see your face. The best light source is diffused sunlight, so if you have a well-light room without the sun directly beating in, that’s ideal.

For sound, indoors is preferred so you don’t have to worry about being drowned out by gusts of wind or traffic. But if you can’t help but be outdoors due to the nature of your video, try to get as far away from sources of loud sound (like a street) or find a barrier that blocks some of the noise.

3. The right equipment

One of the beautiful things about live streamed video is that people don’t expect it to be perfect, which means that not having a DSLR camera isn’t an excuse for skipping out.

However, just because it’s unedited, raw footage doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to ensure good audio and visual quality.

Circling back to having good light and sound quality, Photojojo! has a variety of unique tools to help you improve your video quality that won’t break the bank. For example, their Pocket Spotlight is perfect if you need a little help bumping up the brightness of your video and The Mighty Mic will help you achieve crisper, clearer, higher quality sound.

In addition to finding a place with good lighting and low wind (if you’re shooting outdoors), it’s also helpful to have a tool you can use to go hands-free and keep your phone or camera stable.

The Smoovie Video Stabilizer and Gorillapod Mobile are both great tools that allow you to capture video on the go without the motion-sickness inducing camera shake.

Also, Facebook recently rolled out live streaming on your desktop to all users, so if you prefer the look your webcam gives you over your smartphone, you’ve got options.

But, at the end of the day, if all you have is your smartphone, you have everything you need to get started. Don’t let the idea of “perfection” hold you back from connecting with your audience and growing your business.

Finding the right live streaming platform

Now that you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to share through live-streaming and how you’re going to go about producing your video, now comes the big question, “Where is it going to live?”

There’s Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Periscope, and YouTube Live, and, like most things in life, you can’t do it all.

(Although you can be live in two places at once, so that’s one way to defy physics.)

Here are some of the key differentiators for each live streaming platform and a few tips on how to choose which platforms are best for you:

Facebook Live

  • Helps boost your post/update in the Newsfeed
  • Allows you to go live via your phone or laptop
  • You can post your live broadcast as a page post after your broadcast has ended
  • Allows for broadcasts up to four hours long (as of April, 2017)

Instagram Live

  • Your followers receive a notification that you’re live when they’re in the app
  • Your video disappears from the app once your live broadcast has ended
  • You can save your Live broadcasts to your camera roll

Periscope

  • It’s built entirely on the concept of live-streaming (unlike Facebook and Instagram)
  • Live streams can be recorded with mobile devices and watched on all devices either through the Periscope app or on Twitter

YouTube Live

  • Now available to anyone (Prior to late March 2017, only YouTube accounts with 10K or more subscribers could go live)
  • If your channel subscribers receive Youtube’s email notifications, they’ll receive an email when you start your live broadcast

Platform picking tips

1. Go with your primary platforms

Are you already active on Facebook? Have an engaged following on Instagram or Twitter? Start with the top one to two platforms you already use and have a greater following on. Then, if you find that you love live-streaming, you can branch out to creating live streams and building an audience on additional platforms.

2. Get crafty with “repurposing”

If you want to share content that you think your audiences on multiple platforms would appreciate, let your content stretch further and go live simultaneously. Of course, this will take a multi-device setup, but if you have a laptop and smartphone or smartphone and tablet, it’s totally doable.

Just make sure you’re letting your followers know you’re live in multiple places. That way if you reference the platform you’re on, your watchers on the alternative platform don’t get confused. Another benefit to this method is that you’ll be helping to cross-promote your other social media channels.

3. Take it for a test drive

One of my best social media secrets is that I have “test” accounts for my top platforms that I only use when new features roll out so I can test them and see how they work before committing to trying something new on my official page.

I don’t think everyone needs to try that method; you could just ask a biz friend to give you a quick tutorial, but I’m a visual, hands-on learner, so test driving features in that way helps me decide whether I’m ready to go public using a new feature.

You can start live stream video marketing today

As you can see, today’s digital landscape has made it inevitable for live stream video to become one of the biggest mediums for content creation. You’d be missing out on a big chunk of the marketing pie if you don’t consider weaving this type of media into your content strategy.

The key thing to keep in mind is to embrace the unpolished nature of live-streaming and just start.

As you gain more practice with each video and you incorporate some simple tools into your production, you’ll look like a pro and be consistently creating content you’re proud to promote in no time.

Content might be king…

but it doesn’t have to rule your world. Drop your email below to get even more great tips on content as a solo business owner!

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Producing + Marketing Videos as a Solopreneur: Outsource It

outsourcing for your solo business

outsourcing for your solo biz

If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s probably safe to assume that “create a welcome video for my website” is somewhere on your lengthy to-do list. But somehow it’s migrated lower and lower over time to live among other long-forgotten tasks like “clean out my inbox” and “start working out again.”

I don’t blame you; video is technical and complicated and tedious and (insert your complaint of choice).

But video is here to stay. In fact, in 2015, businesses that use video grew their revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those that weren’t using video. I know it’s likely your goal to be running an uber successful business 3, 5, or 10 years from now, so why not take a stab at integrating video into your strategy? It’s the best and fastest way to create an instant connection with your audience — and who doesn’t want to inspire love at first sight?

Now, I can’t force you to categorize all your emails or join a gym, but I can help make video a much simpler task because it’s something I do for myself and other businesses every single day. So to start, let’s focus on the top outsource-able (new word!) tasks when it comes to video:

  1. Shooting. There are (approximately) a zillion options when it comes to outsourcing the actual production part of video making. From having a friend record your videos on a smartphone to hiring a production team fully equipped with cameras, mics, lights, and more, your options run the gamut. One thing you might want to consider: proximity. If you are looking for someone to record you, they’ll need to be local. However, there are lots of creative ways to tell your story remotely, too. Maybe you can find a videographer to shoot b-roll, and you can record a voiceover for it. This is your chance to get a little creative and plan out a video that truly showcases your brand story!
  2. Editing. Personally, this is the most tedious part of the process for me and one of the first tasks I outsourced in my business. If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to piecing together what was recorded to tell a cohesive story, it could take much longer than it would for someone who does it every day and can cut your video footage while they brush their teeth. Unless you are really passionate about learning how to edit, leave this one to the pros.
  3. Implementation. This is what happens once the video is finished. It can include uploading, making custom thumbnails, tagging, annotating, sharing, writing tweets, and more. Making the most of video means marketing those that you create — and these tasks can sometimes take just as long as making the video itself.

Now, I have a confession. When I first started my company, my only encounter with the word “outsourcing” was between the covers of a Thomas Friedman book. I knew of the concept, but I never thought of it applying to me and my business…until I started bringing on bigger and more involved projects. I knew I couldn’t do everything alone, nor did I want to. I found myself procrastinating when facing tasks that weren’t playing to the top of my skill set.

If video production or video marketing isn’t at the top of yours, outsourcing it can be key to getting it done.

And you don’t have to outsource the entire thing. Maybe you need help conceptualizing, but you can’t wait to edit the footage together. Or you can create the video, but you have no idea how to get it on YouTube and in front of a mass audience. Because there are so many moving parts, the great thing about video is that you can outsource any piece of it you want.

Where to find video pros

A real fear with outsourcing: Hiring the wrong people will cost you money in the long run. So, spend some time and do your research. Do they have a reel you can look at? Do they have references? What does their process look like? Will they edit a short clip for you so you can see how they work? These are all ways to vet the right people for the job when it comes to video.

Now that you know what to outsource and what to look for, the next question becomes: Where can you find these people? Here’s a list of resources you can turn to when looking for the right video team for your business:

  1. Mandy.com: Resource for all things production. Click on the “services” tab and narrow down your search by region.
  2. Production Hub: Another great resource for production people. Click “find crew/vendors” to get started.
  3. Upwork: A place to find freelancers for all types of projects. They have a “video production” section.
  4. Fiverr: I’ve never used this one personally, but I hear you can find some budget-friendly service providers on here. This is great for getting an animated intro for your videos.
  5. Thumbtack: Find recommended people in your area who can help you bring your video dreams to reality!
  6. Local film schools: Have a film school in your area? Ask around to see if there are any film students looking to build their reels. This tends to be a very budget-friendly option.
  7. VA: If you are strapped for time, find a virtual assistant who is fluent in YouTube (my favorite language) and video implementation. Once you have a system for implementation, you can teach anyone to make it happen.

If you’re inspired and ready to get started, the first (and arguably most important) step is conceptualizing your video. How do you want your brand and your story to be perceived? The best way to start is to do research. Look online for videos that have the vibe/style you want to create. Create a bookmark folder titled “reference videos” with links to the videos you admire. You can also start a new board on Pinterest with photos that inspire your brand. Visualizing your video beforehand will make the planning — and outsourcing — process much easier (and more fun).

Video marketing is all about strategy — and to prepare you with the right strategy and message, I’ve developed a free blueprint for creating killer homepage videos.

Your turn: What would you like to outsource when it comes to videos?

PS — Not sure where to start in evaluating potential pros? Our Prior to the Hire ebook has you covered.

Prior to the Hire ebook from One Woman Shop