A photo by Jay Wennington. unsplash.com/photos/i8CYGnoerR0
Within the past year, the most massive shift in social media has been in live video streaming. From Facebook Live to YouTube Live, the largest social networks are committed to bringing live video to the forefront and surfacing live content higher than pre-recorded video, or static images.

Business owners who jump into live video as soon as possible are going to benefit from being among the early adopters. Let’s take a look at how you can plan your videos and “go live” easily.

Choosing a Live Streaming Platform

With this new explosion in live video, there is a growing list of options for where you can stream. Some of these are standalone mobile apps, while others are features within existing social networks.

The easiest place to get started is on Facebook or YouTube since you likely already use them for your social media content. You can extend your reach significantly on those networks by adding in live video content. If you are active on both Facebook and YouTube, select the one that has the most engagement from your existing audience.

Planning Your Videos

It can be intimidating to start live streaming if you don’t treat it like the content you are already creating for your business. With social media content, planning out a publishing calendar can help you have a bird’s eye view of the upcoming month and quarter. Do you have an upcoming campaign or announcement? Plan to add in live video so that your audience has a rich variety of ways to interact with your company.

Another way to prepare for your stream is to outline talking points for your broadcast. You can get ideas for topics by looking at your existing or upcoming blog posts or images and creating live content around it. No need to reinvent the wheel! Think of video streaming as a way to extend your social media and blog content.

Broadcasting From Your Desktop (or Mobile)

You can broadcast using live video on your desktop or mobile, but there are pros and cons to each. When you are getting started in live video, keeping it simple and using your phone is best. On Facebook on your phone, this is as easy as clicking the “Live” button from the area where you normally publish on your Facebook page. This is the simplest setup possible, but it doesn’t allow you to add any overlays or multiple cameras.

On YouTube (or to use your desktop computer camera for Facebook), you need to use software. For a full production studio with the ability to add image overlays, pre-recorded video, and other features, Wirecast has become the go-to software. It takes a bit of a learning curve, but it is a great tool when you are ready to take your broadcasts to the next level.

Don’t Wait, Get Started Now

Live video is not a trend that will be gone tomorrow. Over the past year it has grown to have massive reach. With the commitment of social media juggernauts like Facebook and YouTube to give live video premium placement on their networks, now is the best time for you to add in live streaming as a strategy for your business.

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