10 Tips for Creating Impactful Live Video Content

Few obsessions last an entire decade (remember Jersey Shore?), but video content has managed to maintain its stamina and importance throughout content marketing for 10+ years.

For the last decade, content marketers have been obsessed with the idea of video content — and rightly so. Video catches our short attention spans and keeps us engaged better than any other type of media out there. Nearly 75 percent of consumers would rather see a video instead of reading branded marketing material, according to HubSpot. Those at the top of the corporate food chain — roughly 59 percent of executives — would rather watch a video explaining a concept than read an article about that same subject.

It doesn’t just stop at general video content, however. Live content is particularly potent! According to research from Livestream and New York Magazine, 80 percent of audiences prefer live video feeds to blog content. Another 82 percent prefer live video to typical social media posts.

Live video also offers the highest ROI of any video content. About 73 percent of B2B businesses using live video to reach their target audience report positive results to their ROI.

Whether you’re using Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, YouTube, or a third-party integration to stream, live video content combines the power of video marketing with real-time audience engagement. Here are 10 ways to make sure you make the most out of your livestream content:

1) Have a specific reason for going live.

There’s nothing less interesting than a person staring at a camera talking about a random assortment of topics. Like any good piece of content, your livestream needs to have a reason to exist in the format it does. Talk to your content teams and see which upcoming topics are the most visually interesting, which ones would benefit from in-person explanations, or which topics would be the most engaging across your audience in real time.

If you’re stuck, consider this question: What topics do you think would make your audience stop what they were doing and tune into your video?

2) Pick a format that works best for your brand.

“Wait, there’s more than one type of live video?”

Yes, there are several styles of live video that never involve your speaker staring at their camera like a deer in headlights. Some of the most popular formats for live video include:

  • Question and Answer session – Arguably the most popular type of live video, Q&As give your audience a chance to get the details they want to know about your brand, products or industry topic.
  • How-To video – Want to teach your audience how to create something unique with your products or pull back the curtain on your favorite strategies? How-to videos are the way to go! They’re perfect if your audience would love to know just a little bit about how your company operates or how to replicate your brand’s success in their own business.
  • Virtual sale – If you’ve got a backlog of products, virtual sales could be a great way to get rid of them in a digital environment! By telling your audience that these items are only available during the livestream, you create an air of exclusivity around your products while also giving you the opportunity to explain why these products are quality.

3) Know how you’re tracking metrics.

As with any content marketing endeavor, how will your team measure “success” for this live video? Are you trying to expand brand voice? Then overall viewership might be the best measurement to track. Looking for an idea of how engaging your content really is? Track the average view length. The longer your audience stayed with you, the more engaged they were. Comments, likes, reshares and other metrics all play a role in reflecting the successes and room for improvement with each video; it’s up to your team to figure out what numbers matter most to your marketing needs.

4) Promote your video before you broadcast.

Treat your live video like you would an in-person event or meeting! Lay the groundwork before the event starts by promoting the event in the weeks leading up. Use social media — and not just the platform you’ll be streaming from — to get the word out about when to tune into your livestream and how to join. Just like someone making time for their favorite TV shows, aim to give people a heads-up so they can plan ahead for your event.

5) Encourage your audience to talk with you.

Generally speaking, it takes a little while for an audience to feel comfortable enough to contribute questions or leave comments. That’s okay! As moderators and speakers, you can explicitly say “if you have something to say or a question about our topic, leave them in the comments!” Do that several times throughout the livestream so your audience continues to feel engaged, especially new viewers who might’ve missed the statement earlier on. Sometimes, all your audience needs is a little push of encouragement to leave their thoughts on your content.

6) Address comments when you get them – don’t save them for the end.

No one tunes in to a live video for a Q&A at the end. By saving questions for the end of a video, you’re neglecting one of the best parts of live-streaming: real-time interaction with your audience. If someone asks a relevant question or has a fun note to your team in the comments, shout them out and recognize them whenever you see it. As an added bonus, you’ll encourage other viewers to leave comments of their own.

7) Expect the unexpected.

Going live means having to deal with the hiccups in real time. As much as you’ve prepared your content for your live event, there’s always a chance something could go wrong. Keep a backup camera handy just in case. Make sure your bandwidth can handle streaming. Test your audio beforehand. Keep your setup simple to reduce potential hazards.

If something does go wrong, laugh the issue off with your audience and—if possible—keep moving as best you can.

8) Watch the clock.

Your audience’s attention span isn’t as long as you think it is. Psychologists estimate the sweet spot of sustained attention is roughly 20 minutes, but with digital content, that attention span barely reaches a minute. Keep this in mind as you present your content to an audience. Better yet, roadmap what your audience can expect in your presentation within the first minute of video. That way they know what to look forward to by staying tuned in.

Above all, set a finish time for your presentation to end. If you say the live stream lasts 30 minutes, you should wrap up talking at 30 minutes. Didn’t get to a particular discussion point? Save it for another video, blog post or other piece of content.

9) Save your live video for future use.

On most major live-stream platforms, the videos can be saved and viewed multiple times. For example, Instagram’s live videos are then saved to the IGTV section of your profile. There, you can record the presentation to another device and edit it down into cross-promotional snippets or social media soundbites.

10) Use discussion points or audience questions to inform larger content strategy.

Content marketing works best as a cohesive whole, so let your live video inform what else you talk about in your blogs, e-books and whitepapers. If there’s a consistent question that came up, take the notes from your audience and dig deeper! That question could lead to a piece of content or even another livestream event.

Livestreaming content can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to go it alone. At Appleton, we can equip your team to understand the basics of good video production and content creation so you can clearly communicate with your audience. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through print, web, social media and video production — all in-house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.

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