How Do You Engage Your Audience Through Live Streaming?


Live streaming is a tool that is getting increasingly popular among nonprofits, and it is easy to see why. Can’t be physically present for a fundraising event? Not to worry, you can now attend it from the comforts of your own home.

Live streaming is the broadcasting of real-time video footages to an audience who are watching the video stream online. Through apps such as Periscope or Facebook Live, viewers can even interact with the person who is sharing the live stream.

 

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This might sound fancy and revolutionary just a decade ago, but live streaming can be executed rapidly today, often without the need for huge production budgets. It has been making huge waves in recent years; for instance, Dioni Wise from PACE had declared that 2016 will be the year of live streaming, whereas Andrew Meola from Business Insider had pointed out that more brands are using live streaming to reach the masses.

A rising number of nonprofits are using the platform as part of their social media outreach, such as Jennifer Tislerics, a nonprofit worker from Gift of Life Michigan, who used Periscope to broadcast her nonprofit’s events. Given the low cost required to live stream an event, this is definitely a step in the right direction for the nonprofit sector.

It is not hard to see why live streaming has taken the world by storm. In this age of instant gratification, live streaming offers the immediacy and the ease of access that people crave for today. An added plus is that live streamed videos appear more authentic because they happen in real-time—a factor that is key to attracting today’s consumers.

 

To help both nonprofits and organisations improve their live streaming experience, here are some handy tips to consider:

  1. Plan and prepare: Decide what topic you will be covering during the live stream in advance, so that you will not run out of content. This can be done by preparing a short script or doing practice runs to get the hang of interacting with a live audience. Preparing filler content is also important in the event of potential delays.
  1. Promotion is key: Live streaming takes place in real time, so you need to promote and let them know your programme schedule beforehand so that people will set aside time to watch your event. You can also consider recording your live stream and promoting it to those who missed the event.
  1. Secure permission first: When live streaming an event, it is unavoidable that you include snippets of on-site participants, who might feel uncomfortable being filmed. Make sure you have their permission to do so. Having waivers on hand might help ease and expedite this process.
  1. Invest in technology: Improve the quality of your live stream by investing in equipment. It could be a sturdier tripod, high-quality microphone, or high-bandwidth Internet connection. This way, you can avoid potential disruptions, ensure seamless streaming, and keep your audience even more engaged.
  1. Be friendly: This advice might sound obvious, but it is easy to freeze up in front of live TV. Remember to smile often and make your audience feel comfortable with you. Engage them by asking questions and addressing them by their name. Most importantly, keep the live stream fun, light and enjoyable!

 

Don’t be discouraged if only a few people show up, or if they are not as actively engaged as you would like them to be. Live streaming is an activity that requires regular practice and constant promotion. Do that often enough, and people will eventually show up and interact with you and your brand!

 

Information was contributed by Shai Coggins, Director of Vervely, a leading digital media agency based in Australia

 

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