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The following excerpt is from Jill Schiefelbein’s book Dynamic Communication. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.
If you’re new to the concept of livestreaming, it’s the process of broadcasting in real time via the internet. Basically, we are our own media outlets with the devices in our pockets — our phones. But just because you can be the media doesn’t mean you should be.
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If you want your business to be positively impacted by livestreaming, there’s a lot more to it than taking out your phone and hitting the “broadcast” button. Let’s go through some tips for planning, executing and repurposing a livestream and talk about some on-camera delivery strategies to make your livestream communication truly dynamic.
Planning: before the stream
First and foremost, know that the primary purpose of livestreaming is not for selling! It’s for connecting with an audience in real time. Use livestream video to showcase your brand or products in a way that connects to consumers. Don’t focus just on selling; focus on forming and deepening relationships with your audience, adding value to their lives and improving their condition.
Now let’s talk about the five steps in your planning strategy.
1. Make sure your stream has continuity.
That means your livestream shouldn’t exist in a vacuum apart from your business. Make sure it continues or supports your brand story. Make sure it accurately reflects a customer’s experience.
2. Make sure your stream has relevant content.
Make sure your content connects to the viewer in a meaningful way. For example, simply presenting information on a new service, for example, isn’t wise. However, sharing stories and interactions on how a service has helped others, while providing actionable examples, adds value to your audience and relates to who your consumers really are.
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3. Make sure your stream is well-composed.
This means you give as much forethought as possible to the physical setting of the stream itself. What’s the backdrop? What’s the location? What are the parameters for the speakers? Will you stay in one place or be mobile? Be very cognizant of what’s being shown in the background.
4. Make sure your stream is well-communicated.
Make a promotion plan for your stream, and build some excitement around the event.
5. Make sure to set goals for your stream.
How will you measure its success? Views? Engagement? Shares? Website visits? Follow-ups on your call to action? Set your goals for each stream and take the time to review and revise.
Executing: during the stream
The following tips can help make your event a success:
1. Avoid scripts as much as possible.
When you’re trying to engage an audience, you don’t want to talk to them, you want to talk with them. Instead of a script, use an outline and glance at each main point before you start talking. Do not memorize what you’re going to say. That will make you look robotic.
2. Don’t pretend to be an expert if you’re not one.
If you do, the video will hurt your marketing and credibility more than it will help. If your stream needs to cover a topic you’re not comfortable with, bring in an outside expert or feature one of your employees who can better address the topic. If your video viewers detect uncertainty in your delivery, they’re going to doubt your information and stop watching.
3. Be natural.
A conversational style is important. It’s OK to briefly look away from the lens. It’s OK to be animated. It’s OK to check notes. It’s OK if you make a little slip up — you’re human, after all.
4. Don’t let your stream exist in vain.
Make sure you have a call to action for viewers to take after the stream is complete. Even if it’s as simple as “follow” or “like” the page for notifications for future streams or previewing what’s to come, give the audience an opportunity to act.
Repurposing: after the stream
If you stream without giving a thought to “What’s next?” you’re missing out on some great opportunities. Think of your post-stream plan. How will you save the stream? How will you repurpose it? How will you gather data? How are you going to leverage the content? How did you measure up in terms of your engagement goals? After the stream, be sure to edit the description to update the names of people involved, mention any relevant links and provide additional resources promised.
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Finally, evaluate and review.
Watch your stream. See how you can improve. Seek feedback from trusted others. Continue to focus on making better streams to provide greater value to your audience and smile as the results come in.
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