The short history of live video hasn’t all reflected all that well on the human species thus far. People have witnessed the downright dull to the abhorrent; from problematic puddles to murder, and everything in between.
Whilst they weren’t the pioneers of live video, Facebook have been the main powerhouse behind its growth. This has involved paying media firms and celebrities sizeable sums to produce content, and a lot of advertising in target cities, including encouraging users to go live “when you’re just hanging out with friends, or whatever".
Despite this, I’m determined for it to be a good thing. Live video appeals because it’s immediate and it feels more honest.
On 25 June, we’ll be attending the Evidence-Based Investing conference with Regis Media, and my colleagues Robin Powell and Kent Lau are going to take the opportunity for some live video broadcasts. I asked Kent for his thoughts on going live from the event:
Sam: Why have you decided to use live video at the Evidence-Based Investing conference?
Kent: EBI West promises to be a great event with some of the sharpest minds in the investing world attending. We’re planning to use live video much more in the future, so we see this as the ideal opportunity to launch it.
We’re always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging with our audience. We already use podcasts, animation, articles and video, and we feel live video is a great platform to experiment with.
Here's Kent. On 25 June he'll be broadcasting live from California.
Sam: What's the aim of your broadcasts?
Kent: Our aim is to get as many people from the evidence-based investing community involved with the discussions, especially those who couldn’t attend the event.
Sam: What are the benefits of live video?
Kent: Live video gives a great opportunity to engage with our audience from around the world in real time. It means we can answer any questions on the spot, give insight to viewers during the conference and give the chance for the viewers to interact with Robin and his interviewees. Live video is one of the most inclusive mediums in that respect, and we want to make the most of that while we’re at the event.
If you use Facebook Live, the videos also have life beyond the live stream. These can be downloaded and re-purposed into more content, such as video clips and quote cards.
Sam: What do you think makes a good live video?
Kent: I think one of the most important things to consider when using live video is to always stream with a purpose. This doesn't need to be complicated or difficult either, for example Youtube’s most avid live streamer is PewDiePie. He mainly just uses live video to stream himself playing video games, but his main purpose for doing that is to entertain his audience and to make them laugh.
Another factor would be regularity and consistency. Like a decent TV show, If you stick to a schedule for your streams, your audience will become familiar with when you go live, anticipate it, and are more likely to tune in or follow-up.
If you happen to have a good speaker or presenter in your team, make a habit of reporting from industry events. It’s great for brand awareness, and without doubt, I think one of the key reasons to pursue live video is to build an audience that can really get to know you.
If you don’t fancy going live from events, you might want to consider a more structured approach. Have a think about whether you can plan a regular show. It could be more of a light hearted concept which goes ‘behind the scenes’ in your business, or, you could interview the various experts and commentators in your industry.
One of the great advantages of the shift towards live video is that so long as it’s live, expectations on video quality are low. This means that you can focus on your audience. Are they on your chosen platform? Have you made them aware that you were going to be broadcasting? Is the content useful, interesting or funny?
You don’t have to record on your phone - You can also use live video platforms with professional equipment, if you want to keep standards high. It all depends on the objectives and the tone of the content, and the impression you want to give. If it’s a regular show, or educational, you should make more effort with how it looks. If it’s just supposed to be light hearted and funny, this doesn’t matter so much.