Your brand has a story. A story that is unique. A story that people care about. A story that needs to be told. LIVE! In front of hundreds of people tuning in! But, we know what’s stopping you, ‘cause we’ve been there too!
That’s why, on our third episode of ‘Just Between You and Me’, we sat down with Luria Petrucci, co-founder of Live Streaming Pros, to ask her the questions you’ve been too hesitant to ask, so we could together learn how to create professional TV-quality live streams for Facebook without the TV studio price tag.
Ready? Let’s get down to it!
The Plan Of Action
Step 1: The basics of live streaming
Step 3: Let’s talk set-up!
Step 4: Camera
Step 5: Audio
Step 6: Lights
Step 7: Backgrounds
Step 8: Analyse and Iterate
Step 9: Repurposing your Facebook Live
Step 1: The basics of live streaming
Before we get down in the trenches, let’s do a quick tour of the basics. If you’ve already streamed live before, you could skip the basics and jump to the biggest roadblocks stopping you from going live and how you can overcome them!
(A) How to go live on Facebook from your mobile:
Live video streaming directly from your mobile device is super convenient and definitely more common than live streaming from a computer. You can go live from anywhere, at any point of time and share your real-time view with your audience.
In case you are finding it daunting to live stream from your cell phone, here’s a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process:
Step 1: Open the Facebook application on your mobile device and go to your newsfeed.
Step 2: Just below your status update bar, you will find a ‘Live’ button on the extreme left corner. Locate that button and click on it.
Step 3: As soon as you press the ‘Live’ button, Facebook will ask for permission to access your microphone and camera. This is to ensure that Facebook can stream your audio and video with your consent. You will have to grant Facebook these permissions to proceed.
Step 4: On the top left corner, you’ll find a ‘To’ option, which lets you decide who can see your live.
Step 5: If you are a brand, you would want more people to be able to see your live stream. Hence, you’d want to go ahead with public
Step 6: Now that you have set your audience, you need to tell them what your live video is about. You can do this by adding a description to your live video. Tap on the text area to add a description.
For example, if you are a makeup brand going live with a makeup tutorial, you can add the following description – “We bring to you a simple fresh face makeup tutorial with the use of products from our newest summer collection “Floriel” ahead of our big launch. Get ready with us!”
Step 7: You can tag people, add a location or add an activity to your live video by clicking on the icons next to the text area. You can also tap the wand icon next to the ‘Start Live Video’ button to add fun filters and effects to your live video.
Pro Tip: You can experiment with these filters and effects in an actual live stream with the view restricted to ‘Only Me’, to practice before your public live stream.
Step 8: Now, you are all set to go live on Facebook from your mobile phone. Hit the ‘Start Live Video’ button and Facebook will give you a countdown of “3, 2, 1…’ and you are now streaming live right from your mobile!
Step 9: Once you are live, your viewers can react and comment on your live stream. These reactions and comments will show up on your screen during the live, so you can interact with them, answer their questions, and also encourage them to engage with you as freely as possible.
Step 10: Once you have finished your video and do not have anything further to share, you need to end your broadcast. Click the ‘Finish’ button on the bottom right corner to end your live stream. The video will automatically show up in your timeline which you can then save, edit or delete like any other post on Facebook.
(B) How to go live from your desktop:
While live-streaming from mobile devices is extremely convenient, it also lacks professionalism. If live-streaming is your go-to thing, you might want to consider doing it through a desktop as it gives much more customisation and flexibility. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Open up your Facebook page on your computer and click on the ‘Live’ button on your profile page, next to the ‘Create’ option.
Step 2: Facebook has added a couple of new options for streaming from your computer.
The ‘Use Stream Key’ option is for publishers who stream regularly and want to skip the usual checklist that they have to go through before starting a live stream. This permanent stream key lets them skip directly to starting the live stream.
The ‘Use Paired Encoder’ option lets you stream from a device without having to have the Facebook live stream page open. Super convenient for press briefings or outdoor lives.
For now, we will show you how to go live using your computer’s webcam. Select the ‘Use Camera’ option and click on ‘Next’.
Step 3: You can add a description to your live video similarly as you did for your mobile live stream. You can also add a location, activity and tag people to your live video.
Step 4: Customize your audience and decide who can see your live video.
Once again, as a brand, you would want your live stream to be ‘Public’ so that more people can see it. Once you are done setting up, click on the ‘Go Live’ button and you can start your live stream.
Step 5: If you are done with the live, you have to click on ‘Finish’ and end the broadcast.
The live will automatically be saved to your timeline, and you can edit it, create a separate post out of it or even delete the video like you can with any other post on Facebook.
(C) Scheduling Facebook lives for later!
Let’s say you want to do a live stream on a certain day of the week, at a specific time, because you have insights that traffic on Facebook is generally higher at that time.
Facebook gives you the option to schedule a live stream up to one week in advance and also notify your audience about the upcoming stream. Here’s how you can schedule your live stream in advance:
Step 1: Open up your Facebook page and start setting up your live stream the way we explained in the previous section. On your left, you will notice an option to schedule your live stream. Click on that option.
Step 2: You’ll now see an option to set a time and date for your live stream, and this will be showcased in your announcement post. You can now make the same customizations that you make to a regular live video, like adding a description, selecting your audience etc.
Step 3: You can also pick an image to accompany the announcement post for your live stream. Facebook states the ideal image ratio to be 1.9:1.
Step 4: Once all the fields have been filled, on the bottom of the page, there’ll be a grey ‘Schedule Live Video’ button, that will turn blue, indicating that the stream is ready to be scheduled. Click on that button to schedule your live stream.
(D) Live streaming to multiple Facebook pages:
Facebook Live’s Cross-Posting feature lets you reach a wider audience and gives them multiple options for tuning in to your live stream. This feature allows you to publish a single broadcast across multiple Pages as an original post. Let’s explore how you can use this feature. For you to be able to crosspost your Live video from multiple pages, you need to link up the pages you want to stream from. Here’s how that can be done:
Step 1: Open your Facebook Page and click on ‘Settings’ at the top right corner of your screen.
Step 2: Select the option for ‘Cross Posting’ from the left column and add the page you would want to crosspost with from the list that shows up.
Step 3: There are two options to manage permissions for crossposting. If you select the ‘Automatically Post’ option, then your live streams will be posted from both pages without the need for approval from your side. If you select the ‘Manually Post’ option, the crosspost has to be approved by an admin or editor of your page before the stream can begin. Once done, click Next.
Important: Remember that the pages you have linked with your page for crossposting, need to confirm your request before the relationship can be established. You can copy the link and send it to them so that they can see their pending confirmation requests.
How to Enable Crossposting for a Scheduled Facebook Live Broadcast?
Now that you have learnt how to link your page with another page to crosspost your live stream, let us tell you how you can enable this feature for scheduled live streams.
Step 1: Once you have scheduled your Facebook live stream by following the steps described in the earlier sections, locate the three dots on the upper right corner of your scheduled live video, and then select Edit Post.
Step 2: Under Settings, you will find an option to crosspost. You can pick more than one page to crosspost with. Once you are done, click on ‘Save’ to enable your crosspost.
Before you decide to start crossposting with other Facebook pages, here are a few pros and cons of the process that you should be aware of:
- It’s always a great idea to collaborate with other popular pages which have an existing follower base. That way, you can tap into their network and reach a wider audience by gaining visibility through the crosspost.
- You will be able to see stats of the live stream and the metrics of the stream can help you identify which page has a greater reach and is getting more views.
- The comments on your Facebook page’s live video will not show up on the other page’s stream. So, you have to keep switching pages if you want to check out the reactions and comments on the other page.
- You cannot crosspost from a mobile device, so you need to set up a live video from your computer every time you want to crosspost, which can be slightly inconvenient if you do not have the setup.
- If you have enabled ‘automatically post’ on your crosspost, the other page will publish a word to word copy of your stream on their Page. This can be a problem if they have a different call to action than yours that they want to promote.
(E) Amplifying your Livestream beyond Facebook: Multistreaming
Remember when in Harry Potter, Professor McGonagall gives Hermione the time tuner so she could be in multiple lessons at the same time? Similarly, if you wanted to be at multiple places at the same time, technology can make that happen for you.
There’s a multistreaming option that is completely non-fiction and easy to use, which lets you feature on multiple live streaming platforms like YT, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and more, at the same time. There are several benefits to using this option. Here are few that we could think of:
- Wider Reach – This one is a no-brainer and the top reason why people choose to multistream. If you are streaming on YT, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn at the same time, it helps you reach out to a much wider audience than if you were streaming on only one platform. If your content is good, viewers will quickly turn to loyal followers of your brand on different social media platforms.
- Saves Time and Effort – Imagine if you have to do a one-hour live stream on three platforms individually. That is 3 hours of your day wasted doing the same thing over and over. Multistreaming lets you do it in one go, on all three platforms, saving you a lot of time and effort in the process, which can be used for other important stuff.
- Compare Your Reach – While multistreaming, you can see insights of your viewership parallelly across all platforms. This helps you compare your reach on various platforms and draw insights about where your reach is greater. Once you have this information, you can cut out the low performing platforms and focus on streaming your content on the platforms with greater reach.
If you are wondering at this point whether multistreaming will benefit your brand, there’s a very simple way to figure that out. Start by asking yourself if you have an existing audience. If yes, on which platform is that existing audience?
Multistreaming won’t offer much value to brands that already have a strong audience base on a certain platform. For example, if you are a gamer who streams your gameplay live on Twitch, you might want to pass on the multistream idea, since Twitch is your primary platform and where most of your audience is.
In an earlier episode, we talked to you about the 90-10 rule, where you should be channelling 90% of your focus on building content for one primary platform while using the remaining 10% to repurpose content for other platforms in order to guide viewers towards your primary platform.
While multistreaming is a great tool worth experimenting with, the bigger question you should be asking here is: Which platform becomes your primary platform and which platform becomes your ancillary amplification platforms?
There’s a simple rule of thumb to decide that – your audience decides which platform becomes your primary platform. Based on your product, your targeted demographic and various other parameters, you can decide on your primary platform. To know more, read: – ‘Which channel will you use?’
All these different platforms require different live approaches. YT lives usually have a greater discoverability aspect to it, which is why you need to do your longtail keyword research really well for better reach. Facebook lives have a more ‘live here, live now’ philosophy, where your viewers just happen to stumble upon your content. So your live stream needs to mould itself according to the needs of the platform that it’s using.
Considering we use Streamyard ourselves for the show as well as for all our live streams at InVideo, we highly recommend that software for you to get started. It is super easy to follow and you can be up and running in minutes with this tutorial.
Step 2: Your biggest bottleneck to live streaming: You!
You know all the levers to pull for you to go live. You’ve read up all the tips and tricks that the internet has to offer on how you can do gold-standard live streams and yet, you haven’t done a single Facebook Live so far! Why? Here are 3 of your biggest obstacles stopping you from getting started (Hint: all of them come down to YOU!)
(A) You’re still trying to figure what your live streams should be about
(B) You feel that you need pro-level equipment worth hundreds of dollars to create professional-looking live streams
(C) You don’t feel confident enough to get on camera
How do we know this? We ‘ve been in the exact same spot where we obsessed over getting the perfect camera or setting up the perfect mic or crafting the perfect background for days, until we threw caution to the wind, went out and spoke to Luria and David, and put a blueprint together based on our requirements and budget constraints. We want to do the same for you and give you everything you’ll ever need to hit the GO LIVE button today. Let’s get started.
(A) What should my Facebook Live be about?
For those who want to venture into Facebook Live Streams, it is natural to ask the challenging question, what should you make a live stream on? We have compiled 10 easy ideas for you to get started on:
1. Interviews and Discussions
A very popular live stream idea is to invite an expert on the stream and interview them about a relevant topic. It can also be a mutual discussion between two or more participants. A great example of this is our own show with Steve Dotto, where he invites a new guest speaker every week and interviews them on a topic that our audience wants to know more about.
2. Product Guides and Tutorials
This is a great way to promote the use of your products and give the user a live demonstration of the usage and effectiveness of the product. For example, here is a demo video of distress paints streamed live by artist Tim Holtz on Facebook.
3. Product Launches
If you are a brand with a big product launch coming up, you should definitely consider launching your product live on Facebook. It creates a lot of buzz and you can promote the launch days in advance. Here’s the live video stream of Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook HQ, for the product launch of ‘Facebook Live’ feature in 2016.
This is a popular choice of live stream for major brands and influencers on social media. This works best if you have an existing user base that engages with you enthusiastically on your other live videos. Here’s an example of a Facebook live Q&A by telecommunication company KCom.
5. Live Events
Live events are a great way to make your viewers feel part of an event that they cannot physically attend. Here is an example of a live stream of one of the most anticipated football matches of any given year, the El Clasico:
6. Performances and Fundraisers
Facebook is a great platform for you to live stream performances and also host simultaneous fundraisers, which always endears you to your followers. Here’s an example of such a fundraiser hosted by famed DJ David Guetta on Facebook live:
7. Live Stream Gaming
Calling all gamers, this is your golden opportunity to get your Facebook followers to tune into your gaming journey live. Although Twitch is a popular platform for gamers to live stream their gameplay, Facebook live has been a recent favourite for gamers owing to the diversity of the audience on the platform. Here’s popular Argentinian footballer Sergio Aguero playing GTA live from a Facebook page:
8. News and Announcements
If you have to share some important news with your followers, maybe about a restock of a product or an upcoming sale, you can always ditch the traditional status update for a fun Facebook live. It gives you a chance to be expressive, connect with your followers and keep them engaged. Here’s an example of America’s Top Model TV Show using Facebook live for much-anticipated contestant reveals.
9. Go Live with an Influencer
A super effective idea to grow your following is to go live with an influencer, who can talk about your product on the live. If you are an apparel brand, you can go live with a fashion influencer and have them showcase your clothes live on the stream. Influencers have a massive follower base and can help you grow your brand. Here’s a split-screen live on Facebook influencer marketing:
10. A Regular Live Show
If you have a great content idea, you can make a regular show out of it. Take, for example, comedian Iliza Schlesinger who has come up with a regular live show called ‘Don’t Panic Pantry’, where she live streams cooking at home with minimal products owing to the coronavirus outbreak. She hosts this show live every week with her chef husband and it has a dedicated follower base.
Step 3: Let’s talk set-up!
You are fired up and ready with your own ideas to begin your first-ever live stream, but do you have the set-up needed for it? The set-up is important to make any live video look attractive and professional for your followers. There are some minimum requirements you need to address for you to be able to do a good Livestream:
(A) Good processing power
A live stream is possibly going to be the heaviest burden on your computer, heavier than even video editing. So, you need to ensure you have a computer that’s up for the job and has the right specs to support a live stream. Gaming computers are usually a great choice because of their insane processing power. Our recommendation is to get a min Quad-Core Intel® i5 (6th Generation) with at least 8 GB of RAM for live streaming. Anything with a better configuration will just make things easier and smoother.
(B) Stable internet connection:
Most broadcasters recognize the critical role of network connections in creating great live video. As a result, one of the most common questions we receive is about the minimum internet speed requirements to stream effortlessly. There is no one answer to this and it comes down to the resolution at which you intend to stream.
NOTE: Bandwidth and speed are not the same.
Your ISP might declare your upload bandwidth at 10 Mbps, but the best upload speed you can achieve in reality can be much lower. Our advice is that you test your upload speed with an ‘Only Me’ live video that you can then delete. Also, focus on stability. Do your best to ensure a stable connection. You can boost your connection by connecting directly to the modem, and disconnecting additional devices that might eat up your stream speed.
Step 4: Camera
Believe it or not, that’s a webcam shot and a pretty good one at that. In fact, our host Steve Dotto does all his livestreams using a webcam. But you have a choice- you can either go with a good webcam that will set you back by around $100, or a good DSLR that will set you back by around $800 – $1000. As you can see, there is a major price difference and hence, if you just need professional quality, don’t have the budget and if it’s going to be a while before you’re going to be able to spend that kind of money, then definitely go for a webcam.
But if you’re thinking let me get started with a webcam right now and 2 months later I will anyways upgrade to a DSLR, we’d recommend you don’t spend on a webcam but instead just wait it out and continue doing lifestreams using your in-built camera/existing set-up. It won’t look great but you can test out your content and start building an audience from day one if you’re bringing them value, and then once you’re ready to make the commitment, go all in with the DSLR. The sooner you can get there, the better. But having said that, always remember that your audience is looking for connection and not perfection.
One thing worth noting about making the transition from webcam to DSLR is that you will need a consistent power supply without which your DSLR will shut down. This is what discourages quite a few creators from switching to a DSLR. However, a workaround to that is using a dummy battery, which is essentially a battery that can be connected to a power source.
Another essential thing to remember when you’re choosing a camera is to make sure you get a clean HDMI feed from it during your live streams. This means that the feed will just display the camera signal and not all the other icons (like the battery), that you wouldn’t want to display on your Livestream. That’s one of the reasons why we recommend the Sony A-series cameras since they do that right out of the box as opposed to others like the Canon M50.
However, in the event of you already owning a camera that’s not Sony, here’s a workaround that you could use.
Step 5: Audio
If you don’t have a lot of time, energy or money to commit to live streaming right now, it will be wise to spend all of what you have on getting high-quality audio. This is because we have observed that people are willing to put up with poor video quality if the accompanying audio is of good quality, but they simply will not tolerate poor audio quality on a Livestream.
Our recommendation is that you simply choose a good USB mic since it will fetch you amazing audio quality without all the complexity. Most people will go overboard with the audio set-up by including a gold-standard mic and audio mixer when all they really needed for gold-standard live streams was a USB mic. For example, Luria uses a USB mic – the Samson Track Pro.
What’s more important is the positioning of the mic- the closer it is to your mouth, the clearer the audio. So, don’t fret about your mic being visible in your video since your audience knows you are using one and it doesn’t in any way take away from the visual aesthetics of the Livestream.
Step 6: Lights
Most people that are getting started with any kind of video content love natural lighting, but a word of warning- natural lighting can cause a lot of frustration since the weather, time of the day, etc. are all externalities that will affect your video but are beyond your control. In fact, more often than not, the look and feel will heavily vary even if you are recording your live streams at the exact same step and at the exact same day and time every week. This is often a major contributor to you postponing your live streams to another day.
You would ideally want to remove all obstacles that prevent you from wandering off your path and hence, investing in lights will be the way to go.
Ring lights are perfectly adequate for most people, since they usually also come with a mount in the centre for the camera, and give you a uniform and even light distribution across the entire frame of the shot you are in.
They will only set you back by roughly around $200 and will get the job done. One thing worth noting is that if you wear glasses, we strongly recommend you to either take it off for the duration of the video or adjust the angle of the lighting to make sure you avoid the glare.
Step 7: Backgrounds
Once you have the lights, camera and audio in place, you should be thinking about the background. It is one of the most critical elements of your video and also one of the most difficult things to get right for most people.
Why is it so important, you ask? Well, it single-handedly creates the environment that you want your audience to be in. We would highly recommend you to not use a green screen for a Livestream because it could feel amateurish if you do not know what you are doing. Instead, you should curate a background that’s quintessentially you.
For example, take the YouTuber ‘My Bourbon Journey’, and how his video background, which is basically just shelves of bourbon, is something that perfectly describes who he is and what his interests are.
Another reason why your background should be something uniquely ‘you’ is because it can serve as a great talking point for your audience; forming new relationships in the process. So, it’s worth taking the time to set it up.
On the other hand, if you do not invest any time into making sure you have a decent enough background, it sends a wrong signal to your audience. It is a non-verbal cue saying that you simply cannot be bothered enough to put in the effort to make your Livestream look good, and that is not the kind of message you should be sending out. For example, you wouldn’t want to be taking marketing advice from someone whose background looks super messy and neglected.
While you should be bothered about your presentation, you shouldn’t be obsessed with being too formal. If, for example, you were to have your dog in the background, or have your kids walk-in, those would definitely drive your engagement and be the best things that could happen on your live stream. These are perfectly acceptable occurrences and often very entertaining for your audience to watch.
Now, we don’t completely discourage the use of virtual backgrounds. They can definitely be used but they need to be done properly with the right lighting and a green screen. The biggest observation we have made over the years is that most people either want to do things perfectly or don’t want to do it all. But, in reality, half the battle of live-streaming is simply doing it, and if you’re not doing it, you are not progressing at all. So, the worst thing you can do is wait until things are perfect and then go live.
Step 8: Analyse and Iterate
So, you have completed your Livestream set-up and you can go live at any moment, but how would you analyze your live stream’s performance? Well, Facebook has you covered. They have an option called ‘Page Insights’ where you can track a diverse range of metrics for all your content.
Track your post performance and see how many people saw your live stream, commented on it, shared it, and more, through Facebook’s analytics tool.
With Facebook’s video engagement statistics, you can figure out which Livestream received more engagement from your viewers, which can in turn help you understand what kind of content your viewers are responding to. Engagement usually means any sort of action that your viewers have taken on your video – like commenting, reacting or sharing.
Your viewer retention metrics can be highly insightful. While looking at your ‘Peak Live Viewers’ graph, which shows you how many viewers watched your live video at different points of the stream, see if there is a particular place where many viewers dropped off. This would mean that the content failed to engage them after that point and you could try something different.
Along with the above insights, look at the break up of 3-second, 1-second and 1-minute views. Try to improve the ratio of 3-second to 10-second views as a starting point to assess the improvement in your live streams.
Step 9: Repurposing your Facebook Live
If you have one big piece of asset that is high-value and in-depth in terms of content, what you would want to do is take this piece and repurpose it so as to best fit different platforms. You would also want to extract multiple smaller meaningful pieces of content from the main piece. A few ways to do this are as follows:
(1) Turn the content and insights covered in the live video into a detailed blog so that it can be indexed by Google – At InVideo, we do this for every episode of ‘Between You and Me’, and this piece you are reading now is a prime example of it
(2) Turn it into a podcast and distribute it across audio platforms – Every leading media publication is now venturing into podcasts where they take their major video stories and turn them into interesting podcasts. For example, leading publication Vox runs The Weeds Podcast on politics and policy, where they discuss topics which they have covered throughout the week in print and digital media.
(3) Turn it into snackable pieces of content that can be used across the month – A very convenient idea for a snackable video is to pick an important quote and make a small snippet around it.
At InVideo, we shot a live video with Kim Garst and we turned one of her quotes into a snackable video for our Instagram.
You can pick up an interesting insight from your main content and post a short video around it to generate conversation. We did the same with Mark’s insight on how brands need to stay relevant during the pandemic.
A teaser is a tried and tested hype generator that never fails to capture your viewer’s attention. Here’s how we made a short lead-up video to the main video with Mark Schaefer:
You can also go for bite-sized explainers which basically breakdown what the main video is about in not more than 10-15 seconds.
We’ve given you a playbook to get started with Facebook live streams, and we have made it easier than ever for you to get started. But, it is you who has to hit the play button, and as we’ve stated before, the biggest bottleneck to doing a live stream is you. Let go, and start today- with what you have, and build on the fly. And, if you do hit a bottle-neck you can always always reach out to the team at InVideo 😉