Live Video Streaming: Maximizing the Viewer Experience
By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
As was discussed in last week’s article Live Video Streaming: Periscope and Facebook Live, live video streaming is an effective way for retail dietitians to engage shoppers. It’s becoming an essential part of content marketing, and retail dietitians must grab their share of time consumers spend watching digital content from their devices.
While personal videos that capture adorable kid events or vacation highlights can be very casual and candid, live streaming content to engage your shoppers and build your brand takes more finesse. Consider these tips to maximize your viewers’ experience and produce great live stream videos:
- Have the right equipment. When you take pictures, you want back lighting. But with video, you want front lighting, especially if your live stream is a “talking head,” just you talking to your audience. Plan for additional ambient lighting that lights from the front. If you are filming in a kitchen, add a lavalier microphone to your set up. While you’ve become accustomed to typical noises like the hum of your refrigerator, a microphone will prevent all this background noise from being picked up on your video. If you’re filming a cooking demonstration, a tripod is recommended to hold your phone. There are a variety of tripod options available that will stick to kitchen equipment, allowing you to quickly move your filming phone as you move around a kitchen set up during the demo. Video files are large, so it’s essential to have storage through an online option or an external hard drive.
- Promote before, during and after. Prior to your live video, promote the topic, date and time through all your social channels, on your website, and through e-newsletters and circulars your retailer offers. Canva.com is a great site for creating quick ads that look professional. During your live segment, promote your retail company, and health and wellness services you provide to shoppers. Encourage others to share your video stream with friends and on their social sites. Consider the long tail engagement of what you can do with video. On Facebook Live, for example, the video is recorded and saved. You can continue to promote it after the live event as a way to increase engagement with shoppers.
- Be prepared. Don’t make the mistake of believing that live streaming can be managed off the cuff. As with all types of media, clearly outline what you plan to discuss and accomplish during the segment. It’s unusual for anyone to watch a live video in its entirety so be sure to repeat your elevator speech, three main points, and call to action several times during your live stream. As part of your preparation, test your audio and video, and make sure your phone battery is fully charged.
- Get comfortable handling questions and comments during live segments. People love live streaming as it’s a two-way dialogue. The magic happens as you respond to viewer questions and comments during your live segment. If during filming, your phone is too far away for you to read questions and comments, have a second device near you where you’re logged into the live stream and can respond to questions. Or consider having a partner help facilitate the discussion with your viewers during the live stream. While responding to viewers’ questions and comments is essential, manage the dialogue to prevent viewers from completely derailing your program and content.
Request to RDBA members: Are you already live streaming video? If yes, we’d love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experiences.