Interest in livestreaming is booming. More PR pros are embracing the technology as bigger audiences flock to live and unedited video streams posted in brands’ feeds.
Competition among livestreaming providers is also rising. Facebook, for example, expanded its streaming video feature to all U.S. iPhone users last month. Periscope responded with updates, and Meerkat is thinking of creating a video social network.
Which platform is best for you? How do you get started? How do you get more viewers? Here are four tips to help newbies and experts alike get more out of livestreaming:
1. Encourage fans early to tune in. “Get your social media fans aware of your livestream by driving a ‘tune in’ message 24 hours before you stream and again an hour before the event,” says Pamela Naumes, senior director of brand engagement at C-Fresh, a division of Campbell’s Soup.
Here’s an example of a “tune in” tweet she used to promote a Meerkat livestream for Bolthouse Farms, a Campbell’s brand specializing in healthful products like juices and smoothies.
Naumes also recommends putting a small ($200 to $500) budget into a Facebook promoted post to help extend your reach.
Register for PR Daily’s March 17 PR University webinar “Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live for PR ” to livestream events, Q&As, product launches, CEO interviews and more.
2. Keep it fresh. Fight the urge to write a script for your livestream, says Naumes. Instead, keep the on-camera conversation fresh and organic.
“If you’re interviewing someone, it’s OK to prepare questions,” she says, “but make sure the interview comes across authentic and unrehearsed. Remember, livestream is live TV.”
3. Provide exclusive access. Make your livestream worth watching by giving viewers exclusive access to prominent online voices and popular events.
For example, “Create a livestream program that’s ‘behind the scenes,’ and encourage conversation between the viewers the influencer,” says Naumes.
She did something similar for Bolthouse Farms, when she launched a summer cocktail series on Periscope and Meerkat that featured some of L.A.’s biggest behind-the-bar stars. First up was Josh Goldman, bartender for the Soigné Group, who made two root-vegetable juice drinks on camera: the Borscht Belt and a mocktail called the Fozzie Bear.
4. Don’t be afraid to test multiple platforms. Some platforms are better for certain brands, but you won’t know which is best for you if you don’t compare them head to head, says Naumes.
“Get three phones and three people—and then test Meerkat, Facebook Live and Periscope,” she says. “It’s not awkward. The viewer doesn’t care, and it’ll help you figure out which platform is the best option for your next livestream based on the viewership and engagement metrics you receive.”
Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Pamela Naumes, senior director of brand engagement at Campbell’s C-Fresh, and Andrew Grinaker, content strategy director at Possible, will share more livestreaming best practices in the March 17 PR University webinar, “Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live for PR: New Livestreaming Best Practices to Reach Millions .”