Friday, 27 September 2019

Live-streaming - Connecting With The World

Periscope Mobile App Warminster Town Football Club
Periscope Mobile App
Technology, as we know, has improved massively over the last decade and particularly with the advancement of smartphones connected to social media.

The high-quality cameras found in smartphones along with mobile broadband has allowed live-streaming to be freely available to all using such apps as Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Twitter and YouTube. Anyone can now broadcast live using such apps to potentially millions of viewers all around the world. This is wonderful news not just for businesses who can communicate with their customers but also for private individuals who have something to say or share their interests with others.

With forthcoming 5G this is only going to get even better.


A Word of Warning 
Of course, as in other parts of the online world, this technology can be used for good or bad. Terrorists, scammers, paedophiles, the weird and wacky can all avail themselves of this technology, and so caution needs to be exercised. If you have children be very careful, for one thing, it attracts paedophiles and secondly many of the online services used for live broadcasting can show an exact location too if the settings allow it.
Live-streaming can of course just be used for fun, education, news reports, sports events, promoting a business and much more. I use it for streaming football (soccer) matches for my team, Warminster Town Football Club. This has enabled supporters who can't get to games to be able to keep up to date with the match and enjoy the game on their screens. However, it has done much more than that. It has opened up the club to people that have never heard of the club before and has attracted individuals from all over the world. Some have made the journey to come to a game in Warminster. This is great for a lowly amateur football club.

The various platforms have varying quality of video stream and of course, your Internet connection will also make a difference. The best quality for me is YouTube but to broadcast live from a mobile device you must have 1000 subscribers. Facebook live is also good. Periscope and Twitter has a more limited bandwidth quality but for most broadcasts is adequate and can in my experience reach more people. Linkedin is good if you're a business to business company and you have to apply to Linkedin to livestream.

It's best to start using a platform that you are already using for social media as you will already have built an audience and of some of whom who will share your broadcasts. As a tip, when you are about to broadcast make sure the title contains good keywords and use hashtags so that others interested in your subject might find it. My live broadcasts are saved and can be viewed as replays and for most broadcasts I recommend that you set this as a standard. For my football club broadcasts over a short period of time more people watch the replay than the live match.

You can create anticipation for your live-stream by sharing a link to your platform in advance building an audience ahead of time. You can set up a message or email to be broadcast with say 15 minutes to go to remind people to be ready for you going live. If you intend to broadcast on a set day, then it would be good to stick to that day and time, making sure the time is suitable for the maximum viewing from your followers. This might take a little testing to get it right but it will be worth it.

On most broadcasts, you will be able to read comments from your viewers but be careful. I have watched some broadcasts where the host spends too much time deviating to say hello to viewers as they join the broadcast. When you start your livestream, by all means, take time to welcome guests but set a short period at the start to do this. Tell people you will welcome questions and answer them when you can. For new broadcasters, this isn't such a big issue until you start getting lots of viewers who start bonding with you and want to chat.

Before you start to broadcast test out your platform and get used to it. Most are very simple to operate with nothing more than your smartphone. The next level can include Bluetooth or radio microphones and lighting but start with the basics and work your way up. As long as the viewers can see and hear they are not too worried about anything else if the content you produce is interesting to them.

I look forward to hearing from you about your live-streams. You are welcome to tell me about them in the comments and add a link to your channel.

If you're a business, sports club, community group or charity I would recommend you learn how to make it work for you. It can make a huge difference in the results you hope for. If you have any questions or are looking for ideas feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the right.

Please feel free to leave comments and questions in the box below.


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