Want proof that video can move the needle? Consider these statistics supporting the notion that video is the media of the moment:
Further, in the social media world, one highly effective way to catch and keep the attention of those scrolling through their news feeds is with a livestream. In fact, according to research, viewers spend an average of three times as long watching live video as they do watching pre-recorded video. For consumers, the allure is undeniable: Livestreams offers a chance to witness an event as it’s happening — unedited and unfiltered — and get a true feel for the person or brand presenting the content in real time. And for brands, the longstanding lure of live video ramps up the opportunity to capture consumers’ eyes, as it’s simply hard to turn away from an in-the-moment virtual interaction.
A hot topic
Offering sizzling proof of the online crowds that live broadcasts can draw, TBA Outdoors client FIREDISC has created a pair of successful livestream shows that viewers can catch on the company’s social channels — including regularly appearing broadcasts on Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
The Texas-based maker of highly portable, propane-fueled plow disc cookers aired its first livestream, “Fired Up Friday,” in January 2020 to showcase favorite recipes owners can prepare with FIREDISC’s popular cookers and answer any questions viewers might have regarding the company’s unique offerings. And when a guest appearance on the show by country music singer Claudia Hoyser went viral, it inspired the launch of a second FIREDISC livestream series called “Fired Up Live.” In this music- and lifestyle-focused series hosted by Hoyser and first aired in June 2020, special guests include musicians who chat with Hoyser and present live performances on the show, all via web meetings.
Each of these successful livestream series offers FIREDISC a great opportunity to showcase its products, share its company culture, build its online following and expose its unique offerings to new prospective customers. The series have also taught the FIREDISC folks a thing or two about successfully livestreaming with remote guests.
5 Preparation Tips for Livestreaming With Remote Guests
If your brand is considering hosting a regular livestream to build up your online following, having remote guests appear on your show can definitely help boost its success — as FIREDISC’s example clearly shows — while saving the travel time and expenses required for in-person appearances. But hosting remote guests is also not always quite as simple as it may seem — doing so can present a tricky set of landmines for those who don’t plan ahead. (This is especially true for segments that are aired live and in the moment, which are obviously less forgiving than pre-recorded segments.)
Before you go live with your remote guest, take these five steps to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever the livestream action might bring:
1. Secure your livestreaming setup
Before you go live, you’ll want to make sure that both you and your guest have reliable internet connections, have plenty of equipment power to get through the segment, and aren’t experiencing and video or audio issues. Regarding the internet connection, conducting an internet speed test (such as the one found here) before the broadcast starts is always a good idea. If either of your livestreaming setups prove to be experiencing slow uploads or downloads, consider moving the lagging setup closer to its router or even hardwiring the setup’s internet feed. Be sure to check your battery levels before the livestream starts, and have a plug and outlet nearby in case either setup needs a power top-off before or during the show. Also, connect with your guest at least a half-hour before the livestream starts to test the audio and video feeds on both ends, so that you have plenty of time to iron out any wrinkles that may become apparent during testing.
2. Have a backup plan
Unpredictability is inherent to all live broadcasts, so it’s important to have a backup plan in place in case unexpected issues — such as your guest losing their internet connection, for example — arise and cause things to go south. One helpful option: Consider having a prerecorded segment or two at the ready so that you can just hit play to fill the void in your show’s run time that would be created if your live broadcast runs into any technical difficulties. Or have a backup guest such as a staff member from your company in place and at the ready, along with a list of already prepared interview questions for this backup guest, so that it’s easy to switch gears and finish the broadcast in a different way if the need arises.
3. Do your research
Before your interview begins, be sure to do some fairly extensive research on your guest’s background, as well as his or her current activities, interests and initiatives, etc. This will allow you to go off the beaten path and expand your interview beyond the obvious talking points — which often results in unexpected and interesting interview moments and can set your interview apart from all the others that have been done with your particular guest.
4. Prepare more questions than you’ll need
You never know how responsive (and/or talkative) your guests are going to be before you interview them, so it’s best to have a much longer list of interview questions prepared than you’ll expect you’ll need. This way, by having additional question options at the ready, you’ll be able to avoid any awkward unfilled airtime that might be created by a shorter-than-expected interview.
5. Be willing to go off-script
In addition to creating the longer-than-needed list of interview questions mentioned above, don’t feel like you have to be strictly limited to your list of prepared interview questions. After you ask your questions, pay close attention to your interviewee’s responses — and if he or she mentions something especially interesting, don’t hesitate to go down that path, even if the topic isn’t covered in your prepared questions. Some of the most exciting, much-watch moments of interviews are often the unscripted ones, and an effective interviewer knows when to go off-script and explore new avenues with their queries.
Could your outdoor brand use some professional guidance in ramping up your social media efforts to get more likes, views and followers? At TBA Outdoors, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of marketing specialists who can help you develop a winning social strategy and lots more — including web design, brand strategy, creative, interactive, analytics, SEO and conversion rate optimization, to name a few — all in one place. To get started with help ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.