3 Tips for Live Video
Live Video has taken over social media and for good reason. It's a great way to reach your audience with an authentic, raw feel. It creates engagement more than text or photo posts and the platforms are pushing live video before all others, so in a world where you need to pay to have more than 9 people see your latest FB post, live video is a way to get more views for free.
Want to stand out with your live videos? Make them look as good as you can.
No one expects perfection with a live video. That's kind of the fun of it. But if you take your videos up a notch, you'll stand apart from those who are just whipping out their phone and jabbering on about nonsense.
1. Know your purpose.
Yep, this is one of those things I say about every single video. If you know the purpose of your video, you'll stay on topic. If you stay on topic, your video will be relevant. If your video is relevant, then people will stick around to watch. If your purpose is to prove how awesome of an omelette maker you are so that people will buy your 2-Minute Omelettes Cookbook, then the content of your video will be showing how to make an omelette in 2 minutes. You won't start talking about the latest and greatest spatula. That's for another video.
2. Know your environment.
Ok, so if you're filming an on-the-go live video, this is going to be much harder. But if you're sitting inside giving hints about what's going to be included in your new button subscription box for the month, then you can totally take control of your filming stage and make your video look professional.
- Check your lighting. Do you have windows nearby (not behind you!) that you can open up and let the light shine in? Natural light is always the best to work with. If you're in a deep dark dungeon and no light is getting in, switch out your light bulbs for daylight bulbs to get rid of that yellowy look that will show up with regular bulbs. There are also some nice inexpensive ring lights and video lights on Amazon that work great at giving you that little glint in your eye.
- Check your noise. Kick the kids and the pets out of the room. No matter how much you threaten them, they are going to giggle, sneeze, or lick themselves. Turn off the heater or AC while you film to get rid of the hum. If you're outside, good luck with getting mother nature to cooperate. Birds will sing and wind will blow. Amazon has some great smartphone lav mics that you can pick up for around $20 that will improve your sound quality.
- Check your clutter. Just get rid of the junk in the background. You want people looking at you, not trying to figure out why you've got a collection of old fishing magazines stacked from floor to ceiling in your kitchen.
- Stop Shaking. Easiest way to do this? Put your camera down. Prop it on a book or a pot or shelf or heck, head to Amazon again and buy a tripod. Just stop moving so you can stop making people feel seasick. Also, set that camera up higher. For some reason the majority of live videos I see have people looking down into the camera. No one wants to look up your nose. Looking just slightly up into your camera gives you a much better profile.
3. Know your platform.
Facebook and Instagram and the two most popular platforms for live video, and although they are incredibly similar, there are some differences you should know.
- Facebook allows either horizontal or vertical videos. Now, some people tell me they still have trouble with horizontal videos, but from what I can tell, as long as you open up Facebook and start your video in horizontal mode, you should be fine. Experiment and see how it goes. Also good to note is that Facebook counts a view at 3 seconds. So you just need to get people to stick around for 3 seconds to get a view count. But.... this means those 3 seconds need to be good to get them to stick around. Tell your viewers what you're going to talk about in the video and then stick to it!
- Instagram only allows vertical videos at the moment. Don't even attempt horizontal, because no one is going to hold their head crooked to watch you. I promise. Unlike Facebook live videos, Instagram doesn't put live videos in your feed. People can get notified about them, but they still have to go click your button to actually watch them. Consider giving a head's up about an upcoming live video in your feed so when people get the notification that you've gone live, they will know what you're going to talk about.
Any video, but especially live video can be scary at first. But remember that no one expects perfect in these videos. That actually makes live video a little less daunting because you won't have viewers nitpicking your every move and word. Plus, now you've got some great tips to get you started.