Welcome to HOW TO LIVE STREAM LIKE A PRO - your ultimate guide to becoming a pro at Facebook LIVE
The move to live video streaming makes sense! Social media works best when we’re in the moment. Think how quickly you refresh your Twitter feeds, consume disappearing Snapchat snaps, and look at trending topics. We want to know what’s happening right this second.
And nothing is more “in the moment” than live video.
Early viral hits included first-person gems like the giggle-inducing Chewbacca Mom video, but Facebook Live’s rapid growth since then has been fuelled by news organizations and brands experimenting on with the channel.
LIVE USES FACEBOOK'S SOCIAL POWER
People get notified when their friends are watching a Live video, and users can invite others to watch with them. They can also jump in at any time while the video is streaming, using Facebook reactions and comments to engage with the video while also watching how other viewers are reacting.
And, yes, other video apps have similar social features, but only Facebook is as big as, well, Facebook.
Facebook updates its algorithms often, but major changes tend to both reflect and shape the way we create and consume content. Take the algorithm change that favored posts with photos, for instance. Facebook incentivized brands to add more visual elements to their social posts, while at the same time updating the Newsfeed to make photos more prominent.
Its latest update to the algorithm favors video, especially Live videos, over other content. So if you’re working hard to reach your follower segments on Facebook, video will make it a little easier.
BEFORE YOU GO LIVE
Just like any scheduled event, you should promote your Live video before it happens. You can use all your usual communication channels, including Facebook itself.
THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO GO LIVE
Facebook Live works with pretty much any device that’s capable of accessing a Facebook app, so you can use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Additionally, Facebook’s Live API allows you to produce a Live video from any device with live video encoder software. This means that even a multi-camera event can be broadcast through Facebook Live, whereas before you’d need a device with the Facebook app. If you want to reduce shakiness of the video or improve the audio quality, you have a few options. Try using a tripod or selfie stick to keep the frame steadier. This will also allow you to put your recording device closer to the action.
Lavalier or directional microphones will vastly improve your audio quality for interviews and events.
Always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re filming inside, make sure your lighting works when you look at what your followers will be seeing. If you’re outside, don't stand in front of the sun or cross back and forth from shade to sun.
In terms of internet connection, you don’t need to be on wifi to use Facebook Live, but it’s the best choice. If you can’t get wifi, then you need at least a 4G network connection to make it work. If your connection isn’t good enough to stream, the button will be greyed out.
This is a VERY important point and one that generates the most questions. People often ask why their stream stopped, was interrupted or paused. Often the reason is due to Facebook/Instagram/Youtube monitoring and noticing the use of copyrighted music in your live stream. Unfortunately, there's no way around this. Facebook (who owns Facebook and Instagram) have a very tight policy on copyright music and therefore will monitor ALL live streams with their automatic content identifier.
Usually, they will send you a notification to let you know they've detected music and give you a warning. However, after a couple of these, they will simply shut the live stream down.
Live covers (someone singing over a backing track) are usually okay and seem to bypass their system. If you are going to be playing music we would suggest copyright free music (like this), doing covers, remix's of songs or avoid playing them at all.
As mentioned above covers and remixes are great and seem to be able to bypass the copyright management systems implemented by the big LIVE VIDEO operators.
OWN A CAMERA?
If you already own a DSLR/VIDEO Camera you can connect this to your laptop to enable great quality video content. You simply need to buy one of the following products that converts your HDMI Camera output into a webcam interface.
VERITCAL VS HORIZONTAL
Going live on your phone is easy. However, it only gives you the option of having a Vertical LIVE video compared to the much more professional looking horizontal video. It provides a much better viewing experience for your LIVE audience.
Assuming you have a laptop/Macbook with a DECENT WEBCAM. There are some very easy and cheap changes to instantly improve the quality. Here are a few USB microphones that enable you to directly connect these microphones to your laptop and stream much better audio.
The webcam on a laptop will broadcast a LANDSCAPE video and the audio will be greatly improved.
ALL THESE AUDIO PRODUCTS ARE 'PLUG AND PLAY' USB OPTIONS.
They do not require technically challenging installs.
The clip/lavalier microphone is great for presenters or informational videos where speaking is the priority.
The other two microphones are better for singing. If you own a good microphone already. You can purchase the USB Mixer and plug your microphone and music playback into this and then use the USB OUTPUT as your live stream feed. This mixer doesn't have an FX/REVERB function so if you also have a mixer, we would suggest using your mixer and taking the output from that into a 'Alesis Core 1' USB audio interface. Again this works the same as the USB Mixer and allows you to select this source as your LIVE STREAM audio.
Facebook LIVE requires a VIDEO and AUDIO source. These can be easily added by USB audio/video products.
If you own a microphone, using a USB MIXER would be ideal.
If you have a mixer and microphone, using an AUDIO INTERFACE is going to be better for you. There are two options dependent on mixer output.
BETTER VIDEO QUALITY
Audio aside, video is the other big thing here. If your webcam isn't great quality, we've linked some USB webcam options. Again, these are plug and play.
Like with all the products available for purchase, I've included different price points but, needless to say, the more expensive products are better quality and deliver a better quality live stream.
LIGHTING FOR VIDEO
Once you've got your webcam/DSLR/Video Camera setup and your audio feed it's important to get the most from your setup and ensure the lighting is correct.
Having a face 'Key' light is essential. Here's a few inexpensive options that can be used for a whole host of things alongside LIVE video.
THE PERFECT SOFTWARE
Now we need the best way to stream. If you're using one webcam and one audio source, we'd recommend using the FACEBOOK LIVE in-built platform.
If you have multiple webcams (Yes, you can use more than one) it's better to use a program like OBS (It's FREE).
You can also add graphics too alongside pre-recorded video content to create a more dynamic live video.
WRITE YOUR DESCRIPTION
This step is crucial! The description is the only thing your followers will see telling them what your video is, so it should be catchy, clear, and interesting.
If your followers start watching the Live video after it has already begun, make sure you’ve described it well enough so they know why to continue watching.
You’ll be able to update this description after you’ve completed your Live broadcast and before sharing, but during your broadcast, you’re stuck with the one you set prior to streaming.
Once you’ve entered a bit of compelling copy, click the blue “Go Live.” A 3-second countdown timer will begin before you are actually live streaming.
Live videos can be streamed for anywhere from a few seconds up to 90 minutes. Facebook recommends you broadcast for at least 10 minutes.
And once you’re live, you can choose to use a filter or even draw on the video for a more interactive experience.
If want to create a regularly occurring Live show, film it at a consistent time of the week and day so people know when to tune in.
You should also remember a few rules of Live video that you might not think of if you’re used to typically produced videos:
Audience members could join you at any time. Make sure to occasionally welcome new viewers and give them a brief recap of what they’re watching
Mistakes will happen during anything live! Just go with it and know that your audience also understands you’re live and things won’t be perfect – that’s part of the appeal of the medium, after all.
Pay attention to the live comments coming in to see if there are any questions you can answer or feedback. People might tell you things like “your audio is wonky” or “you’re too shadowed” that you might not realize when streaming.
Be Interactive - Run a competition or interactive game/quiz to get people interacting. The more people interact, the more it gets shared by Facebook's algorithm.
Monitor your stream with a different display - Confidence monitoring is essential to ensure a reliable and professional live stream. An extra display provides valuable perspective by letting you see your live show through the eyes of your viewers. For example – watch it live on your phone or another laptop (on must of course)
Look at the camera – not the monitor! Resist the urge to stare at the monitor to ensure your eyelines into the camera lens are correct!
Give yourself lots of pre-show prep time - Getting prepared for a professional-quality live show can eat up more time than you think! Being organized and mentally ready is essential for delivering a top-quality live stream. Allow yourself more pre-show prep time to reduce stress levels and help ensure you deliver the best possible broadcast.
Being able to vibe and bounce off a co-host or special guest can make your live stream more engaging for the audience. The added insight can add a fresh perspective to make your live show more interesting for viewers. If you can convince a well-established influencer to collaborate with you on a live stream, you’re going to be able to attract an even wider audience. There are tools available to help you connect with influencers: Famebit, Upfluence & Mention. These platforms allow you to find influencers that would be suitable to collaborate with and contact them directly.
Here are a few things you can do to capitalize on the momentum of your Facebook Live video:
REPACKAGE & RELEASE SHORT CLIPS -You can download your Live video file and create lots of smaller piece of content out of it. Try creating small clips to use in various social media posts or blog posts in the future. If your video is longer than 10 minutes, you likely have at least a couple of smaller segments you can turn into clips and repackage with other types of content.
LINK TO IT FROM RELEVANT CONTENT - Treat your Facebook Live video just like an article. If you write a blog post or create another video that’s relevant to the same topic, mention or link to your Facebook Live video and give people a chance to rediscover it. You can also embed a Facebook Live video into your website.
DISTRIBUTE IT THROUGH OTHER CHANNELS - Your video itself can be a story. You can cover it on your blog or other marketing channels and talk about the process of the video coming together, analyze comments or reactions, do a follow-up piece based on questions you didn’t get to during the live broadcast. There’s plenty of opportunities if you adopt the mindset that your Live video was just one piece of the puzzle.
AND THAT'S A WRAP!
You're now all set and ready to LIVE STREAM LIKE A PRO.
If you do purchase any of the products mentioned above, please do purchase them via the links on this page as we get a very small referral fee from each sale. It helps keep this guide free for everyone!
I'm more than happy to answer any questions via email too:
If you want more than a few cameras and want the stream managed by a team of professionals, get in contact with the team at KALM Creative who'll be able to assist with this and provide everything you need.