Publicizing events is not easy anymore. People are already flooded with endless amounts of content (a term which has subsumed everything from cat videos to long-reads to live stream riots). Carving out even a few seconds of your desired audience is not easy. You have lots of options as to how to live stream an event, but here are some of the easiest ways to get started.
Look at the recent furore over ‘fake news’. The hundreds of thinkpieces on how Facebook algorithms were are a deciding factor in the US elections. The platforms we used religiously as marketing tools are no longer as straightforward as ‘post and followers will see it’. The mantra of content is king has never been more true, but it’s also never been harder to get your content out there.
So you need to up your game.
For some, the idea of live streaming an event seems counterintuitive. If your aim is to sell tickets to an exclusive experience, putting the whole thing online seems to defeat that purpose. How can you make the case that your event is worth paying out a ticket price for if you then stream it online?
The answer is you don’t.
Your live streaming should be a teaser trailer, not the entire event.
People don’t want to watch adverts. Even if you create beautiful montage of footage from last years events, people still won’t watch it unless it provides them something useful. This is where you can re-engage people who might have been on the fence about attending this year. Build on the excitement your event has already generated.
Don’t just tell them about the awe inspiring speakers your event has, include a live stream of an interview or keynote speech. Provide them with something useful and they’re much more likely to watch and share it.
The advantage to social media live streaming vs more advanced tools is greater authenticity. Not everything in your event should be through the perfect lens of post production. Social media is an excellent way to channel the more human element of your event.
Not to mention, all your followers are already built into these platforms. You don’t have to link them somewhere else.
So what tools are available for livestreaming?
How to live stream an event using Instagram Live
Instagram has been going all out lately to overtake Snapchat (Instagram Direct is a nearly identical concept of text over images, but the messages don’t self destruct).
Last week, Instagram released two major updates – disappearing stories in Instagram Direct and a second platform, Instagram Live.
Instagram Live allows you to live stream to your followers and the content will disappear immediately after. There are no replays.
How to live stream on Periscope
Serves almost the exact same purpose as Instagram Live but is much better integrated with Twitter. The videos remain available for 24 hours after creation. Your decision between the two platforms will likely depend on what sort of market you’re targetting.
Its also worth keeping in mind that Twitter is a rather fragmented set of services. Even though Periscope is linked to Twitter and subsequently to Medium, integrating the services isn’t easy. Twitter also has a huge problem with lack of engagement (especially if you are in the B2B world).
Test out the platform with something small before committing to it for your whole event.
How to live stream on Facebook Live
A slightly more established livestreaming service, Facebook Live is easy to set up and can run for a maximum of thirty minutes. The videos can be kept online for as long as you want, as distinct from the above options. Facebook live also allows you to stream direct to a group, which could be useful for smaller events with a close knit community.
Livestreaming can initially seem intimidating – there are a lot of tools and equipment out there. However, if you just want to try out livestreaming and like the authenticity available to you through simple social media tools, these are a great place to start with how to live stream an event.