7 Best Practices to make your LIVE video outstanding

Posted on April 12, 2020

Approach it like you are throwing a party. These are not my words, Brian Shin, CEO of video performance analytics from the firm Visible Measures said this. 

According to Shin, you want your live video to be “It’s like preparing for a big party – you want all of the things in order, but you still want spontaneity as well”

COVID 19 kept us home and has made us depend on tools that were always at our disposal. This is a silver lining that can not be neglected.  

The proliferation of LIVE video will inevitably strengthen brands who use this medium wisely and translate into tangible results when done consistently. (After typing this, I now have to figure out how and why I’d go LIVE as I am guilty of barely ever doing it.) 

1. Advertise in Advance

Advertising for your LIVE broadcast is the first step to get people to actually tune in. To cut through the clutter of everyone rushing to go LIVE on evenings it is key to get your fans to look for you specifically. Instagram can assist in reminding people once you do a countdown, people can subscribe and receive reminders. Even if you are not using Instagram as a platform posting about when you are going LIVE is crucial. Here the services of a graphic artist can be employed or take your time to do it yourself on apps such as CANVA. Have no time or resources for the above?  Use Create Mode on Instagram and save the story and then repost this across all your platforms. On Instagram you can add a countdown which will encourage people to subscribe to the next time you go LIVE. 

Building an audience will take time but you can make this process easier and more efficient by creating a routine people can follow. Go LIVE at set times every week and be as public about this time as possible.  Akeem and Salty did a lot of things right with their live broadcast. One of these is, they have taken over Monday Night and dubbed it Monday Night RAW. Now there is no ambiguity about when next they will come online – we all know it will be on a Monday night!

2. Consider the Look and Feel

Using the party analogy you want to organise your stage and venue but allow your patrons to express themself however they want. Similarly the look and feel of your LIVE video sets the tone for your viewers.

Know your application

In each platform such as Instagram, Facebook, Periscope there are special tools to upgrade your video. For instance in Instagram you can use filters to adjust the look for your live video.

If using a screen as a backdrop be sure to flip the images horizontally as the front facing camera would invert your video. Also you can filter negative comments on instagram to prevent ‘thirst men’ from spamming your live video’s comment space.

Create a ‘Set’

Be weird and creative. Think of this as your show and consider what is in your background, desk and visible by the camera. Do not dress up above your waist and forget pants – it may show.

You can add a photo or video to your LIVE video for an interactive presentation.
Commit to your concept and go all out. This Dj, Riggo2TheWorld started his own show and heavily commits to the concept.

3. Invite others to Interact.

Dj and Dancer

The best part of most live videos I have seen was the organic interaction between the host and their guests. Trending would be Djs playing music and ladies joining live videos on Instagram dancing to the songs being played. Some of these ladies are throughly invested and are repeat participants, expressing their own in house creativity. These videos have become popular due to the high shock value as we never know what to expect and it all happens in real time!

Popular Djs who invite ladies from all over the world to join them and dance are Rvssian, Salty_711, djyoungchow, techsounds and Tory Lanez.

Salty has developed a routine of going LIVE with Akeem 3.0 every Monday for his “Monday Night Raw” show. Learning from this, it is best to create a routine for your fans so they will know when you will be LIVE next. Salty has also been able to get some repeat participants on his live video. The most popular young lady is arguably Gabby, who brought in her birthday while dancing infront of her family live on instagram. As if this was not enough, Gabby had a pool in her room. Djs have really innovated with some offering prizes to the ladies and others pinning their cash app for donations. Tory Lanez pins the cash app of some of the ladies and the audience is invited to donate to their cause. Tory Lanez also dropped a new album this week which shot to the top of the charts helped by his LIVES.

Interviewer and Interviewee

In a more secular context, many use the live platform to conduct interviews and educate their audience. P. Star a Dj and Dr. Joanne Tull have consistently used their platform for education discussing topics such as the future of Carnival and how people within the entertainment sector can cope with the effects of COVID 19.

My personal favorite has been the Groove Theory interviews that feature DJs and Promoters as it is run by friend and colleague Christian Cha Cha. Right before COVID 19, Christian had ambitious plans of starting his DJ school and has simply continued via the Instagram live platform.

A poster advertising the popular interview between Shomari Smith and Laird of Friends of Friends.

Clash of the Titans?

The newest trend is a clash of tunes between producers. I’ve seen this done both locally and internationally. My favorite thus far was the classic battle of songs between Kasey of Precision Productions and Kernal Roberts, the son of the Lord Kitchener. Both played many road march and fete hits and engaged in friendly banter. This brought awareness to their legendary producer status. It was great to put a face to the beat makers behind the anthems we’ve grown to love. I also learnt that producing songs involved 12 hour nights and a lot of collaboration. These hits weren’t by chance – they worked hard for it.

Two famous producers, responsible for songs from Wu Tang Clan, Jay-Z and many many other Hip Hop anthems square off as part of a series started by Timbaland and Swizzbeats.

4. Save the Video & Re-upload

Yes. Don’t let your live video just disappear after 24 hours. SAVE IT! Take the best excerpts and post it after. If you need your 2 hours edited into 2 mins you always contact your favorite videographer (we at kensambury.com offer this service). You can do this yourself using an in phone editor and a lot of patience. Post excerpts in your stories and keep people engaged especially during the 24 hours when your LIVE is still available.

If you use a service such as Periscope which saves your LIVE video for you, then you can repost the link to your full video from time to time. I also noticed some ladies, who did make up videos posting the full look and redirecting people to check out their LIVE. The content does not need to be from the live but it also can be complementary.

5. Give instructions / Allow people to prep. 

A great example of this was for the Virtual Events and Chef Bridget Brunch. All got detailed instructions of what to purchase to make their perfect at home brunch experience.

Kensambury.com caught up with Chef Bridget Jones who gave us the story of how she connected with Virtual Events around ‘Shin’s Birthday’. She told us: “I much prefer the interactions I get on twitter rather than on IG. Twitter is much more responsive and interactive.”

DJs who invite girls to dance can give instructions such as a preferred dress code and remind these ladies to have sufficient lighting. Tory Lanez is known for ask dancers to walk with milk so be creative.

Got Milk?

Similarly, for LIVE broadcasts that aim to educate and not just entertain, the host can ask the audience to bring their notes and come prepared to ask questions. To allow your Q&A run smoother and be more meaningful, remind the audience before and during the broadcast that there will be this segment at the end.

6. Have a Purpose

Having a clear objective helps to sustain the audience and makes the viewer know who they can share the LIVE broadcast with. Beyond this – a purpose helps determine your line of questions or structure.

For Djs, carrying us on a musical journey may be better if we don’t know the structure and we enjoy the surprise twists and turns the Dj makes in the moment. However, for interviews, sound clashes and tutorial LIVE videos a schedule or structure is important. When the University of Woodford Square met, another Virtual Events supported Live Broadcast on Periscope I was able to follow the entire show as they had “topics” which was prominently displayed on screen from time to time.

Pro Tip – LIVE Broadcasts usually reduce the quality of the video so use a clear big font so the works would be easy to see.

7. Engage and Follow up on individuals! 

In building a sustainable LIVE show, significant follow up is required. If you have a smaller audience I challenge the host to direct message the new attendees thanking them for their attendance. It may seem far fetched but I was pleasantly surprised when this was done to me. Now I feel inclined to pay attention when this page goes live because this page pays attention to me.

Live video builds out that know, like, and trust factor at a super-accelerated rate.

Kim Garst

For Djs who depend on ladies to participate, I think after every live video all the participant’s IG accounts should be listed so viewers could follow. Here, gratitude is a must because we depend on each other to keep ourselves educated and entertained.

In the past process to get an audience during a crisis would be near impossible given the priority placed on news of our current affairs. Now, we have the tools to reach people in the palm of our hands.

In the middle of a global pandemic, we still have our LIVES. Let us make use of it.

Ken Sambury

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