Live Streaming on YouTube
Live streaming on YouTube is a complex process. There is a constant fear of making a mistake on camera because you are speaking live, without editing and without pauses for thoughts. For some people, even the question of what to do during a live broadcast becomes difficult. Let’s dig into this topic together: what broadcasts can be and what needs to be done to make them successful.
The theme of your livestream broadcast depends on the theme of your channel. There is no one size fits all advice. A gaming channel would approach their stream much differently than a channel about crochet. However, let's discuss what kind of broadcasts there are, their types, formats and topics.
What kinds of live streams available
- Questions and answers
This is the simplest live streaming format that is perfect for any niche. You get questions from the audience in advance and answer them live. And it doesn’t matter at all what your channel is about. You can have a channel formatted around cooking or sports, the main thing here is that people will have questions for you.
If you are an expert who has already proven yourself in the eyes of your audience, then you will not have a problem with this format. Users will definitely flood you with millions of interesting questions. If you are still a young creator, then prepare the most popular questions yourself, as if the audience asked them to you. You can find questions by studying your niche and competitors.
If you work closely on niche analytics, then you already know the most popular user questions. And no matter how simple they seem to be, it is important for people to see your answers and have a choice in their options from different creators.
This is a great technique for streaming: both the fact that you analyze relevant topics for people, and the fact that you answer their questions. This will be a huge benefit towards creating authority for your brand in the eyes of your subscribers.
- Selection and discussion of news
Discussing news will allow you significant room for creativity. You can create daily news roundups every day, like the channel InvestFuture financial market. You can also sum up the results of the week similar to the "Editor's Office". Lastly, you can collect the most interesting topics for the month, like on our Prodvigate channel where we cover the different ways to promote on YouTube. Topics for news can also be different: you can review events that occur only within your niche, or around the world.
One way or another, this format can be adjusted to fit any niche and topic of your channel. Imagine that we have a channel about books - what's stopping you from making weekly collections of new products or some news from the world of writing? Sometimes, something so unexpected and significant happens that it’s necessary to go on air and share your thoughts with subscribers.
- Basic topics
Back to the fact that the most trivial questions in the niche have already been asked many times and will never stop being asked. Even if you take a look at our channel, the editors receive the same question repeatedly. New viewers will repeatedly ask; “what can I do if my channel is not growing”. This question can be answered in so many different ways because there are a bunch of facts that influence the answer.
Any basic topic that sounds very general (and people who are new to a topic will usually ask broad questions) can be discussed for a very long time, so you can use the whole time of your broadcast.
Surely, artists constantly receive questions about how to draw with one or another material. Even auto mechanics will receive questions on how to change the oil or what kind of oil to use for a certain car. For these types of questions, you can come up with entire systems of live broadcasts.
Each creator should have in stock a number of topics, which are called "chewing gum". These are very simple topics for you, as an expert, but have serious interest from viewers. If you run out of ideas, or you are tired and feel that there is no energy left for cool videos, make “chewing gum” content.
- Master Classes
Resuming the discussion on expert topics: you can do a master class where you demonstrate how to do something inside and out. If entertainment channels may think that this does not apply to them, then you are wrong. After all, you can do a master class on completing some particularly difficult and controversial missions in a game, or a master class on how you create your videos, a master class on how you come up with jokes. Anything that you do better than most can be the topic of a master class.
- Cooperative learning
Learning is always useful, that’s why it’s great to share your success in learning about a new topic. Discuss what you have learned in a lesson with your audience. A discussion centered around a topic you just learned is not only interesting for your subscribers, but also useful for yourself. It will help you retain the topic in your head by discussing the intricacies with your audience.
Review, opinion, unboxing, tests, feedback
There is an enumeration here, because slightly different topics are suitable for different niches. For example, if you have a movie channel, then the idea of reviewing a movie or series is suitable for you. If you have a channel about gadgets, handmade and hobbies, then unpacking or tests will suit you, depending on what specific channel topic you have.
The coolest thing is that the broadcast will be not only useful, but also emotional, because you will share your thoughts and first impressions about what will be discussed in it.
- Shared live stream.
This format is more complicated because of the amount of people involved. With more people participating in a stream, there are more chances for error but also a chance to share multiple perspectives and create exciting content. There are going to be more questions in terms of organization with this format. However, this style of streaming can turn out to be very fun and interesting. There are many types of shared broadcasts: a lecture from an invited expert, an interview, a discussion, a battle or a tournament, a game play - and so much more.
We consider only the most simple of all types of shared streams. If you dive deeper into each niche, you can find a ton of interesting ways to make this ‘group chat’ exciting!
If you have the opportunity to create an active broadcast, make sure to do it. For example, in the fitness genre you can do morning exercises together with your subscribers and answer questions along the way.
Basic rules for preparing live streams.
- You need to prepare the place and equipment in advance and test the live stream so that everything works and no mistakes happen during the stream.
- Be sure to pay due attention to the design of your streams : optimization, thumbnail creation and promotion for live streams is the same as for regular videos on the channel.
- Announce your streams in advance - write in the community on YouTube, make an announcement during the video and name the date. Make posts on social networks, place a temporary banner on the channel header - in general, make it clear to your subscribers , so that they can attend.
- Try to develop consistency in your streams. This is important for viewers and their attendance. If they know a clear stream schedule, then it is easier for them to plan their agenda. Come up with your own twist during your streams - it always keeps an audience engaged if you do something special for them. It doesn’t have to be something significant, even little original twists are acceptable. A great example is ending your streams with a special thanks to the most active subscribers. Then your most ardent fans will want to stay until the end of the stream.
- Be sure to prepare a streaming plan - it can be very simple, a couple of questions, but it should be there , because improvisation can only take you so far. Unless you're a stand-up star or a famous speaker. For everyone else, it is very difficult to have a logical and interesting stream without a plan.
- It’s better for people to announce in advance what rules you have on the air: you can’t spam, swear, harass, scam with links, etc. The culture of your channel is just as important to viewers as your videos. So protect yourself from unnecessary spam and negativity and create a sense of an organized community.
Keep a balance between information and emotions.
If you decide to hit only on emotions, it will be emotionally difficult for your audience and this may become a trigger for them. Some of your subs may no longer attend your live streams if it is emotionally draining. And one more reason - when a person feels strong emotions during a broadcast, they do not retain any information in their head, they remember only what they experienced at that moment. If this is your goal, then you will have to try not to overwhelm your subscribers, but give just enough to recharge them with emotions.
The other situation is also not that better - when you overload with information, facts, dates, terms, they quickly get tired and don’t remember anything. All information needs to be delivered at an even pace. Remember how you read documents, sometimes you have to read the same line again several times. Ultimately you must remember that YouTube is still for relaxing and having fun.
An audiences attention can be focused on one topic for eight minutes, then they get bored and disconnect. If in the middle you lose your viewers attention, you need to reengage them with something - a question or any other change of attention.
Make sure to add humor into your streams. Jokes and humor are all welcomed by viewers in any topic and niche.
How to prepare a live streaming plan
Answering the following questions should be your first steps in preparing for the stream.
Who is your audience?
If you have a new channel, then you will have to do this based on the audience analytics of your competitors, the analytics of the topics, and the statistics that the Internet can give you. You can use tools likeGoogle Trends and any other services for analytics of topics and user requests.
The objective of the stream
Here you must determine for yourself: getting new subscribers, warming up the old ones, gaining views, selling goods or services, advertising partners - in any case, try to make only one goal.
If you want to warm up the loyalty of your subscribers, then your goal may be to answer the most frequent question, to analyze some important topic. If you have a gaming channel and you want your subscribers to like you more, you can show them game hacks from popular titles like Grand Theft Auto, Elden Ring, God Of War etc. These hacks should enable your viewers to complete missions or gain goods in the game. This will gain your channel audience loyalty and gratitude.
Stream main topic
Make sure you deliver on the topic of your stream. Your audience will be expecting you to stick to the topic of your stream and provide some relevant information. It’s imperative that you give them what they expect. They are giving you their free time and “view” so you need to deliver on the information or entertainment that they expect. Only after defining tasks and objectives should you make your plan. Then you should define what steps you need to go through in order to achieve your goal. Here a more individual approach is required for each specific task.
The structure of live streams on YouTube
Let's move on to the next step. Let's take a look at the structure of YouTube videos. Of course, each niche will have its own exceptions and order, but we will consider what they all have in common.
In the introduction, you introduce the viewer to the topic of the stream. During the first couple of minutes provide easy conversation and create the right mood for the viewer, and at the same time lay out the agenda.
Make a promotion for your stream and launch it five minutes before the official start. This will give you time to calm down and collect your thoughts, and give viewers time to get to your stream after they receive a notification that it has started.
Do not start immediately with the topic of the stream, you and your viewers need time to get used to each other. It is better to start with something invigorating.
Share something personal or something related to your niche or passion.The audience will immediately understand your mood. It does not matter if it is not directly related to your stream- this part of your stream is about conveying enthusiasm for what is to come. Your subscribers will feed off of your energy and become excited for the main content.
After a short introduction, we recommend that you communicate the topic and value of your stream- why the audience should stick around. What useful or interesting things you will be explaining. Put the problem that you plan to solve on this stream at the very beginning. Then it will be easier for viewers to navigate what to expect and what they will get from watching. If there is a more detailed plan, then you can subtly explain this to your viewers. It is much easier to watch a program in which you know what to expect.
Make sure to avoid silence while waiting for more people to gather for the stream. Ask how your viewers are doing, what cities they are from, what interesting and new things they learned on the upcoming topic, what they expect from your stream. This will create an open atmosphere of free flowing communication and prime your audience for what is to come.
It is impossible to draw up one clear plan for channels streaming about topics in different niches. But we will provide some important points that you should keep in mind.
- Prepare materials in advance. Organize any materials you will share with your audience. This can be a video clip, art, infographic etc.
- Schedule a break. If you have a long stream, be sure to notify the audience when the break is scheduled so that they can also relax and treat themselves with a cup of tea at this time.
- Don't forget the chat. Schedule pauses in which you will return to your chat and answer questions from viewers or just chat with them.
- Think of several scenarios for the development of events. Random things happen, but this should not cause you to panic.
- Think about a strategy to encourage viewers to interact. If you do this correctly, your audience will be even more loyal and will gladly come to any upcoming streams.
Leave space for data collection. Announce new topics for videos or broadcasts, ask viewers about any ideas they have for you. Make a poll about what they would be more interested in learning first.
It’s extremely important to keep your audience's attention for as long as possible. This means it’s important to interest the viewer in watching your stream from A to Z. This can be tricky and it will be up to you to figure out the correct recipe for success. Remember that your personality and channel topic will be the main draw. After that, it’s up to you to find a clever way to deliver info and entertainment to your viewers.
Lastly, never forget to thank your viewers and say goodbye. There should always be a place for courtesy and etiquette.
How to be interesting during the stream
We have laid out all the important elements of streaming, except for the topic of presenting the material.
This is the main takeaway for presentation- do not make long streams without preparation. If you are going to stream for half an hour, this is a significant amount of time. You might want to consider making the streams simpler and shorter. Keep in mind that the longer you stream, the more difficult it is to keep the audience's attention and keep yourself in good shape.
If you are nervous about your performance, test streaming in a closed format or on Instagram etc , because it will seem easier for you to speak live, and the audience may be smaller.
Be sure to warm yourself up, we recommend stretching and any vocal warmups or tea to prepare yourself for communication and sitting in one position for a period of time.
Do not fill yourself with complicated information (unless the topic warrants this), use fewer professional words. Try and keep things simple for your audience so that they are able to understand the information being presented.
Keep a consistent rhythm during the stream, take your time and do your best no to have dead air. Perhaps background music will help you with this, but make sure you consider copyrights if you decide to play something in the background.
Remember that it’s important to look at the camera and smile. Sure, it can be scary, but smiling is the best way to connect with your viewers and create a sense of closeness. Your goal is to connect with your audience. Contact them, ask questions - they should feel like they are in a dialogue with you.
Also, don’t forget about providing a call to action. Tell your audience what you expect from them (like, comment, hit the bell). Don’t be shy and dance around looking for the right words. If it is important for you that they leave comments under the stream - ask them to do that.
This is just a guide but if you follow the advice given we are sure your next livestream will be a great success. As always, the Provigate team wishes you high views as well as awesome streams!