Essential Live Streaming Tools

Essential Live Streaming Tools

There is no better time to jump aboard the live streaming train to get the word out about your product or service. Live streaming continues to increase substantially, having grown 99% between April 2019 and April 2020. With that kind of growth, it certainly makes sense to launch a live streaming channel.

While setting up a livestream may appear to be a daunting task, rest assured that it is not a complicated or expensive project. The most basic setups contain a video camera, a reliable internet connection, and a streaming website or other platform for broadcasting the stream. Let's take a closer look at each of the components to get a livestream up and running quickly.

sources

Audio-Video Sources

The most essential component to a livestream is the audio-video equipment used to broadcast out to viewers. This equipment includes either a webcam, a GoPro or other DSLR camera, a video screen, and a built-in or external microphone.

Mobile devices

Today's mobile phones and tablets are equipped with high-quality video cameras that are quite suitable for livestreaming. Mount the device on a tripod or other appropriate stand for hands-free stability, and it's ready to go.

Dedicated video cameras

Today's consumer video cameras fit the bill quite nicely for those seeking higher quality video. These dedicated cameras are available with a variety of features for those seeking a more professional-looking stream.

Computer audio-video

Today, most laptops come with an integrated camera and microphone so that little to no setup is needed for livestreaming. There are settings within the laptop's software to control sound and video settings for an optimal presentation. Should the computer lack an integrated camera, an inexpensive webcam can be used. Many higher quality webcams also contain their own microphones.

Reliable Internet Connectivity

Having a fast and reliable internet connection with plenty of available bandwidth is essential to a successful livestream. If your video is buffering, unclear, or pixilated, it will result in lost viewership.

Here are some factors to keep in mind when ensuring suitable internet connectivity for your stream.

  • Since streaming requires uploading a video, the higher the Mbps of upload speed used, the higher quality the video is. Some guides suggest that 100mbps or higher is preferred to have the best quality stream. Some say that anywhere from 10mbps and up will do.
  • Improve bandwidth by removing unnecessary and unused devices in your network
  • Use the most current software and hardware and close excess programs and apps that are not in use on your computer.
platforms

Selecting the Right Streaming Platform

Today's livestreamers have many social media platforms at their disposal. Here is a breakdown of the most popular sites, along with their respective pros and cons.

YouTube Live

Advantages

  • Massive viewer base that can give your livestream lots of exposure.
  • Simple operations and easy-to-use interface.
  • It is easy to find livestream events for audiences.
  • The stream can be monetized through YouTube's advertising program.
  • YouTube helps boost SEO by creating backlinks that are created when adding your website link into your profile page or within descriptions of your videos.

Disadvantages

  • YouTube has many rules that can restrict what you can do with your channel. YouTube's rules touch on everything from what you are posting to how your channel appears.
  • Competitors can run ads near your video, which can take away from your brand.

Facebook Live

Advantages

  • Facebook reaches a vast audience that may already be following and interacting with your business.
  • Users can instantly access your livestream with a notification if they are already followers. Even those that don't follow the page can find the stream.
  • It's easy to do small sneak peek videos on Facebook as teasers to advertise your upcoming livestream.
  • The Live video can stay on the page indefinitely and still get views. They can be repurposed for online marketing, emails, or to other social media platforms.

Disadvantages

  • Might be difficult to discover the stream if you are not part of the group or community where the stream is shared

Twitch

Advantages

  • While Twitch is used primarily by gamers, it can be a useful platform if your product appeals to an audience into tech, gaming, and fantasy.
  • The platform is easy to use and has onboard tools for engagement and interaction.
  • Twitch streamers can earn money from users through subscriptions.

Disadvantages

  • Twitch attracts a niche market of mostly gaming, tech, and certain hobbies. If your product or service isn't relevant to these areas - you may have trouble growing

Instagram Live

Advantages

  • Live feeds are shown first in the story sequence, which can encourage more views.
  • A LIVE label is placed at the top of the newsfeed so that viewers can easily find the livestream.

Disadvantages

  • Instagram does not allow the live video to be saved for more than 24 hours after the stream.
  • It is difficult to customize or brand your stream. You are limited to what Instagram lets you do, which is not much.
mobilecam

Conclusion

Livestreaming continues to become one of the fastest-growing marketing strategies. Getting started in streaming is as easy as using a mobile device's camera with a reliable internet connection and a popular social media livestreaming platform.

The Melon web-based studio can broadcast your livestream to Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch in just five clicks. Melon enables you to livestream to four platforms simultaneously with complete control over how you appear when you stream. Contact us for more information on how Melon can increase your livestream audience with its innovative yet easy-to-use features.