When the marketing and communications historians look back at 2020, they will be amazed. We all witnessed the flexibility, creativity, and courage remote professionals used to share videos from their homes. Bedrooms and kitchen tables became video sets to collaborate and participate in conferences and webinars.
After a few weeks of shadowed faces and blown-out window backgrounds, teams found ways to up their game. They used natural window light, added laptop mounted LEDs, and some background “set dressing” to make a better video impression. And along with better lighting, better and closer microphones made conversations sound like conversations and not speeches in an empty room.
Livestreams are a new, permanent member of your marketing and communications tool kit. Let’s run down the key considerations to keep your Livestream live instead of dead on arrival.
- Multi-camera is a must. No more speakers walking to a shared laptop hastily mounted on a podium.
- Title graphics and lower third identifiers are expected. Match your brand.
- Lighting appropriate for the environment.
- Consistent look and feel for recurring events.
- BTS (behind the scenes, not the K-Pop sensation) informal streams make participants feel like they are there.
How do I budget livestream events?
You make be thinking, “I know how to budget traditional video, how do I begin to budget a 20-minute live stream every other week?” The good news starts with smaller and cheaper gear. Old school traditional live broadcast trucks are gone. Today’s live video solution can live in a couple of carry-on size roller bags, Smaller video lights that don’t heat up the room make it easier to create a controlled and portable “set” for your Livestream. The tools can easily live in a small closet or cubicle, and be ready to go live in an hour or so.
This makes budgeting flexible, depending on your desire to rent or own. Many churches discovered that owning the basic equipment was better than renting every week, other organizations may find a rental is more convenient, or blending a rental of live stream hardware with existing microphones and cameras is the best approach.
What doesn’t change is the need for an experienced producer/director in the seat. Livestreams need to blend the message and the technology seamlessly to create a compelling story for viewers. Regardless of the audience size, a Livestream is a one-on-one conversation. When I produce and direct clients’ Livestreams I work with their teams to produce their graphics and pre-recorded video segments. I also partner with clients in the development of their video team, mentoring them to be able to produce future segments and ultimately video streams on their own.
We have strong presenters and personalities, how do we help them grow their on-screen skill and presence?
The most important person in a Livestream is the on-screen presenter. Yes, as marketers, we would argue it is the client, but in the Livestream, the person on screen is your organization and brand. Live on-camera conversation is the new skill set for executives and marketers. My clients leverage my experience in journalism and producing to help skilled leaders and public speakers evolve their skills to be effective on the video screen. Usually, within one or two coaching sessions we can discover and remove any habits that are distracting (I know, I tend to be a fidget-er, and need something in my hand in front of the camera.)