Most artists and bands create videos for their music, but many overlook the value of livestreams. In fact, the ones that do actually do it don’t always take advantage of the marketing opportunity. All it takes is a little thought beforehand, and not only will you find that you have successful livestreams, but you’ll find them less stressful than they might be now.
Tip #1: Understand Why First
You don’t want to go live just for the sake of having another piece of content. There has to be a solid reason. Are you promoting your latest release? Are you announcing some new merch? Are you trying to increase your audience? Are you showing something behind the scenes that your fans would enjoy?
Understanding what the goal of the livestream is will be crucial to its success, so think this through first.
Tip #2: Promote It In Advance
The big key to actually getting people to your livestreams is advanced promotion. This means that you should set a day and time, then send an email to your list, place announcements on social media, and take advantage of any of the announcement tools that your livestream platform might have.
Don’t just do this once though. A good strategy is to start a week out, then another announcement 3 days out, the day before, and twice the day of – once a few hours before and one 15 minutes before announcing “We’re about to start.”
You might want to follow up the day after the livestream with either a replay link, or just a shoutout to those that showed up. By telling everyone how great it was, you release the FOMO for your next livestream.
Tip #3: Have A Plan For The Livestream
Think of it as a 3 act play with a beginning, middle and end. The very beginning is most important because if you don’t capture a viewer’s attention immediately, they’ll be off to something else.
What I like to do is script the intro and the ending, which is just a sentence or two, so you don’t fumble too much at the most crucial points. Use bullet points for the middle so you have a roadmap of where to go while still keeping it spontaneous.
Tip #4: Make Sure There’s A Call-To-Action
There’s a reason why you’re livestreaming, and ultimately, it’s getting the viewer to take an action of some kind. Do you want them to go to Spotify to hear your new release? Do you want them to go to your website to check something out? Do you want them to go to your online store to purchase a new piece of merch? Do you want them to vote in a poll?
Make sure that the call-to-action is clear, and there’s a link easily available in the chat for them to click. Even better, make sure you mention it at least a couple of times during the livestream – not just at the end.
Tip #5: Choose Your Platform Wisely
There are now plenty of platforms that you can livestream on. Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all give you the ability to go live. Which one do you choose? Go where your audience is first and foremost.
It’s now possible that you can also cross-post to multiple platforms via RTMP using an app like Restream, but the setup and cost may be more than you want to take on, at least at first.
NOTE: You can’t cross-post to Instagram or use one of the tools I’ll mention below – at least no yet.
Tip #6: Use The Right Tool For The Job
While you can go live using the built-in tool on your platform of choice, there are many standalone apps or sites that can give you a more professional presentation. Streamyard is a good one to get started as it’s dead easy to set up and use. Ecamm Live is a step up in versatility. OBS Studio is used by many gamers for livestreaming, but it requires a bit more technical expertise to get going. There are many more besides these if you just do a search.
What these apps give you is the ability to insert graphics, add guests, add music and effects, play videos, and in some cases, even switch between cameras. You may not need any of these features, but it’s good to know that they’re easy to get when you do.
Successful livestreams aren’t that difficult, especially if you follow the above steps. While spontaneity might work for some, usually a bit of structure gets better results.