YouTube, the world’s largest video platform and the 2nd largest search engine behind parent company Google, has announced the expansion of its live streaming video service. Live streaming on YouTube was originally only available to a limited group of individuals and YouTube partners who streamed live sports, music and news events like the London Paralympics and U2 concerts. Starting today, and rolling out over the next few weeks, all verified YouTube channels that are in good standing will have the live streaming capability.
Why It MattersLive broadcasts are the next step in online video consumption, giving audiences another way to engage with your brand and are a great way to build a loyal audience through subscriber growth. For many brands, this new YouTube enhancement creates new ways to engage customers and target potential customers. Three different examples for businesses considering using live video broadcasts:
- Hospital marketers can inform potential referring physicians and enhance patient acquisitions via live broadcasts from operating rooms or Wellness Centers. Hospitals that engage referring physicians in live video webcasts of surgical procedures are able to showcase their expertise in a procedure so that a PCP can feel informed and comfortable in referring a patient.
- Colleges and Universities that might normally pay broadcast fees to a sports network can air live sporting events to attract current and future students and give out of town parents a chance to see their student athlete in action. Schools with sports teams that don’t traditionally receive broadcast exposure also have the ability to air live events that otherwise wouldn’t be available to view.
- Large corporations with distributed workforces can consider live private town hall broadcasts to engage and inform global employees. Many corporations don’t have the bandwidth to broadcast to thousands of employees over their internal network. Commercial third party tools can be very costly, but a private YouTube live event is a viable alternative.
What You’ll Be Able To Do
- Real-time transcoding is in the cloud, so you only need to send YouTube your highest quality stream. YouTube makes the broadcast instantly available in all resolutions and device formats.
- Show multiple camera angles, add closed captions, plus insert graphics and pre-recorded “B-Roll” video.
- Viewers can watch the live stream from any device, receiving the highest quality stream for their internet connection, and can skip back and forth in the live stream.
- Track statistics during the live broadcast including the stream status, number of concurrent viewers and average live view duration.
How To Get StartedYou will first want to check that your channel has been verified and is in good standing. This information is displayed under Channel Settings / Features when you are logged in to your channel. Next you will want to look in your video manager to see if your verified channel has been enabled – you will see the following if you have access to this new feature. You will want to think about your YouTube Live event before, during and after the broadcast with these key activities:
Before a Live Event
- Become familiar with the technical setup of a livestream before scheduling your event.
- Test everything well in advance of your event, including your internet bandwidth and consider using two computer/encoders for redundancy.
- Schedule the livestream.
- The metadata of your scheduled event is very important to attract an audience organically, so be sure to have a great title, thumbnail and an optimized description.
- Custom thumbnails and titles are especially important for live events due to their placement on your channel, in channel sections, in an email to your subscribers when the event is live, and on youtube.com/live.
- Promote the Live event on G+ by creating an event and making that event available “on air”. By showing additional fields you can reveal a YouTube URL to your G+ followers.
- Create a trailer or teaser video.
- Optimize your channel by doing the following:
- Create and feature a playlist or section on your channel that assembles videos related to the livestream.
- Use the notes field of the playlist to add commentary about the live event.
- Highlight the livestream trailer video in the Welcome Trailer module on your channel.
- In the days leading up to the livestream, use InVideo programming to promote the trailer.
- Create a feature or playlist section of videos that relate to the live event.
- Highlight the livestream trailer video in the Welcome trailer module in your channel.
- Use InVideo programming to promote the trailer in the days leading up to the livestream.
During the Live Event
- Make sure that InVideo Programming is promoting the livestream while it’s in progress. When scheduling the livestream, you can schedule InVideo Programming to do this automatically.
- Use lower third graphics to promote calls to action.
- Pay attention to live comments and, if possible, respond to questions live.
- Boost your channel subscriptions by asking the audience to subscribe.
- Let viewers know when the footage from the live event will be uploaded to the channel. You can do this in the video itself, in the video description, and in the comments of the video.
- Make sure that you have staff to keep the event on schedule, read and respond to social media, and serve as a connection between online reaction and the host.
After the Live Event
- Edit the live event into separate videos that touch on unique topics or themes.
- Create unique titles for these “highlight” clips to capture the interest of potential viewers.