How Does Live Streaming Work?

Live streaming is the method of creating and sharing a video in real-time. The video is transmitted in the form of a file over the Internet. The client or the one watching videos at the receiving doesn’t have to download the video for playing it.

Being an influencer, I live stream once a day either on Facebook or Instagram. Often, I have to live stream on the go. For that, I signed up for Spectrum mobile. The free Wi-Fi hotspots in public locations throughout the country make it easier for me to stay connected with my fans.

If you are new to live streaming, here’s a complete guide from an influencer with the first-hand experience:

Introducing Live Streaming

Live streaming looks simple but requires careful planning. Unlike a pre-recorded video that can be edited or cut, a live stream is uncensored. Some live streams are private, for instance, video conferencing on Zoom or Skype. To ensure these streams remain private, they are password protected.

Live streams are usually public and can be watched by thousands of viewers worldwide. Your audience can interact with you by posting messages and react via emojis as well.

How Does Live Broadcasting Work?

Anyone can do live streaming, you don’t need to be an influencer for that. However, there are some prerequisites for getting started.

Here is everything you need to broadcast live:

1: A Camera and Audio Equipment

First things first, you need equipment. Initially, you can use your laptop to start a live video because it already has a camera and a microphone.

But if you want to appear professional, getting separate equipment makes sense. You will need a microphone and a camera. Webcams range from $300 to $800 and they make live streaming much simpler.

2: Encoder

An encoder is a tool that prepares the video stream for broadcasting. This tool reduces video buffering during live streaming, improves the resolution, reduces file size, changes the format, and makes videos compatible with a variety of devices.

3: Internet Connection

The third most important thing required to host a live stream video is a good Internet connection. Generally, for live streaming you want your upload speed to be faster. Wondering what the exact speed should be? I would recommend having an upload speed of roughly 20 Mbps.

A reliable Internet connection will ensure that the video is delivered in top-quality so that you and your audience can enjoy a smooth experience.

4: An Online Video Platform

Lastly, you will need an online video platform for hosting the video. Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are some of the popular hosts. Some businesses use white label video solutions like Dacast for live video streaming. These platforms also let you add a logo to the live stream.

Caution: Live Streaming Can Be Risky!

Live streaming can be risky. It demands being spontaneous. Unless you are prepared, you may end up delivering the wrong message.

Here are some factors that make live streaming risky:

Offensive Comments: Viewers can leave negative comments while you are live and this can be upsetting.

Digital Footprint: If you make a mistake during the live broadcast, this mistake goes public and it may become impossible to remove the digital trails.

Reveal Intimate Information: Live streaming can reveal personal information even if you are going live from your bedroom. You are giving away clues about your identity.

Not Knowing Who Is Watching: You may know your audience but it’s hard to know who else is watching. There is limited privacy control. Your content could be exposed to children and you may not know.

Tips to Nail Live Streaming

To make sure everything goes well, these are some live streaming I follow:

Prepare the room in advance. Have a clear background and double-check the camera. Check the Internet speed and make sure the room doesn’t echo when you talk. It’s best to test everything out.

Most live-streaming platforms have a live chat feature. Use that to your advantage to engage with your fans.

To ensure you stick to the subject/topic, keep an outline on you. This will help you stay on track and not skip anything.

Look at the camera, not your monitor.  

To make the session fun, invite a guest. Having company gives you fresh insights and makes the live show more interesting.

Final Advice

There are no do-overs in live streaming. To ensure everything goes well, give yourself a lot of pre-time. Have someone monitor your live show to receive feedback and do better the next time.

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