Perhaps you’ve been producing videos for a while for your business and uploading them to platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Have you wanted to broadcast those videos live?
Video live streaming is about broadcasting your videos live and in real time.
The production process is similar to producing a video for uploading, but requires some extra considerations in your production planning.
The Equipment You’ll Need
The equipment you’ll need for video live streaming can be as simple as using a smartphone. Along with that you’ll need an internet connection and an account to a streaming service.
Of course you’ll need to use multiple cameras and professional mics for higher quality video live streaming.
Usually, some social media content is better then no social media content. Therefore, don’t let a lack of professional equipment, or the budget to hire a professional live streaming company, stop you from starting to live stream.
Always Test Your Setup Before the Event
You can produce video live streaming using equipment ranging from a smartphone to an elaborate multi-camera production. In every case, your audience will view the video stream live. Of course, that means that any glitches or mistakes will happen in real time.
Therefore, it’s essential to test out your equipment and workflow before you live stream your event.
For example if you’re setting up live streaming video production for Philadelphia events, try a test live stream at the event venue before the day of the actual event. Make sure the equipment is working properly, and that it connects with the encoder that will create the streaming format. Use the test to work out any problems with lighting and sound.
Obviously, it’s best to deal with any glitches and solve any problems before your live event.
Get a Video Switcher
If you want to live stream video will multiple cameras you’ll need a video switcher. The video switcher will allow you to switch between cameras. This creates a much more entertaining and engaging live stream.
Some video switchers have transition effects built in, as well as the ability to switch to graphics, lower third titles, and video content from a hard drive. With the right video switcher you can even live stream green screen effects. Think of the weather reporter standing in front of a weather map. That’s done using a green screen effect. The reporter is actually standing in front of a green background, and the weather map is then laid in behind the reporter using a special effect.
At LumaVox, we use Blackmagic Design video switchers with the ability to switch between cameras with transitions, switch to graphics as well as lower thirds, and with the ability to live stream using green screen effects.
Invest in a Hardware Encoder
You’ll compress and format your live stream video content in order to broadcast it on the internet. While you can do this with software in your laptop, it is best to have a dedicated hardware encoder. These hardware encoders have processing chips and software dedicated to compressing and formatting your video files. This will cut down or eliminate a number of problems. For example, a hardware encoder will help reduce the major problem of latency.
What is latency? Think of your video footage as water filling a jug. At the bottom of the jug is a spigot letting the water out. That water being let out is like your compressed video footage being broadcast on the internet. Compressing and formatting your video content with software on your smartphone or laptop is like having a very small spigot at the bottom of the jug. Therefore, your content stream will back up causing a time delay, or latency.
On the other hand, having a hardware encoder is like having a very large spigot that empties the the video content as quickly as the jug is filled. So the live stream broadcasts in near real time.
You’ll be broadcasting a live show, and things can go wrong during a live show. Therefore, you need to have a contingency plan.
Even if you’ve tested your live streaming video production for Philadelphia events for example, it’s best to have backup content to stream should your equipment fail during the broadcast. This could be as simple as a graphic with pertinent text on it either describing the event, or alerting your audience that the live stream will return shortly. Audiences want to know what’s going on, and a simple graphic can give them that information should something go wrong during your live stream.
Determine Your Stream’s Encoding and Distribution
You can broadcast video live streams with several encoding formats and stream the video to numerous distribution platforms. Each platform will have its own requirements for the encoded format.
Finally, you’ll need internet access to live stream your video content. For live streams using your smartphone, you can simply use your smartphone data account or wifi connection.
However, for higher quality live stream video productions we highly recommend that you have a hard wired internet connection. There can be a lot of glitches and problems with wifi connections and phone data connections. Therefore, it’s best to have a hard wired internet connection at your event location. Use a wifi connection or phone data connection as a backup.
Get Started Live Streaming Video
Live streaming video content is a very effective way to engage your business audience. If you have a smartphone and a Facebook account, you can start today.
To effectively tell your stories, you’ll need to work toward mastering all of the the tools of video production and editing.
Since you’ll probably film more content then you’ll later use in the final video, it’s important to think about editing along with planning the video shoot.
Editing is the final stage of your video production. It takes all of that raw footage and brings it together in a cohesive and coherent final message.
Pre-Produce the Video and Write the Script
The editing process really begins in pre-production and in writing the script.
First, pre-production will establish your vision for the final video. It will hone in on the possibilities available for shooting the video. For example, things such as budget, location, crew, and talent. Therefore, knowing what the opportunities and limitations are in shooting your video will help to craft the story you’ll tell.
Obviously, filming the video is usually the fun part.
Even so, of all of the skills needed for video production and editing, the skills needed to film the video is perhaps the most critical. You’ll have to get all the shots, notwithstanding the time and constraints that your production allows for getting those shots.
Import and Organize the Media
At LumaVox, we use Adobe Premiere for our video editing. The specific steps of your process may vary a bit if you’re using a different editing app, but the basic process is the same.
Next, I recommend that you edit the dialog tracks. These will be the tracks of your voice overs, interviews and talent dialog. People will use different nomenclature for these tracks, but here at LumaVox we call any track that is of people talking a dialog track.
Editing the dialog tracks first will do two things.
First it will help establish the arc of your story. Of course this will be different if your video relies mostly on b-roll clips and less on dialog, but small business marketing videos usually have dialog tracks to help tell the story.
Be sure to capture enough b-roll in your video shoot to cover all possibilities in your final edit. Again, this is a good reason to start the process of video production and editing with pre-production and script writing.
Edit Motion and Color Correct
The next step is to edit motion and color correct.
The motion effect in Adobe Premiere is used to effect position, scale, and rotation of a clip. You can use the motion effect to do optical pans and zooms, as well as set the framing of your shots.
The color correction tools in Adobe Premiere will effect the exposure.
Transitions come next. I recommend that you leave these for the end of your edit. That way, if you need to switch out clips or need to change the length or motion on a clip, you won’t have to readjust the transition.
Export the Video
Finally, export your video.
If you’re using Premiere Pro, you’ll export using Adobe Media Encoder. It’s a robust program in itself, so if you haven’t used it you’ll want to get up to speed with a tutorial. Where you’ll publish your video is the primary decision you’ll make in adjusting the settings in Media Encoder. Each platform has an optimum setting for export. So it will be slightly different for Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, or for hosting on your own web site.
Planning Video Production and Editing Results in High Quality Video
As with many creative tasks, editing video at first can seem daunting.
However if you break down the process into manageable chunks, in time you’ll find that the process will easily flow along. It’s a matter of gaining experience with the process, and then relying on the process to work through and complete your video project.
Any type of construction or production should start with a blueprint or a plan of what you’re building. Therefore, the same is true for video production for small business. Start with some basic foundations and your final video will be much more successful.
Determine the Right Length of Your Video
The length of your video matters, especially for video production for small business. You have only a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention at the start of your video. Then you have to keep that engagement.
More and more of your viewers will watch your video on their mobile device. So you have to consider the format for presenting your video.
The options for viewing video on mobile devices are:
A hybrid of horizontal or square formatted with text or graphics above and below the video
There is no one right answer. If you’re publishing one video for viewing on both desktop and mobile devices, then choose a format that will work well, if not ideally, on both. A horizontal format might be best for this.
If you have the capability of serving different videos to different types of devices, then format the video for each device. For example, you could format a horizontal video for use on a desktop, while formatting that same video with graphics above and below the video to serve on a mobile device. Remember, most views on a mobile device will be done with the smartphone or tablet being held vertically.
And finally, remember that many views on a mobile device, as well as on desktops, will be started with the sound off. They might be completely viewed with the sound off. So consider adding subtitles to your video.
Plan Your Video According to Your Budget
The budget for your video does matter, but it’s not the only factor in producing a good video. If you have the budget for professional video production, then your video will most certainly have higher production values, and be more effective at producing the results you’re looking for.
The most important thing is to have a story to tell and then to tell it well.
Good Storytelling Makes for Good Video
Great video is about the art of storytelling. Think about the story in almost any movie. There’s an arc to the story. Usually you’re first introduced to the main character. Then the character has a problem. Following that, most of the movie is about the character solving the problem. Then everything seems fine, but oops there’s one more problem. Then the character solves that and usually everyone lives happily ever after.
Videos for small business should also have an arc to their story. A small business video isn’t like a feature film, but it should lead the viewer on a journey through the arc of the video’s story.
Anyone producing video for small business can learn a lot by studying screenwriting. One of the best books for learning the craft of screenwriting is “The Screenwriter’s Bible” by David Trottier. In the book, Trottier helps filmmakers think in terms of “showing” instead of “telling”, and helps think in terms of a story’s arc. All of this can help create small business videos that are more compelling and that keep the viewer more engaged.
Optimize Your Video For Search Engines
Finally to help ensure that your video production for small business is seen, you need to optimize the video for search engines.
Things you should optimize in your video include:
Cards and Endscreens
All of these will help search engines understand what your video is about and help your video rank higher on search engine results pages.
Start Creating Your Video Production for Small Business
Just as with any type of construction or production, video production for small business takes planning.
I’ve suggested five things to consider in your production. Again, the most important is to tell a story and tell it well.