You know the platform and tech you’ll be using, so now it’s just a case of preparing your software and equipment. This can be a little intimidating if you’re new to streaming (especially if you’re on a computer), but it’s easy with a little help.
Mobile devices need to have the apps installed
The good news for you mobile device users is that you just need to download a few apps to start streaming. To broadcast on Youtube and Facebook all you need is their app, but Twitter will also need you to download Periscope.
Once they’re downloaded that’s it – you should be able to stream by creating a new status on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or by going into Youtube and accessing the Live section of your channel. If asked, make sure that you let the apps have access to your camera and microphone.
Computers need an encoder to broadcast
If you’re using a computer to stream to Facebook or Youtube, you’ll first need to download a piece of “encoder” software. There are many to choose from, but OBS is a free tool which will do the job just fine (with minimal setup).
For more information on setting up your stream (such as choosing your privacy settings and youtube thumbnail), check out the following resources:
- HubSpot’s guide to Facebook Live
- Social Media Examiner’s guide to streaming with Youtube Live
- HubSpot’s tips for using Periscope/Twitter
Additionally, if you want some more information about how to set up and run an Instagram live stream, check out this post from Sked Social:
Get a good quality microphone
Whether you’re broadcasting a live event or showing off a feature of your product, audio and video quality are vital to a successful stream. No-one will watch something they can’t hear or see properly, so you need to get a microphone which will capture everything.
Mobile devices (and almost all laptops) have inbuilt microphones, which will just about do the job, but in general you’ll want to have an external mic recording as close to your subject as possible. So, if you’re recording yourself on-the-go a clip-on mic would be ideal, otherwise you’ll probably want a condenser microphone.
A couple of suggestions to get you started are:
- Miracle Sound Deluxe Lavalier Lapel Microphone – a value-for-money clip-on mic for mobile devices
- Floureon BM-800 Condenser Microphone – a condenser mic for desktop computers (you’ll need an extra phantom power supply to use on laptops, but combined the two are still pretty cheap)
- Audio-Technica ATR-2100 Microphone – a fantastic all-around condenser microphone for use with computers
Prepare your filming location (if you have one)
If you’re broadcasting video of a person (including yourself) or place, you need to put some time and effort into preparing it to be seen by your audience. This means tidying up any mess, setting up any extra lighting, setting up a green screen (if you need it), and generally getting everything ready for your viewers.
Check out the following to make sure you’re ready to broadcast:
- How to Creat Videos That Customers Will Actually Watch – an interview with Chris Lavigne of Wistia, breaking down how to create engaging and videos
- Shooting Video with an iPhone – Wistia’s tips for shooting better videos (many are true for streaming) with your iPhone
- The Down and Dirty DIY Lighting Kit – how to light your video area for less than $100