Marketing is about tapping into all of the senses that you have at your disposal, and in the context of live streams, those senses are visual and auditory.
Now, if I were to ask you: what springs to mind when you think of the term visually appealing? It’s probably going to be a slick webpage or infographic but never a live stream. I thought the same and the reason for that is because I always associate live streaming (and any other virtual event) with content.
Given that it’s the driving force behind registrations and audience engagement, that’s understandable. But it’s also overlooking an extremely important statistic: 90% of the information transmitted through the brain is visual.
In other words, the visual elements that you create sets the tone for your viewers and this has a big say on making your content stick out from all the other live streams out there.
Going back to the two senses that we have at our disposal, we know that the auditory part is already well covered (a quick Google confirms that), so we’re going to talk about the other one, showing you how you can apply this to your live streams.
Why this matters
Put simply, if your live stream isn’t visually appealing, then it’s not going to be as effective. Now factor that in with how popular live streaming is as a marketing tool, and it quickly becomes apparent how hard it is to stand out from the crowd. That’s why we must go beyond just focusing on the content and also start making better use of the other elements we have at our disposal.
This is where creating a visually appealing live stream comes into play, and to help with this we’ve drawn up some recommendations that will leave a long-lasting impression on your attendees.
Before we get the ball rolling, ask yourself: “Why am I live streaming in the first place?” Is it to increase brand awareness or to educate your customers about some new features on a product?
Then to take this a step further, “What type of live streaming event will that be in the form of? Is it going to be a product launch, Q&As, or a brand moment?
Defining your objectives determines what type of live streaming experience you want to create, which in turn, influences what type of visual elements you’ll want to include in your live stream.
Now we’ve got you thinking about your objectives and what type of live stream you’ll be undertaking, it’s important to move onto the basics. Importantly, these apply to every stream out there (so you’ve got plenty more time to think). Getting these elements right is essential because a low-quality stream always does more damage than good.
Technology: The last thing your viewers will want to see is a jumpy, low-resolution stream. That’s why for any live stream you’ll need a powerful computer along with a good quality camera and microphone. Try and avoid taking shortcuts and remember that the better your equipment the better the live stream. Finally, consider your internet connection, for HD quality streams you’ll want to have a minimum upload speed of 8 Mbps.
Lighting: Good lighting will help your camera do the important work of making you look tiptop. This process requires a bit of trial and error, so have a play around with the lighting to find out what works best for you. This could mean having a lamp behind your camera to light up your face or to have a background light to ensure that the lighting looks even and consistent.
Background: Remember that you always need to have in mind what your viewers will be looking at in the background of your videos. Try to use a wall where you can include images that will add some extra depth to your live stream. Paper and fabric backdrops can be a great way to make your live stream look pro, without any major effort.
Presentation: Leading on from the last point, the lighting and camera can only do so much when it comes to making you look good. If you want your live stream to be visually appealing the person presenting it also need to be visually appealing. Dress to impress, and make sure that you stay away from stripes or squares in your clothing (unless you’re wanting to create some optical illusions).
Taking it up a notch
Now that we’ve covered the basics that will ensure a professional live stream, it’s time to discuss what other visual elements you can add to take things to the next level.
Create engaging overlays: As far as visual elements go for live streams, overlays are massively important. If you’re still unsure what they are, overlays are the graphics that you see on a live stream. That can be logos, promotions, or key information. Regardless of the graphics, overlays allow you to add production value whilst giving your viewers a better experience.
Whilst some overlays might look like they’ve been magically created, all that there is to them is a transparent PNG file which can be easily created on Canva and other popular graphic design platforms. Once, you’ve done that it’s a case of uploading the file via the streaming software that you’re using and voila.
Play around and see what works with the different graphics. Make sure that they add value and that they represent your brand. Powerful overlays should always encapsulate your brand and your message. Also, as you build up your live streaming confidence, you’ll be able to change the layouts during the live stream meaning that the graphics can cover what you’ll be talking about.
Interactive elements: One of the best ways of creating interactions for your viewers is by creating stream alerts for your viewers. These are the visual indicators that you see when viewers interact with the stream. That could be a live chat, polls, or crowdfunding. Whatever it is, this is a fantastic way to build a strong sense of community with your viewers.
By being able to interact with your live stream you’ll find that the viewers will be dropping their phone and become much more engaged with what you have to say. It also gives them a chance to have some real input and get noticed.
Animation displays: To mix things up a bit from just having pure video content try and add some animations. Without them, your live stream can come across as one-dimensional which is something that you don’t want.
This is a great way to trigger emotional responses with your viewers, something that is key to boosting engagement with your live stream and brand. Some of the most common options out there include transitions, intros, and notifications.
So we’ve covered a lot here, and if this is going to be your first-ever live stream or your hundredth live stream, there’s plenty to take away from this article. The final remark I have for you is that with all of these pointers it can become very easy to overcomplicate things. But don’t, and here's why... A simple live streams will always look more professional.