A Beginner’s Look at Live Streaming for Small Businesses

07.08.2020 | Soliton Blog

blurred background with words that read live streaming, with a play arrow icon.

Businesses are finding new ways to connect with their customers. Real-time live streaming may be a great way to alert customers about sales, promotions, or to build a relationship. 

Live streaming sounds complex but we promise with today’s platforms and technology it’s not as hard as it seems. Read this beginner’s guide to help your small business start live streaming today.

Equipment Needed

Live streaming will require a bit of hardware and software. Once you have that, it is relatively easy to live stream.

Make sure the place where you are filming has a strong internet connection to prevent interruptions to your stream. If you are streaming outside, consider purchasing or renting a data modem. You can purchase a modem from a store like Amazon or BestBuy. You can also rent a modem from your ISP. Being prepared to stream from outdoors, usually means you are most likely purchasing, not renting. You should use a plan similar to the Verizon machine to machine plans.

When conducting live interviews use a quality microphone. You may need to purchase a microphone instead of using the one on your phone or laptop to achieve the best results.

An HD webcam will give you great video footage for your live stream feed. You can also choose to use the camera on your phone but be aware it won’t allow you to zoom. Use a tripod to steady your camera and avoid coming across as an amateur.

Depending upon the platform you wish to publish your live stream on you may need an encoder. The Zao-S encoder is a top of the line portable encoder that can compress your video in real-time.

An encoder compresses RAW video files from your camera into digital files you can stream. Using a hardware encoder like the Zao-S will result in lower latency for your live stream.

Platforms

After you have all your equipment it is time to choose a platform to publish your live stream on. The best streaming platforms are:

  • YouTube
  • Wowza
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Your own website

You don’t have to choose just one. Many companies benefit from live streaming on multiple platforms. Choose a platform where you know your audience is listening.

Live streaming to social media is a popular live streaming strategy that can attract more potential customers to your company’s website. This is particularly useful if you are a social media influencer or a blogger.

However, if you choose to publish your live stream to your website you will have a bit more control over the stream. Weigh the benefits of using a social media platform vs. your own website to publish your stream and choose the method that works best for your company.

Benefits of Live Streams

Live streaming can help your company showcase your brand and increase brand awareness. Be mindful that each time you put out a live stream it is a representation of your brand identity.

Many companies use live streaming to promote their events. Announce your event via social media and your website and tell people about the live stream.

One of the biggest benefits of live streaming is the ability to connect with your customers in real-time. Your viewers will be able to leave comments or questions that you can respond to immediately.

Live streaming fosters an environment of community around your brand and helps you build relationships with customers and potential customers.

Start Live Streaming Today

There is no reason why your small business can’t start live streaming today. Gather the proper equipment and decide which platform you want to publish your live stream on. Make sure you practice once or twice before the real deal.

If you need help setting up live streaming for your business, contact Soliton today.