What is the most memorable thing you have seen on Ustream in four years?
Having covered all different aspects of curation at Ustream for such a long period of time, this is a question I am constantly asked, and I am always ready with the same response:
I remember sitting down at my desk in the morning, turning on my computer, and one of the first channels to catch my eye was a black screen that for some reason had 20,000 simultaneous views. I checked the profile for a location and it was located in Egypt. We were witnessing in live time a whole nation’s cry in the dark for help. The power of Egypt’s chants for freedom resonated loud and clear, and we soon realized we were witnessing a nation’s history being written. That morning we watched the birth of Egypt’s Arab Spring.
This was not my first time catching a viral moment as it began, and is far from my last. As Ustream’s Site and Social Media Manager my eagle eye (pun intended) has captured many notorious Ustream moments, from Tim Pool and the Occupy Movement, to the Infamous Boston Scanner Cam, and yes, the almighty Decorah Eagles. Although each of these channels are different, they unanimously share common qualities that elevated them from a great broadcast into a highly engaged, viral experience. In my new weekly blog series (welcome to my first post!) not only will I discuss uber-helpful tips and tricks to get you on the right path, but highlight Pro Broadcasters who can also provide insight on what it takes to make your live broadcast legendary.
Think you have what it takes to go viral? Well let’s see if you are up to the challenge. Remember, I can only lead you to the water but I can’t make you stream it 😉
Tip #1 : Quality is KING
What does a quality channel consist of?
In order to have a good quality broadcast, you need: Great lighting, clear audio, and a strong internet connection. I am always surprised by how many people still use wifi to broadcast, even though we always recommend using a hardline connection.
Channel Design: Once the first three have been checked off your list, let’s turn our Ustream swag up a notch shall we? If you want to go from great to extraordinary I always suggest designing your channel page. If you are going to put on a show, always give your viewers the best live viewing experience possible. Here are some great designs that speak for themselves. Click below to see live examples of how Monterey Bay Aquarium, CellarPass, and Beta Nightclub’s channel designs play a factor in their respective viewer experiences.
Tip #2: Promote, Promote, Promote!
Before we get too philosophical, lets get straight to the point: keep in mind no one can read your mind. Unless you spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, messenger pigeon (I think you get the point) no one will know when, where, or how to watch your broadcast. Its the little things that count, and these easy tasks go a long way in the long run. I guarantee you, the broadcaster who takes these promotional tips to heart is already heading down the path towards greatness:
Create an event on your channel – This way, when you promote on socials, viewers can actually RSVP to your event and get email alerts reminding them an hour before and once you go live.
Create a short, 2-3 minute trailer video for your upcoming event that will loop on your channel when you are offline. Not only does this save you from having a dreadful, empty black screen on your Ustream channel (BORING), it works great for when you start promoting your channel url on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms. The trailer video will be available automatically whenever someone expands your post/tweet in their timeline.
What makes a good video? This one has been my fave for YEARS.
Tip #3: Get Social
It is common fact Twitter and Facebook (along with Tumblr and Reddit) are great avenues for sharing info across communities. If you want to stand out, however, standard shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. To promote your legendary broadcast, you must present your voice to the world just as distinctly as you will portray your live event.
A trend I have been noticing across social networks that I personally have taken favor to is the use of Instagram and Vine. If a picture says a thousand words, just imagine how much creativity and information you can fit into a Vine? Keep in mind, both Instagram and Vine are shareable on both Facebook and Twitter, so now you have done something innovative while simultaneously handling standard promo as well. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back 🙂
Always Remember: When promoting on socials, use the same methodology as you would for your broadcast: be imaginative, innovative, while providing a quality product that will incite viewership, follows and engagement. Get your dose of social inspiration from some of my fave Ustream broadcasters, by clicking their tweets below.
Tip #4: Ustream for Facebook App
Speaking of Facebook, if you have a Facebook fan page, its IMPERATIVE to add this app. Not only can you stream live directly to your fans from your Facebook page, you can also create events from your Facebook so you can alert followers on your UStream channel and Facebook page simultaneously. Now that’s what I call networking!
Tip #5: Keep Everything in Perspective
A random question, yes, but have you ever seen a hummingbird’s eyelashes?
This is the power of perspective. Hummingbird cams are nothing new, I personally see dozens of hummingbird cams on a daily basis. Then enters Emma, and we are instantly whisked away with infatuation as she flutters her eyelashes for the camera.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the common denominator found in every legendary Ustream channel. Perspective goes beyond a great camera angle: it allows the viewer to share an experience, and witness something the broadcaster is very passionate about. Whether you are a bald eagle fanatic or an entire nation passionately striving for democracy, when you broadcast something you truly care about it resonates with your viewers.
What is your passion? How would you share your vision with the world?
I challenge you, dear reader, to take what you love and go live.
And if my advice deems fit, and you follow the tips above, you may be very well be on to something legendary.
I look forward to finding it 🙂 Or, we can go the easy route and you can promote your channel in the comments below. Either way, Happy Broadcasting and be sure to follow @Ustream & @UstreamLakeshia for all the latest LIVE trends.