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Live video streaming services
Sean Miller - 8 May 2023 - 11 min read
From brief to post-production and beyond
The internet has transformed the way we absorb information, learn new things and buy products. To a large extent, it is on our screens – be it those of our smartphones or laptops – that brands are carrying out the battle to grab consumer attention every day. A professionally produced video significantly increases the chances of attracting new audiences and earning their attention. This is especially true when a brand interacts in real time with consumers, allowing them to provide input (which could potentially shape the brand identity or product going forward) and to view the content on any device. Live streaming via video allows for all of this.
It is no coincidence that major media companies are now moving their business online. Over the last few years, streaming video content and using subscription models have become hugely commonplace practices. These formats – which were a technological novelty for most consumers until recently – are now indispensable to our daily lives.
The significance of live streaming has become particularly important since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when most people were stuck at home with limited access to live events, brands started to stream live events online as one of the only means to interact with their audiences.
It soon became clear that the format, which has been especially popular on social media, has many positive features and that it allows brands to combine the best of features of streaming platforms and social networks.
What is live streaming and what type of events can you use it for?
Regardless of which market sector your brand belongs to, video content can take your marketing to a whole new level. That being said, despite being an undeniably powerful way to communicate a message, the traditional video format has its limitations. The main drawback is that it does not allow viewers to experience events in real time or to have a say in how they unfold. Live streaming overcomes these limitations and builds strong brand loyalty. As the figures show, 80% of audiences prefer watching a brand’s live-streamed video to reading a blog. When comparing pre-recorded videos with live ones, live streaming gets six times more interactions (Facebook data).
So what is video streaming? How do we define it? To today’s audiences, live video streaming is what live TV broadcasting was to the older generations (for whom the small screen was the centre of home entertainment). With the development of the independent internet channels and new broadcasting possibilities in particular, live video broadcasting has become much more democratic. It is available to literally anyone equipped with a… smartphone. Whether homemade or filmed using more professional means, tutorials, cooking sessions, workouts and so on have become a type of content that we consume nearly every day…
Video streaming usually takes place on a dedicated brand platform or a company’s most popular social media channels. The broadcaster’s aim is to deliver the content in real time, without delays or interruptions. In the vast majority of cases, the viewer does not need to install any additional applications, programmes or codecs to view the content. The professional video team broadcasting the programme will take care of all these elements (you will find how Rhapsody can help you throughout the process later in this article).
There are many ways of using live streams and they are really only limited by the communication strategy and the nature of the brand. Among the most popular formats, the following are particularly noteworthy.
Webinars The ability to interact with an audience in real time makes it an excellent tool for a brand to share expertise, answer key consumer questions (e.g. in Q&A or AMA sessions) or present its offering. The presence of a live audience can lead to new marketing ideas and consumer insights, ones which might otherwise not have come to light.
E-learning Live broadcasting is a great tool for sharing knowledge and learning. When combined with additional internet features – such as uploading text information, audio files and photos or drawing in real time – learning becomes interactive and activates many of the viewer’s senses. With e-learning, the viewer gains access to educational opportunities that didn’t exist a few years ago.
Live streaming events, conferences and concerts Large-scale events spanning technology, fashion or culture can also be held online. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that most types of conference or event can be hosted in this way. Of course, the experience is not 100% equivalent to that of a live event. However, thanks to modern technology, brands are able to reach audiences located anywhere in the world, while saving time and money. Plus, they can also encourage consumers to get involved in the event.
Live shopping experiences and product tutorials Video streaming is also well suited to online shopping. During a live event, the salesperson is able to demonstrate product features that cannot be described on a website or in traditional video content. It is also possible to incorporate additional competition-related activities, limited-edition products or additional discounts that are only available during the live event. As a result, the interaction with the viewer is much greater than during a regular online shopping experience.
The complexity of live streaming – from a brief to post-production
When organising a live video session, it is important to remember that it entails more than just the technicalities of the stream. The event itself is a key stage, but not the only one. You also need to think about planning the live event beforehand and carrying out marketing activities after the event. If you work on all of these three stages, you can optimise your reach, maximise your content and ensure your next event is a success. Finding the right production partner to take care of each of these stages is going to be key for success. Rhapsody is here to help: we handle the production of live streams, from brief to post-production.
Step 1: preparing for live-streamed events
Just because an event is live does not mean that the organisers do not need a schedule and a thorough plan to help them achieve their objectives. On the contrary: with live broadcasting, one needs to meticulously plan all the components.
In that respect, Rhapsody’s services span everything from concept development and schedule planning to production.
The concept brief When starting to work on a live event, it’s a good idea to prepare a brief that will provide a comprehensive description of the concept, the intended goals and how you plan on achieving them. Having a brief will also allow you to choose the best location and select the hosts who will appear in front of the camera. At this stage, it is worth finding a professional agency that will not only help with the casting, but will also advise you on the concept and suggest the best solutions.
The event schedule It is crucial to plan the running order of an event. The plan will outline the key moments, possible interactions with the audience and the voice-over scripts for the presenters (if you’re going for a more improvised style, you’ll at least have to create a list of the topics that are to be discussed). At this stage, the help of a professional copywriter or screenwriter is indispensable.
Graphic design From a creative point of view, you should also bear in mind the visual elements, such as the opening slides, tables, the key visuals of the event, social media posts promoting the event or any additional animations. It is crucial that the visuals are consistent with your company’s branding if you want to capture the attention of your audience and build strong brand associations. Without the help of a professional designer, it will be difficult to promote the event in the right way.
Video production Last but not least, you’ll need to consider all the technical and production-related aspects, such as choosing the right streaming technology, organising the equipment, booking the location, timetabling the entire shoot and collecting viewers’ email addresses. You might even need a ticketing system if you are considering holding a hybrid event. A professional production team will take care of all these elements and make sure that your live stream is a success.
Step 2: the live video stream
Once everything is in place, it is time to focus on the main event: filming the live footage. You’ll need a professional team specialising in video production for the best results. They will transport the equipment and sort out the appropriate sound system, lighting and make-up, and also take care of direction, additional photographic content as well as filming and broadcasting the video.
To this end, Rhapsody works with CS Media, a professional production house that offers a full range of video services and whose portfolio includes projects carried out for some of the world’s leading brands.
The management of a live-streamed event On the day of the event, not only does the work take place in front of the camera but also behind it. A team of developers watches over the quality of the transmission, a social media manager can respond to consumer queries and, in the case of a hybrid event, a professional event team will look after the audience For best results, give one single agency the task of taking care of the event from A to Z.
Step 3: the post-production of the video
Somewhat counter-intuitively, the activities related to the live stream do not end once the broadcast is over. The content can still be of great benefit to your brand and can be used for further promotional and marketing activities. With the right approach to the post-production process, you’ll be able to create short videos, posts, infographics or animations targeted at audiences who were not able to follow the live event.
As well as repurposing content, it is also important to look at the results and the number of views, while establishing which elements worked best and which parts would need to be tweaked if you are thinking of reaching an even larger audience in the future.
How to organise a live video stream with success
As we have mentioned, Rhapsody and its partner CS Media cater for a range of live video streaming services. This holistic approach means that the client can focus on what they do best: telling the story of the brand and interacting with their audience. A team of experts will handle the entire creative, marketing and production aspects.
As the event we produced for Lakeland demonstrates (a well-known chain of kitchenware stores in the UK), this synergistic relationship works and delivers the best results.
myLakeland Live – producing a live stream with an audience retention rate of 88% “Working with Rhapsody and CS Media was such a great experience we are already planning our next project! The service and professionalism from the team throughout was first class and our minds were set at ease from the start. Thanks to the quality and attention to detail during the project, our first live stream event was a complete success for both Lakeland and our myLakeland club members.” – Fran Wilkinson – Head of Loyalty and CRM, Lakeland
- Rhapsody was involved in the production of four live streaming events for Lakeland between March and October 2022.
- Each livestream ran for one hour and had a high retention rate: 88% of viewers watched the entire event.
- The livestream received glowing post-event feedback from both Lakeland and its customers. For 31% of participants it was their first time participating in an online event and 98% said they would attend future live events.
- Customers left positive comments such as: “It was fantastic. I thought it wouldn’t teach me anything new and that it would be full of product placement but it was a sheer delight”.
- The event scored an excellent Net Promoter Score of 52.
- We helped drive brand engagement and captivated the Lakeland audience with a memorable digital experience
You can find a detailed case study of the Lakeland project here.