In the last blog post, we discussed how even small businesses are making the most of the opportunities of live streaming video in order to market their own business, and to bring in profits through coaching, how-to videos and more.
One of the main reasons more people donít use it is because they think there will be a lot of cost and technical skill involved.
Fortunately, that is not the case. Live streaming might have been complex even a few years ago, but thanks to the Smartphone and tablet computer revolution, even the least tech-savvy people can take great videos. Then it is just a case of streaming them over the Internet to their target audience.
Thanks to the speed and reliability of the Internet, there is little to no lag time and need for buffering. With the help of free and paid services, businesses can make their videos accessible to a wide audience, producing high-quality media presentations for a range of purposes, from marketing to education.
The immediacy of live streaming and the relatively low cost of getting started have removed many of the barriers to broadcasting that prevented small business owners from accessing this technology. Now almost anyone can be a content creator and stream their content around the world live with just a few clicks.
At its most basic, live streaming can be achieved with a Smartphone with a video camera feature connected to the Internet-and a live streaming app like Periscope. This is great for short, sharp-streamed presentations on the fly, but will not be the best quality. For better quality video, you will need to buy a few items.
You can use your Smartphone or tablet, but the quality will not be as high as if you were to use a web camera, or webcam. A USB (Universal Serial Bus) connected webcam produces high quality high-definition (HD) video. It will let you run your stream through your computer and from there through the Internet. A digital webcam will cost more, but give higher quality output.
If you’re using a USB webcam, you will not need a capture device. If not, the capture device will turn the video input from your camera into something usable on your computer, and/or send it directly to your live stream. Choices include external ones that sit between the camera and the computer; cards that can be installed in your desktop computer; encoders will allow you to skip the computer completely and stream directly from the camera.
You will also need a software encoder that imports video from your capture device or USB input and transcodes the format into something usable. Software encoders vary in price, from free and open-source options like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and Flash Media Live Encoder, to pro-level packages like Wirecast Pro. Some are more full-featured than others. Opt for the cheapest to get started while you master the use of this type of software.
Video Streaming Host
Lastly, youíll need a video streaming host, an online platform that has the bandwidth and server configuration to take your video input and stream it to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of viewers (or more). Popular video streaming hosts include Livestream and uStream. Set up an account, and log in to stream your videos. Give your audience a URL to visit, or embed the code in your website, and see what a buzz your LSV creates for your business.
In the next post, we will discuss video streaming hosts in more detail.
Be sure to follow the entire series here:
- The Ultimate Guide to Expanding your Business with Live Streaming Video
- How Businesses Are Using Live Streaming Video
- Equipment You’ll Need to Get Started with Live Streaming Video
- How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Live Streaming Video
- The Types of Content You Can Create for Your Live Streaming Videos
- Tips on How to Create Better Live Stream Videos and Events
- How to Grow Your Fan Base with Live Streaming Video
- Ways to Monetize Your Live Streaming Videos
- How to Engage Your Audience with Live Streaming Video
- How to Convert Your Audience into Customers
- Why You Should Add Live Streaming Video to your Marketing Mix