Benefits of live streaming your event
There are a number of reasons why live streaming your event could be beneficial for your business:
- Build your brand
By live streaming your event, you’ll build your brand at the same time. You’ll increase your reach and be able to facilitate more attendees than a physical event, which naturally presents more scope for brand awareness as you promote your event online.
- Connect with your audience
Contrary to what some may think, live streaming can actually create an incredible connection with your audience, almost more so than if they were physically at your event!
Many attendees will be tuning in from home, fully locked into what’s on-screen and engaged with your content, without distractions. This is a great opportunity to preface your live stream with a personal introduction to any virtual attendees!
- Be more convenient
Live streaming your event is infinitely more convenient for a substantial percentage of attendees. It will appear to be a far larger geographical area than a physical event and may entice those who wouldn’t be willing to physically attend an event, by allowing them to watch from the comfort of their own homes.
Gareth from The Barn Theatre Club told us live streaming their events has enabled them to reach audiences across the globe:
“An unexpected benefit of live streaming has been that our audience reach has greatly increased with people tuning in from as far as Australia and the USA to watch our productions!
4. Generate more revenue
Depending on which platform you use, live streaming your event presents you with an additional revenue stream, allowing you to charge for exclusive digital tickets to attend the live stream.
Being able to accommodate a much larger number of attendees than your physical venue space can generate more revenue for your event than you would from physical ticket sales!
In the future, we hope to continue to provide a live stream option whenever possible as the past 18 months has demonstrated this not only increases our audience reach, but also provides a much-needed revenue stream for the theatre during challenging times.”
Online tools for live streaming
When it comes to facilitating your live stream, there are a number of free online tools and platforms available:
YouTube is one of the most popular video-sharing platforms on the internet. Hosting everything from how to’s to music videos, it has the advantage of being easy to use and being well known too.
Once you’ve set up your YouTube profile, which is attached to your email address, you’ll be able to utilise YouTube Live, its live-streaming functionality.
Benefits of YouTube:
Create an event in advance and generate a URL that you can use to promote the event online.
Your live stream will be automatically saved to your profile when the event is finished, allowing your audience to enjoy the live content long after the event itself.
YouTube live supports time-shifting, which means that even if your virtual attendees show up a little late, they’ll be able to watch the entire stream from the beginning.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms – and TicketSource has previously discussed how and why it’s important to promote your event on Facebook.
Benefits of Facebook:
Facebook is particularly great for live streaming because you don’t necessarily need an expensive and professional setup to stream something effectively
It offers its users different live streaming options
You’ll be able to spontaneously live stream from your mobile, which will notify anyone who has ‘liked’ your business page, which you can learn how to set up here.
You’ll also be able to schedule streams that can be broadcast from your business page, a group or even a dedicated event listing – which is an excellent opportunity to utilise the platform to raise awareness of your event before it happens.
If you’re planning to spontaneously go live, then all you need to do is press the ‘live’ button on your Facebook page, however, if you’d like to schedule an event, then there are a few more steps.
How to use Facebook Live:
Head to Facebook Live Producer and choose your streaming method. Choosing your in-built camera is the easiest option, but you can also use a stream key or a paired encoder.
You can then ‘schedule live video event’ and enter your date, time and description. You can then choose where you’d like to advertise it, posting it on your timeline, on a page you manage or in a group.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram live streaming can be an excellent option for your event live stream because you’re working with an already captive audience (presuming you’ve set up an Instagram Business page).
Benefits of Instagram Live:
Everyone who follows your page will get a push notification when you start, which is great for promotion
Your stream will be live on your stories for 24 hours after you’ve finished, allowing more of your followers to watch your event.
When you’re physically live streaming on Instagram, the platform also pushes your profile to the front of the stories queue too – giving you more exposure.
Because the majority of people use Instagram on their mobile, live streams on Instagram allow users to dip in and out. It might be more beneficial to consider a more structured platform that will encourage your viewers to engage with the duration of your event.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, therefore in the settings, you can switch the toggle so that your live stream automatically shares to Facebook too, which will further increase your exposure.
Note. Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t allow you the option to pre-schedule an event, and going live is something you simply have to do as and when you’re ready. That means you’re going to need to advertise the fact you plan on going live in advance so that your audience knows what your plans are.
How to use Instagram Live:
Check ‘Story Controls’ in your settings and ensure ‘everyone’ can view. Choosing ‘Allow Sharing’ means that your viewers can share the event with their friends too.
When you are ready to live-stream your event, all you need to do is swipe right on your Instagram homepage and swipe until the menu says ‘live’ and then you’re good to go.
Further instructions: How to start a live broadcast on Instagram
Zoom has become an incredibly popular platform for online meetings and live streaming. It allows guests to show their faces through a webcam, offers a chat function and also the host can mute anyone if they want to. The free version of the Zoom platform allows group meetings of up to 100 people for 40 minutes long, while the paid version offers you a lot more flexibility. If you’re looking to stream your event for free – then this won’t be ideal if your event is going to be more than 40 minutes long.
Benefits of Zoom:
Free for up to 100 people for a 40-minute long event
An advantage of using Zoom is that you can utilise a platform like TicketSource to sell virtual tickets to your Zoom events – taking payment from users before sharing the meeting ID and password with them for them to log on.
Zoom streams can also be simultaneously streamed to other platforms like Facebook or Youtube.
If you’re selling tickets to the event, you can set a password at this stage and ensure that only users who are logged on and signed in are allowed to join.
Alternatively, you can create a ‘waiting room’ and allow guests to mingle before the event itself.
How to use Zoom:
To plan a live stream, you need to install the Zoom app on your computer or phone, and then click the ‘Schedule’ button, where you can plug in the meeting settings, time, date and time zone. Zoom will then either generate an automatic meeting ID for you, or you can create a personal one.
When it’s time to go live, log into Zoom, click meetings and find your event under ‘Upcoming’ before pressing start.
Further instructions:How to live stream meetings or webinars
Twitch grew in popularity as a streaming platform for gamers to share live streams of their games while playing but has since developed into an online community where people can host their live streams free of charge.
Benefits of Twitch:
It’s free of charge and easy to use
You can customise your stream by setting a title, adding a notification to let your audience know you’re ‘live’ and a category so that other users can access your content.
How to use Twitch:
To live stream on Twitch, you need to decide on a streaming method. You can use streaming software like Twitch Studio or STreamlabs OBS, or Lightroom Studio is a great option if you don’t want to install any additional software.
Simply connect your software to Twitch or select ‘Start Streaming’ from the Lightstream website to go live.
Organic Facebook Advertising
1. Setting up your Facebook Page
The best place to start is by signing up and setting up a dedicated Facebook Page to do your events justice.
A Facebook Page is an online platform where artists, public figures, brands, businesses and organisations can connect with their customers or audience. You must have a Facebook profile to create a page or manage one. When someone ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ a Page on Facebook, they will start to see updates from that Page in their home News Feed.
Once you have a dedicated Facebook page, you can engage with your audience and build a following by sharing organic content, such as news updates, events, live videos, stories and much more.
Facebook’s features have a reputation for not being relevant for a younger crowd, however, it’s perfect to target niche groups of people and offers a real community feel that other platforms like TikTok and Instagram can’t.
A Facebook Page is also an excellent customer service tool, offering you a direct line of communication with your customers or audience.
Tips for creating a Facebook business page:
> Make sure that your page is up to date
> Fresh, unique content relevant to your brand or business
> Recent and quality images
> An accurate description of what it is that you do
> Correct contact details
2. Creating your Facebook Event
A Facebook event is a calendar-based occurrence, which you can attach to your Facebook Page. Facebook events can be created by an individual profile, a Facebook Group or a Facebook Page.
They can be open to anyone, but when you attach them to a business Facebook Page, it will provide prospective attendees with a clear understanding of what your business is.
Tip. You can manually position the ‘Events’ tab as one of the first tabs on your page’s Timeline, meaning users that visit your page will immediately be presented with your current events.
You can also check a box that says ‘publish new events to timeline’ within your event tab, notifying your followers of new events on your behalf.
When creating your event, make sure that it is:
> Assigned to the appropriate category
> Set to an accurate location
> Given plenty of relevant and proper tags, e.g.’ concert, gigs, music, music event.’
> Designed with an enticing and professional cover photo (1920 x 1080 pixels).
You’ll also need to name your event clearly; try to choose something catchy!
When your event page is created correctly, you need to let people know about it. By checking the ‘publishing’ box, your followers will get notified that a new event has become live.
However, there’s nothing wrong with reminding them about it, so why not immediately select ‘share to page’. Sharing your event enables your post to feature prominently on your Facebook business page.
Tip. It’s a great idea to ‘pin’ the Facebook post to the top of the page too, so when someone visits your page, they will learn about your event front and centre!
It can take time to promote your event organically, so starting it well in advance is worth thinking about.
Setting up a Facebook event early in your planning process will give you lots of time to build up exposure and ensure your followers and potential attendees are aware of your event with plenty of notice:
When publishing organic posts, audiences have the option to comment on posts, which helps hype up the event before it happens. Make sure you actively reply to them and provide good customer service, so your customers feel valued and ‘in the know’, as this can help with overall engagement and reach of their event.
Note. Facebook works via a complex algorithm, which suggests content and events it deems relevant to people based on a range of different information, such as age, gender, interests, location, etc.
3. How to get your event noticed organically
A careful and organised content strategy in the months/weeks/days running up to your event will help get your event more noticed. Your content plan could include:
1. General organic posts – promote your event with content such as a countdown, an update on how planning is going, some behind the scenes content or some topical and related videos or images.
2. Facebook Stories is a powerful tool within Facebook, which enables you to build relationships with your audience. Use Facebook Stories to provide a ‘behind the scenes’ element to your event, including your followers in the process and encouraging them to become more invested in the upcoming event.
3. Pictures and videos – as they are large formats, these can take up a lot of “real estate” (or space) on a Facebook newsfeed, so it’s great to share as many high-quality, authentic images or videos that are related to your event as you can to get noticed more.
4. Facebook live – Another valuable tool within Facebook itself, Facebook live lets you live-stream video to your followers. Your followers will get notified when you’re ‘live’. This type of content is very engaging as it physically displays your event in front of your audience. You could host a “q&a”, film a behind the scenes rehearsals (if it’s a performance-related event), or even run competitions in the live comments feature for followers to win tickets to the event, thus adding an extra element of engagement.
In terms of content, be as authentic as possible. If you’re promoting a new show, for example, try avoiding stock content as this could tarnish the look and feel when the event takes place. If there are artists involved, try to get them involved in your social media promotion in the lead up to the event, as it can really help boost sales and excitement.
Another fantastic organic way of spreading the word about your event is to share it with relevant Facebook groups. Use the Facebook search bar to find local groups related to where your event is being held. Then, work wider to focus on more specific groups to the type of event you’re hosting – e.g. quiz groups, music fans, amateur theatre fans, etc.
Facebook Ads for paid advertising
If you have some budget to promote your event, the Facebook Ads platform can help you push your promotion to the next level and attract an even wider audience of prospective attendees. Even if your budget is limited, there are some creative ways to utilise Facebook Ads to promote your post.
1. Boosted Facebook ads
Immediately after creating an event, Facebook serves you with a pop-up, presenting you with the option to quickly and easily boost your online event to a bigger audience.
Firstly, choose something creative, such as an image or video related to your event that catches the eye. Then, you can select an audience to whom you want to promote your event.
You can do this in several ways:
1. Choosing those who like your page
2. Utilising Facebook’s lookalike audience feature helps you find similar people to those who already follow, like, and engage with your Facebook page.
3. Setting parameters for your audience based on criteria like geographical location, age, interests etc., to create your ideal target audience.
These are three separate audience features, each of which offers you a different method for promoting prospective attendees to your event.
After choosing your desired audience, you’ll need to decide how long you want to promote the event. We would recommend giving your ad at least a few weeks in the run-up to your event to have time to build some traction.
Tip. Make sure the call to action button is clear. Opt for ‘sign up’ or ‘buy ticket’ to help direct your followers straight to the conversion of a sale.
Naturally, the more budget you have, the more prospective attendees you can advertise to for a more extended period. But if you’re working with a lower budget, we recommend condensing your ads’ time to maximise leads.
Facebook will give you estimated figures for how many people will see your boosted event based on your budget and duration, so it’s worth playing around with timescales until you’re happy with the number of people that could see your event.
2. Facebook Event ads
Once you’ve created your Facebook event, you can create an event ad, where you choose the Traffic, Engagement or Conversions objectives in the Ads Manager tool.
Facebook allows you to be in control of your customised targeting, tracking and personification. When creating event ads, Facebook will let you put your event in front of people across multiple platforms, such as Facebook Stories, the News Feed of the specific audience you’ve chosen to promote to, and even Instagram and Instagram Stories.
In a similar vein to a boosted post, choose your creative, set your text, include an engaging call to action button and set your budget, ad duration and audience.
Video content always performs better than static images, especially when it comes to paid advertising.
3. Test, test, test
The Facebook ads platform is very beneficial as it allows you to duplicate your advert quickly by changing factors such as the audience, type of creative asset, duration or budget. It enables you to A/B test your ads and determines which ones are more successful than others, in turn, utilising your budget more productively.
Tip. The Facebook Ads Manager helps you keep track of your ad success in real-time.
Suppose you’ve used Facebook Ads to promote events before. In that case, you can make use of retargeting audiences, which you can use to promote events to people who have previously visited your website or engaged with your Facebook page, and guarantees an engaged audience pool of individuals who know about your business.
Tip. If you have a small budget, boosted posts are a more simple, quicker and straightforward way of expanding the reach of an event.
To retarget your audience, you’ll need to have installed the Facebook pixel on your website. The Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website, using clever technology to provide you with more insights about how Facebook users interact with your website.
Creating and installing a Facebook Pixel is relatively simple, and your web team/person should be able to do so quickly.