This year may as well be dubbed the year of live streaming in the online video world. Now more than ever, marketers are using live webcasting to broadcast their message—in the form of live events, tradeshows, and Q&A sessions—to the masses thanks to apps like Periscope and Meerkat.
Both of these apps make live streaming more efficient and cost-effective than it once was. But, that ease of accessibility has also brought a flood of users and noise. So how can you help your story stand apart from the rest? Here are three simple ways to improve the quality of your Periscope and Meerkat broadcasts.
Get Steady: One of the biggest pitfalls with using a mobile device to live stream is that you’re almost guaranteed to produce a shaky video if you go with the handheld approach. Not only could this turn your audience off, but it can also dilute the message that you are trying to broadcast.
This holds even truer for long broadcasts such as Q&A sessions or keynotes. Consider investing into a stabilizing tool that will do the heavy lifting for you. There are several companies that specialize in creating small tripods, mounts, and stabilizing devices that will drastically improve the quality of your video and increase audience retention.
Mind Your Composition: At this moment, both Meerkat and Periscope only allow for vertical video recording. While many marketers and general users are used to capturing videos this way, traditional videographers and in-house video professionals do not typically shoot video in this format. This is something to consider if you approach your in-house team or production crew to help you produce a Meerkast (Meerkat broadcast) or Periscope broadcast.
Also, be aware of the interface the viewer will see. In the screen at right, the chat activity in Periscope is blocking the most important visual in a broadcast.
Meerkat has its own set of icons and buttons that you should take note of. The examples at the end of this article show both good and bad framing in Meerkat.
Improve Your Audio: Audio is often overlooked across all forms of online video, but poor audio quality is one of the main reasons that your viewer might stop watching. In fact, studies have shown that audiences are more likely to forgive a bad piece of video than poor quality audio.
When audio is critical to a broadcast, such as in a Q&A session, keynote speech, or interview, consider investing in an external microphone. There are several small microphones that can connect to your smartphone and produce superior audio compared to the built-in mic.
The Zoom iQ6 works with an iPhone’s Lightning connector and can pick up a wide area of stereo sound. It’s a great option if you plan on broadcasting different types of events. The IK Multimedia Rig works with both iOS and Android devices. This is more of a traditional handheld microphone and it connects to an audio jack. It’s a good mic for on-camera interviews.
A few small investments will go a long way in making your Periscope and Meerkat broadcasts stand out from the crowd.