Facebook Live
The following post is a guest post by Lotti Kershaw of Clear Cut Media
The latest tool in your video marketing arsenal is Facebook Live, Facebook’s new platform allowing users to broadcast their video content live as it happens.
The advantages of Facebook Live for businesses is self-evident, connecting you with your followers or forging new relationships. You can engage and interact with people while on air, creating trust and building your brand. You can start a dialogue, run a Q&A, bring your audience in on important moments or take them behind the scenes at special events. The possibilities are endless.
There are a few things that you can do to ensure your broadcast goes smoothly and to get the best quality video and sound for your Live broadcast.

Stay connected

You want to connect with your audience, so before you start, make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. It would be a pity to have your audience tuning in, only for you to fall off the air. If you don’t have Wi-Fi access, a strong 4G connection is the best alternative.

Limit interruptions

This goes without saying, but one interruption you really don’t want is someone calling you on your phone while you using it to make your Live broadcast. If you are on Wi-Fi, switch it to airplane mode to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Keep your video steady

Using a tripod or bracket to hold your phone or tablet stable means that viewers will not be distracted by the constant wobble you get when hand-holding your phone. This is especially important if you are filming for more than a few minutes, so that you can relax and concentrate on your broadcast, rather than on trying to keep yourself in the frame when your arms get tired. If you don’t have a tripod or stand, you can carefully prop your phone up on a table to keep it upright.
Keeping your device steady allows you to stay in focus and means that it is not constantly responding to changes in light levels. It also ensures that your phone’s microphone is not picking up handling noise.
Framing your video carefully and checking your background for distractions keeps the focus on you during your broadcast. When positioning yourself, make sure that you are not too close as it can look unflattering, but also not too far away as you may not be heard.

Get the light right

You want to make sure that your viewers can see you properly, so good light is important.
Experiment before your Live broadcast to get the lighting right. The following tips will help you make the most of your available light:

  • Natural light is best, but if you only have artificial light check the colour and position of the light on your phone to ensure it is strong enough and flattering.
  • If you are outside, choose a shady spot so you don’t get harsh shadows.
  • The best lighting for faces is in front and slightly above the subject, angled 45 degrees to the left or right.
  • If your video looks grainy, move to a location with more light.
  • Some artificial lights flicker, as do some computer screens. Sometimes adding more light or changing the angle of your phone can minimise this effect, or use an alternative lighting source.
  • If you are shooting with a window behind you, you could be dark as your phone responds to the strong light from the window. If you are using a window for lighting, sit or stand facing it at a slight angle.
  • If the light coming through a window is too strong, hanging a thin sheet or net curtain can soften the light and take away some of the harsh shadows.
  • You can also add a reflector (a simple hack is to use a large white foam board or cover a large piece of cardboard in foil and position it to reflect light from the window or light source to fill in shadows).
  • Position yourself carefully in relation to your lighting if you wear glasses, to cut down reflections.

Related: How to Nail Live Social Media at Your Next Event

Getting great sound

It is important that your audience can hear you properly. There are a few simple things that you can do to make sure that your sound is top notch.

  • Ensure that your microphone is not obscured and that the volume is sufficient.
  • Make sure there is no background noise
  • Talk clearly, but not too quietly or too loudly.
  • If you are inside make sure there is not too much echo (standing or sitting near soft furnishings can help to deaden any echo).
  • If you are outside, position yourself away from any wind. Even the smallest breeze can sometimes be picked up on the microphone. You can minimize this by creating a windbreak around your phone.
  • Use an external microphone. There are plenty of great mics that can plug into a phone or smart device, like the Rode SmartLav.

You can test how much your microphone is picking up using the following methods:

  • On your phone or tablet you can check your sound using voice memo apps or Facetime, or do a test video recording. Adjust your mic levels by using your volume control (you may need to enable this in settings).
  • If you are using a camera, you should have an audio meter that moves up and down (or left to right) as you speak, check your manual for more details.

The sky’s the limit

Facebook Live can connect natively to your smartphone or tablet using your Facebook app, but there are other ways you can broadcast your Live video, for example using the following broadcasting software with Pages:

  • Livestream
  • OBS
  • Wirecast
  • Xsplit

This allows you to use cameras, even multiple cameras in some cases and create a more polished video.
You can even make Live broadcasts using some models of drones!
For more info check out Facebook Live’s support website
Experiment, plan your Live broadcast, connect with your audience and have fun 🙂

Lotti Kershaw is a video producer with a background in broadcast television and a passion for the psychology of marketing. She is the founder of Clear Cut Media and lives in Melbourne with her techy family and two cats. Read more of her video marketing tips at InsideVideoMarketing.com.au. Follow her on Twitter at @Clear_Cut_Media and on Instagram at @ClearCutMedia.

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Rachel Beaney is a writer and social media content specialist, helping businesses connect with their audiences.

She’s worked with local, national and global companies, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping businesses tell their stories with creative and data-driven solutions.

She is based in Sydney, Australia.

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