YouTube has a vast assortment of tools which artists can utilize when looking to connect with fans. Here we explore YouTube Live, a feature which allows you to engage with viewers in real time, through a medium which is only expected to rise in popularity moving forward.
Guest post Vince Seibert of The Orchard's The Daily Rind
YouTube is full of valuable tools creators can use in order to reach their audience. We’re here to tell you about another great new way to engage your viewers and help grow your channel on the platform – YouTube live streaming! Live streaming allows creators to interact with fans in real time during the stream via live chat, and also allows creators to monitor how the stream is doing with real-time analytics. With live streaming anticipated to continue future growth, it’s as good a time as any to acquaint yourself with how this feature works and how it can impact your channel.
Determine Your Objective
It’s always better to start with a plan. Deciding what you want to accomplish, such as answering viewer questions or releasing new content in real-time, is an important first step. You’ll want to make sure that your viewers are aware that you’ll be streaming so they can tune in and that your stream is easily discoverable for new fans. Be sure to use a recognizable title, description, and thumbnail, as well as promotion via social media to spread awareness.
Set Up Your Stream
There are a few different ways that you can choose to go live on YouTube. Whether you decide to go live right away on your phone, using your webcam, or scheduling a live event, there are easy step-by-step instructions available in YouTube’s Help Center to help walk you through the setup process. After you’ve made sure that the stream is ready, make sure that all ad types are enabled, but note that this can only be done if the channel has been set up for monetization or if your channel is connected to a multi-channel network, like The Orchard’s. Next, live chat is a big part of the interaction between creator and fan, and there are many ways on YouTube to manage your chatso that it’s both fun, interactive and safe for all users. For example, enabling Slow mode during stream allows you to set how frequently viewers can chat, to help make sure that you’re keeping up with the action. You might also think about naming a moderator for your chat; this could be a great opportunity to further involve a special fan in your stream; plus another set of eyes can always be helpful.
Measure Your Results
Follow how the stream is performing by visiting the Live Stream Dashboard, which allows you to monitor activity such as Watch Time, Audience Retention, Demographics, Playback Locations, Traffic Sources and Devices. In addition to real-time insights, these metrics can be downloaded via YouTube Analytics after the stream ends.
Don’t Stop There
But what about viewers who may miss your live stream? Luckily, after your stream is finished, YouTube automatically archives the event, which will then become available in your Video Manager. This makes it easy to add the entirety of your stream to your library for use down the road, perhaps to promote your next stream.
YouTube live streaming can be a great way to gain a new level of connection to your viewers. Along with deepening the fan experience, streaming can also be beneficial to channel growth by extending watch times, and keeping viewers coming back for the next event. Adding live streaming to your repertoire on YouTube could be a game changer!