From the biggest brands to the smallest local start-ups, businesses of all shapes and sizes have embraced live streaming as the next great frontier for customer engagement, brand building, and marketing.

Along with the big names in live streaming – like Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, and YouTube – there are dozens of other services out there (you can check out this list). That said, it takes a lot more than choosing the right streaming platform to make a successful live stream.

Whether you’re new to the game or you’ve tried your hand at live streaming before (and ended up with mixed results), it’s time for you to check out our top seven considerations for dietary supplement brands and brand owners looking to take advantage of live stream and live video.

What’s the purpose of your live stream?

Like any and every strategic marketing move that your dietary supplement business makes, your live stream/video efforts should be built around a specific goal or purpose.

Is your live stream going to focus on customer questions? Will you be launching a new product? Or maybe you’ll be broadcasting a live event?

Even though your live streaming efforts may grow to include more than one type of purpose, it’s important to know what the main focus of each live stream will be, what the desired results of the effort are, and how exactly, you and your team are going to gauge the success of your efforts.

What platform are you going to be streaming on?

The platform that you decide to stream on has the potential to make or break the success of your live streaming efforts.

That said, what are some of the best way to go about picking the right live streaming platform for your supplement brand?

Establishing the platforms your target audiences do (and do not) use can be a great place to start. In the same way that your traditional (non-live) social media strategy should be informed by the habits of your customer and potential customers, the live streaming platform that you choose should be one that your customers can find.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, though it would require some additional time and planning, there’s nothing that says you and your team can’t rely on multiple live streaming platforms.

While coordinating multiple live streams might prove challenging (especially if you’re still figuring out your live stream processes), choosing to split a Q&A live-stream into three 20-minute segments, with each segment – and relying on a different streaming platform for each segment – might be an option worth considering.

What time are you going to broadcast?

Just as important as recognizing your audience and the platform you choose is the time you choose to broadcast.

One big consideration, especially if you and the majority of your audience are located in the United States (but the same principle holds true if you’re dealing with a global audience), are there time zones that you should be catering to?

If you’re dealing with an audience that’s spread across multiple time zones with major differences, it may be easier to make the case for multiple live broadcasts – each tailored to a particle time zone – over the course of a single day or a series of days.

Once you’ve established the time zone(s) where your audience can be found, deciding between a morning, afternoon, or evening stream will depend on what you know about your audience and their habits. This is another area where market/audience research can (and most likely will) make all the difference.

Remember: Even the best, most well-planned and well-executed live stream is useless if no one tunes in to watch it.

What equipment will you need?

Just because it’s possible to pull out your smartphone and start live streaming doesn’t mean that it’s the best options for your supplement company’s needs.

While there are plenty of situation where the spontaneous “I just pulled out my smartphone as started a live stream” approach can be great, there are just as many situations (if not more) where this approach leads to shaky video, poor audio, and low viewer turnout.

That said, you don’t have to spend a fortune to stream, stage, or light – professional looking video.

Even though their specialty is in more traditional video and video streaming (which is what many of their services are built around) Wistia’s blog is one of our favorite resources for video production insights.

Along with this fantastic guide to shooting video with an iPhone, they’ve also put together a “The Down and Dirty DIY Lighting Kit” (which outlines how to build an effective video lighting kit for under $100).

The internet is chock full of blog post, articles, and videos dedicated to offering up tips and advice for video production. Fortunately for those looking to set up a quality live stream, much of what goes into making a stellar traditional video (lighting, audio, camera work, etc.) can be applied to producing a stellar live stream.

Will you need to bring in extra resources?

Figuring out whether or not your supplement company has all of the tools and resources it will need to produce a live stream in-house is an important step.

But for certain live streaming efforts (particularly those involving live events or guests), there may be a need for you and your team to enlist the help of people and resources from outside your organization.

Along with finding a need for additional people, if you aren’t relying on a smartphone or pre-purchased equipment for your production, renting or purchasing any additional equipment you might need is another important consideration.

Does your team have a plan?

Like we’ve mentioned before, there are certain situations where pulling out the smartphone and opting for a truly spontaneous live stream is the best option – but for all the situations where that isn’t the case, it’s important to have a well-thought-out plan in place.

When it comes to planning your live streams, some of the question you may want to ask your team include:

  • Have we established a clear topic, goal, and timeframe?
  • Who will be on camera?
  • Will any of the live stream be pre-scripted?
  • If components of the stream are pre-scripted, will/have they been rehearsed?

Along with taking the time to work through your plan for producing and promoting your live streaming endeavors, ensuring that your entire production team is on the same page is an important part of healthy, successful, and robust live streaming initiatives.

Have you done your homework?

Arguably, if there’s one consideration that’s worth keeping in mind above all others – it’s this one. Like any marketing initiative, success – in both the long- and short-terms – isn’t about luck, it’s about setting out with a goal in mind and recognizing each of the steps leading to that goal.

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