Free Live Streaming Tools to Promote Your Books
If you are not live streaming, then you are missing an opportunity to reach your audience.
According to a survey on Statista, 63% of internet users between 18 and 25 watch live streamed content. Across all age groups, 36% watch live streams. Depending on your audience, if you are not live streaming, you are missing that opportunity to get their attention. Early adopters are usually rewarded in the world of online content.
According to Neil Patel, Internet Marketer and New York Times bestselling author, the most popular channels to watch live video include YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, YouNow, and Twitter. Also, third-party applications make it easier than ever to create and share your live streamed content.
Livestreaming is the ideal complement to your book event marketing strategy. As an author, attending events is a crucial part of marketing your books. Live streaming offers a way to capitalize on all those events by creating engaging live content. Share those moments with readers all over the world rather than just those who attended that conference, reading, or book signing event.
Ideas on When to Live Stream
Basically, think of live streaming as a way to share a moment with your readers, even if they are on the other side the world. Your live content does not need to be a long video; since so many people use mobile devices to view content, shorter videos do well on social platforms.
Here is a list of ideas for content you may live stream:
- Events are the perfect time to live stream. Consider producing live streams of any on-location events you attend such as readings, signings, interviews, and panel discussions.
- Announcements such as book tour dates, new publications, or other media mentions. Sharing this information in a live steam makes your readers feel more like insiders.
- Unboxing Videos are very popular on channels like YouTube. Typically, during an “unboxing” video, the presenter removes a product from the box so the viewer can see what ships with the product and the presenter’s initial impressions. Toys, subscription boxes, and tech items are commonly unboxed, however, “unboxing” isn’t limited to these products. As an author, you could do an “unboxing” of your newest book release and share your first impressions with your viewers.
- Tutorials / Demonstrations are also popular. For example, if you are a cookbook author or just a known cooking enthusiast, then cooking demos make compelling live stream content.
- Sharing Your Opinions or insight on current events or trends. This is one way to establish yourself as a thought leader as well as an author.
Be sure to save a copy of your live stream to make the most of your efforts. Followers who missed the live stream may choose to watch the archived video if it is available.
Tips For A Successful Live Stream
Facebook offers a few tips for a successful Facebook Live experience, however the tips can apply to most platforms. They include:
1. Publicize upcoming live streams to fans and followers in advance. This helps ensure a friendly crowd. Post an announcement of your upcoming stream on your social media and also mention it in your email newsletter.
2. Write a strong description of your live stream before you go live. Your potential viewers should know what topics you will cover and why they should tune in. The goal is to inspire them to stop scrolling their feed and to watch your live stream video.
3. Monitor your internet connection and go live when the connection is strong.
4. Say hello and greet individuals by name if your platform tells you who is watching.
5. Ask viewers to follow your channel and to interact during your broadcast. Live streaming may help build your following.
6. Consider broadcasting for longer to reach more people, but don’t force it.
7. Practice makes perfect, consider live streaming frequently to build your skills.
Now that you have a few tools under your belt, it’s time to try out some popular free live streaming tools and platforms.
Free Tools For Live Streaming
Try these free or inexpensive live streaming software and broadcast tools. They make it easier than ever to engage live and virtual event attendees.
Facebook Live is part of the largest social network. One upside is that since it is part of Facebook, you can leverage your Facebook page fans. Facebook notifies your friends and followers that you are live, and according to Facebook, live videos generate ten times as many comments as pre-recorded videos. Therefore, some brands who struggle with organic Facebook reach have found that live streaming increases their reach and engagement.
Other benefits of Facebook Live include the opportunity for real-time engagement, and how simple the tool is to use on a basic level. One downside is that some find it challenging to integrate their favorite streaming apps and tools; checkout the Facebook Live page to find tutorials on a few different options.
- Optional Live Stream Boost - If you use Facebook Business Manager, you can also choose to boost your live stream to increase the reach.
YouNow offers the opportunity to reach a younger audience aged 13 and older. Users discover content by searching hashtags. Since the platform attracts minors and younger people, you will want to read their community standards to make the best use of this platform. YouNow broadcasts usually feel more like a one-on-one video chat session or have a more personal tone.
- Optional Monthly Subscription - at $4.99, the monthly subscription allows you to show support for a favorite broadcaster including a Super Gift, 20 onscreen messages, priority chat, subscriber-only chat, and access to the broadcaster’s replays.
Social video powerhouse YouTube also offers free live streaming opportunities through YouTube Live. Some features include event scheduling, the ability to view invitations, a chat room for live comments, and more.
YouTube offers a tutorial and help file on how to get started - the first step involves setting up a YouTube channel then enabling it for YouTube Live through the Creators Studio Tools.
- Optional Video Ads through Google – Choose to reach a wider audience for your channel or specific videos by advertising through Google Ads.
People usually associate Instagram with still images and short pre-recorded video clips, but this popular platform is also getting into the live streaming game. One of the simplest ways to share a brief moment with followers is through Instagram Stories.
The analytics are pretty basic, but if you save the story, you can see how many viewed your story and which users viewed it. Be aware that if you want to save your live video, do so immediately. Otherwise, the video disappears from the app once it is complete.
Live streaming through Instagram is fairly basic, but the channel constantly rolls out new features and capabilities. Some authors find short Instagram stories are a great way to get comfortable on live camera. A starting point may be a quick shout out to your readers on location before a book signing or reading.
Be sure to check out Instagram TV for ideas about where IGTV is going and new live streaming options.
- Optional Post Boost – increase your reach by boosting existing published posts around your scheduled live stream or the saved Instagram story (if also saved as a post).
Periscope offers another free live streaming option that is integrated with Twitter. If you have a strong Twitter following, then you may want to try Periscope. Also, many live stream broadcasters find this platform plays well with some of their favorite third-party apps and tools. Twitter offers tips for live streaming beginners who want to use Twitter and Periscope to build their online presence.
Twitch is another popular video platform that offers live streaming. Like other social video platforms, they offer a tutorial for those getting started. Twitch is known as a channel where people live stream their games often to a very small audience. Like any social video platform, it may be a good fit for you if your audience happens to use Twitch.
Live offers both a free option or paid option. This tool enables you to run simultaneous streaming sessions from your windows, mac, iOS device, or Go-Pro.
- FREE - the free IOS app streams to Facebook Live or YouTube Live
- Premium - for $9.99, the premium app is available for IOS, Windows, or Mac desktop. It offers Adobe Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) live streaming capability for higher performance streaming
Open Broadcaster Software
This free software is for recording and live streaming. Beginners find it an easy way to start streaming, but some of the more advanced features may require a programmer.
XSpit offers free and paid versions. Broadcasters use XSplit to clean up the audio and video of their live streams.
- FREE – the free option contains basic functions, including XSplit’s watermark on videos.
- Premium - $199 annually with monthly options that vary depending on your commitment. The premium option removes the watermark and unlocks more sophisticated features like customer service, more integration options, and more advanced video and audio mixing.
Live streaming at your author events and industry trade shows expands your reach and allows you to connect with new and existing readers. Since a live-streamed video is an online event, it works for other content as well. Many viewers enjoy the real-time engagement and informal authenticity of live video. If you haven’t incorporated live video into your book marketing strategy, now is the best time to start.