Step-by-Step Guide for Growing Your Audience with YouTube Live
Whether you want to do a webinar, an online conference, show people how to do something or just talk to your fans, YouTube Live is becoming the go-to platform for getting it all done. What’s more is that just like creating YouTube videos, it is easy and almost anyone can do it for any audience. Going Live is a little more complicated, but with the right instructions, you can do it. It’s important that you do, because live video is becoming super important for anyone who wants to build a strong business online.
How to Build a Hungry Audience for Your Live YouTube Events
The best way to ensure that you have an audience who is craving your content is to start creating a lot of informative, engaging, entertaining and educational content for your audience on YouTube. Start with a lot of recorded information. Make short videos about one topic at a time. Make them fun, interesting and timely.
In the meantime, build your audience elsewhere too:
- Facebook – Join groups that your target audience belongs to and participate. Don’t go in only to announce your shows. Build relationships with individuals so that they want to see your live shows on YouTube.
- LinkedIn – You can put videos up on LinkedIn within your profile. Add short clips from live events, or make an introductory video. In addition, join groups and participate in them so that you can let people know about your YouTube Live Events.
- Other Social Media – Any social media that you’re part of, and more importantly, your audience is part of, make a point of being part of the community. Help people, answer questions, ask questions, and truly become part of the group.
- Your Blog / Website – Post regular information, including links to your current and past videos. This will help your audience know what you have done, are doing, and will do. The more relevant content you share, the more your audience will want to join in to watch your live YouTube events.
- Email List – Of course, you should be working to build your list on and off YouTube. In your Live Events and recorded video, you should always mention your website so that your audience can view it and sign up for your email list. You can also post the information under the video.
Everything you do will work to build up an audience that wants to hear more from you. The main key to getting a bigger audience is to know who your audience is and deliver the information that they want to see.
How to Come up With Ideas & Topics for your Live Event
First, you need to understand your audience enough to be able to produce any type of content for them. If they’re not interested in it, they’re not going to come watch. But, if you really know them, and know what they want to see, you’ll win them over every single time.
A few topics and ideas to help you get started:
- Interviews – This is easiest to do if you’re visiting with the interviewee in person. You can essentially produce your own TV show right on YouTube Live. Set up your shot, and start asking questions. You can also let the audience participate by letting them type their questions into the chat. You’ll need someone to watch the feed to catch the questions, or even set up a call-in line if you want to.
- Behind the Scenes – Everyone likes knowing what is going on behind the scenes of people that they like. It’s nice to get insight into how you spend your day, how you determine what to tell them, or even what you’re eating for dinner if it’s relevant to your niche.
- Q & A’s – A lot of YouTube stars like to do Q & A’s live. They may ask their fans to send them questions through Snapchat or another means due to the busy feed, but they’ll play the snap chat questions live and then answer them live. This is a great way to do Q & A. But, you can also set up a phone line for people to call you. If you put it on speaker phone, it’ll be more interesting to your viewers.
- Special Announcements – If you’ve just got some great news or you want to shout out to your highest earning affiliate, you can set up a spur of the moment live event on YouTube to share that information. Even if your audience misses seeing the live event, they’ll watch the recording. Those that are around when your last moment event goes live will be super excited and feel special. Alternatively, you can schedule the announcement.
- Product Demos – Live Events are a great way to do the unboxing of something you ordered that you think your audience will like or a full-on demo. Ensure that you have good lighting and sound, then demonstrate the product in front of the live audience.
- Guest Speakers – You can even allow someone to speak for you right on your channel if you give them your key. This is great for group channels so that each person does the work for their own show.
- A Day in The Life – For some super fans this will be a live event made in heaven. This will work for some channels better than others. Lifestyle channels will find that their audience likes spending time with you no matter what you’re doing.
These are just a few ways that you can use the live streaming option on YouTube. It’s like anyone anywhere can start their own TV show without having to purchase crazy expensive equipment. All you need to do is ensure that your sound and light is good enough and you’re good to go.
How to Keep Your Live Audience Engaged
People have short attention spans. Therefore, you’ll need to devise ways to keep your show moving along and interesting to your viewers. One way to do it is to create segments for your show. For example, a one-hour show might have four segments. Each segment helps move the show along and reminds you to involve your audience.
It would be a mistake to assume that due to people’s short attention spans they won’t be interested in a long live YouTube event. You’ll notice that with recordings if they’re too long, people lose interest. But, when people are watching video live, if it stays interesting, they tend to keep watching.
- Tease Your Audience – During the YouTube live event, ensure that you take the time to tell your viewers what you’re going to do during the show, and then tease them often about what’s coming up next. This will keep them tuned in. Watch an episode of your favorite talk show and you’ll notice that they often do teasers during the show.
- Ask Your Audience Questions – One way to increase attention on your live YouTube event is to talk to your viewers. Ask them questions, conduct polls, and get them to interact with you while you’re doing the live event.
- Participate in Commenting – It can be difficult to do, but try to mention people who are saying things in your live stream comment area. It might help to ask someone to monitor it for you, answer questions in the chat, and send questions on to you – perhaps by Facebook Messenger, which you can open on your phone or a different computer screen.
- Provide Handouts & Resources – One thing that really helps with viewer engagement is to give them some resources to use. You can link to different things in your description box on the event. Just inform them to look below and they’ll find the information they need.
- Give Something Away – You can tease throughout your live event about a giveaway for live viewers being announced later. Then wait until the last couple of minutes of your show to tell them how to get their freebie.
- Promote Your Live Event – Whenever you’re going to go live on YouTube, it will help if you let people know that you’re doing it. You can promote via social media, email messages, and Facebook Ads. Also, on YouTube, it will show up that you have an event scheduled if people look at your channel.
- Figure Out the Right Day – Each audience is different and has different amounts of time that they can spend watching live YouTube events. You may need to test out some different times to find out when you get the most audience. Try polling your email list to find out when they’d show up.
Because video is so popular and live video is increasing in viewership exponentially, it’s important to get involved in live video if it’s something your audience will like. Finally, be sure to share your recordings. This will help those who missed it get benefit out of the recording but also make them want to avoid missing future live events from you.
Examples of Successful YouTubers Who Perform Live Events
There are numerous successful people who are doing live YouTube events and getting a big audience and making a lot of connections and conversions doing it. Of course, there are live feeds for all kinds of TV channels, too. But, let’s look at a few regular people who are very successful on YouTube who perform live events.
The Drawfee Channel
This channel has over 479,000 subscribers, and they often do live video. One of the things they did that got quite a few comments and views was to draw a comic live while viewers watched. This is a great “behind the scenes” type live event. Per SocialBlade.com this channel earns anywhere from a grand to 12 grand each month.
This is a gaming channel that often shows live streaming games. They have over 34,000 subscribers. They go live for new games and contests. They have a very loyal fan base and have over 2 million views on their videos combined.
Kelly has been busy having babies, but now she’s back to work and she’s using YouTube live to help get the word out about her new album and her children’s book. Each of her live videos gets a lot of views during and after the live event. She makes them simply. They feel real and unproduced. Her fans love it.
This is another gaming channel. Live gaming is super popular on YouTube. This channel has over 100K subscribers and almost 16.5 million views. The Live YouTube events often have more than 1500 live viewers. Pretty popular.
Project Life Mastery
Stefan uses both recorded and live YouTube events to share his secrets to success. He seeks to help people improve their lives. He uses YouTube live events to help teach something to people but he also promotes his success blueprint.
She is a popular YouTuber who does long videos called Mukbang. Essentially this means that she eats a lot of food while talking. These are popular channels to watch for many. The difference with her channel is that the food she prepares and eats is Asian vegan food. She often does live YouTube videos for her fans but you won’t find them on her channel because she deletes them when she’s done.
This is a newer channel and it’s a teacher in Colorado. He has been using live streaming on snow days and days when he is missing students for his math class. What’s awesome is the students can go back and look at the lessons again anytime. While his channel might not be super popular at this point, it’s a tremendous way to think outside the box.
Step-by-Step Using YouTube Live Tools
It’s important to go over the various tools on YouTube so that you can go live with ease. Going live is a little trickier than uploading a video, at least the first time.
How to Go Live on YouTube
The first thing you must do in order to go live on your YouTube Account is to set up a YouTube Channel.
Set Up Your YouTube Account
When you set up your YouTube account, you want to think about the handle you’ll use. It’s important to think in terms of your audience and how they’ll find you. For example, if your channel is about Learning Algebra, then you need to have the word “Algebra” someplace in your handle to help people find you.
It’s fast to set up your YouTube channel if you have a Gmail Account, but you don’t need one. In fact, everyone with a Gmail Account technically already has a YouTube channel for viewing shows. Just go to YouTube and you’ll probably see your image from Gmail in the upper right.
You can also create a personal or a brand account by going to the Channel Switcher and adding a new channel. This is a good thing to do if you’re going live for Business to have a branded business account. Don’t worry, it’s free.
From there you can create your account. Once you have an account you’re ready to start with your live events. Once you have an account, go to your Creator Studio, which can be found in two spots once you are signed into YouTube.
First Way to Find Creator Studio
Click your picture on the upper right-hand side. Then click “creator studio”.
Second Way to Find Creator Studio
If you’re already inside your channel, you can click on “video manager” and it will take you to your creator studio as well.
You’ll see the Live Streaming option on your left. Click it. Don’t worry – you won’t go live automatically like that.
Then you’ll see a blank window and your Live Dashboard.
Set Up Encoding Software
To go live you must first set up your encoding software. YouTube has a list of approved encoders depending on your operating system and device. By far the simplest choice is the open source OBS software. Be sure to collect the “screen name key” information you’ll need to paste into the encoder software. You’ll find it under the “basic info” tab.
You’ll want to click “reveal” so you can cut and paste that information into the encoder software under settings. Never share this information with anyone because if you do they can stream live from your channel whenever they want to. Choose YouTube and then fill in the information.
Fill in Stream Information
Upload a thumbnail image for your live show because that will get more views, and will be a good cover for when the recording is up. Provide as much information with keywords as you can so that many potential viewers can find you when they search for information that you’re sharing.
Now You’re ready to Go Live
It’s a little more complicated than just getting on YouTube and clicking “go live” but once you get the software configurated, you’ll be glad you did because it’s easy from there on out. Now you’ll simply open YouTube, get the show started, then go straight to your OBS software to start streaming.
7 Ways to Repurpose Your Live Event Recordings
When you create a live stream on YouTube, you can set it up so that it automatically records and stays on YouTube. But, there are many ways you can repurpose this content for use later.
- Get it Transcribed – If your event is interesting enough and has a lot of good information, you’ll want to get it transcribed, because from that transcription, you can create a lot of new content that will be great for your audience.
- Create a Book – It’s amazing how fast people talk. When they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, video is worth so many more words than that. Take the transcript from the live event, clean it up, add some extra information, images, and sources and you’ll have quite a nice little book.
- Break it Up – Sometimes one long video will be too hard for everyone to watch all at once, so help them out. Create many videos from one live event by breaking it up into short video clips about one topic within the live event. For example, let’s say your live stream was a Question and Answer event. You can go through and organize the questions about one topic together to create several videos.
- Use Portions in Ads – If you run any ads like Facebook ads, that’s a great place to use clips from your live event. If one of your guests or you said something important during the event, take that short clip and use it in your ad to get more views and engagement.
- Create Blog Posts – Each minute topic within the live video can be broken down into a written blog post. You can even take quotes from the video and insert parts of the video into the blog post to make it more visually and emotionally appealing to your audience.
- Add it to Training – If your live event came out well and is appropriate for training, you can add it to your training within a membership area. It’s okay if it’s on YouTube for free because many times people don’t have time to watch live.
- Sell it – You can remove the video from YouTube after the live event is over, and instead, offer it for sale to people who missed the live event. This is a great way to add money to your bottom line doing the work once and getting paid over and over.
You can repurpose your Live Event recordings from YouTube in as many ways as your imagination allows. It’s just like creating any product. Break it down, add to it, move things around and you can make it even better and more compelling to your audience.
Setting Up Your Channel to Getting More Views
One thing that is important on YouTube is setting up your channel in such a way that people can find you when they search for you.
First, you’ll fill out the “Basic Info” for your show.
Create a nice cover image that explains something about your channel. You can use Canva.com to help you make it look professional or you can hire someone to help.
You can see with the channel above, just from the cover image what the channel is about. She’s going to demonstrate how to cook things with plants. This is the best way to ensure that you attract the right viewers and that people subscribe.
Don’t skimp on filling out the about section. Anytime you have a chance to connect to your social media networks, link to your website or blog, and put in information that has keywords your audience might look at is a good thing.
Naming Your Live Stream
Whether streaming live or not, it’s important to put in all the information you can. In a live stream, you can name the show whatever you want to. By default, they’ll put the name of the channel live stream. But you can change it to be more relevant to what you’re talking about during that time frame.
Even though you’re not positive what will happen during the live stream, you should know what the topic is and some points you’ll cover. Put that into the description area, as well as any links that you’d like your audience to know about. For example, if you’re mentioning a product that you like, you can put an affiliate link for them to grab and use right in the description box.
Choose the Right Category
YouTube has a variety of categories for you to choose. Scroll through them and find the best one. Most people who are trying to teach something or share information use Education, but if you think you fit into another category, then use it. If your category is gaming, then you’ll need to put in the title of the game.
You can choose which level of privacy you want Public, Unlisted or Private. If you’re going to stream live, you need to set it as Public unless it’s a paid event that you want to restrict. Then you can list it as private and only those whom you give the link to can see it.
Some of the choices are made for you. Don’t change them unless you are sure about what you’re doing. One option here that you may want to employ is the delay to start. This can give you a chance to get yourself in front of the camera and look more professional. But, you may want to read your encoder instructions, as some of them say not to set this to delay on YouTube.
In this area, you can enable or disable live chat. You can also slow down the chat room by using slow mode. That way people cannot type too much into the chat window too fast for you to be able to read it. Although, with a big crowd it can still be hard to read.
- Chat – Enable or disable live chat, make the chat slower, and even automatically block people from spamming.
- License & Ownership – You can choose from the standard YouTube license or you can go with creative commons. This is your choice. If you want to let people use your work in their work without attribution, then choose creative commons. If you want to maintain copyright to your work, choose standard.
- Syndication – You can limit where people can see your live stream to be viewed only on monetized platforms or everywhere. If you want more viewers rather than less, choose everywhere.
- Caption Certification – Unless your show has been on TV before, this doesn’t apply to you.
- Distribution Options – Once your recording is up, after the live event, you can allow people to share and embed it into their own web pages and into other spaces.
- Promotions – You can promote your event through featured content when it’s live by checking the box. If you have videos already, when this is checked, your other videos will promote this live event without you doing anything else. You can also choose when to start promoting.
- Age Restrictions – If your material is not for kids, you can restrict the content from them. The problem with this is that if you use it, you won’t be able to monetize or promote your videos on other formats.
- Category – We already chose Education as the category as mentioned above.
- Video Location – This is great to fill out if you’re filming in a location that’s important. For example, if you’re going live on location.
- Video Language – It’s good to choose the language that your audience is using, and of course, you should use the language your audience is using.
- Community Contributions – One thing awesome about YouTube is that with the help of viewers who want to help they can add closed captioned and another commentary to your videos if you let them.
- Video Stats – This box lets or denies others from seeing how many people have watched your video.
- Content Declarations – If you have paid endorsements in your video, then you must click this box. That means if someone paid you in any way to talk about their product, then you should click that.
- Recording – YouTube live automatically records your stream and then uploads it as a video that can be seen later. Here you can tick the box that makes the archive unlisted. You can also always delete it right after it’s been uploaded. This is where you also choose whether to allow comments or not.
- DVR – This is a neat feature that’s great for long live streams. Sometimes people are late and miss some of it, so with the DVR feature they can look back at up to 4 hours of live video while you’re still streaming.
- Stream Optimizations – This can be left with the default, but if you’ve turned off the chat, you can choose to optimize for less viewer buffering.
- Added Delay – This was mentioned before, don’t choose it if your encoder says not to. You may be able to delay via your encoder in this case. But if not, the delay is nice to help you get organized before the audience starts looking at you.
After that, be sure to save your choices.
Anyone who understands their audience and niche can create an amazing YouTube live event that people will remember and that you can use in many ways. Thus, helping you create even more content to get your message out to your audience.