Did you know that more than 90% of consumers increased their online video consumption in 2020? And nine out of ten of them want to see more videos from brands and businesses. Video content plays an important role in marketing these days, and if you’re not creating it, you’re missing out on excellent marketing potential.

Live streams are a great way to use video marketing to reach your audience more personally. You’ll get to be more interactive, and your viewers will feel more connected to your brand.

However, people have a very low tolerance for bad live streams. You’ll have to wow your audience right from the start or risk losing their interest.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled an easy-to-understand guide you can read through to ensure your live streams are always amazing and hit the right spot for your audience.

How Live Streaming Works

Before we go into how to ace your live streams, let’s quickly determine how a live stream works.

Technically, live streams are a way to deliver a video file to viewers a bit at a time from a remote location.

The streaming video is sent over the internet in real-time and doesn’t have to be recorded beforehand. It is much more complicated to edit than pre-recorded content.

This form of video creation is done by many different kinds of businesses, from pro chefs to fashion houses. 

You can do it too, just follow our checklist and allow room for creativity.

A 6-Point Live Stream Checklist

If you’ve decided that live streams are just what your marketing plan needs, you’ll love the advice we dish out here.

The following checklist is in question form and is meant to help you determine whether or not you will be able to nail your live stream. You can use this checklist whenever you want to create a live stream and even add more questions tailored to your brand and business purposes.

1. Have You Finished Planning Your Event?

Although many live streams seem spur-of-the-moment (and some of them are), most of them are planned ahead of time. Even live shows are planned in advance to ensure the best entertainment and avoid technical issues.

You need to put the same kind of planning into your live streams that these shows do, or you’ll have a messy event that could go very wrong very quickly. 

A chaotic live stream may sound interesting, but it won’t have the same effect a well-planned one would.

There are several factors to keep in mind when you plan your live stream.

Who is your target audience? What kind of content do they want to see? Also, keep in mind that if your audience isn’t local, you’ll have to factor in time differences. Special holidays and festivals may also not be relevant to everyone in your audience.

Buzzfeed managed to get more than 800K live viewers for their video about a watermelon because they chose an interesting title. Source

You also need to plan around the platform that you choose to use. Research which platforms are best for your audience to ensure they actually get to see your content.

Choose the best possible location for your stream as well. No one wants to watch an inferior stream negatively affected by the location (poor signal, weather interruptions, etc.).

The lighting must be just right, the guests (if you have any) must be comfortable, and it shouldn’t be possible for passersby to cause an interruption of the stream. 

You should avoid shooting your live stream in a noisy area as well. Your audience won’t find it entertaining if they’re being screamed at by the host and can hear other people doing whatever they’re doing in the background.

2. Have You Chosen Your Platform?

Your platform is very important — whatever you choose will be influenced by the goals you want to achieve.

Here’s a look at the most popular live stream platforms and what they tend to be best for.

YouTube Live

If your aim is to boost revenue, YouTube Live is where you’ll want to be. Setting up an account and getting started is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t be too difficult.

You can teach a class, host a live Q&A and even stream an event such as a music show with relative ease using YouTube Live. Also, make sure you keep in mind SEO practices that will ensure your YouTube video ranks in search results

Instagram Live

You’ll find Instagram Live within the Instagram Stories Feature, and you can save the video content you create to your Stories. When using Instagram Live, your audience can engage with you through comments and likes as you stream, also growing your followers.

Instagram is great for engagement, brand reach, and brand loyalty. It’s a popular platform as well, with roughly 500 million users interacting with it each day.


Live videos shared on Facebook get a lot more interaction than traditional videos, so if you’re already active on the platform, you might as well make use of the live stream feature. It can go a long way to helping you grow your social media audience easily and effectively.

You can also promote your live streams in advance, ensuring your audience knows when to tune in. After Facebook’s interface changed, using the live stream feature is easy and can be done right from the mobile Facebook app.

TikTok Live

TikTok is known for being awesome for short-form video content (a big marketing trend this year), and the platform also makes it easy to host live streams. It’s a great way to boost engagement and increase brand reach.

All you have to do is open the app, select the plus sign (which is at the bottom of the screen), enter the name of your stream, and start your event. Viewers can engage with you by liking the stream and leaving comments, to which you can respond in real-time.

TikTok Live is easy to use, and the platform promises that you’ll be able to grow your audience when using this feature. 

Twitter Live

If you want to reach a wider audience than just your following, Twitter Live could be just what you need. The platform makes it easy to share and promote content to a larger audience. 

And once something gains traction on Twitter, it can easily go viral and get you a lot more views and engagement than you expected. You can go live straight from the mobile app.

These are the most well-known live stream platforms; there are several other options if they don’t meet your requirements. You can use Twitch, Livestream, or Periscope as well.

3. Have You Prepared Your Equipment?

The equipment you use is also of high import. Using inferior equipment will result in poor quality live streams that won’t be entertaining to watch.


Using a laptop for live streams is fairly common. It comes with all the stuff you need: a camera, microphone, and can connect to the internet. If you’re on the move a lot, then having a laptop suited for remote work and live streams is also important. Keep in mind, though, that most laptops don’t have very impressive cameras or microphones, so you may have to use other equipment along with your laptop.


The camera you use should be able to capture audio and visuals very well. You may have to spend quite a bit of money on investing in a good camera, but it’s worth every penny. The better quality camera you use, the better your live stream will be.


If you don’t want to rely on the microphone that comes with your laptop (or phone), you’ll have to get an external one. It’s a good idea to opt for one that is able to eliminate noise interruptions with in-built features such as the pop filter.

Always test your microphone before a live stream to ensure it’s in working condition.

Internet Access

It goes without saying that you’ll need internet access to host and stream your event. Typically, you’ll need 6 Mbps for 720p videos and about 13 Mbps for 1080p videos. Go for as stable a connection as you can get.

Recording Software

When it comes to marketing, you’ll have to get used to using all kinds of software. Just like recording podcasts remotely requires specific software, recording live streams also needs certain types of software.

When using an external camera, you’ll have to use encoding software for your recording to convert your camera’s footage into a format that the platform you use for streaming can understand. 

4. Have You Prepped Your Guest Speakers?

Having guest speakers is an excellent way to add extra flavor to your live streams. However, if your speakers aren’t prepped well enough, you could end up with some really awkward silence, and not in a funny way.

Plan the questions that you want to ask your guests and give them to your guest speaker(s) so they can prepare their answers in advance. It may not be very spontaneous but doing so is better than having dumbfounded silences or guests who say ‘um’ and ‘ah…’ a lot.

Allow your speakers to plan everything they want to say and do ahead so they won’t be as nervous when the camera starts recording.

Be sure that you also know precisely what you’re going to say and do ahead of time, so there are no boring moments in your live stream.

5. Have You Cleared Up Your Shooting Location?

Once you have chosen your location, it’s crucial that you prep it as well. You need a location that is well-lit and doesn’t have a lot of noise going on. 

Hosting a live stream at night in a pub with dim lighting, for example, isn’t the best idea. Your viewers won’t be able to see what’s happening very well, and there will be a lot of background noise.

You should clear up the location, so there are no distractions to ensure the viewers’ focus will be on you. Don’t have anything behind you that can make them forget that you’re in the shot in the first place. A green screen might be a great idea to make your location a bit more personalized to the theme or topic of the stream.

It’s a great idea to also do a site survey of your planned location. A detailed map of the area and information on things like where you’ll be able to plug in your equipment is essential.

Expect the unexpected and plan for it. If you’re traveling to a location, go there extra early and pack backups of everything you can. Bring back-up batteries for the camera and lots of water — dehydration can ruin an otherwise brilliant live stream.

Also, remember to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Even then, it’s a good idea to have some sort of backup plan in case it rains, and you need to protect your equipment.

6. Have You Done a Dry Run?

If you want to make sure your live stream is a success, do a dry run ahead of time. Just like dress rehearsals ensure that a theatre show is 100% perfect, a dry run of your live stream will help you create the best content possible.

Doing a dry run will also point out any issues that might pop up or any points in the agenda that need some attention. You will be able to avoid technical (and potentially embarrassing) mishaps. Sure, improv is funny, but it won’t do so well unless you’re aiming for that kind of content.

Once you’re satisfied, you can start promoting your live stream with confidence. You can promote on your social media platforms to get started, and you can promote your event on your brand’s blog as well if you have one. Blogs are great for promotion purposes (and marketing in general), especially if you’re able to add expert insights to your articles.

Do Follow Ups After Your Live Streams

Once you’ve finished your live streams, you should follow up with those who attended the event. Thanking them for their time will make them feel valued, and they will be more interested in your future events. You can also ask them for reviews that can help those who didn’t attend regret missing out and ensure more interest for the next event.

Now the ball is in your hands — use the steps you learned about here to plan your next live stream and impress your viewers once again!

Author Bio

Zoe is a content marketing strategist for SaaS brands like FollowUpBoss, Mention.com and more. Bylines: Ecwid, ProProfs, Score, etc. On the personal front, Zoe is a pho enthusiast and loves traveling around the world as a digital nomad.