How to create professional live broadcasts on a tight budget

Live streaming has been a very hot topic in recent months and it’s growing in popularity by the day. Individuals and businesses are now using mobile live video for new and innovative ways to connect with their audience through the likes of Facebook Live, Periscope or professional technology providers like the Iris Platform. I’m sure the early adopters are all live streaming pros at this stage, however many others are just beginning their journey. It can be intimidating starting out on this live streaming adventure, scoping out the technology and discovering the process as you go. So to help you along the way, here are 5 top tips from the Iris Team to help you transform your mobile live videos into professional grade broadcasts — without paying a fortune to do so.

  1. Use a quality streaming service and a strong internet connection: Watching a poor quality live video that is lagging significantly or has high latency is a viewer’s worst nightmare. The presence of any of those frustrating factors can be enough to discourage viewers from watching altogether. Using a reputable live streaming service, and ensuring you have a strong wi-fi or data connection can eradicate the majority of those concerns.
  2. Lighting: Lighting can make or break your video. Dark or dimly lit videos are sure to make you look like an amateur, even if your content is first class. By simply filming in a bright room with lots of natural light you can dramatically improve the quality of your video. If natural light is not an option, there are some very affordable softboxes and ring lights (both free standing or smartphone attachments) available online, which will give your videos that professional look.
  3. Sound quality: Similar to lighting, sound is another factor which can really impact your live stream. In a perfect world you would choose a quiet location to conduct your broadcast, however, when filming in real life scenarios — on location or outdoors for example — there is guaranteed to be some degree of background noise. An inexpensive external mic is all it would take to bring your sound quality back up to par.
  4. Content planning and appropriate setting: Before going live, it’s always a good idea to prepare a brief outline of the content and general topics that you want to cover throughout the live stream. This will keep you on track, helping you stick to your time plan and avoid any awkward silences during the broadcast! Also, an easy way to enhance the professionalism of your live video, is to take a few minutes prior to going live to create a makeshift studio environment for yourself. Simply take note of what will appear in the shot, tidy your surroundings and add in any props you feel necessary to make your filming space look more appealing.
  5. Additional Accessories: There are millions of gadgets and accessories on the market today for your smartphone. Some additional accessories which we would recommend for live streaming would be;
  • A basic tripod to maintain a steady shot during the duration of your live stream — it’s almost impossible to keep your hand from shaking when holding a phone for a long time. Tripods aren’t 100% necessary, but you should definitely have something sturdy to prop your phone upon while filming!
  • A selfie-stick - simple, inexpensive and highly effective. When out and about conducting a mobile live stream, selfie-sticks can help to provide some distance between you and the smartphone camera while you move around. It also acts as somewhat of a video stabilizer (it’s not as effective as an actual video stabilizer, but it tends work better than simply holding the smartphone in your hand).
  • A lens kit is another solid option for improving the quality of your smartphone video footage. Available in a variety of types, all providing different effects, lens kits can give a significant boost the quality your mobile live video. They can cost anything from 5 dollars to over a hundred dollars (however, the latter end would be exclusively for the true professionals or photography enthusiasts).

So we hope this has given you some fresh ideas on how to improve your mobile live broadcasts. The #MOJOCON group on Facebook is another fantastic resource for gathering tips and information on all things related to mobile journalism and live broadcasting — we highly recommend it!

Mobile live video IS the future, so better to jump on board the ‘Live Train’ now rather than getting left behind. Visit the Iris Platform to learn more about mobile live video, the technology we provide, and what it can do for your business. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with mobile live video content.