Facebook’s Europe Head of Partnerships Rich Evans, said the average Facebook live video gets six times the number of interactions and 10 times the comments of a regular video, when speaking at the Newsrewired conference in London. Live streaming isn’t a fad — 61% of digital leaders are planning to focus on live video in 2018, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report.
Throughout the year, our editorial department has been gathering digital clients’ feedback on live video. Summarizing the insights, Global Multimedia Editor Jane Barrett observed:
“Live video is one of the fastest-moving areas of interest in digital. The immediacy of live is compelling and original — both of which are vital for younger audiences that don’t watch TV and dislike broadcasters’ “voice of God” reporting of events. There is also a huge trend towards “soft lives” — animals, weather, fun events both for OTT video services and mobile/viral fun.”
Reuters has been producing real-time coverage of the world’s biggest news stories for decades, covering everything from riots to rocket launches, political crises to panda births.
Here are three tips for producing digital lives that really make an impact:
1. Plan ahead!
On digital, Reuters observed that scheduled events consistently outperform breaking news stories. The lunar eclipse in February significantly outperformed earthquakes, terrorist attacks and historic peace talks according to Reuters’ digital client base. Why? Because digital lives work best if you can start building an audience well ahead of the event itself.
Clients knew months in advance when this live event would happen — to the second. This allowed them to plan a coverage strategy of complementary content, pre-promote the event and build an audience before it even started. The result was one of the most popular lives of the last year.
2. Keep people entertained
It might sound rudimentary, however poor performing lives often overlook the basics. What are you offering that will stop mobile viewers with a short attention span from swiping away? It could be anticipation — like waiting for an eclipse to happen or a rocket launch to be successful. What we know is that “wallpaper” lives that illustrate a news story but don’t evolve — the helpful bread and butter of live broadcasters everywhere — tend to flop online.
3. Push boundaries
Publishers who are most successful with digital lives are constantly experimenting. When the Washington Post covered the Senate hearing of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, they produced a live show with multiple camera angles, split-screen views and expert commentary, and broadcasted the signal on Twitch — the Amazon-owned live streaming site which claims to have 15 million daily active users.
One live signal — two completely different audiences engaged with.
Now, Reuters has made it even easier for clients to experiment across platforms. With Reuters Connect, publishers can send live content straight to a variety of social media.