Every time I get an inkling to open up Facebook to see if they have any unannounced, under the radar feature releases for live streaming, I get a little rush. Nerd alert! But in all seriousness, Facebook devs just casually roll out features to accounts in a way that treats every user much like a beta tester, especially because of the way features come and go, work and don’t work on any given day in some cases. Because the Facebook Creator Studio has recently added a bunch of new options for streaming using a paired encoder or stream keys, I wanted to cover some of the ones I’m excited to be seeing on their platform…. options that we have had in places like Youtube for some time, but Facebook is catching up.

I will be showing how to pre-schedule a live stream from a business Facebook page, you can do the same from a personal page and/or by going live now.

Creator Studio on Facebook

First, head to your page and at the toolbar at the top of the page, click “More” to drop down the menu and select “Publishing Tools.”

facebook creator studio

Once in Publishing Tools, you will find under the “Tools” heading, “Creator Studio.” Click here to be taken to the Facebook Creator Studio.

creator studio facebook

On the next screen, if you don’t already see the “Go Live” button with the red broadcast icon near the top right of your screen, click the “Home” button on your top left to access it.

Schedule a Live Video

Here you can Go Live Now or Schedule a Live Video. Since Facebook recommends scheduling your live event so that your followers have a chance to sign up to be notified and reminded about your live stream, that’s the method I will use here. Remember that Facebook, has not yet added the ability to select your time zone, so if you are scheduling a live stream that is going to happen in a time zone other than where you are when you schedule it, make the adjustment now to reflect the time it will be where the broadcast is. 

live stream facebook

Getting Started

Under “Getting Started” you can select how Facebook will receive your stream. Currently the following features are not available if you select “Camera” here and try to stream directly from a webcam. If you plan to use a paired encoder like we do for our client’s Facebook streams, such as Wowza’s Clearcaster you do not want to connect the encoder until 4 hours prior to your event. So for now, select “Use Stream Keys” and then go back later and pair your encider when you’re set up and ready to preview your stream within the 4 hour window.

Live Stream on Facebook

In this middle column are most of the goodies, so here we go! Make sure you drop down the “Stream” section to see of all these options.

End Live Video If Stream Stops

This one has been around for a minute. Ending the live video if the stream stops is another way of saying that by checking this box, you will not be using a persistent stream key, which is the term used elsewhere in streaming, on platforms like Youtube. It is not recommended that you use this option if you do not have reliable internet, because if your internet drops out and stops your stream, you will not be able to go back to the same live stream.

Allow Embedding

This is new, and while we’ve been able to embed a Facebook live stream on another webpage using their embed code, now we have the option to not allow the video to be embedded elsewhere on the internet. Here are some reasons we can think of not to allow embedding, and if we missed one, leave us a note in the comments.

  • Comments! If you are directing your audience via email or other social outlets to watch your Facebook Live on a webpage outside of Facebook, only the player will show up with the native embed code.
  • Followers! People watching your video off Facebook who don’t already like and follow your page are much less likely to do so if they aren’t on your Facebook page viewing your stream
  • If you are selling products through Facebook, collecting responses or utilizing any of the other many business tools on your Facebook page, your audience can’t interact with them off site.
  • Finally, we think that the Facebook gods and their algorithm don’t shine as brightly on you when you’re directing your traffic to watch a video using their platform, off of their site where their ads play. We don’t know what exactly the impact is, but we feel sure there is one.

Unpublish After Live Video Ends

We’ve seen this one before. We’ve seen clients use this feature if:

  • They want to give their audience that shared live experience.
  • They want to maintain their live analytics and then edit, shorten or make a highlight reel style video for on demand viewing after the event.
  • They have a large organization or brand with many decision makers that need to review the content before its more widely available to watch.

Go Live For Longer Than 8 Hours

Since 2016 when Facebook rolled out live streaming for all users, there have been various time limits for live streams. Most recently it was 4 hours on mobile and 8 hours streaming from a computer. Now Facebook has streaming longer than 8 hours, but will not save your video and your viewers will not have the option to rewind. We can’t seem to find an official word on how long you can continuously stream to Facebook using this option, but we speculate up to 24 hours.

Viewing

Now for settings about the viewing experience for the audience.

Allow Viewers To Rewind

We don’t usually recommend that people turn off the ability for folks to rewind their live stream. This is super helpful if you get distracted and want to rewatch something, come into a live stream late or have to step away from your device and come back to have missed something. The reasons you may want to utilize this feature around mostly the same as not having your video available on demand after the event or “unpublishing.”

  • You want to really promote that shared live experience like we had before DVR’s on our TV’s.
  • You want to have revelenat, real time comments and discussions and not have people posting about stuff that happened 15 minutes ago.
  • You want only your loyal viewers to get all the inside info and not have it available for people who join late.

Disable Live Commentary

Now you can live stream and have your audience viewing on Facebook, not allow comments during the stream. At Varvid we always stress to our clients that they need to assign someone from their organization to watch, interact, moderate and respond to comments during live streams, or you might want to consider turning them off. In social streaming, we don’t think it’s best practice to let your viewers comment without having anyone responding, it sends the message to your viewers that you aren’t engaged.

You may also want to disable live commentary if your content is controversial to some. Let’s keep going because below are some more fine tuned setting for comments.

Comments

Slow

Check the “Slow” box to restrict users from commenting faster than every 10 seconds. Keeps trolls from flooding your comment section quit so fast if you think you might have that issue.

Discussion

Using the “Discussion” setting only allows comments that are at least 100 characters. This might discourage people from a leaving a comment, those who don’t like rules, if you will, but using this feature could help facilitate more in depth engagements, just make sure you have someone on your team – maybe even multiple people responding thoughtfully.

Restricted

Using the “Restricted” setting restricts new (2 weeks old or less) Facebook accounts from leaving comments.We usually assume accounts that new are bots or accounts trolls made to make salty comments without revealing their identities. I don’t see any reason not to use this feature, unless you think there may be a chance some of our audience members don’t use Facebook and may create an account specifically to watch your live stream. Seems like a narrow field, but hey, maybe that fits your needs!

Protected

“Protected” only allows Facebook users who have followed your account for at least 15 minutes to leave a comment. So if you’re hoping to have your stream be shared around and new potential followers engage with your stream, don’t use this feature. We would recommend this option for a stream that have people coming to be objectory in the comments, who may even go follower or like your page to allowed to comment, but this feature would block them.

Crossposting

We have covered this in other posts, but remember that you can combine your viewing analytics with your partner’s pages by crossposting to their pages and engaging their followers. We learned the hard way that some features like adding Facebook’s donation buttons do not crosspost, even though Facebook doesn’t expressively state this anywhere. Be sure to test any content to make sure its cross posting correctly before you go live. You should be able to create a Scheduled Live Video for crossposting and then go to each page’s post and customize the description for each page without it affecting the other, however I will caution you that I have had some annoying instances of this not updating in real time on the pages who were not the main page, or it created the appearance of a separate post on the page. I hope these bugs are since worked out, but I always plan for and look for them during testing and set up for any event. At Varvid, this is a part of my project management process when using Facebook during testing and rehearsals. 

Audience Settings

And finally, if your content is not appropriate for all ages from 13 and up, you can restrict users whose accounts have their age set at various intervals form 12 plus through 25+. Not quite sure what you’re restricting for 21-25 year olds……but uh, yeah, be responsible with your content to avoid extra public backlash. Be aware that your content still have to abide by Facebook’s community standards.

And if any of this is feeling like a lot, we’d love to work with you as a consultant or as your streaming partner so we can effectively put these practices in place for your organization or brand.

Orchestral Tools is a brilliant symphonic software company that creates robust toolsets for professional film and video game composers. For their product launch during NAMM this year, they wanted to stream their event in the style of an Apple Keynote and they chose Varvid to handle the video production and streaming.

Keynote style product release live stream at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California delivered via Youtube and Facebook.

We delivered a three camera live stream with a mini jib for this well-produced show that streamed on their Youtube channel and their Facebook page, which used to also crosspost to one of the presenter’s Facebook page as well. This was the company’s first live stream and the online views and interactions tell us, it’s just what their audience was hungry for.

The Facebook Live stream, the first for this company received over 2,000 engagements!

Facebook Live is accessible to 1.66 million users today, and a variety of businesses have adopted it as a tool to engage with their followers. Brands that live broadcast product launches, behind-the-scene event footage, and demos over Facebook increase their social-media-standing dramatically. One reason for increased engagement is that Facebook Live instantly notifies followers when the broadcast begins and a red “Live” logo is added to any live streaming videos.

Early last December, we helped our client, Scaling New Heights, promote their June conference by producing a live stream to their Facebook page. The SNH staff was visiting their venue (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida) to do a walk through and plan their event, and the live stream offered their audience a preview of the venue and gave them an opportunity for a real-time Q&A session. Although Scaling New Heights started with nearly 40 real-time viewers, they gathered 1.4k views after airing their Facebook Live conference promotion broadcast, as all Facebook Live videos are recorded and available on demand after a broadcast. To add an element exclusivity, SNH offered their online audience code words for discounted rooms and flights as a way to encourage attendance.

Joe Woodard shows Disney World for Scaling New Heights promo

According to social media leaders, like those at SSW16, digital marketing is key to develop brand identity and trust. Online brand identity is created in a variety of ways -through blog posts and tweets, for example- and each social output reaps specialized benefits. In order to be successful, a business ought to use a wide array of social engagement tools, including live streaming which is growing in popularity.

With the largest social network on the internet, Facebook Live makes it easier than ever to engage with target audiences online. Want to learn more about the perks of Facebook live and key steps to starting your live stream? Take a look at our Facebook Live page, here.

In 2017 we will be starting a new project, The Varvid Podcast, which explores how live streaming can be used to build and strengthen communities. We’ve posted a teaser episode to our new podcast library (check it out here).
The Varvid Podcast Finder
The Varvid Podcast is a resource for everyone interested in live-video production, whether you’re new to live streaming or you’ve been webcasting for years. Host Aaron Booker will pick the brains of individuals who use live video regularly to discover how they use it to connect communities, why live video is important in today’s digital world, and any tips and tools to help improve live broadcasts.
Wirecast Interview with Andrew Haley about live streaming
As we get started, our guest interviews will be broadcasted live over Facebook, and the edited versions of the episodes will be released bi-weekly on our podcast page. So far our guests include Adobe’s Creative Cloud Evangelist, Paul Trani, the Live Streaming Evangelist at Telestream, Andrew Haley, and Josh Hamm, the Media Director for Life Center Church in Tacoma, WA.

Whether you are a live-streaming professional, have an interest in streaming technology, or if you simply just want to learn more about the use of live video, please tune in!

Varvid live streamed a portion of Seattle Startup Week 2016 for JPMorgan Chase & Co. branch, and title sponsor of the event, Chase for Business last Wednesday. By using a Roland VR-50HD video switcher and three camera sources, we streamed to Chase’s YouTube channel. Out of the three cameras, two were operated: one focused on the presenters while they took turns speaking, and the other captured the audience’s reaction. The third camera was set in the back of the room capturing a wide shot of the audience and the presenters.
SSW Video Captures

Although the entirety of the five-day event wasn’t live streamed, we did get to cover an important panel discussion titled: “Do I really need to invest in Digital Marketing?” The short answer:”Yes!”. Social platform leaders from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp held an hour long conversation and Q&A session about the role of social media shaping business identity through digital marketing.

James from LA operating one camera SSW is an event led by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs that aims to develop the Seattle community by building momentum and opportunity for business owners. This year’s event was hosted at Impact Hub in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. If you are interested in creating a startup week in your town or city, learn more here!

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 5.59.36 PMOne of the most engaging brands most of us have ever experienced is Starbucks. You can not only actually smell their brand, but also experience it when you walk into their shops and speak to a barista to order your coffee – it’s visceral and makes you feel rich, that’s why Starbucks customers pay more for a cup of coffee than most.

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right” variation=”orange” textColor=”#666666″] You can not only actually smell their brand, but also experience it [/pullquote3]

Ok, so your company isn’t Starbucks spending millions on building brand so how do you learn to build or create a brand? There are so many parts to building brands, I’ll keep it simple for now.

The difference between marketing and building brand is branding is a much larger and more strategic positioning of your company, service or product and marketing is the actions you take to distribute the message to your audience.

Or you can think of it this way. People are loyal to (and keep buying from) brands, but make a buying decision because they were touched by some type of marketing activity – an online ad, an email, etc.

Assuming you have consistency in marketing activities across the following areas, you are on your way to helping give your company some brand personality.

  • Simplify your web site to convert visitors – engage visitors emotionally about a felt need
  • Update social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – design to look and feel like your web site
  • Send emails that educate, not overtly sell – let others appreciate your value, give them something
  • Send gifts or thank you cards – let people know you appreciate them
  • Host and promote events to educate and engage your audience – connected events engage the audience; you could host your own event or sponsor someone else’s.

A strong brand image that helps support your marketing activities are the roots of the tree and your marketing activities are the fruit that prospects pluck from the tree. As you think of your brand image start to imagine how the following all look and feel to people who are seeing your company from the outside.

  • Company and or product logo
  • Tagline
  • Look, feel and experience on your web site and or inside your office or at your location
  • When customers meet and discuss business with your people
  • Events you host or sponsor
  • Videos they watch
  • Emails they read
  • Social media sites customers might interact with

These are just a few areas that great brands build a cohesive look around.

At Varvid we do everything from live webcasting to video marketing with animation, web site design and product design. One of our favorite clients we love that has a great brand is Wizards of the Coast. If you didn’t already know, Varvid webcasts their annual international Magic the Gathering tournament live over the Internet.

This brand is an experience. Not only do people play the game on XBox, there is a card game along with a very powerful social media presence that requires engagement. And each year, Magic the Gathering hosts an invite-only playing of the game to crown the champion. Varvid has the honor of broadcasting it on the Internet to thousands of followers. It is so cool!

If you have not started thinking about your brand, Varvid encourages you to start – people stay loyal to great brands.


  For over twenty-seven years Mission Arlington has brought hope to the people in Arlington, Texas. One of the main forces behind the success of the mission is Tillie Burgin, Executive Director who works tirelessly helping to organize and oversee the various services Mission Arlington offers: health, dental, spiritual support, and crisis intervention.

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right” variation=”orange” textColor=”#666666″]When we have the opportunity to produce a film that shares the positive side of humanity – yeah we like that![/pullquote3]
Because of the fine work Mission Arlington does within the community, they were recently selected to receive an “IT Makeover”, a not-for-profit technological makeover sponsored by Intel, HP, Microsoft, HTG Peer Groups, and Networking Solutions. The ‘IT Makeover’ team contacted Darrel Phipps, System Administrator for Mission Arlington, and asked, “If you had everything you needed as far as equipment and software to help continue the efforts of the mission, what might that entail?” Mr. Phipps was more than surprised when he found out that Mission Arlington had been selected for the complete IT Makeover.

Varvid, Inc. was asked to produce a video that would not only introduce Mission Arlington and the various services they provide, but setup the technological challenges they faced, and show specifically how the new donated computer equipment, servers, backup system, and various software programs would help ensure that the mission would continue its positive impact.

Michael Pearce, Creative Director at Varvid, Inc. directed and shot most of the scenes for the project. “It was an honor to meet someone like Tillie who gives her heart and soul to this worthy cause. This is one of those feel-good projects where people are recognized for their hard work in ways they had never dreamed possible. Intel, HP, Microsoft, HTG Peer Groups, and Networking Solutions all came together and provided everything Mission Arlington to continue their services to the community. Varvid works on a variety of projects that takes our crews to different parts of the world, highlighting various industries. When we have the opportunity to produce a film that shares the positive side of humanity – yeah we like that!”

Varvid was recently informed that the video had won an Honorable Mention – 2012 Strategic Video Award.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

In a recent interview with NPR affiliate KPLU, tech guru Mark Anderson  of Strategic News Services (SNS) shared his top 10 tech predictions of 2013.  Published in his newsletter, these forecasts are aimed at providing cutting edge news for the computing and telecommunications industry – hey, that’s us!

Our Take On It. . .

First of all, Mark knows his stuff. . .  over a 10-year period his accuracy rating is over 90%.  Of his predictions for this year, one in particular will affect the way video and other digital media content is viewed on the web.  His number one prediction, “Surface and slates and iPads and Kindle Fire and Nexus 10 and everything else that’s got a 7-inch screen plus or minus an inch or so, will be the biggest category of computing device.”  That’s scary if your company isn’t doing anything to stay relevant in this growing digital atmosphere.

photo2It is important, for anyone publishing content on the web, to know these devices are integrated inside and out with Google and Bing search capabilities.  Why is this important?  Decision makers across the board are searching for advice and insight online.  As it turns out, more and more of this is taking place on tablets and mobile devices, increasing the importance of staying relevant and attractive on the web.  One powerful and effective way in doing so is through video.  In 2012, mobile video ads alone made up 33% of the average marketing budget – with 56% of consumer web traffic in 2012 being video, we can certainly see why!*

[pullquote_right]In the online landscape of uber-short attention spans, delivery is king![/pullquote_right]Most of us experience streaming video content on a daily basis – we get the concept and we see the value. The million dollar question we should be asking is not why video, but how?  Simply put, it’s not just about creating video content.  In the online landscape of uber-short attention spans, delivery is king!  Flash has been replaced by HTML5, standard 4:3 aspect ratio is now glorious 16:9 widescreen!  So we’ll ask again… how are YOU delivering your message?  Is your video and digital media optimized for today’s mobile audience?  It should be.

[fancy_box]If you’d like to know and hear more on this topic, join us Friday, January 18, 2013 in the Syre Auditorium at Whatcom Community College.  Varvid is honored to be a sponsor for the 2013 Predictions Luncheon featuring Mark Anderson.Visit the TAG website for more info: 

http://www.tagnw.org/events?eventId=568722&EventViewMode=EventDetails[/fancy_box]

 

*source  –  Social Times: http://socialtimes.com/infographic-2012-online-video_b112645