The kit list: Expanding into live streaming on social media

Unsure about bringing video live streaming in-house? Looking for the best kit that will allow you to branch out into live social, and stream directly to various social media platforms? We’ve taken a look at the successful marketing trend that’s dominating feeds in 2017.

With faster internet speeds and the advent of mobile devices, video marketing has increased in popularity as a quick and easy way of showcasing your products or services to an audience. YouTube estimates that one billion hours of content are watched daily, across 88 countries – that’s a lot of reach.

Live streaming then adds another element of marketability to video, with audiences drawn to the appeal of experiencing something as it happens, rather than a recorded event. Live social media gives users immediate access to content and the ability to give instant feedback, heightening user engagement. In fact, according to the Livestream and New York Magazine Survey, 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than 2015, with 67% of live video viewers more likely to buy event tickets after watching a live video of the same event or similar.

All of which begs the question, is this something you should be doing in-house? A case could be made for outsourcing to specialists, but the increased control and agility that comes with doing things in-house – especially when considering the immediate nature of live video – has led many creative teams, including ours, to wonder if they could take this on themselves.

What could you be creating?

As Facebook, YouTube and other large platforms add support for live video, it’s becoming an integral part of many social campaigns, and an extension of the traditional video content you might produce for a cross-platform project.

By utilising live streaming in your marketing, you can create:

Q&As and conversations with your audience. Engage directly with your end users to promote services or share general tips about your industry. Experian hosted a live chat in July on tips for buying a new car, with specialist speakers and interaction with users via the hashtag #CreditChat.

Special announcements and product introductions. Keep your audience up to date with live announcements and immediate access to information as it becomes available, as Nissan did with the launch of its 2016 Maxima at the New York auto show.

Live event streams. Drive ticket sales and participation by giving users a taste of the kind of live experiences your brand can offer. In June this year, endurance event brand Tough Mudder streamed a training event that offered tips and encouraged involvement.

Backstage pass and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Make your audience feel part of your event by granting exclusive live access to places they might not typically be able to go. Grazia UK had success with this by live streaming events from Facebook’s London HQ.

So what kit do you need to invest in?

Relying on one of your team being able to film and stream an event on their iPhone isn’t quite going to cut it for professional events – you need to be able to ensure professional quality audio and video across all your streams, especially if you want to record the stream and repurpose the footage elsewhere in your campaign. Phones typically can’t stream and record simultaneously, so you lose this feature entirely if you base your setup around a mobile, and adding titles and graphics that keep your stream on-brand isn’t something you can do with an iPhone setup.

Luckily, there are plenty of dedicated live streaming products that will give you the high quality, reusable footage. The range of options available can seem daunting, so we’ve asked our production experts to pick out a simple kit to get you started on creating and broadcasting live video directly to your social media platforms.

The Blackmagic Design Web Presenter allows you to stream to all popular platforms, including Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope. It makes any SDI or HDMI video source appear as a USB webcam, so you can use professional cameras for higher quality web streaming.

Also from Blackmagic Design is the Micro Studio Camera 4K, the world’s smallest broadcast quality live production camera capable of HD, Ultra HD and 4K shooting. The camera body is not much bigger than the lens mount, so it's a super flexible camera head that can be rigged for larger production, and you can control the focus, iris and zoom remotely with an ATEM switcher. Audio-wise, it has its own built-in mic, plus a 3.5mm jack so you can add a dedicated microphone.

And with the Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Studio Mini, you can record and play back your live stream for later use. This professional deck records and plays back broadcast quality 10-bit video as ProRes files on commonly available SD cards.

How can we help?

We can provide all the kit you need for live streaming from one place, with 30 day credit accounts (subject to you passing a credit check) and next day delivery on many key items.

If you’re not quite ready to buy, our longstanding relationships with leading media vendors mean that we’re perfectly placed to advise on the directions different suppliers are taking with live streaming, and help you find kit, storage solutions and workstations to support the direction you want to take, as well as advice on how to fit them all together.

If you want to know more about live streaming, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email If you’re ready to start shopping head to our design store, here.