Have you been doing a weekly livestream, but you still don’t have as many views as you expected? As a result, you’re starting to doubt the value that you get from producing live shows. Perhaps you find yourself asking… Is it even worth your time? You should have more views by now. But you don’t. Ouch. It hurts, I know.
I’ve been producing and hosting live shows for myself and for brands since 2016. Luckily, I’ve made a lot of improvement over the past few years. I’d like to share with you a few strategies to solve low views for your livestreams.
But first, let’s discuss: what does ‘low turnout’ mean to you?
Do you mean low “concurrent viewers” or “total views”? While they are in the same category, they are slightly different.
Low Concurrent Viewers
Concurrent viewers is the tiny red bar with a number on your live broadcast. It jumps up and down, depending on how many people are watching you live at the same time. If you don’t see this number go up, or if it disappears completely, it can be very disheartening. If it continues to jump up, it gives you more energy to do well on your live show.
After the live broadcast, you will also see in your analytics, “Peak Concurrent Viewers.” It is the highest number of viewers who are watching you live at the same time. The highest concurrent viewers that I had when I hosted a live stream was 50. Mari Smith, the Facebook Queen, usually has around 200 peak concurrent viewers.
Tips to Improve Concurrent Views
Timing is key when it comes to improving your concurrent viewers. You might consider promoting your show before going live.
For our shows at BeLive, our concurrent viewers increase by 50% when we send out a ManyChat broadcast 10 minutes before the scheduled live stream. However, we don’t do this a lot because Facebook Messenger has strict rules as to when and who should receive your message.
If you know about chatbots, experiment on how you can use this to promote your shows.
Another tip is to send an email to your subscribers. There are tools that generate a link that you can include in the email.
When people click it, it will open their Google Calendar. As they say, if it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t exist. With this strategy, your viewers will have your show on their calendar with the date and time. It’s Google Calendar’s job to remind them when it’s time for the broadcast.
Invite Popular Guest(s)
Based on my experience, having a popular guest is a sure way to get more concurrent viewers. I experienced this firsthand when I was organizing BeLive’s birthday show where we had more than 40 guests. When one of the guests was on screen, our concurrent views jumped by 30%.
After her segment, our concurrent viewers dropped to normal. That’s when I realized the power of having a guest who would promote your show and rally her community to support her.
Use Crawler for a Giveaway
When I host special shows, I do giveaways to those who join live.
I use BeLive’s crawler as a way to get more viewers into the stream. A crawler is exactly how it sounds. It’s a text that scrolls on repeat on the bottom of the stream, like in news shows.
For example: 💵 Join us live to get a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Some people would not be your ideal audience, but it’s a good way to get viewers who are just curious about the giveaway. Everyone wants to win an Amazon gift card!
Try one of these strategies. Or try them all! But remember: Make sure that concurrent viewers align with your business goals. You need to ask yourself: Does increasing your concurrent viewers ultimately lead to more sales or clients?
Low Total Views
Total views is the number displayed under your video, and it will continue to rise as more people watch it on replay. According to Facebook, “Anytime your video is played for three seconds or more, it’s considered a view.”
Tips to Improve Total Views
The strategy to improve views can be summed up in one word: engagement. The more engagement you have—likes, comments, shares—the more views you’ll get. And we’re talking about views even after the stream. In fact, around 40% of your views will come from replay viewers.
Show Comments on Screen
Showing comments on screen is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to get engagement on your live shows.
When you show a comment on screen, it makes the commenter feel special. When I was a teenager, I would text radio DJs to play my favorite song. When the DJ finally played it and mentioned my name on air, I was over the moon. I get the same feeling when someone mentions me on a livestream, especially if they show my comment.
On BeLive, it’s super easy to show comments on screen, even when you are streaming to YouTube and Facebook at the same time.
Ask a Question
Another way to get more comments is to ask a simple yet specific question.
❌ What’s your favorite book?
✅ What was the last book you read recently?
The second example is specific and you can instantly remember the answer.
Comment After the Broadcast
Even if you already answered the questions during the live show, it’s always a good practice to comment your answers after the broadcast. If the broadcast continues to get engagement after it went live, it will get more chances of getting shown on the news feed, which will result in more views. Just make sure to answer in moderation because Facebook might flag it as spam.
Change the Thumbnail
After a broadcast, the first thing that I do is to change the thumbnail of the livestream. Facebook generates an automatic thumbnail after the stream. They are not always the best ones! Pick a great moment from the stream that will make people curious to watch your stream.
Repurpose Your Livestream
You can also cut your stream into five-minute videos and upload them as a playlist on YouTube. With BeLive’s Video Editor, you can turn a 30-minute livestream into three shorter videos, in less than thirty minutes! After the stream, simply go to the Editor, check the moments with the most engagement, trim it, and then share. While it doesn’t add to the total views on Facebook, you get extra views from YouTube.
Here’s an example of a livestream I did on the BeLive Facebook Page that I turned into a YouTube playlist.
I understand that a low turnout for your live shows can be disheartening. But you should give yourself a pat on the back for showing up weekly for your viewers. You just need to be more strategic and understand the most important metrics that matter to you. Yes, getting lots of concurrent viewers and thousands of views is great, but it’s usually just a small piece of the puzzle.
If you want to learn more strategies, join our BeLivers group. I’m always there to answer your questions.
Irene Chan is a writer and live video producer at BeLive. She has been working in the digital marketing industry for a decade and loves the creativity of video production. She has a degree in Broadcast Communication and is always imagining new live videos to produce. She is based in the Philippines and lives with her husband, two kids, and their 11-year-old Chihuahua.