Top Live Multistreaming Tips with Jeff Sieh
Did you know that when you use Restream to stream professionally from your browser, you can invite up to 20 guests to join you in your broadcast? Pretty amazing, huh?
But this week I’m skipping the crowds and just talking to ONE special guest: Jeff Sieh.
Jeff recently joined me for the second episode of my new show, Go Live! with Restream, where we talked all things multistreaming and answered some really interesting audience questions too.
As an international speaker on visual marketing and veteran live streamer, you know his multistreaming tips are going to be pure gold.
What you’ll learn
[7:59] How to keep it simple when you’re starting out with live streaming
[8:54] How to manage the chat
[15:39] What to do when things go wrong
[18:19] About Jeff’s typical week
[24:34] Whether or not it’s a good idea to simulcast from Restream studio to IGTV
[27:29] How to preserve video quality when streaming to multiple platforms
[38:04] The potential pitfalls of multistreaming
[41:34] How to build up your audience members
"There was a time — not so long ago really — when neither Jeff nor I would have recommended multistreaming, not least because comments were fragmented and the whole thing was just incredibly hard to manage.
As the technology has improved, however, most of the reasons NOT to multistream have vanished and it’s safe to say we’re both converts!
To kick off our chat, Jeff’s first was aimed at beginners. He’s noticed that when people start out with live video and multistreaming, they have a tendency to bite off more than they can chew and end up ‘freaking out’.
When people start out with live video and multistreaming, they have a tendency to bite off more than they can chew and end up ‘freaking out’. @jeffsiehClick To Tweet
"When you’re first getting started, I would just go to one platform, maybe two. But the cool thing now is that the technology has really caught up with what we need it to do so once you have the confidence to actually go live on video, you can quickly scale up, especially if you use a tool like Restream."
One of the things that beginners can find especially tricky is the barrage of comments from the various platforms you’re broadcasting to. Just how do you keep up with viewers’ comments and questions without totally losing the flow of your presentation
"This is something that comes with practice. I do try to always build comments organically into what I’m talking about. So if I’m talking about something and I see a comment that could be relevant at that point, I’ll pull it up."
Another Jeff-recommended method of handling comments is to build space for them into your presentation, dedicating a section of your video to answering questions, whether halfway through, at the end, or at regular intervals throughout. This also has the added bonus of making repurposing easier.
One of the cool things about Restream Studio is that your guests can actually see the comments too, so let them know if you’re happy for them to pick out interesting comments to discuss.
Not only does this make comment handling easier for you as the presenter, it also gives your guests the chance to increase their interaction with the audience. It’s a real win-win!
Another great bit of advice for beginners: things WILL go wrong so don’t sweat it.
Jeff reminisced about his first-ever live video. He’d managed to score Guy Kawasaki (bona fide marketing genius who’s been the chief evangelist for the likes of Apple and Canva) as a guest, and the pressure was on.
So he prepped and he planned and was ready to go. Only, right before they went live, he somehow managed to crack his water bottle, the contents of which spilled all over him, and he ended up having to do the entire episode with a wet crotch.
As Jeff said,
"you’re always prepared after that!"
"Things will break. Things won’t work. Your guest’s mic won’t work. My friend’s cat went crazy mid-broadcast when it caught sight of a squirrel. Someone else had a light fall on their head. Things WILL go wrong. So be ready…but know that no one is going to leave you or stop watching because of it.
In fact, if you haven’t made mistakes, it probably means that you haven’t done live video!"
These days, Jeff manages the live streams for various entrepreneurs and businesses, such as Social Media Examiner and Tailwind, so how does he keep sane while keeping up with multiple shows and the tech that goes with it?
He admits that there’s a lot to keep track of.
During a typical week, he might be working behind the scenes on a client’s show, scheduling, dealing with setup, pulling up comments, recording the show so that it can be repurposed later, and grabbing quote graphics.
For some clients, such as Social Media Examiner, he’ll just stream to YouTube and Facebook, for others, he’ll cast a wider net, adding a few more platforms into the mix.
And his top tip for making sure it all gets done: checklists!
For Jeff, this one’s a solid ‘no’ — as much as he’d love to.
And potential legal issues aside — and let’s face it, none of us want to risk having our Instagram accounts suspended — without an official API, it’s impossible to pull comments and often this is such a huge part of IGTV it almost seems pointless to do it without this ability to interact.
What Jeff recommends instead is to:
"Chop great teaching moments from your Restream live videos and upload them to IGTV."
It’s effective and legally much safer too.
Streaming to multiple channels can compromise the quality of your videos, so how does Jeff get around this and consistently produce high-quality live streams?
For him, the answer lies in the cloud.
"If I’m multicasting, I always use a cloud-based service. If I’m going straight to Facebook or YouTube that’s one thing, but you have to have a lot of bandwidth and a really high-end computer to do that. And the cloud takes all that away; being able to take one stream, push it to Restream and let them do all the heavy lifting, and do it all in high-quality… that’s what’s amazing. Being able to do that has changed the game."
One of the biggest challenges Jeff faces is managing comments — when you have people watching from potentially up to 30 different platforms, you can occasionally miss a comment and the last thing you want to do is risk someone in your audience feeling ignored or overlooked.
That said, because the tech is so much more advanced than it used to be, this aspect of live video is getting easier.
Another thing to be aware of is the potential for things going wrong. Again, when you’re broadcasting to so many platforms, you might expect that every now and then something could go wrong with one of them.
You might find, for example, that your stream isn’t going through to LinkedIn or it won’t connect to Facebook. As Jeff says:
"Most of the time it’s not an issue with Restream, it’s something going on with one of the platforms you’re streaming to and trying to diagnose that in the middle of going live can be stressful.
That’s why, if you’re first dipping your toes into going live, it’s a good idea to pick just one platform and get comfortable with that, with the buttons, with reading comments. You also don’t want to go from doing just one channel to doing 30! You want to add new platforms in slowly until you feel more comfortable with managing the comments."
Jeff also advises going back to your comments after the video ends to answer questions, just in case the person who asked the question had to leave before you got round to giving them an answer. By tagging them in the comments, they’ll be able to get the information they’re looking for, even if they didn’t catch it in the video.
Of course, while this is a great way to grow your channel and keep your audience happy, it can be tough, especially if you don’t have a team to help you manage the comments, which is another reason to start off with fewer platforms.
Another great tip for keeping your audience happy is to periodically call out certain viewers — particularly those super fans who always tune into your show.
Another great tip for keeping your audience happy is to periodically call out certain viewers — particularly those super fans who always tune into your show. @jeffsiehClick To Tweet
"This helps you build up your audience members. If you know it’s their birthday, say it. If you know they have an Etsy shop, say it. If they have a great YouTube channel, mention it and drive people to it.
People love it when you talk about them. And it may not happen automatically but people will know that you’re a giving person and they will subscribe to your channel and they will buy your product because they know you’re not just looking out for yourself."
As Jeff says, it’s not about you, it’s not about the tech, it’s about the audience and building those relationships.
For a few more nuggets of techy advice, check out the original Go Live with Restream episode and if you’d like to find out more about Jeff and what he’s up to, connect with him here:
Tempted to give Restream a try? You can sign up for free here.It’s not about you, it’s not about the tech, it’s about the audience and building those relationships. @jeffsiehClick To Tweet
This Episode's Sponsors
This episode is sponsored by Restream
Watch Episode 66
Restream is the complete multi-streaming suite for entrepreneurs.
With Restream you can stream to multiple platforms all at the same time. They have a plethora of destinations including:
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You can stream from another tool to Restream and Restream will take care of the multi-streaming for you really easily. Or you can broadcast directly from Restream to your platform of choice.
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I've been really blown away by the Analytics section - this shows your stream metrics - now many viewers, watched minutes, new followers and more.
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