YouTube is the king of video websites on the Internet. It was one of the first mainstream platforms to enable users to create live streams.
If you want to broadcast your event, you need to know how to live stream an event on YouTube. That’s where we come in as your trusted advisers.
In this guide, we’ll cover…
- How to prepare for your YouTube live stream
- How to get your YouTube account verified
- Where to enable live streaming on your account
- How to download and set up an encoder
- Which details you should add to your video
- What additional features you have available
- How to make money from your live stream
- What to do once you’re live
- What to do after your live stream has ended
Ready? Lights, camera, action!
1. Get your setup in order
The first step to live streaming on YouTube is to ensure you have everything you need. That means a camera, a microphone, and an Internet connection.
If you’re hiring a venue for your event, make sure they have a good WiFi connection. Without that, your footage will be pixelated and could even cut out.
2. Announce your YouTube live stream
Your live stream should be an integral part of your event marketing strategy. Make sure you tell all your social media followers about your upcoming broadcast.
It’s a good idea to wait with the live stream promotion until your event is fully booked. You don’t want people to skip the actual event in favour of watching it from home.
3. Verify your account
You need to verify your YouTube account before you can stream live. You need to provide a phone number where you’ll receive a text message with your verification code.
Once you’re verified, you’ll be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. You’ll also be able to live stream your event.
4. Enable live streaming
The next step is to enable live streaming on your YouTube channel. To do that, go to Creator Studio tools if you’re using a desktop computer.
If you’re using a mobile device, then click the camera button. You’ll need to grant the YouTube app permission to access your camera and microphone.
5. Set up a live streaming encoder
YouTube requires you to install third-party encoding software in order to live stream. The encoder you need depends on how you’re live streaming your event.
6. Add live stream details
Once you’ve set up your encoder, it’s time to work on the actual stream. You should give your live stream a good title that grabs the attention of viewers.
You should also include all relevant details in the video description. Write what the event is about, where it’s taking place, and what is going to happen.
Below the description box, you’ll see a drop-down box for Category and one for Privacy (which we’ll cover in #8 below). Select the most appropriate category for your live streamed event.
You should also add a custom thumbnail to your live stream before you go live. That’ll make it look more professional and appealing to viewers.
Lastly, you’ll be able to see your encoder setup at the bottom. You can see the server URL and the stream name.
Note: Anyone with your stream name can broadcast from your YouTube channel. Don’t give it out willy-nilly.
7. Set up additional features (optional)
There are a few additional features you can benefit from when live streaming on YouTube.
Enable Low Latency
When you’re streaming live, there might be a delay between the event and the broadcast. That also affects the live stream chat.
If you want to interact with your viewers in real-time, then enable Low Latency. That will reduce the delay, but might increase buffer times for your viewers.
Enable monetisation options
You can earn money from your YouTube live stream. Yes, you read that correctly. There are several ways you can boost your event budget.
- YouTube ads: selected advertisements will be shown before and during your live stream.
- SuperChat: viewers can pay you to pin their comments at the top of the chat stream.
- Channel membership: viewers can become members of your channel for a small fee.
- YouTube Premium: you can make your stream Premium content for paying subscribers.
- Merchandise: you also have the option to sell your own event merchandise on YouTube.
Note: In order to make money from your videos, you need to become a YouTube Partner.
Enable sharing options
Finally, you have the option to share your live stream with your other social media profiles. It’s a great way to increase the number of views you get.
8. Do a test run
You’re good to go, but maybe you should do a test run first. Many things can go wrong with a live stream, so it’s nice to try it out in a controlled environment first.
Go to “Live Streaming”, and then click on “Stream Now”. Under privacy options, you’ll be able to set your live stream to Private or Unlisted so no one else sees it.
9. Go live!
You’re now officially ready to broadcast to the world. To start your live stream, you’ll have to start your encoder.
10. Engage with your viewers
Going live is only half the battle. Now that you’re in the middle of a broadcast, you’ll need to engage with your viewers.
Encourage them to let you know what they think in the comments. Ask them questions and have them answer. Similarly, they might have questions for you.
There will hopefully be a lot of comments coming in. Make sure you have all hands on deck to respond to them.
If you have SuperChat enabled, you will also see sponsored comments at the top. You should prioritise these comments—people paid for them after all.
When your live stream is about to be over, remember to sign off properly. Thank your viewers and tell them to subscribe to your channel for more awesome content.
What happens now?
Now that you’re done live streaming, you can rest easy…right?
There’s plenty of stuff you can do to get the most out of your YouTube live stream. Chop it up into smaller segments and post it to your other social media channels.
Spread the word about your event far and wide, so you get maximum exposure…and more guests to your event.
Happy live streaming!