In Part 1 of our series on live streaming for small nonprofits, we explained how live streaming can help you engage supporters and donors regardless of where they are. Footage from your live stream can then be repurposed for social media and email marketing and tell your story in a real-world environment.
We also discussed the most popular live streaming platforms, including Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, Zoom, and Twitter. All but Zoom are free, and all you need is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop camera to broadcast a live stream!
Now that you know how small nonprofits can benefit from live streaming and the platforms to use, let’s discuss some ideas for using live streaming, along with simple steps you can take to get more people watching your live streams.
How Small Nonprofits Can Use Live Streaming
There are plenty of ways small nonprofits can use live streaming, but let’s start with the most obvious.
Live Events. Fundraisers, galas, award ceremonies, educational workshops, check presentations, contests, and announcements about new campaigns and initiatives can be live streamed to expand the reach and awareness of each event.
Tours. Take donors and supporters behind the scenes of your offices or facilities to showcase the work done by your staff and volunteers that the community typically doesn’t see. This will reinforce why donations are needed to support day-to-day operations.
Stories of Impact. Conduct interviews with people who benefit from your mission. Show how people benefit from your mission as events unfold. Visit locations where donor gifts are making an impact. Include the backstory so viewers understand the difference your nonprofit is making.
Interviews. There are endless opportunities to showcase people who touch your organization, including donors, board members, staff, volunteers, community leaders, elected officials, beneficiaries of your services, and experts and thought leaders who have a deep understanding of your mission.
How to Attract More Viewers to Your Nonprofit’s Live Streams
“If you build it, they will come” does not apply here. You have to promote, inform, entice, engage, and sometimes entertain to motivate and inspire people to watch your live streams.
Plan, Promote, and Cross-Promote. When creating a marketing strategy for an important event, include the live stream. Provide information about your live stream on your website, social media channels, and in your email marketing. Encourage your sponsors to promote your live stream and capitalize on their audience!
Make It Easy. Don’t assume people know how to join your live stream. When promoting the live stream, and immediately before and during the live stream, include specific directions on how to join with as few steps as possible!
Test and Practice. Remember the early days of Zoom? “You’re on mute!” Nothing is worse than joining a live stream that doesn’t work ☹ Test the technology and practice the process of starting, broadcasting, and ending your live stream until you’re confident it will go off without a hitch.
Engage, Engage, Engage! Invite viewers to submit live questions and comments. Take a poll or survey in the moment. As we’ve discussed previously, live streaming is a prime opportunity to build closer relationships with donors and supporters and build a larger following through direct engagement.
Have Fun! There may be serious moments, but make sure you capitalize on every opportunity to have fun during your live streams. Think about how you can make live streams fun for viewers so they’ll join the next one!
Live streaming is a powerful yet underutilized tool in the small nonprofit community. Explore the different ways to use live streaming and consider an internal live stream to work out the kinks! This is a great opportunity to connect with existing donors and expand your donor base!