Livestreaming is a steadily growing method of content marketing that allows organizations to connect with others in meaningful ways.
This live video feed allows for real-time engagement and for dialogue to happen in the “now,” creating a dynamic unlike most other forms of content marketing.
With smartphones being the norm and the costs of mobile data going down, livestreaming is more accessible than ever for Adventist schools and universities. You now have the means to engage with students, prospective students, and their families in relevant, actionable ways.
What I find when talking with leaders who want to start livestreaming, however, is that they don’t know where to start. So here are some ideas to power up your plans for content marketing!
1) School-Sponsored Events
Your campus’ school-sponsored events are already planned—just add livestreaming! This can be great for a number of reasons:
- These events already appeal to a large group of people
- They are planned out several months in advance
- They already utilize some of the equipment you need to make a livestream great (see the full guide here)
- They don’t require much additional creative planning to engage your audience
With school-sponsored events, all you need to do is show up and livestream. There might be a few technical hurdles, such as getting the sound just right or finding the best place to set up your phone or camera to livestream, but those are easy to accomplish within the existing event planning details.
Here are some ideas for school-sponsored events that would work great with livestreaming:
- Music Performances: Capture your school-sponsored musical program so people can watch it anywhere if they are if they were unable to make it. They can also share it with friends and family members on social media. You can also turn these musical performances into evergreen content to be reused later (check out these evergreen content tips)
- Seasonal Events: If you have a unique set of activities happening at your events for back-to-school event, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, increase the value of the livestream by meeting with people on camera, do interviews, and guide your audience through the event, as if they were there.
- Sports Events: Whether it’s a basketball tournament, an acro/gymnastics expo, class games, or a techniques workshop, these events are sometimes as fun to watch as they are to be there—especially if the camera person is able to shoot from interesting angles. You can also interview coaches, players, teachers, or the random student who got hit in the face with three pies during a crazy class competition.
- On-campus Speakers: When a special speaker comes to your campus for a Spirit Week or a special Sabbath service, livestream their presentation. You can even feature exclusive pre- and post-event interviews to get the audience familiar with what’s happening at your school while feeling like they’re getting something extra by watching the livestream.
- Sabbath Worship: Every week you have an awesome livestreaming opportunity to get the gospel out online and connect with your audience while they’re on the move.
2) Live Classroom Streaming
Schools and universities have a unique opportunity for content that most organizations or businesses don’t have. The classroom or lecture hall is a place for learning, discussions, and powerful conversation. Livestreaming within specific classrooms for featured lessons offers unique, exclusive content and provides your audience with a more intimate experience than just reading about your school or university online.
While not every classroom or lesson is suitable for livestreaming, there are many out-of-the-box ways you can turn the classroom or lecture hall into a way to generate content by letting your audience peek in and be a part of it:
- Live Seminars: Seminars on relevant topics can move beyond the daily curriculum and allow lecturers and professors to cover specifics that can be widely enjoyed by an expanded audience.
- Guest Professors: Bringing in a guest professor to cover a specific topic is a unique way to offer value to your audience without interrupting the curriculum of the classroom. It can make the opportunity more appealing and beneficial for the guest presenter, as well.
- Remote Students: During school-year breaks, students can tune in remotely to livestreams to see a special webinar, live seminar, or class segment they are unable to attend. This type of engagement can help keep your school, and the student’s studies, top-of-mind even during their time off.
3) On-Campus Engagement
Uniquely engaging students on campus is important in strengthening relationships between school and student. While creating some of these more unique segments might be more involved than the ones above, they can offer lasting value.
Every school is different and creating content that appeals to the students on campus is just as unique. Instead of giving a template of what to create, I suggest getting together with other key decision makers and influencers at your school and follow these steps to create tailored segments to use as livestreamed content:
- Identify when students are most active on social media during the day. Determine when students are engaged with social media so you can plan segments around those time frames. Whether you find out by observation or through a survey, keep this data in mind. For example, streaming on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. might not be as effective as Tuesday afternoon during lunch.
- Get a team together of content creators. This could be a team of people who will host the livestream segment or who will develop the content that will be a part of the segment. For example, you might want to find a host to walk around campus and interview students, while also gathering others to assist.
- Outline a month-by-month livestreaming calendar. Even week-by-week could work, depending on your needs. The goal is to set up a calendar of events for planning ahead and creating anticipation among students. Then promote them on the social media. This helps avoid scrambling for ideas the day-of.
- Be consistent with your livestreaming and your timeline. Same days, same time, don’t deviate from it. The more consistent you are about livestreaming, the more aware your audience will become about the segment you’re doing.
- Make it evergreen (if it’s good enough). Livestreams can still be valuable and engaging even after they’re live. (Find out more about creating evergreen content).
4) Off-Campus (Community) Engagement
Many of the steps for on-campus engagement can apply here as well but take it off of your own grounds. This is a cool way to cover events happening in the area, engage with the local community, cover mission projects, and more.
5) Connecting Faculty & Staff to Students
When I was attending school, the most important things for me to know were upcoming events, how my friends and other students were doing, and also how committed the staff was to my success. I don’t think the formula is any different for others school.
Making the connection between staff and students will be especially important at an Adventist school or university. Livestreaming is a great way for students to become acquainted with staff members they might not typically encounter on a day to day basis.
Breaking down the wall between student and staff is important in all schools, but especially in larger schools and universities. Here are some unique content ideas you can consider to introduce more staff to students and lift the veil behind what happens within the school or university.
- Staff Interviews: Take 10 minutes to interview a staff member with questions students might wonder about. Get fun and personal, as well as into their expertise.
- Behind the Scenes: Consider a livestreaming segment where students get a chance to see how different parts of the school operate and maintain day-to-day university life.
- Staff Town Hall: Gather instructors, staff members, and other university employees and to stream town halls or other open meetings. These are excellent ways to break down the walls and give the school a more cohesive staff-to-student relationship
6) School Recruitment Events
Livestreaming can be a powerful tool for recruitment with several options for giving prospective students a peek into your school and what campus life would be like.
Think of the principles applied throughout this entire guide and apply them to each potential idea. But here are some additional things to do with livestreaming for in recruitment efforts:
- University Q&A with recruiters
- Staff & faculty Q&A
- Campus classroom tours
- Campus life tours (dorms, cafeteria, lifestyle, etc.)
- Local community showcase (things to do in the area)
- Presentations by recruiters
- Interviews with current or prospective students
- Classroom streaming session (degree-specific)
- Live application walkthrough
- On-campus recruitment events
- And more (send in your ideas!)
Don’t wait—start livestreaming!
You truly have a wide range of options to create awesome content that connects with your audience. In most cases, the real challenge is buckling down, drafting a strategy and committing to getting it started.
Your strategy doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to “be.” Even if you have a rough idea of what to do, get the ball rolling and apply best practices where you can. Avoid the “paralysis by analysis” syndrome many enthusiastic leaders fall into. Just move!
No better time than right now to boost your content marketing and audience engagement in a powerful way.
If you have any questions or would like some advice, feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media: @thedigitalpew