How long should you live stream? That’s a BIG question for many of you. While there are people who will tell you you should keep it brief – get in, say your piece, and get out – we’ve found a number of reasons why it’s a bad idea to keep things too short and sweet.
The simple answer
How long is the right length? To make it really simple – 20 minutes. So what goes into that number, and when might you want to vary from it? Most importantly, giving it some time allows people to notice your live stream and join it while you’re still live. You’re live because you want interaction, but if you’re in and out in just a couple of minutes, you’re missing A LOT of people who would have joined live if they had the chance. Going a bit longer gives them that chance. Also, building a little pre-show time onto the front end of your stream gives you a chance to work through any unexpected tech problems before you get into your most valuable content.
The time will fly
People worry they won’t be able to fill 20 or 30 minutes. That time fills up faster than you think it will, particularly if you’re interacting with viewers. You’d be amazed how the time will fly. If you can’t fill 20 minutes, you might want to look into fleshing out your per-show content a bit. Make sure each show delivers enough content to make it worth the effort people will make to join you.
The best time to make exceptions to this are if you are a massive brand with millions of followers (and then there will always be people popping in, even in a one or two minute stream), or if it’s a quick, informal video more aimed at keeping contact with your audience in a fun and unplanned way. If it’s a regular show, with a subject you’ve planned out, make sure to give it enough time to make it worth everyone’s joining in.
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