man recording video
From the proper lighting to the most effective technology, consider these tips when preparing for your video livestreams. — Getty Images/fizkes

Livestreaming is one of the best ways to promote your business and stay in contact with your customers. However, since low-quality videos can reflect poorly on your company, you want to make sure you get it right.

Donna Davis, president and founder of the Atlanta Internet Video Marketing Association, a video association with more than 600 members. Here are her top five tips on improving the quality of your video streaming.

[Read more: Video Marketing Tools for Small Businesses]

Use a wired connection

The first thing Davis recommends is using a wired connection instead of relying on Wi-Fi. “If you are using Skype or Zoom and you have access to a wired connection, use wired, not wireless,” Davis says.

The issue with relying on wireless internet is that it’s known for having inconsistent speeds, and can occasionally drop in performance. This will affect the quality of your livestream.

Look for fast upload speeds

When it comes to streaming video, you need adequate internet speed to sustain the broadcast. That’s why Davis recommends making sure you have fast upload speeds.

When it comes to livestreaming, your upload rate matters much more than your downloading speed. If you’re not sure about your upload speed, you can test it by using Speedtest.

Always confirm upload speeds before livestreaming. A minimum of 5Mbps (megabits per second) is ideal, and 10Mbps is recommended for HD streaming. If you start to notice that your speeds are consistently low, you might want to consider upgrading your internet plan.

One of the best ways to improve the audio quality is by using an external microphone instead of a built-in one.

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Improve the appearance of your videos

Your appearance in your videos matters, and it will significantly affect how viewers perceive your company. Davis outlined three ways that business owners can improve their appearance in livestreams:

  • Do not shoot video with light behind you because this will create a glare, and it won’t look good on video.
  • If you have dimmable lights, place them in front of you and make sure your face is well-lit. Natural light can help as well, but if you have too much it can be too bright.
  • Ideally, you should shoot your video as far away as possible from the wall behind you to give it a better look. It can be helpful to blur the objects behind you as well.

Choose your camera wisely

Cellphone and laptop cameras usually provide poor video quality, which is why Davis recommends using a regular camera. “If you have a consumer camera that you can hook up to your laptop, it will provide a better look than your laptop camera will,” she explains.

Any DSLR camera will work, and there are also a variety of webcams you can choose from. You should aim to use a newer model camera, since older cameras will likely have low resolution. If you need a variety of equipment, some companies offer affordably priced kits with a camera, microphone and lighting.

Focus on the audio quality

Finally, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the audio quality. One of the best ways to improve the audio quality is by using an external microphone instead of a built-in one.

“Audio is always more tricky than video,” Davis explains. “If you have a professional microphone, that’s going to give you a better sound.” She recommends using something similar to the Rode Podcaster microphone, which can plug directly into your computer with a USB cord. Also, you should record in a space with limited background noise. If you’re able, soundproofing the room can limit outside noises as well.

[Read more: How to Host a Webinar]

For more resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published April 13, 2020