Looking to engage, reach, and expose your content to a wider audience? Well, TikTok Live is a great place to start. It goes beyond pre-recorded videos and establishes an authentic connection with your audience. Famous TikTokers (like Khaby Lame and Charlie D’Amelio) have realized this and included live streaming as part of their TikTok marketing strategy.
Getting started with your first TikTok Live is easier than you think. This guide not only helps you begin your live streams but also provides best practices and ideas to make your live stream's purpose worthwhile.
What is TikTok Live?
TikTok is huge, and you know that. With around 840 million users worldwide, TikTok has an average engagement rate of 7.11%, six times higher than Reels. And with TikTok Live coming on the bandwagon, it has helped creators build a loyal fan base, expand their reach, and deepen their connection with their audience. This feature has enabled engagement in real-time and allowed more spontaneous and interactive interactions compared to pre-recorded videos.
While Live streaming isn’t unique to TikTok, feature-wise, it has come up with 6 exciting additions:
1. Go Live Together
In a world full of dynamic duos like Gayle and Oprah, Beyoncé, and Jay Z, join forces with other creators for your next Live video. With TikTok Go Live Together, you get more chances for better interactions, behind-the-scenes reveals, and more ways to connect with top creators.
2. Live Event Notification
With TikTok Live Events, creators can now schedule, allow, manage, and promote LIVEs ahead of time. It’s a great way for creators and fans to easily connect together just before the event, skipping the chances of missing out on the action.
3. Live Q&As
Interact better with your audience and show them you care about them by responding to their questions directly through Live Q&A. This feature lets the hosts select and showcase the questions they want to answer. This leads to more entertaining experiences and better engagement during the Live.
4. Live Donations
TikTok has enabled a Live Donation button that works during the streaming allowing users to donate to a charity of their choosing. Before going Live, you can also select the cause with a simple step-by-step process.
5. Live Countdown Sticker
Much like the Instagram countdown stickers, this feature ensures audience participation, driving in more people just before the live. A Live countdown sticker may consist of your Live details and is a great reminder for your audience right before you go Live.
6. Live Topics
Live Topics lets your audience know what you are going to discuss next. Be it music, food, gaming, or DIY, adding a content category lets your viewers have an idea about the content. This feature will interest them as per their preferences and even bring new audiences into your Live session.
These interactive features clearly show that the TikTok Live stream feature has seen particular success. And if this is your first time exploring these features, don’t worry! We will cover the “whats” and the “hows,” including best practices and ideas!
For other TikTok how-to’s, check out our blog on the best time to post on TikTok.
What Are The Requirements For TikTok Live
We know that you are excited! Live streaming on TikTok is an incredible opportunity to connect with your followers in real time, showcase your talents, and engage with an enthusiastic audience. But before jumping into your first ever TikTok Live, do keep an eye on these TikTok Live requirements and ensure that you meet them.
TikTok typically requires users to meet certain criteria before they can access the live streaming feature. To access some of TikTok’s features, like adding a link to your profile bio, you can find workarounds like switching to a Business account. While the specific requirements can vary by region, it's generally expected that your account meets the following criteria:
- You must be at least 16 years old for legal reasons.
- You can only start earning money or receive and send gifts during a live stream when you are 18 years of age or older.
- Your account must comply with TikTok's Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
TikTok often sets a minimum follower count as a requirement for accessing the live streaming feature. With the Live feature, the minimum of followers applies to Creator and Business accounts. In the past, this minimum follower count has been set at 1,000 followers. However, people having fewer followers can try to send a request to enable Live by going to Settings and Privacy, then Report a problem.
Once you have met these standards, you are good to go! You will be able to access the live stream option on your profile and get ready to kick start your first TikTok Live.
How To Go Live on TikTok
So, now that you know the prerequisites before going Live on TikTok, what's there to wait? If you meet all the above criteria, let's get to business and start our stream! There are basically two devices you can go Live from. Let's figure out how it's done, whether it's your phone or PC!
Going Live using a phone Or tablet
Step 1: Open the TikTok app on your phone or tablet.
Step 2: Tap on the "+" button at the bottom center of the screen to create a new TikTok.
Step 3: On the recording screen, swipe left to access the "LIVE" option at the bottom of the screen and tap on the "LIVE" option to proceed.
Step 4: Enter a descriptive and engaging title along with your Live goal for your live stream. This will help attract viewers and give them an idea of what your live stream is about.
Pro tip: You can also use best TikTok quotes as a title to personalize your Live.
Step 5: Once you have your Live stream setup, tap on the "Go Live" button to start your live stream.
Step 6: While conducting your Live on TikTok, you can explore some of these interactive features like filters and effects to make your Live more interactive.
Step 7: Once you're ready to end your live stream, tap on the "X" button at the top-right corner of the screen. TikTok will prompt you to confirm the end of your live stream. Tap "End Live" to finish the stream.
Going Live using PC
- Uses third-party streaming software
- Use the proprietary TikTok LIVE Studio
Third-party Streaming Software
Step 1: Open a web browser on your PC and go to TikTok's official website (www.tiktok.com).
Step 2: Log in to your TikTok account using your credentials.
Step 3: Click on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4: Click LIVE.
Step 5: Choose the title and filter features you want to use.
Step 6: Click Cast to PC and"Go Live," and paste Stream Key and server URL on the software you want to use.
Step 7: Pick a destination with a “Custom RTMP” name.
Step 8: Press "Confirm and start your live stream from your chosen encoding software to broadcast your TikTok channel.
TikTok LIVE Studio
Step 1: Go to your TikTok Profile and click on your profile icon to access TikTok Live Studio.
Step 2: You will be redirected to the Live Studio Page, where you have to download the software from TikTok’s website and install it on your computer.
Step 3: TikTok LIVE Studio will open once the installation has finished. Log in with your TikTok profile credentials.
Step 4: After setting your Live mode, source, speed test, audio, and goals, click on the "Start" button to Live.
Step 5: Once you are Live, you will be able to access Live settings, where you can put details about the Live title, content, introduction, thumbnail, etc., and you are good to go.
Tip: Adjust your external camera into portrait mode, as TikTok prefers the same and verify the same from your phone as well.
Best Practices for A Successful TikTok Live
When it comes to hosting a successful TikTok Live session, there are several best practices that can help you captivate your audience and create a memorable experience. Here are some tips to ensure your TikTok Live is a resounding success.
#1: Define Your Steam Goal Clearly
Determine the purpose and objectives of your live stream before you go live. Think, what do you want to achieve from this live? Is it driving traffic, showcasing talent, providing educational content, or simply engaging with your audience?
Having an answer to these questions will give you clarity and help you select a topic that resonates with your target audience and aligns with your brand or niche. This will attract viewers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
#2: Determine Your Best Timeslot
Launching your streams around primetime hours can increase your engagement. While the length of your stream completely depends on your choice, it is advisable to keep it limited to a 60-minute session. This is because the attention span of audiences is very short. It can be a maximum of a one-hour session for you to grab your spot, and you have to do it within 10-15 minutes of your live session.
Remember, the shorter and crisper, the better chances of getting more participants. As TikTok is geared towards shorter content, plan it out and go live when they’re online and scrolling.
#3: Plan The Live Out
We know, Lives can be awkward! Especially when not planned out properly. If you want to avoid those long stretches of silence and thought disruptions during live, simply plan it out before.
Why? Well, it has a lot of benefits. Having a solid plan of action not only helps you stay focussed throughout but also keeps your livestream organized and on track. Hence, make a list, consider cue cards, or map out the pointers you are harping on. Basically, keep it natural yet planned!
#4: Ensure Good Audio Quality
Always check your audio quality beforehand to save yourself from the last moment of hassle during the live. At that time, your focus should only be on your viewers and not on these petty issues that can be fixed earlier.
Use a microphone or ensure you're in a quiet environment where viewers can hear your voice clearly. Test your equipment prior to going live for a smooth streaming experience. Keep the background noise to a minimum and broadcast from a quiet place to make it easier for the viewers to hear you without distractions.
#5: Set Up A Visually Appealing Backdrop
Good lighting and camera angles can make a subtle yet major difference to your live-streaming experience. To ensure that, choose a clean, well-lit stable area with a background that complements your content and represents your brand. Consider adding props or elements like ring lights that enhance the visual appeal of your live stream.
Check your camera angles against your background, and remember that TikTok prefers vertical angles. Find a steady position and ensure that your tripod is fixed, as too much movement can lead to a shaky and dizzy stream experience.
#6: Check Your Internet Connection
Before anything, double-check your internet. It's a must! Never skip this! An unstable internet connection can ruin your entire live stream, and your viewers might not be able to hear or clearly see you leading to an unpleasant experience.
Ensure your internet connection is clear and stable, which is the key to hosting a successful stream.
#7: Interact and Engage with Your Audience
Interact as best you can! There’s no alternative to this. A live stream is basically all about interaction and engagement in real-time.
Encourage viewers to leave comments and questions throughout the live stream and take the time to acknowledge and respond to as many of them as possible. This will make your audience feel seen and valued. Use interactive features, such as filters, effects, stickers, and polls, to add an extra layer of fun and interactivity to your live stream. Consider inviting other TikTok creators or influencers to join your live stream as guests. This can bring a fresh perspective and create interesting conversations and collaborations.
#8: Save and Repurpose Your Live Content
The success of your TikTok Live will only become fruitful if you analyze, reflect, and improve. These three steps are mandatory if you want to make your next TikTok live even better than your current one.
Take time to review the performance of your live stream by analyzing metrics such as viewership, engagement, and audience feedback. Learn from each session and apply those insights to improve future live streams. After the live session ends, save the video to your device and repurpose the content later. You can share highlights or create compilations for your TikTok profile or other social media platforms.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep experimenting, learning, and refining your live-streaming skills to continue captivating your viewers. Follow these best practices and watch the views and engagement roll in!
Best TikTok Live Ideas
Once you have identified the best practices you have to undertake, coming up with TikTik Live ideas isn't a big hassle. While you can always do your own research and find out what works best for your audience, we have led out some intriguing TikTok Live ideas that can engage and entertain your audience and get you started.
Quick Tip: Do not jump on every TikTok Live trend that you see. Trends come and go. But what will work the most is staying true to your audience’s requirements and understanding what they’ll find valuable.
1. Q&A Session
Hosting a Q&A session allows you to interact with your audience and give them the answer they need to their questions and queries. Invite your viewers to ask questions about a specific topic, life, or expertise. This is a great opportunity to show them you care, listen, and build trust.
The benefits? There are plenty. You can:
- Show the human side of your brand, making your viewers feel that you are close to them.
- Reinforce what your brand stands for, and make them feel more confident about their purchases.
- Address any complaints or concerns they might have about your brand or product and resolve that.
2. Behind-the-Scenes Look
Take your audience behind the scenes of your creative process or daily life. Whether you're a filmmaker, content creator, or business owner, show viewers the behind-the-scenes aspects of your work or provide exclusive glimpses into your routines. Show them what goes behind managing your product and service. This will give them an idea of what life is like behind the scenes at your company and show your transparency.
Behind-the-scenes can include:
- Funny bloopers
- Sneak peek into your office space
- A daily recap of your team’s activities
- Team training sessions
- Product manufacturing process
3. Interviews and Guest Collaborations
If you are a leading thought leader or influencer of your own niche and your viewers love hearing from you, then hosting TikTok live interview sessions is your best bet. This will not only enlighten your audience but also boost your reach.
So take the initiative and invite other TikTok creators or influencers to join you for a collaborative live stream. Let them know about the topic you would like to discuss and what value it will bring to your audience.
If they agree with the proposal, this will allow for cross-promotion, new conversations, and fresh perspectives, making for an engaging and dynamic live session.
4. Challenges and Games
TikTok audience is big on interactive challenges and games. It engages audiences in the best way, and there is no scope for boredom. So, if your goal is audience engagement and more followers, test this idea out. It's sure to work.
Engage your audience by hosting interactive challenges or playing games live. This could include trivia, charades, or TikTok-specific challenges like dance-offs or lip-sync battles. Encourage viewers to participate and entice them with virtual prizes or shout-outs to winners.
For instance, you can host a challenge of a live fitness, games, dance, or singing session where people can showcase their talents and get motivated.
This is one of the most effective ways of utilizing your TikTok Live besides having a little fun with your audience. If you have something fresh coming up, you can promote the products in a live stream and see the magic happen. You can talk all about the launch and even stage a demo showing your audience how it is used and the benefits of your product.
These demonstrations are essential so they can trust you and understand that you want them to know what they are investing in before purchasing it. Product demonstrations are hands on the best ideas to induce viewer participation.
People buy from brands they trust. In fact, 50% of TikTok users have bought something after watching TikTok Live. This success depends on how you find ideas that align with your interests, expertise, and target audience.
Since TikTok users are 50% more interested in branded Live content, experiment with different ideas, engage with your audience, and adapt based on their feedback to create memorable and engaging live streams.
Living Up To Your “Live”...
After all we have discussed in this blog, the crux is that preparation and ideation are the keys to a successful TikTok Live. In fact, live streaming can be your best bet for busting industry myths, collaborating with influencers, or showcasing more personal content. A TikTok Live Event can be the best bet to promote your stream if you are a Creator. Yes! That’s right! And if done properly, there’s a huge scope of earning as well.
We want you to get the most out of your first live stream, which is why we have let out, to the best of our abilities, the basic know-how of going live on TikTok. It's not necessary to take ideas from what we have listed down. We have merely opened up new avenues of TikTok Live feature in front of you. You can pick and choose, implement, or ideate with what we have laid down.
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