Pairing a live chat or live blog with your live sport stream is one of the best ways to update and involve your audience. Before you set either one up, you need to know the basics for using them effectively. This article goes over the best practices for adding a live chat or live blog to your live sport stream.
How to Make the Best Live Chat and Live Blog Experience Possible
If you’re not already familiar with live chat or live blog, they are tools you can use to boost connection and engagement with your fans and customers. Follow the guidelines presented below to create the best experience possible.
1. Motivate Your Audience
The first best practice when implementing your live chat or live blog is to show your viewers that you value them. Thank viewers for joining your live stream, encourage their feedback and engagement, and answer any questions they have.
When someone joins your live chat, send them a welcome message like “Welcome [user first name]! Thanks for joining our live stream today!” Avoid creating a one-way conversation by letting viewers comment through live chat. Allow them to ask questions and do your best to answer as many as you can.
You can encourage your audience to engage by asking questions of your own. You can then ask them to give their best answer or prediction. For example, you could ask, “How many points will the Nuggets score this quarter?” Offer a reward to anyone who guesses correctly, increasing the chance that people will comment.
It can incentivize people to join your event if you create a free live sports streaming event. A free live sports streaming event can set you apart from competitors who charge money to view their stream. You can then encourage them to comment in the live chat or view your live blog.
2. Capitalize on Down Time
When people watch live sports, it’s common to experience breaks in the action.
Football and basketball games have timeouts, injuries, and halftimes. Baseball games have inning and pitching changes. Tennis matches have side changeovers. No matter which type of live sports event you’re broadcasting, you’ll have opportunities to capitalize on down time.
There’s a chance that viewers will log off during these breaks, but you can use a live blog to keep them interested. Post relevant content like team schedules and highlights, coach and player interviews, and rules explanations.
You can also use live blog and live chat simultaneously during breaks. For example, you can post a team’s remaining schedule during a timeout.
Then, you can ask your audience to predict how many more games the team will win. To encourage more engagement, you can offer a product discount to a randomly selected commenter on your question.
3. Minimize Technical Problems
The best way to quickly send your audience to a competitor’s live stream is to host a stream filled with technical problems. These include freezes and audio glitches. You need a smooth connection to let your audience watch live sports without issues.
To create a stream that’s as clean as possible, ensure you have a strong connection and are set up on a good streaming platform. Some of the best platforms we recommend are Restream, Dacast, and Brightcove. Check out this list to see more streaming platform options.
Another way to reduce technical errors is by using live chat to help your viewers troubleshoot common problems. For example, you can provide tips on the best browser to use, recommend users to move closer to their routers, or offer other advice for unfreezing video and audio.
4. Plan Ahead
When running a live blog, you’re under pressure to post relevant content quickly. This can be stressful so make sure you create a plan before the live sports event. Come up with at least four to five pieces of content you can post in certain slots. These can include statistics, highlights, interviews, and more.
If you don’t want to create entire pieces of content beforehand, you should have a rough outline or set of notes for what to post.
Not all content should be pre-made because that would eliminate the purpose of a live blog. However, planning some of your content out will allow you to quickly post when you’re struggling to think of ideas.
It also helps to invite at least one teammate to join you. This allows you to collaborate on ideas and divide the workload. You could have one team member post content while the other team member edits. You could also alternate which team member is in charge of posting so no one gets burned out.
5. Eliminate Inappropriate Messages
The internet is full of “trolls”, or people who post inappropriate, irrelevant, or offensive comments online. If you set up a live chat, you’ll be sure to encounter these types of posters. They might be insulting other users, sporadically posting comments, or using profane language.
You need to monitor these messages, so your live chat doesn’t become unattractive to your audience. If someone joins your live chat that’s full of unhelpful or harmful messages, they’ll likely leave the chat. To prevent this, consider using a software like Arena Live Chat.
With Arena Live Chat, you can monitor, identify, and remove internet trolls. The software also lets you automatically block profane language. This is especially important if you expect children to attend your live stream. By cleaning up your live chat, you’ll ensure everyone is comfortable and the discussion stays on topic.
Once you have a live sports event in mind and a platform to let your audience watch live sports, add a live blog or live chat. A live chat is a way for the audience to share their opinions and interact with you, and a live blog lets you quickly post updates in real-time.
When using these tools, keep in mind the five best practices covered in this guide.
First, always make sure to value and encourage your audience. Take advantage of breaks in the action by sharing informative content. Always ensure your live stream is running smoothly. Plan some of your live blog content ahead of time. Finally, never tolerate live chat misbehavior.
To quickly set up a live chat and live blog, download Arena’s software today. The tools can be set up in minutes, and the software has been trusted by thousands of customers including Fox Sports, Microsoft, and Sony Music. Click the link below to try Arena for free.