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What You Need to Know to Increase Engagement on Live Streams

Mayra Gomes
Jan 11, 2018
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Live video is a great way to deliver impactful content and reach a broad audience. The challenge is how to get people’s attention, and maintain it. Research shows that our average attention span is 8.25 seconds. Here are actionable strategies to beat that number and increase engagement on live streams, every time you go live.


Increase Engagement on Live Streams


To get your audience engaged, you need Interaction.

Interaction is one of the main reasons why people actually watch live streams. Otherwise, they would probably just look for a recorded video on the same topic and be done with it. They want to interact with the host and be a part of that moment.

There are different ways to interact with your audience to increase engagement on live streams. The goal is to create a conversation with your audience by encouraging them to participate.


Live chat

Having a live chat going during your live video is paramount. But it’s not enough. You’ll need to encourage people to comment on the chat right from the get-go. A common tactic amongst hosts is to ask viewers where they are watching from.

Important: Hosting and managing the chat can be a lot deal with. The best thing to do is, either have a co-host to share the responsibilities or someone to exclusively manage the chat.

Take advantage of the live chat by addressing people by name and reading some of their comments or questions out loud. Every now and then, ask them if the topic is clear, if what you experienced ever happened to them and if they feel the same as you about whatever your live stream topics or subtopics are.



Hashtags are a great way to expand the reach and increase engagement on live streams. You can encourage your audience to share their thoughts on the subject while you’re live with a hashtag.

So, if they go on Twitter and use your hashtag, their followers might get curious about it and come to check your live stream.

We see this sort of live commentary happening a lot in sports, award shows, politics, concerts and every other live event. It gets the audience fired up, because everyone wants to share their thoughts and see what others are thinking, too.



Polls can be highly effective to engage our audience, since they represent over 50% of viewer’s engagement during live videos.

Ask your audience to weigh in on the topics you’re discussing. This will increase engagement on live streams and can also give you great insights.

To create polls that are effective and useful, make sure you ask questions that are interesting to you and your audience. Also, take some time to think about the multiple-choice answers you’ll give them.


Answer questions from the audience

While presenting your topic, you need to stay tuned to your audience on the live chat and see if they are keeping up with you. Try to answer a few questions during your presentation, to make your viewers feel acknowledged.

More importantly, tell your viewers you’ll be answering more questions by the end of the live stream. Therefore, encouraging them to keep sending in their questions. This is also a good tactic to keep people engaged until the end of live streams.


Recap key points

On online events, there are always people coming in and out. You need to keep your audience on the same page as you and engaged at all times. It’s a good practice to recap your key points whenever you get a chance.


Increasing engagement on live videos with your resources

On the technical side of a live stream, there are a few things you can do to help you keep your audience engaged.


Video Sources

To increase engagement on live streams, they must be interesting to watch. One way of creating interesting live videos is to use different video sources and camera angles. This setup will allow you to switch between points of interest during your stream and to provide different perspectives to the audience, just like they do on live TV shows.

Having multiple video sources and a video switcher to navigate between different shots will help you produce a dynamic and engaging live stream.


Other resources

Extra resources can help you have a good impression on your audience and increase engagement. A way of delivering more value to your viewers is allowing them to download the material for free.

Before the live event, you could offer a workbook in PDF format to get the participants engaged with the subject. After the live stream ends, you can offer them an E-book that goes deeper in the subject you are discussing. This strategy allows you to keep them engaged with you and your content.

It’s common practice to prepare a slide deck presentation and use it as a resource during live streams. Well created slide decks can definitely improve engagement and help your audience understand the subject. If you can make it available for download, in a way, it would help keep people engaged with you.



When it comes to engagement or a live stream’s success in general, the most important thing is value of the content. If you establish a certain authority in the topic you’re discussing and deliver value, your audience will, most likely, be engaged.

Value can mean different things. It can simply be valuable information or relevant thoughts you have about a topic as an expert. In addition, value can be a solution to a common problem. It can even be pure entertainment or a motivational speech, if that’s what you promoted in the first place. In other words, to deliver value it means delivering what’s promised because that was the reason why people showed up in the first place.

If you combine delivering value with a live chat, interaction, polls, multiple video sources and downloadable content, you’ll get maximum engagement in every live stream.



Here are other blog posts that you might like:


How to Promote your Live Streaming Videos

The last thing you want is to spend hours creating content for your live video and none promoting it, because you might end up with an empty “room”.  (Continue reading)


What Do You Need to Produce a Successful Live Streaming Video?

Live streaming started out as a totally spontaneous and in the moment kind of content and it still is when it comes to personal live streams. But, professionally, as a business or personal brand, you need to put in the time to produce a successful live streaming video and make the most of your efforts.  (Continue reading)

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