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A Step By Step Guide

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A Step By Step Guide

The TikTok LIVE feature isn’t new to social media platforms. It’s a feature Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch already have.

Simply put, it’s called livestreaming.

Here’s why you should be excited to test it out.

TikTok was the most downloaded platform in the first three months of 2022, and with its 1 billion monthly active users, there’s no denying that TikTok is taking over more feeds with its easy-to-use, short-form video format.

Aside from granting creators worldwide a chance to go viral, some users report using TikTok as a viable search engine vs. Google.

Creators and brands alike can attract more viewers and keep them captivated with TikTok’s powerful features.

Going live on TikTok takes things a step further, as you can neither edit nor script your video in real-time.

It offers a chance to truly connect with your followers.

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However, not everyone can go live on TikTok. Your account needs to meet a required number of followers to use the feature.

So, how do you get a live video going?

Whether you’re an individual influencer or part of a social media team for a brand, here’s how to set up your first ever TikTok LIVE with this detailed, step-by-step guide.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is TikTok LIVE?

TikTok LIVE is just as it sounds – it’s a live video feature that lets you engage in real-time with your audience.

In May 2022, TikTok introduced a limited version of LIVE Subscription – a monthly subscription where fans can show appreciation for their favorite live creators with custom emotes, subscriber badges, and subscriber-only chats.

Additional features will be rolled out gradually worldwide in the next few months as it becomes available to more creators (the offering was initially invite-only).

Requirements For Going Live On TikTok

Before we jump right into it, here are the requirements for TikTok LIVE:

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  • Tiktok only allows this feature for accounts with over 1,000 followers. Those with fewer followers can try their luck, but it might not work.
  • Creators must be at least age 16 for legal reasons and can only earn money if aged 18 and up, per the platform’s community guidelines.
Image from tiktok.com/creators, July 2022

TikTok LIVE: Key Features To Note

Once you’re eligible, here’s a rundown of the official features to maximize your use of TikTok LIVE.

More features are being added, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Go LIVE together: People can “go live” simultaneously, fostering more authentic and funny moments.
  • Q&A: A special suite of tools help creators seamlessly select, answer, or showcase questions during the event.
  • Live Events notifications: Hosts can promote, schedule, and manage live events like concerts. Notifications will alert fans before the event, so they don’t miss the action.
  • Gifts: What’s in it for hosts? Those over 18 can enjoy LIVE gifts or Diamonds, which are given by viewers and convertible to cash in your PayPal or bank account.
  • Keyword Filters: Hosts – and the person helping manage their event – can prevent or limit bullying and hate comments with up to 200 terms in the keyword filter. This way, everyone can feel more comfortable during the live and prevent potential hate speech.

Here’s How To Set Up And Schedule Your Live

Open the app and tap the create icon (+).

Slide and select LIVE from the bottom of the menu.

Select a cover pic and a title (32 characters) – make sure it’s eye-catching!

Then tap: “Go LIVE,” which immediately alerts your followers.

go live button on TikTokImage from tiktok.com/creators, July 2022

Once you’re live, tap on the three dots at the bottom right-hand corner to flip your camera, play with effects, add moderators, and filter comments.

End the livestream by tapping the X on the top left-hand corner of your screen.

TikTok live appearanceImage from tiktok.com/creators, July 2022

That’s it! The steps are pretty simple and intuitive.

Pick A Relevant Topic For Your TikTok Live

Going live might be less edited and more spontaneous, but it’s best to come prepared.

To ensure viewer interest in your first LIVE experience, try looking at the TikTok Insight Tool to see how different demographics respond to holidays, industries, and more.

It doesn’t hurt to make sure you know your well-defined audience and how they feel about certain brands and content.

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Discovery is where TikTok truly shines; observe how TikTok recommends videos for the Following feed, Search results, and Friends tab, and find a way that works for your brand.

The good news is that ads on TikTok tend to be seen as more authentic, fun, and genuine – so what does not work for, let’s say, Instagram Reels, could work here.

There are a lot of creative formats you can play with.

TikTok Live Tips Best Practices/Tips

When it comes to livestreaming, best practices always apply. TikTok recommends the following:

  • Great lighting – Grainy just won’t do. It helps to have a good tripod and LED light or ring light set up so your viewers can see what’s happening from start to finish.
  • Eliminate distracting sounds – As much as possible, avoid livestreaming while there’s ongoing construction or loud background noises. Consider a microphone with noise isolation or moving to a quieter area.
  • Pick a good camera angle – Record in a room with a clean and solid background. Set your device on a stable surface, like a table, and pick a flattering camera angle. Note that TikTok’s software is optimized for vertical focus.
  • Test your internet connection – The last thing you want is a choppy live session. Double (or triple) check your connection speed before the event.
  • Come up with a general plan – Awkward moments happen, but you can avoid long pauses and extend the duration of your livestream by writing down a few bullets of what you’ll do. Have an outline or a general idea of what the video will look like from start to finish. (Tip: Avoid a formal script since that defeats the purpose of connecting with viewers organically.)
  • Cross-promote on other platforms – Not all your followers are on TikTok, but inviting them to the platform can make a big difference. Use Facebook, Instagram, and your other social platforms to announce your TikTok LIVE event.

Takeaways

Now that you understand how to use TikTok LIVE, you can start leveraging the tool to reach your audience on the platform.

When done right, live content can help you connect on a deeper level with your audience because it lets you provide them with a more spontaneous and immersive experience.

Plus, it often feels more personal.

Observe what the top creators are doing and why they’re relatable to audiences.

Keep in mind that different personalities suit different categories.

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See how Instagram Reels, Facebook Live, and other platforms differ in terms of best practices when it comes to engagement. Deepen your understanding of what works on each platform, and keep adapting your material to better suit each one.

The TikTok platform tends to showcase more personable content, so livestreaming may be your best bet when it comes to busting industry myths, displaying a sense of humor, going behind the scenes, collaborating with influencers, or using trending sound clips that resonate with your target audience.

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun!


Featured Image: DDimaXX/Shutterstock

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SEO

Link relevancy trumps volume for SEO

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Data speaks Link relevancy trumps volume for SEO

30-second summary:

  • Earned media coverage is more valuable than ever for your website
  • Digital PR is just as important as technical SEO
  • A large volume of links is the goal, what’s stopping someone from picking the most newsworthy idea, even if it has nothing to do with your client?

In 2022, it’s impossible to deny the benefit that digital PR as a tactic has on an organic growth strategy. Earned media coverage is more valuable than ever for your website. You could be doing everything right for SEO, but if you’re not building links, you’re still missing out on the increased search visibility, organic traffic, and brand awareness that backlinks bring to your business.

Last year, Google’s John Mueller finally weighed in on digital PR as a tactic and confirmed what we’ve all known for a while now: that it’s just as important — if not more — as technical SEO.

As digital PR is still a relatively “young industry” that’s only just sprouted up in the past 10 years, many PR pros have relied on “viral” campaigns to boost the backlink portfolio of their clients. These viral campaigns are often celebrated but are often created with little regard to how relevant, or “on-brand” those ideas really are.

After all, if a large volume of links is the goal, what’s stopping someone from picking the most newsworthy idea, even if it has nothing to do with your client?

In 2022, link volume is no longer the goal (or shouldn’t be)

While many PR pros’ were evaluating their success around this one key metric (link volume) others in the industry have suspected for a while now that the relevance of linking coverage is a key factor Google looks at when assigning “value” to links.

Once again, John Mueller has settled the debate about link volume vs link relevance,  coming out in 2021 and saying that ‘the total number of links’ doesn’t matter at all.

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This clarity has helped refocus the digital PR industry and forced PR pros to re-evaluate what metrics and KPIs we need to be focusing on to drive true organic growth.

It’s no longer enough to be ‘popular’ you also need to be relevant. Not just in terms of the publications you are targeting, but the keywords you want to rank for,  audience interest, and most importantly, brand alignment to the story you are pitching in.

Google is continuously looking to become more intelligent through its use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. It wants to understand web content as a human, and therefore through its use of natural language understanding, it is likely to not just be looking at the anchor text of links in third-party articles, but it is also wanting to understand the wider context of the article that a brand is placed in.

How to ensure your link-building activity is relevant to your brand

The first steps to coming up with relevant content ideas for your digital PR campaign are to:

  1.  understand your client, and
  2.  understand your client’s audience and their needs.

Every good idea will flow from these two pillars.

If Google’s main objective is to show the best content to users through search, then your job is to create content that either supports your client’s product or service or supports their customers.

It is more important than ever to not only create relevant and on-brand content in the written form but also ensure that any supporting assets created (video, images, audio) are also relevant to the target keywords and services or products that the brand sells.

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In addition, it’s important to create content that engages people, to drive further buzz and positive sentiment around the brand, all of which contribute to greater brand awareness and affinity among your potential customers.

How to measure the relevancy of your backlink profile

We now have the technology available to us to be able to understand and assign quantifiable metrics to the relevance of linking coverage (or indeed the relevance of any text-based content) – which allows us to be much more data-driven and targeted when developing digital PR, link creation activity and competitor and marketplace analysis.

For example, natural language understanding tools like Salient, measure the relevancy of both off-page and on-page content. Tools like this help to understand how a search engine is viewing a brand’s content, it not only enables us to identify the gaps in our client’s backlink profile.

At Journey Further, we use this proprietary tool to measure the relevancy of both off-page and on-page content for our clients.

Measuring the relevancy of your backlink profile

We can use this tool to understand how a search engine is viewing a brand’s content, it not only enables us to identify the gaps in our client’s backlink profile but also aids us in optimizing its content on-site. The outcome of which – is a much more focused, effective, and measurable digital PR activity that is better aligned to SEO objectives and that delivers better ROI for clients.

Looking ahead to 2023

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, it’s likely that Google will only continue to develop better technology to understand web content.

All digital PR campaigns should reflect this, and where possible, be multi-faceted, not just relying on a single press release to get cut through. We need to be thinking as marketers, not just SEO practitioners, and ensure we are driving as much ROI as possible. Taking a brand plus performance approach to SEO and digital PR will therefore be key.


Beth Nunnington is the VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, leading Digital PR strategy for the world’s leading brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment, and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

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