The Biggest Livestreaming Mistakes Funeral Homes Make
By Tyler Ward, Digital Sales Manager
Lights. Camera. Action. Livestream?
If I were to ask a funeral director about livestreaming before 2020, chances are only a handful of people would know what I was talking about.
The concept of livestreaming is still new to our profession, and you might still be hesitant to try it. Maybe you’ve tried doing it yourself and made mistakes. Maybe you think families don’t need it because they don’t ask for it.
But comfort with attending a funeral online has actually increased 121% in the last 10 years. And more and more families are beginning to expect it. See this report for more information.
But before you start livestreaming, what are some mistakes to be aware of and avoid?
In this clip, Rob Clyde, Director of Special Projects, explains many livestreaming mistakes and how to think of livestreaming differently.
Livestreaming Mistake #1 – Do nothing.
Regardless of people’s feelings about it, livestreaming is here to stay. Now that people know attending church services can be done remotely or virtually, they’re expecting funeral homes to offer that same type of service. So, the first big mistake is staying frozen and not adapting to changing family needs.
Livestreaming Mistake #2 – Not using correct equipment.
Many funeral homes have tried using personal cell phones to livestream, with catastrophic results. The truth is, to provide a successful livestreaming experience, it’s best practice to have a dedicated camera. Unless you choose an industry specific service (like Encore) that provides equipment for rent or purchase, you’ll have to invest on the right tools. Luckily, you only need a few things.
– A handheld camera
– A tripod to stabilize your camera and let you go hands-free
– A microphone to pick up audio
– A way to monitor the livestream (a dedicated laptop or tablet is best)
Livestreaming Mistake #3 – Not having proper internet speed.
If you’ve tried livestreaming in the past and noticed video or audio would cut out or it would freeze altogether, you likely experienced an internet issue. Streaming video takes up a lot of internet speed, specifically upload speed. If your current plan doesn’t accommodate a 10 MBPS upload speed, you need to contact your provider and see if you can improve your plan.
It’s a simple fix that will make a big difference in quality.
Livestreaming Mistake #4 – Not having tech support.
We know you went to school to be a funeral director, not a film director. But if you’re livestreaming on your own, you have to field complaints from families and answer questions in the moment.
When you work with a team of experts, you get unlimited tech support for all your questions, from camera positioning to connecting to Wi-Fi.
Livestreaming Mistake #5 – Focusing on the technology, not on building a community.
You don’t need to spend time researching the best cameras and purchasing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. Instead, you should focus on how to make your livestream audience feel like they’re in the funeral home, whether they’re states away or in another country.
Your livestreaming service should allow attendees to sign a virtual guestbook, leave condolences for the family, offer donations (money, flowers, etc.), and more. It should be a way to expand the walls of your funeral chapel.