How to optimize your live stream timing

When it comes to live streaming, timing is everything. But, what do you do when there never seems to be enough of it?

Because live streaming limits you to the time zone of your audience, you could have a whole region of untapped viewers and not know about it simply because those viewers are sleeping while you’re live streaming.

Imagine you could learn which time of day actually works best for your ideal audience — that you could reach new audiences all around the world, regardless of time of day. With Restream Scheduler, it’s possible to pre-record your live videos and schedule them to stream on one or more channels, any time of day, whether you were physically present or not.

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Stream scheduler: a crucial tool for serious streamers

If you are serious about growing your audience and optimizing your live video content, there is no better tool than Restream Scheduler.

Day-to-day work is easier with a planning tool like Restream Scheduler; you can broadcast pre-recorded content as a live stream to one or more destinations of your choice. (In fact, Restream supports more than 30 platforms). This not only gives you more flexibility moving forward as a content creator, but it also allows you to get the most out of your previously created content because can post and repost a video as often as needed.

For optimization, truly understanding your audience, and growing your following, Scheduler allows you to scale your content and messaging to the best platforms, to the best audiences, and at the best time of day — regardless of your geographical location. Getting to this stage does require some organization and testing, however. Here’s how to do it.

How to use Scheduler for optimizing post timing

You can use Scheduler for all kinds of testing, from content types and formats to topic timing and themes. This article is going to outline the basics of what you need to do if you want to find the best time of day (or the best time zone) for your live video content.

If you are completely new to testing, hop over to this A/B testing introduction. If you are short on time, here is the TL;DR:

Effective content testing is all about isolating your primary key performance indicator (KPI), selecting a solidly performing video according to your KPI (your control), then modifying limited aspects of the content to test (variables) and optimize. The variable we help you test in this article is “timing” — finding the best day, time, or frequency of certain content to maximize your primary KPI.

So, for a timing test, the variable you want to change relates to when you schedule your stream to go live. You can plan a few iterations to check out performance at various times by scheduling your pre-recorded live video with Restream Scheduler. Compare your test results to the control to determine which time works best for that type of video.

If you want more detail, check out the following step-by-step.

1. Identify your control variables

Controls are important for any analytical examination. A control allows us to confirm whether the changes we try helped or didn’t help. Your control variant should be based on video content that you have good data on and that you are confident you can consistently execute.

If you have used Scheduler in the past, find your best, highest performing video according to the performance indicator (KPI) you care most about, unique views, viewed minutes, etc. This is your control.

NOTE: If you have posted this content more than once at the same time of day and day of the week, stick with results from an early iteration to be sure results during testing are comparable.

If you have only ever streamed live, first identify your strongest video format type or theme and select the best performing video from that content according to your preferred KPI. This is your control.

Finally, study your control. Since this test is built around timing, be sure to note detailed timing of your control. Also, clearly note your primary KPI for the control. This is how you will compare test results to determine winners from your test.

2. Select your test variables

The test variable may seem obvious here — timing, but it’s not always that simple.

Do you want to test out different times of day on your designated streaming day? Do you want to find the best day for your time slot? OR do you want to find the best time slots on all days for your best content?

Determine what your goals are then you can decide what variables you need.

If you are only testing different time blocks for your time zone —

You can probably just use Scheduler to repost your control during the test times like morning, lunch, evening, night, etc.

If you are testing various hours throughout the day or multiple days a week —

Expand your control to include a few to several of your top performing content — ideally from the same format and theme. For this, you might want to make an average of your control sample’s KPI. Then, plan to multistream those few videos throughout the slots you want to check.

If you want to find the best time of day and best day of week —

This test runs the risk of desensitizing your audience, so you need to organize carefully. Follow the instructions for various hours and multiple days per week (above) but add an element of time, to be sure you’re not spamming your audience. To clarify, you are going to need several controls to schedule out but rather than planning and multistreaming today, tomorrow, and the day after, spread it out over a few weeks or even months.

3. Map out your schedule and “imagine” the experiment

Once you determine what your goals for the test are, draft your live video schedule into a sheet or document according to the timeline you decided on. This is basically your scheduler draft, so take the time to fill it in according to the platforms you stream to as well as with all the necessary titles, captions, and tags.

NOTE: As with how you picked out your control content, you will need to limit the variation you put into titles, tags, or captions that accompany your live streams — this will ensure that you don’t end up muddying the timing test results.

Finally, once you have the draft of your test streams and the timing, do a mental walkthrough of the schedule. Imagine each stream going live, how you anticipate people will interact with it, how you will address these interactions, and finally when and how you with monitor your results.

4. Plan it in Scheduler

Once you are satisfied with your draft schedule and how the test will run, it’s time to schedule it out! Make sure that you are logged into your Restream account, then set up your Scheduler.

Once you’re ready, drop all the pre-recorded live videos for your test into the scheduler calendar according to your draft from step three. You can learn more about how to schedule an event in Scheduler. Your test is coming to life!

Log into your Restream account and set up your Scheduler

5. Analyze your results

Once your test runs (or for a longer test, while your test videos are rolled out), you are going to want to track your live video performance. Be sure to check Restream Monitor throughout the run of your test to measure how your videos are doing on the main KPI that matters for your test — viewers, active watched minutes, or engagements.

If you have one or more published video that outperforms your control for your primary KPI, congratulations! You have found a new optimal date or time for streaming your content! You can begin scheduling out more live content during those times to confirm your results.

If none of your published videos outperform your control, you may have already been posting to your optimal date or time. However, it is also possible that there were confounding variables in your test.

To confirm the results that your control “wins,” comb through your test videos and look for any other reason that your tests may have underperformed. Did you use a different call-to-action? Was there a technical glitch? Is your dedicated audience highly localized? If you fail to find something that could explain the lower test performance, your control likely represents your optimal timing, for now.

Optimize your live video further

You’ll get the most from testing and optimization if it becomes a regular part of your content workflow. These basics can be applied to optimizing captions, platforms, content types, design, messaging, etc. which can all be scheduled and planned in Scheduler and monitored in Restream. You can also use these services to validate test results.