5 graphics essential to every live stream

Graphics were introduced to television 70 years ago to enhance the viewing experience and give producers a new tool to engage their audience. One thing that’s evolved in those 70 years is the introduction of cloud graphics; a system that removes hardware from the workflow and allows you to produce from any location with an internet connection. Live streaming has become an essential tool for teams, brands, new media organizations, and individuals looking to connect with their audience in real time. Whether it’s a live event, alternate broadcast, or Q&A session, having the right graphics can enhance the production value and help convey important information to the viewer. To get started we highlight the five graphics necessary to enhance your production and engage your audience in a way that helps you stand out and grow viewer loyalty along the way.

Live stream lower thirds

These are a necessary staple of any live stream to title hosts or guests, and provide additional information or context to what is being discussed. They are positioned in the lower portion of the screen and range from a more minimalist approach to taking up the screen from end to end.

They can include headlines, quotes, and other text-based elements that help to communicate important information to the viewer. Or they can provide a less intrusive opportunity for sponsorship integration.

Live stream of the Just Women's Sports NWSL Championship Pregame
Just Women’s Sports: NWSL Championship Pregame
NFL Media's Around the NFL podcast creates video format for digital and linear platforms
NFL Media – Around the NFL

Sidebar overlays

You’ll need more room than just the lower third to display information, and a strong sidebar overlay can be a clean graphic to fly in when needed, or a permanent sidebar paired with a lower third can give you an L-bar look that has become increasingly popular with sports franchises and media companies.

These graphics open additional on-screen real estate for branding and add visual interest to the live stream while someone is scrolling a digital platform. They can include logos, sponsor information, automated data, or other design elements that help to enhance the overall production value of the live stream.

Washington Commanders live stream ahead of their matchup with the 49ers
Washington Commanders – Gameday live stream
Live stream postgame show on the Detroit Lions digital channels
Detroit Lions – Postgame live stream

Live stream scene transitions

Transitions, stingers, or interstitials are used to smoothly transition between different segments of the live stream. They can include wipes, fades, and other custom effects that help to create a cohesive and polished production.

FanDuel TV – Up & Adams

QR code graphic

Incorporating QR code graphics into your live stream is an important aspect of modern marketing. QR codes allow for seamless integration of your live stream with your website, social media channels, and other digital platforms, helping to increase your online visibility and attract more potential viewers. 

Additionally, QR codes can help track viewer engagement and provide valuable insights into your audience, allowing you to optimize your content and improve your live stream performance. Overall, including QR code graphics in your live stream is a smart and effective way to boost your online presence and drive conversions.

LIV Golf uses QR codes on their live stream to drive ticket sales
LIV Golf – Tournament coverage
Riot Games brings QR codes onto their live stream to drive voting on their Twitter Polls
Riot Games – VCT Masters coverage

Social media integration

Including a social media integration allows viewers to interact with the live stream in real-time. This can include lower third or full-screen graphics that display live conversation happening across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, or Reddit. Bringing your audience onto your live stream and making them a part of the conversation instantly makes them feel more connected to your programming, and more likely to return the next time you go live.

In addition to bringing on posts from these networks, you can also lean on their polling capabilities and display the results in real-time as the vote percentages update. It is the best way to capture audience sentiment, drive editorial decisions, or gamify the experience and will instantly level up your live stream.

Microsoft Build brings the community conversation front and center during their live stream
Microsoft Build live stream
Uforia leans on hashtag polling to welcome audience participation on their live stream
Uforia/Univision – Premio Lo Nuestro

Having the right graphics can enhance the production value of your live stream and help convey important information to the viewer. Whether it’s lower thirds, overlays, or interactive displays each of these elements can play a crucial role in making your production look professional and engaging. Once you complete this checklist the next step is integrating branded activations; you’ll want to download our monetization playbook for some great inspiration and strategy.

Looking to up your live stream game? Schedule a demo today!