We all know how important it is to create a feeling of excitement around your events as it makes it easier to convince people why they should attend in the first place. We know that if we do this successfully, people will share their experiences afterwards and come back year after year. And video is a great way of doing this.
Last week, we talked about why online video is one of the most practical uses of your marketing time and budget (Why Video is Becoming a Big Deal for Marketing Your Events – Part 1). In this post, we’ll focus on the key things you need to take into consideration when putting together a video strategy, as well as some creative ideas on how to use videos when promoting your events.
Get Your Video Strategy Right
Start by identifying your target audience(s) and the message you are trying to convey to them. The most common mistake is trying to cram too much in or making it too sales-y. Don’t try to target everyone, otherwise you risk losing them all. Set your key goals and identify how your video content is going to help you reach those objectives. So if you want to attract last year’s attendees, then maybe make them the focus of your video. If you want to attract more delegates from overseas, then focus your content on who they will meet and what they can do in the city you’re hosting your event in. And never end the video with a blank screen – always provide some sort of call to action, whether that’s registration, an offer or links to related material or content.
Make sure your videos are mobile responsive. According to Cisco, mobile video traffic accounted for 55 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2015. This figure will increase 11-fold by 2020, accounting to 75 percent of total mobile data traffic, globally. If you’re targeting millennials, this is even more important as they are three times more likely to watch videos on their mobile devices.
Distribution is another important thing to think about. It used to be enough to make a video, post it on your website and YouTube and that would be the end of it. But these days, you have to think about distribution across different social media sites that can help maximise your reach. Each platform has its own creative constraints and this may mean ‘tailoring’ your content for each site. Facebook, for example, supports any length of video, while Instagram has a limit of one minute. On the other hand, both Facebook and Instagram can play videos silently in the timeline, so you may need to think about adding subtitles to ensure your message comes across. Also, don’t forget to share your video content with other third parties involved in the event so that they can use it for their own marketing and promotional activities.
Finally, don’t forget about tracking metrics. The success of your video campaign can easily be measured – whether it is sent via email, posted on your event web page or on social media. You can track all sorts of meaningful data including the time spent watching the video, time spent on the page, click through rates and the number of viewers who followed through with your intended action.
How to Use Videos Before Your Event
1.Save-The-Date Videos: This can be a great way of letting people know about your upcoming event and mark it in their calendars. Share the video via email with your delegates, post it on your event website and on social media. Make it fun, short and snappy. The video-sharing service, Vine, is a good tool for this as it allows you to easily record and edit short looping videos.
2.‘Event Highlight’ Videos: If you’ve hosted your event in the past, then you’ve most likely filmed it. Have a look at this one from last year’s Sports Technology Awards. It highlights what happened at their event with plenty of B-roll footage of people chatting and having a laugh. It also includes testimonials from the many different voices and personalities. Use old videos to make totally new videos. Swap out the soundtrack and voiceover, add some new stock footage and you may be surprised with how good it turns out!
3.Video Testimonials: Again, this assumes you’ve hosted the same event in the past. Collate testimonials from different people talking about why the event was valuable for them, including some from your speakers, volunteers and staff. Going back to our earlier millennial stats, almost 70% find video customer testimonials helpful when making a purchasing decision but two in three lose interest when a video is too promotional. So keep it simple and don’t oversell. Focus on your attendees’ experiences and make it fun and personable.
4.Video Conferences: These can be a good crowdsourcing tool to use in the run up to your event to connect with your attendees and do some research on the kind of things they would like to see or experience at your event. A study from Eventsforce found that 62% of event planners use crowdsourcing tools to determine things like agendas and session topics, speakers and dining preferences. Though it may be quicker to do this via registration forms or other crowdsourcing platforms, a face to face informal video discussion with a select group of delegates can create long-term loyalty around your events.
5.Video Ads: This is probably the most popular form of video content used around events. It highlights the key sessions, provides details about your speakers and focuses on what delegates should expect at your event, including things like transport and accommodation. If you are going to feature your organisation, make sure the video presents someone who is actually going to be at the events as it makes the person more approachable on the day.
6.Video Blogs: Make your promotional videos more interesting by producing informal blog-style videos. This can be things like venue tours or a list of the top ten reasons why your event will NOT be a waste of their time. It can be a list of some of the best places to relax at the end of each day or even a list of quirky places they can visit at your event destination. Ask your suppliers and see what they can provide. By focusing on their event and personal experiences, you will establish more trust with your attendees from the start of your campaign. And by having this trust, you are far more likely to get them to read all the other content you send their way.
7.Speaker Videos: Video is also a useful tool to woo your speakers. Show them videos of your last event and speakers. Perhaps send them amusing thank you videos after they’ve accepted your invitation to speak. Give your viewers a ‘sneak-peek’ into your event by creating videos of your speakers talking about things they’ll be covering at the event and the sessions they’re interested in attending themselves. Get them to ask viewers what topics they would like them to cover or ask them a few questions about recent trends that are relevant to your industry today.