You enter the venue. You can feel the energy. People are excited. Sessions are running smoothly and people are networking and loving it. Yes. We all dream about it – day and night. But here's a little secret that will make this dream come true: It's called video content. Video content has the power to give your event the makeover it always needed.
I know. There are many people making many promises of having THE secret ingredient for our event's success. But I have proof for what I'm saying.
Why you should use video content for your event:
There's about a million reasons for you including video in your event marketing. Let me serve you a little appetizer:
- CMI states that nearly 80% of B2B companies are using some form of video in their content marketing.
- Unbounce joins in by confirming that using video on landing pages can boost conversions up to 80%.
- Convince and Convert adds that emails that include video increase their CTR by up to 50%.
- A report by Cisco estimates that by 2019 video will account for 80% of global internet traffic.
Said enough? As you can see: Video works. Video converts. Video grows. So if you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, it's about time to do so.
No matter the communication channels you use for your content marketing strategy, video will enhance the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Video, however, won't work as if by magic. Do you have to turn into a Iñárritu - the Movie Director, who was awarded the Oscar for Best Director in two consecutive years? Let’s slow down a bit. Of course you don’t. But if you decide to do video, you have to plan it and do it right. And with this post, I want to help you to do just that.
7 simple steps to get started with video for your event:
Bad quality videos will have the same effect as bad quality event websites or a bad branding. People will associate your event with bad quality in general. They won't attend because they don't think they can get benefits out of it.
As with all of your digital marketing, you need to plan ahead in order to make sure it works. These easy steps will get you started with your video marketing:
- Consider your target audience, their needs and challenges they are facing and think about how your video can help them.
- Define the formats of the videos you want to produce.
- Assign a goal to each of your videos and make sure you put tracking tools in place so that you know whether you have reached them or not.
- Put together a team in charge of the video production. In order to keep high quality standards, outsourcing might be a great option for you.
- Set deadlines for each of your videos.
- Create a distribution plan that includes all of your communication channels.
- Test, measure, be flexible and adapt your plan to the results you are generating. Be open for new ideas that come up along the way as well.
Your opportunities when it comes to video are endless. If you can't see the wood for the trees, I'm here to help. I'd like to give you some inspirations for how you could do video and really get great benefits.
How your video looks in the end depends on the purpose you assign to your video, the type of your event, your audience and your overall content marketing strategy.
Still, the following tips are easily adaptable in order to make them fit different kinds of events and their purposes. Keep reading and fuel your video marketing machine.
7 Tips to Fuel Your Video Marketing Machine:
People love videos because they don't tell but show. Marketers, consumers and executives agree: Video is the most popular content format. Here are 7 different ways you can wrap up your visuals to make them fit your needs.
I. Before the event:
Sneak peek video:
Create a video that will get up your audience's expectations, create buzz in the digital world and make your potential attendees register and start counting down the days until you throw open the doors of your venue.
How-to: You can include visuals of the venue, the city, popular participants, your team members and plenty of B-roll footage. B-roll footage means bringing the event experience on screen: people networking, participating in sessions, taking pictures in your photobooth, taking a break in the Café etc. Publish the video on your social media (link to art. Social Media: How) channels and on your event's landing page to drive registrations.
Goal: Get people to imagine themselves at your event and make them feel drawn to it and not wanting to miss it.
Video to get the best speakers on board:
Being able to count with top caliber speakers is a huge challenge. Video can help you overcome it. Create a video for your potential speakers that will blow them away and make them ask you to reserve a session at your event for them.
How-to: Create a video of past renowned speakers. Give little insights in their sessions, put together a recap of testimonials by speakers and attendees and overlay the testimonials with visual proof of the event experience. If you can get your former speakers to give feedback and sum up the benefits their appearing at your event brought in for them, you'll surely get them hooked.
Goal: Star speakers boost your event's success in so many ways. Your event will be a must go in your industry. The expertise and reputation of your speakers, will rub off on your event. Top speakers work as powerful attendee magnets. They help you to expand your reach online and in real life. Get more followers, boost conversions and have cream of the crop content at your event.
Running a webinar before the event gets participants engaged. After having interacted with other event participants, they are much more likely to register – granted that their experience was positive and they could get a benefit out of it.
How-to: Organize a webinar and ask former or future speakers to host it. It will give them more visibility. Your potential and registered attendees can sign up for the webinar and participate in the discussion. Encourage them to share their questions and experiences. Record the session and create a neat video. If you want to add some zest to it, overlay certain scenes with visuals from previous events, include testimonials and/or scenes of former sessions.
Goal: You want to convince your potential and registered attendees that they are going to benefit from your event and that you'll provide relevant and helpful content. It will help you to convert your potential attendees and to make your registered attendees spread the word. Your hosts are likely to share the webinar to boost their reputation and to attract webinar participants, which again results in a much greater reach.
II. During the event:
With video taking over users' news feeds, you have to do something different to get noticed. Live video is one opportunity to do so. It helps you to break down the barriers of space and take your event global. Today's technology allows you to enhance people's event experience in real life as well as online. The best thing about it is that attendees in front of their screens can also interact with your event in real-time.
How-to: In order to have an online audience, you have to prepare people and let them know that you are taking your event online. Use all of your channels to announce your live event and create a scheduled viewing. Whether a simple phone streaming will do or you need an elaborated multi-camera broadcasting depends on your event, your audience and your budget.
Goal: Show your audience that your main goal is to provide great and helpful content to which they can contribute. Get people from all over the globe to join in and give each and every one of your participants the chance to be part of the overall event experience. Conquer the forefront of the event industry with your event technology, management and communication.
Record your sessions:
This is a no-brainer. You should, however, put some thought to it. If you are simply going to record all of your sessions, you might get swamped with the work and coordination. Recording your sessions is worth a year of content, meaning that if done right you can use the video content recorded at your event throughout the whole year to feed your channels. It needs to be done strategically though.
How-to: When creating your video strategy, go into detail and set up a video content plan that includes each of the sessions and activities you are going to record at your event and how you are going to use the visual material gained from it. During the event you have to make sure that everything works seamlessly, since technological problems can throw your speakers off the track. Test all of your equipment before the event and avoid outages.
Goal: Your event is a perfect content generator. If you plan the creation and distribution of your video content strategically, you'll be able to fuel your content marketing machine all year long. And you'll even take the event's ROI a step further, since you can sell certain videos or video packages. Whether you charge for the material or not is up to you, but you should definitely have some gated material in order to generate leads and make the most out of it.
Video announcements at your event:
Using video during your event is a great way to set the stage, create expectations, excitement and enthusiasm.
How-to: Starting off the event with a creative “Welcome” or “Thank-you” video from your event management crew, your CEO or other popular event stakeholders is a great way to get people in the mood for an unforgettable and personal event experience.
You can also announce your speakers with a short video that gives your audience a little insight into the speaker's life, personality and career.
Or you can provide your speakers with an option to show visuals during their conferences. Not only they, but also your audience, will love it.
Goal: Enhancing your event experience on-site is one of your top priorities. Thinking of different ways to present videos that make your event more personal, will pay off. People will remember your event longer and associate it with positive emotions. Not only provide exceptional content but also an exceptional experience. They will probably be back next time and might even bring some friends or colleagues.
III. After the event:
Stay top of mind:
Once your event is over, you can finally focus – nope, not on getting some rest, but – on getting the follow-up content out there. Right after the event is the best moment to connect with your attendees. It is when they are most likely to engage and take action. Their memories are still fresh and they hopefully are still amazed by everything they were able to learn.
As time goes by, people tend to forget about how great it was to achieve the goal they had set for attending your event. Don't let their memories wash away. How can you avoid that? Video to the rescue!
How-to: Create different types of videos for different purposes. They can vary in format, length and tone. Choose the channels for each video wisely so that it fits its purpose.
- Want to raise awareness about how great your event is? Create a short teaser for social media. Use material from previous events and material that generates excitement for the upcoming one. Setting up a video booth can be a lot of fun for people attending your event. But it can also provide excellent recordings for your social media strategy (link to art. Social Media: How).
- Want to convince your potential attendees that your event provides the content they need? Create a longer more informative video. You could have your speakers sum up their conferences in front of the camera or produce recaps of the conference recordings. Informative doesn’t mean boring though. Think of ways to make it exciting as well.
- Want to keep engagement high even after the event? Run a video contest asking your attendees to upload a video of them sharing the most valuable takeaway of your event. Set some guidelines regarding length and medium. You could even give away a prize to spur the number of participants. How about free tickets for your next event?
Goal: Most of us event profs are not only interested in success with a lifespan of a dayfly. We are in for the long run. And we want our events to get better every time: better content, better experience, better agendas, better everything. Besides, we want our audience to grow. So not only do we have to make sure people who have already visited us will come back again, but we also need to reach out to new visitors.
Video is conquering the digital world at high speed. If you want to keep up with your competition, you better force the pace. This post will hopefully provide an easy takeoff for your video marketing.
Extra tip 1: Before you head off laying out your video plan, make sure you don't want to reach too much with one single video. Assign one goal and consequently one main message to each of your videos. Otherwise you'll drive your viewers away by overloading them with too much information.
Extra tip 2: For all of my SEO friends: If you want to boost your SEO strategy with video, a transcription works wonders.
Alright, now you are good to go. If you still have some doubts or if you've already made helpful experiences, please share them with us in the comment section below.
Sarah Fichtinger – Digital Marketing strategist