Video is Key Tactic in Event Marketing Strategies

April 26, 2017

By Elizabeth Johnson

From Netflix to YouTube to Facebook Live, video is everywhere. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, IP video traffic will comprise 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015.

Bottom line, if you’re not using video to promote your event, you should.

“Video connects on an emotional level, which is persuasive,” said Greig Powers, COO at CNTV.

He continued, “It lets the audience see and hear the event experience for themselves, providing a greater authenticity compared to other marketing methods. Words can tell potential attendees of the new products and face-to-face connections. Only compelling video can show handshakes, business card exchanges, smiles and surprises when attendees discover something new.”

Need more benefits of video? Video is easier to consume, more memorable and shareable on social channels, too.

Content Marketing Institute uses video throughout the year for a variety of purpose, including promoting its events such as Content Marketing World.

“With all of our content, we try to connect with our customers where and when they like to digest content and the form that is best for them,” said Cathy McPhillips, vice president of marketing at CMI.

She added, “The personality of our event is well-represented with video. It’s been one of our best ways to generate CMWorld registrations. With any marketing program, I aim to get a 4:1 return on our investment. Our use of video far exceeds that ROI, making it one of our most effective tools for marketing our events.”

The amount of videos organizers should produce depends on their strategy, according to Powers, who identifies five approaches to video marketing:

·      The Content Marketing Approach: Through regular video delivery, this approach positions the organization as the authority in its market. The videos deliver highly valuable content on news and trends to potential attendees and position the event as the place find solutions and stay ahead of trends.

Some organizers produce content marketing videos year-round, completing as many as 48 videos in one year, while others may produce six videos leading up to the event.

“We’ve created 5-7-minute video clips from sessions at the previous year’s event where we’ll pull out a fun or poignant snippet from that speaker’s 45-minute presentation, publish it on YouTube and also create a blog post around this topic, speaker and clip,” McPhillips explained.

She added, “That’s us using content marketing to promote Content Marketing World!”

·      The Audience Segmentation Approach: Events appeal to different audience segments for different reasons, so each video should do the same. Segment an audience by product category, attendee type or a particular value proposition.

·      The Attendee Acquisition Approach: If the audience is relatively homogeneous, attendee acquisition can sum up the event in 2-3 minutes and be a good entry to video marketing.

Marketing agency Fixation uses video to promote its clients’ events, such as PMMI’s PackExpo.

“We use video to give a show overview and build excitement,” said Megan Campbell, vice president of client services and strategy at Fixation.

She continued, “Our videos are generally 60-90 seconds and distributed through email, the website and social media.”

Fixation also expands distribution by creating contests that encourage its audience to watch and share the videos to win prizes.

“When working on this type of video, beware of cramming too much into one video – it waters down the individual messages,” Powers warned.

·      The Testimonial Approach: For the budget-conscious, using event testimonials is the way to go. Organizers can create a longer testimonial reel, or create a series of 10-15 separate, 15-second clips for social media use.

“Vet testimonials to match the type of attendee and exhibitors you are targeting,” Campbell advised.

·      Know-Before-You-Go: Rather than send a lengthy email, create a series of videos to help buyers and sellers have a productive time. Explain how to make a schedule, navigate the show floor and provide exposure to sponsors.

Budget is a big factor when it comes to video. Sponsors are always looking for customized ways to reach their audience, and pre-event videos are an opportunity to do that while allowing for revenue generation and event marketing at the same time.

“Without sponsors, your budget commitment should reflect your brand and audience,” Powers explained.

He added, “If the event is free, a high-production video marketing strategy may not be warranted. If your event targets high-level executives, your video content should reflect that.”

However, the biggest missed opportunity is only using a video once, according to Powers.

“Once a video is out there, continue to repost it on social channels or include in multiple email campaigns,” Powers said.

He continued, “You can get the most bang for your buck since only a fraction of your audience will see a video the first time.”

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