The Utmost Guide to Write an Outstanding Virtual Event Press Release

Virtual events have had a huge success during the COVID-19 global pandemic, and they’re not going anywhere. Big and small businesses are turning to virtual events to attract their audience, promote their products, share news, and build brand awareness. Organizing a brilliant virtual event is one thing, but ensuring it gets the desired attention is a whole other thing. That’s why you need to learn how to write an outstanding virtual event press release.

A virtual event press release is supposed to ensure that the public and the media know about the event you’re about to throw. If you write it like a professional, you’ll be able to reach your target audience, get media coverage, and achieve the ROI you’re hoping for.

If you’re not sure how to write an exceptional virtual event press release, here’s a guide with all the steps you need to take.

Strong Title 

You want your press release to be attention-grabbing and instantly awaken interest in the reader. Journalists and media representatives don’t have the time to read every single email or message they receive. They’ll only read something truly interesting.

This is why your virtual event press release title needs to be:

  • unique
  • informative (telling what the press release is about)
  • fun/entertaining

You want to hit all the right buttons with that single line of text and ensure everyone wishes to read more and find out the details. Here’s a couple of examples:

  • The Seven Cellos Perform Live at D-Music’s Virtual Orchestra Summit
  • Belgrade Dance Festival: Choreographer Mary Bryant Talks Ballet, Art, & Love
  • SEO Conference: Guest Speaker Marketing Expert Jonah White 

It shouldn’t take the readers more than one look at your virtual event press release title to decide whether they’ll keep reading or not.

Event Summary

The next paragraph of your press release should serve as the lead to continue on a high note. It’s supposed to:

  • summarize what the announcement is about
  • briefly describe the main idea of this virtual event 

The lead paragraph should give a quick overview of the press release and motivate the readers to keep reading.

Detailed Description

Now that you’ve got their full attention and they’ve decided they want to learn more about your virtual event, you need to provide all the essential information. The best way to do it is to answer the following questions:

  • Who’s hosting the event? Who’s the main guest/speaker/performer?
  • When will the virtual event take place? 
  • What can the media representatives and guests expect from the event?
  • Where will it be hosted? Which virtual event platform will you use to stream the event?
  • How can people attend? Should they buy tickets, or is it free? Is there a limited number of participants?

This paragraph is supposed to answer all the questions the readers might have on their minds. Providing the key information is crucial for the success of your press release and, consequently, your event success. 

Write Naturally

The tone and language of your press release will influence how the readers perceive it and whether they read the whole thing or not. Here’s what you should avoid at all costs:

  • exaggerations
  • overpraising
  • promising unimaginable fun and a good time
  • using a bunch of empty adjectives

Using this type of sugar-coating and poetic language will make your press release weak. Media representatives don’t need you to make it sound like an invitation to an amusement park. Instead, they like:

  • facts
  • data and figures
  • meaningful information

So, write your press release naturally, using everyday language and setting a professional tone. If you lack experience and this is challenging for you, an affordable academic writing site can help you produce high-quality written content. Use it to write your press release like a professional and ensure it gets the attention it needs.

Include a Quote

To add another interesting layer to your press release, include a quote from a credible person that has something noteworthy to say. It could be anyone associated with the event:

  • the quest speaker announcing what they’ll talk about
  • your company’s CEO
  • the main event organizer

The quote should focus on the event’s value and give a personal or professional opinion of why people should attend. Statistics show that 80% of people join virtual events for educational purposes, so you could focus on this aspect. It could also look back at similar previous event success. 

Use Visuals

Writing a virtual event press release is not just about the written content you’ll be using. It’s also about the visual elements you’ll add to make it stand out and catch people’s attention.

This is why you should make your press release visually appealing:

  • add an image showing your virtual venue, main guest, or your event team
  • use brand colors, fonts, and company logo
  • add some textual information to the images

For instance, you’re organizing a virtual product launch, and you’ve included an exclusive photo of your new product. Add some context to the image using on-image text such as “Product Launch in April” or “XY Launches in April.”

Visuals send a clear, instant message and help you make your press release more appealing, which will help your events be more successful. Use them to make a better first impression.

Include Links & CTAs

The final touch of your virtual event press release should be a strong CTA along with a link to applying to the event. You want to make sure that the readers find it easy to follow the link and:

  • buy tickets
  • book their virtual seats
  • get more information about the organizers, guests, or event schedule

Include a CTA such as:

  • Book your seats now!
  • Get tickets!
  • Learn more!

This will make your virtual event press release more practical and inviting, which is exactly what you want to achieve. 

Finish With a Boilerplate

A virtual event press release should end with a boilerplate. It’s the paragraph found at the bottom of the page that briefly describes your organization. It contains information such as:

  • your company/organization name
  • your vision or mission
  • what you do for your customers or members
  • contact information

This will let the media know who’s sending this press release, and who they can contact for further information.

Final Thoughts

To write an outstanding virtual event press release, you have to incorporate all the right elements and set a friendly, inviting tone. You also have to make sure all the right information is easy to find and understand.

The 8 tips we’ve listed above will help you write exceptional virtual event press releases and get the attention and attendance you want.

The post The Utmost Guide to Write an Outstanding Virtual Event Press Release appeared first on True Film Production.

How To Provide Valuable Video Content For Your Target Audience

What is your favorite content format? 

If you think and behave like a typical Internet user, video is definitely the right answer. Video marketing is booming these days and dominating content consumption worldwide.

According to the report, over 50% of consumers want to see more video content from their favorite brands. At the same time, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.

The reasons to use video content for marketing purposes are obvious, but do you know how to make it work for your business? If you don’t know how to do it successfully, keep reading as we are about to show you a brief guide on crafting marketing videos.

Video Marketing: Why Do You Need It?

Let us begin by discussing the practical benefits of producing video content. Reports reveal that 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, but what makes this format so incredibly popular and efficient? Here are the key reasons:

  • Visually appealing content: Videos are very dynamic and attractive, so they impress the audience almost instantly. 
  • SEO: Search engines appreciate good videos and they will grant you additional exposure for posting this type of content. 
  • Social sharing: Videos have a huge potential to become viral because social media users love sharing them. 
  • Showcase professionalism: Well-designed videos prove that you are running a trustworthy and professional team. 
  • Drive conversions: Videos also proved to be excellent conversion drivers for most businesses. 

7 Video Marketing Tips

Now that you understand the value of video marketing, it is time to learn how to create some kickass content. We will help you with that by showing seven video marketing tips. Let’s check it out!

  • Take care of the basics

If you want to impress the audience with standout videos, you need to take care of the basics and create a proper plan of work. The plan must explain these aspects of the process:

  • Business goals that you want to achieve with video marketing
  • The best video content format for each of your goals
  • The right emotion you want to evoke
  • The action you want the audience to take upon watching a given video
  • Beware of video duration

What is the ideal video duration? It’s a tough question to answer because it depends on multiple variables. The task is similar to searching for online assignment help – there are so many assignment writing agencies and you need to be very thorough while picking the right one.

The general rule of thumb is to keep marketing videos up to two minutes long. However, the answer depends on variables such as communication channels, content types, business goals, and many more, so it’s up to you to make a final decision.

  • Use brand visuals

Every company should have a branding strategy, so we guess you’ve got one as well. Keep in mind that your videos should be based on well-known brand visuals that reveal your business without even mentioning it directly. Of course, we are talking about details such as logos, color schemes, themes, and similar features.    

  • Make it professional

The only way to prove that your brand is highly authoritative is to produce high-quality and professional videos. 

One solution is to simply outsource video creation and hire a professional crew to do all the work on your behalf. The second option is to do it yourself, but in this case you must pay attention to all sorts of details such as:

  • Camera quality
  • Lighting and shooting angles
  • Video editing software
  • A video script 
  • Add appealing background music

Did you notice how every marketing video seems to play upbeat background music? There’s a clear reason for that – marketers want viewers to feel optimistic about their products or services and so they insert appealing and actionable background music in their promo videos. You should follow the same principle and add compelling tunes to your video content.

  • Promote marketing videos

This one goes without saying, but we should still warn you that it’s not only enough to create a wonderful piece of content. On the contrary, you must also promote it in order to raise awareness and approach as many consumers as possible. Luckily enough, there are many communication channels you can use to promote video content:

  • Your website
  • Social networks
  • Email newsletters
  • Digital ads
  • Analyze the performance of marketing videos

Finally, don’t forget to analyze the performance of marketing videos because it will help you to pinpoint inaccuracies and improve the overall content strategy. Analytics helps you to understand how the existing videos align with your business objectives and give you a plethora of ideas on how to make the new ones better.

Up to You!

Video marketing dominates the online realm and you should certainly add it to the content creation portfolio. In this post, we explained how to provide valuable video content for your target audience. Now you know how to do it, so it’s your turn to make the next move and produce some standout videos to promote your business!

 

The post How To Provide Valuable Video Content For Your Target Audience appeared first on True Film Production.

How to Write a Great Event Plan

Planning an event puts you in charge of every piece of the puzzle. However, the complexity of event planning can be less challenging if you have a well-written plan that will provide guidance to everyone involved.

An event plan can save you a lot of time and nerves, as it will serve as a reminder of how the event should play out. Based on that, each member of your event team can be informed of their duties at all times. 

Outline all the details of your event and ensure that it is properly coordinated with the help of a great event plan. If you aren’t sure how to write such a plan, here are some strategic and helpful tips that can help you out. 

 

1. Start with the Basics

Before you go into details, cover the essentials about your event. The information you should include in this section is:

  • The name of the event
  • Date (make sure that the date doesn’t overlap with holidays or some other big event)
  • Location
  • The nature of your event (concert, fundraiser, course, book promotion, etc.)
  • The unique value proposition of your event (the reason why attendees should visit your event; what makes it valuable)

No matter who gets their hands on your event plan, these pieces of information should explain what the event is about and why you are organizing it. 

 

2. Specify the Event Audience

Knowing who your target audience is will affect numerous event decisions. The audience defines everything from a marketing campaign to the type of entertainment.

For example, if you are planning a book promotion for a “How to market your startup” book, your audience would primarily be millennials, startup owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers.

Another information that you should include here is the number of attendees. Depending on where the event takes place, you must have a limited number of people you could invite. State that number so that the event planning team doesn’t overbook the venue. 

 

3. Explain the Objectives

Clarify what you want to accomplish with this event. 

Do you want to raise a certain amount of money for a charity? If yes, what is the minimal amount you are aiming at? Or, do you want to attract new clients to a startup business through networking?

Knowing your goals will help everyone on board to navigate their decisions and actions towards achieving those goals. Prior to making a decision, the event team can reflect on whether those decisions are in line with event goals. Simply put, stating the objectives in the event plan will provide clear guidance,” shares Samantha Partridge, an event planner and contributor writer at SupremeDissertations essay writing service.

Make sure that the objectives are well-written and formatted. You can use bullet points and numbering to make it easier for the team to keep track of the objectives.  

 

4. Define Staff

Writing down who will be in the event planning team and what their responsibilities are will make the organization run much smoother.

For example, if a marketer has changed some ideas on promotional photographs, they can check out the event plan and find the employee who is responsible for that job and reach out to them. The collaboration between staff can be more streamlined and connected if you outline who does what and when. 

In case you hire volunteers, remote workers, or outsourced help, include that information in the event plan as well. Each role that will contribute to your event should be listed in this document. 

 

5. Share Your Plan

Take your team step by step on how the event should be executed. Providing specific guidance on how the planning and the day of the event should be handled will eliminate any confusion.

You can segment the plan in daily activities, or if you have defined details already, you can even segment the event plan by hours (for the day of the event).

Condensing all the information about the event into a comprehensible outline can be difficult. Therefore, you might need to reach out to writing services or editing services such as TrustMyPaper or ClassyEssay. They have the ability and expertise to filter out unnecessary data and improve the readability of any content. 

If you want to turn this plan into a board where everyone can keep track of upcoming assignments, you can use Canva to create a visually attractive board/planner type of document.

 

6. Write Down Your Main Message

Every event should have something unique and valuable to offer. What can your event offer to the audience?

Pinpoint your event’s value and turn it into your event’s main message. When your team can grasp how your event can contribute to people’s lives, it will be easier for them to use that message to get more people on board for the event.

To exemplify what the main message can be, let’s take as an example a conference on using AI in education for teachers. The main message of such an event could be: “We will share the newest AI technologies that are used in education and help teachers learn how to implement these methods into their classes.

 

7. Provide a Budget Overview

Outline all the expenses. Set the overall budget and then single out how much you can spend on each necessary item.

Here’s a simple example of how a budget overview can look like:

Expenses Details Budget
VENUE
Rental 
Lighting
FOOD & BEVERAGES
Food
Beverages
MARKETING
Flyers
Social media paid ads

 

Staying within the budget will be more manageable when you can revise how the costs are organized and what your limit for each item is. 

You’ll also be able to shift and reorganize costs when you have a clear overview of your spending. Let’s say that you spend less than intended on catering. You can invest that extra budget on high-quality video production. Experts in that field like True Film Production can ensure that entertainment is on point with great video animations.   

 

8. Plan Out the Marketing Campaign

Good marketing creates the foundation for a successful event. You need to spread the word about your event if you want more people to show up. How you plan to do that should be stated in the event plan.

What you can write down in the event plan is:

  • The main marketing channels
  • People responsible for the marketing campaign (digital marketers, copywriters, etc.)
  • Pre-event, during the event, and post-event marketing actions

Adapt this segment based on your event and marketing techniques that will resonate with your target audience.

 

Conclusion

Once you write your detailed event plan, you’ll just have to print it out and share it with every person on your team. With a great event plan, you’ll be able to dive into planning, knowing that you’ve done your best to prepare for what’s to come. 

 

 

 

Bridgette Hernandez is a freelance writer and editor. She found her purpose in writing as it gives her an opportunity to exchange ideas and share her knowledge with others. Currently, she is working as a contributor writer at GrabMyEssay and TopEssayWriting as well as an editor for Subjecto. Bridgette likes to expand her fields of expertise by attending international conferences and taking courses on different subjects. In her free time, she volunteers at a local animal rescue.

The post How to Write a Great Event Plan appeared first on True Film Production.

7 Unique Virtual Events That Generate Customers and Engage Employees

Virtual events aren’t just the biggest trend for remote meetings and internal company activities. In 2020, virtual events have become the paramount tool for marketing your business, engaging your customers, and making money. Whether you’re a nonprofit trying to adjust your annual fundraising gala, a cookie company looking to encourage more customers to buy your cookies online, or a consulting business looking for new ways to interact with clients, leveraging virtual events can provide exciting advancements and unique opportunities that meet your business’s marketing objectives, in even the most uncertain times. 

In this article, we’ll go through the benefits of hosting corporate-hosted virtual events as well as some creative examples that you’ll want to try out for yourself.  

Why host a virtual event for my business? 

There are a ton of benefits of hosting an online event—so much so that digitalization might become the preferred method of event marketing moving forward for most businesses. We encourage our clients not to think of virtual events as a quick one-off presentation but instead as an opportunity to add value, drive engagement, and create long-lasting memories for your audience. 

This isn’t about just trying to survive during COVID-19. Virtual events can be a serious money-making machine if you handle them the right way. With the right strategy and approach, you’ll never want to go back to what you were doing before. 

Also, if you haven’t read The Ultimate Guide to Transitioning to Virtual Events With the New Norm of Digitalization, we highly recommend checking that out. It’s a great introduction to the benefits of virtual events, types of events to consider, a few examples, and most importantly the logistics of hosting a virtual event. 

Let’s get to it. What are some unique virtual event ideas you might want to consider for your digital strategy? 

  1. Gala and fundraisers 

We have a lot of nonprofit clients, so we wanted to start by addressing your main concern: how are you going to host your biggest fundraiser of the year, if you can’t provide the same sort of in-person experience of years passed? Whether you host a formal gala, a golf outing, a 5K, or bowl-a-thon, chances are you haven’t considered a virtual event before (unless you’re ahead of the game). You’re probably wondering how—and if—you can garner the donations you need to keep your organization running if you can’t offer that experience your donors look forward to every year. Virtual events can be just as good, if not better in some cases, to engage your sponsors and contributors. 

You can provide a new, incredible experience virtually for your donors. 

Some cool ways to involve your donors in a virtual gala:

  • Peer to peer fundraising campaigns 
  • Virtual silent auctions or raffles
  • Incorporate sponsors with logos, links, etc. 
  • Live stream your keynote speakers
  • Include pre-recorded videos about your organization and all the incredible work it’s doing 
  • Host “breakout sessions” that allow guests at the same “table” to network with one another 
  • Highlight the funds you’re raising in real time
  • Incorporate social media with giveaways, scavenger hunts for tagged photos/posts
  • Try different fundraisers like virtual 5ks, readathons, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, online auctions, virtual tours, and even virtual movie nights (pretty much anything can be moved to the digital sphere if you have the right technology and team to help you)

Check out this example of Habitat for Humanity’s Beyond The Build 2020 Virtual Fundraiser. We like that they open the “room: with pictures from builds and previous events before getting into both live and pre-recorded fundraising opportunities. Don’t forget to thank your sponsors prominently!

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  1. Award shows 

The 2020 Emmys and BET Awards looked a little different in quarantine, but these prominent performances brought attention to the ability to host a virtual award show effectively. A lot of people think that the virtual avenue is going to be the future of award shows, and not just for celebrities. In fact, a lot of companies have decided to create internal award shows to celebrate and recognize their employees and clients. 

That’s because an award—even a virtual one—is a great way to keep people safe while still offering the acknowledgment and praise that individuals are craving, especially during these isolating times. 

We were privileged to work on one of the best (and first) virtual award shows The Shorty Awards, which honor the best of social media and digital. This awards show was a natural progression to the virtual sphere since the recognized content exists in the digital world itself. 

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Some aspects that were especially successful with The Shorty Awards:

  • Pre-recorded video in conjunction with live (remote) hosting and performances
  • Professional in-laid graphics, especially branded and sponsorship graphics 
  • Clips from social media influencers
  • Pre-delivered awards to winners (so they can still physically hold the award during the ceremony)

One of the most successful aspects of the virtual award show was that viewers got to see their favorite content creators in their “natural habitat” with their partners, pets, regular clothes, etc. Virtual streaming has become one of the most effective ways for businesses to enhance a greater level of transparency, so optimize on that. 

Important: If you haven’t seen our two-part Ultra-Ultimate Guide to Live Streaming Events, check them out here: Guide Part 1 and Guide Part 2. These will get you started on learning the must-haves for live streaming remote or in-person events online. 

  1. Networking events 

Networking events bring people together, with your company at the center of it all. This could be anything from a virtual summit to a trade show to just a simple meetup amongst people with common interests. Not all virtual events have to be about selling. People are one of the greatest commodities, and encouraging discussions and networking within your industry is an incredible way to get attention as a thought leader in your sector.  

How to host a successful networking event virtually: 

  • Have small breakout sessions so participants can get more individualized conversations 
  • Create a live chat between participants
  • Use a host or speaker to facilitate networking discussions
  • Conduct live polls and voting (live feedback from customers)
  • Start with a prerecorded video about your brand
  • Include live presentations and speakers

A cool example was the #Celebrate Online. This brought together professionals from different companies to discuss sales tactics and techniques. It included keynote speakers, virtual booths (with company representative breakout sessions), live networking sessions, product sneak peaks, a virtual expo area, and small group interactions with friends and colleagues. They’re hosting another soon, if you want to experience it for yourself! 

Check out these basics on how to shift to virtual events during a coronavirus outbreak to learn the why and how of incorporating virtual events into your marketing strategy.

  1. School and program graduations

Is someone graduating from your school or intern program? Or are you hosting another type of ceremony? Not all virtual events have to be done online. If you have an in-person event occurring, live streaming the ceremony is an incredible way to minimize the attendance in-person while still allowing everyone to stay involved with the exciting day. 

This example from Seton Hall Prep Commencement Live used an outdoor multi-cam and drone feed to broadcast the ceremony live for family members and friends at home who couldn’t attend. This was an incredible blend of in-person and virtual event strategies to create an inclusive event without risking safety. 

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Hosting an in-person event and then live streaming it at the same time is often too complicated for schools or companies to run on their own. That’s why they’ll call True Film Production in. We handle the live broadcasting, the equipment setup, and the graphics, so you can focus on what matters most: the awardees. Let us do the work of going virtual, so you know you’re getting the best and most professional results. 

  1. Concerts

This may not work for every company but for those with a creative flair, a virtual concert is a beautiful way to share your art with the world while gaining sponsors, customers, and interest. For new and upcoming performers as well as establish symphonies alike, virtual concerts are a great way to get more attendees than ever before. You’re not limited by a venue or location; you can have people viewing your live virtual concert from around the world. For artists, this is an incredible opportunity to get a wider audience for your talents and gain the attention you’ve been searching for.

Check out this incredible 100th-anniversary virtual concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Paired with live hosting, these individuals are playing their instruments remotely, and yet they are still able to create a fantastic and awe-inspiring melody. 

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And it’s not just for music! Artists of all kinds—studio, literary, and more—are using this format to share their talents with the world. Virtual events are enabling the arts to explode and flourish with wider audiences and more accessible formats for engagement. 

  1. Lifestyle sessions

This is possibly one of the easiest and most effective virtual events that can engage your current clients while generating new customers. Host a live “lifestyle” session virtually. If you sell yoga gear, host a live yoga session (Zoom has become the new yoga studio). If you sell gag gifts, have a comedian come on for a set—and you can even have them riffing with a live audience. Makeup classes have gone virtual to minimize one-on-one contact with makeup artists. 

Whatever product or service you sell, there is also an associated lifestyle you’re looking to share with your customers, and that lifestyle is a great opportunity for virtual engagement. 

Some ideas to incorporate into your lifestyle sessions:

  • Registration (to collect participant information)
  • Live Q&A or polls 
  • Digital games
  • Giveaways
  • Send samples to participants ahead of time so they can follow along (like a sample size of the products your beauty influencer will be showing)
  • Influencers in your industry

Keep in mind that these can be short and sweet. They don’t even have to be more than an hour. The focus should instead be on the quality of the video, the ability to share your brand’s message, and the engagement aspects that come along with hosting a virtual event. 

  1. Online workshops

Similar to lifestyle sessions, online workshops are useful for both customers and employees alike. You can teach your clients a new skill—like how to better apply your cosmetics products to their face—or you can have employees complete a compliance certification—like how to make a sales call over Zoom. The goal is to add value first and foremost, and this level of engagement can drive interaction and  sales. 

Some tips for hosting a virtual workshop:

  • Offer a live Q&A between participants and teacher
  • Allow for one-on-one conversations and interactions with trainer as well as between attendees
  • Have a presentation deck available for download as well as live remote instruction
  • Include a platform for instructional videos, practice tests, exercises, and games
  • Incorporate in-laid graphics like pie charts, voting, polling, and more
  • Offer virtual ice breakers so the team can get to know one another

This Seller Financing Workshop full day is a great example of this. They have a live trainer and host, but they also have additional remote trainers, a live chat, embedded graphics (including audience questions), presentation slides and documents, and even a live countdown for breaks. 

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Want to learn how to better engage and work with your employees through virtual platforms? Check out: How to Make the Shift to Virtual Internal Communication

How to leverage virtual events for your business

There are three main things you need to incorporate in a virtual event:

  1. Live streaming in tandem with prerecorded video 
  2. Embedded graphics
  3. Interactive features (between viewers and speakers)

Most companies can’t handle all three of these key features by themselves. Even if you can live stream, you may not have the capacity to incorporate professional prerecorded videos. Or you don’t have the tools to in-lay graphics during your live streaming. Or maybe you’re just not sure what kind of virtual event strategy you should be implementing for your business at all.

That’s where True Film Production steps in. We live and breathe virtual events. We’ve been doing virtual events long before COVID-19 hit, and we’ve got the expertise and experience to prove our success. We work with our clients to establish an effective events strategy that will keep everyone safe while engaging your customers. Whether you’re new to virtual events or a whiz in the digital sphere, True Film Production will take your video strategy to the next level. 

Stop canceling events or putting your business on hold. We’ll help you develop an online event strategy for 2020 that creates a meaningful and successful marketing campaign.  

Contact us. We focus on building long-term relationships focused on collaboration, creativity, and results through effective digital marketing campaigns. 

The post 7 Unique Virtual Events That Generate Customers and Engage Employees appeared first on True Film Production.

The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part II

This is part II of our guide, it is going to give you everything you need to know about live streaming. Haven’t read part I? Click here to read 4 amazing tips to put to use on your next live stream.

Part II:

  1. 8 ways to encourage engagement on a live stream
  2. How to live stream on 6 key social channels
    YouTube
    Facebook
    Twitter
    LinkedIn
    Instagram
    Twitch
  3. Our favorite live streaming solutions and software
  4. Going live

8 ways to encourage engagement on a live stream

We get this question a lot, so we wanted to answer it proactively for you.

What are some ways I can encourage more interaction and engagement with my event participants?

Engagement is one of the greatest benefits of a live stream. You can have live interaction with viewers all over the country and the globe.

1- Live Q&A

One of the most effective forms of live stream engagement is a live question and answer on the platform. You can encourage viewers to ask questions, which the speaker can then answer in real-time at the end of their presentation (or during, if it’s specifically a Q&A panel). This is a strong way to encourage a more human-based connection for virtual events, and/or it allows you to incorporate online viewers in in-person events.

2- Live polls

Ask your viewers for their thoughts and opinions. Participants love to have a voice in your event, especially virtual events. You could ask them what their favorite feature is on a new product you just launched, or you could encourage them to weigh in about what they’d like to hear next in the lineup of speakers. This not only engages your participants deeper in the live stream, but it can also be a good tool for market research to better understand your audience.

3- Chat box

A chat box is our favorite method of engagement. This lets viewers interact with one another and your brand in real-time, as the event is happening. This allows participants to stay actively involved, so engagement is always at its peak. This is also the best method of networking for virtual events. Some apps will let you save the chat for later use for market research or to show on video replays. We recommend having a moderator (or a few) to respond to certain chats or relay messages or questions to the live speakers, if applicable.

4- Interactive slides

If a presenter is using slides to supplement their talk, it’s a good idea to offer those slides on the live stream platform or as downloadables. This gives your participants the option to follow along, learn more, or click through at their own pace. This is the best way to keep their attention virtually while allowing them to dive deeper into the discussion.

5- Downloadables

Offer additional information and value through a written format. Augmenting your live stream visual and audio with written information is a great way to boost the efficacy of the discussion and provide even more value to participants. This gives participants something to “go home” with, which will elongate their engagement with the event long after it’s over.

Some ideas of useful downloadables:

  • Summary of speaker’s anticipated subject matter on live stream
  • Checklist or template for users to implement the info at home
  • Sample script
  • Interactive slides
  • Written guide
  • Product catalogue
  • 3D renderings of products
  • Pamphlets about brand or topic

6- External links

Don’t be afraid to send your event participants to other places on the web (that are related to your event or brand). You can link out to speaker websites so they can learn more about the presenters, product pages as you’re talking about those products, and landing pages that push a specific call to action (like registering for your next event, requesting a consultation, or buying a product). You can also embed links to your social media, so viewers can follow along with other parts of your event as well.

7- CTAs

If you want your participants to take action, you need to present them with actions to take. In an event, this kind of action can be any number of things. If you’re hosting a virtual event, the CTA (call to action) might be to send them to another part of the event platform to discover new activities, events, and live streams going on. If you’re live streaming an in-person event, the CTA could be to send in a question for the live Q&A.

You want to pepper in a call to action as much as possible. You want to provide endless opportunities to engage deeper with your brand and event.

8- Moderator

One of the final pieces of the puzzle is a moderator who can keep tabs on all of the aspects of engagement. It’s their job to make sure the audience is heard, and any necessary questions/comments are brought to the speaker at hand. This keeps the speaker on track and the presentation flowing forward consistently.

Someone who knows the tech side and the event side should be the designated moderator. You want someone who can leverage the platform’s tools to interact with the audience in your specific brand tone.

How to live stream on 6 key social channels

YouTube

On YouTube, “Live” is considered its own channel. Different YouTube creators and channels can then post to the live channel in order to live stream and reach new audience members. A “Live” will also be available to subscribers on their YouTube homepage as it’s running.

Incredible YouTube statistics

  • 2 billion logged-in monthly users (YouTube)
  • World’s second-largest search engine (Search Engine Journal)
  • Responsible for more than one-third of mobile internet traffic (Statista)
  • One billion hours of YouTube content watched daily (YouTube)

Who is YouTube Live for?

With so many YouTube viewers, it’s an incredible platform for businesses, personal brands, and content creators to interact with their audience. It’s commonly used for consistent streamers, like live gamers, news, performances, and classes.

Brands can use live to connect with their established YouTube subscribers, but it’s also a unique way to reach a wider audience that’s browsing for relevant content.

YouTube Live is arguably the most versatile social platform for live streaming. It also offers the widest reach, both with current fans and new leads. There are also high levels of engagement with YouTube Live’s chat and comment features.

Benefits of YouTube Live

  • No cost to live stream on YouTube
  • Can stream privately to subscribers when “Unlisted”
  • Offers live-chat with viewers
  • YouTube Live can be embedded into other sites (like your website)
  • Possibility for monetization
  • Easy to “save” video to channel for future viewing

Disadvantages of YouTube Live

  • Not all channels are monetized
  • Little control over audience (anyone can link and comment)
  • Lack of live streaming tools (unlike YouTube Creator Studio)
  • Some video latency when streaming

Creating a YouTube Live

Unlike some other social platforms, YouTube Live viewers often want a higher level of production quality. They expect that the creator will show their face, share their screen, attach pre-recorded videos and images, stream with multiple cameras (with great lighting and audio quality), add music, use picture-in-picture windows, and more. Unlike Facebook or Instagram where you can sometimes get away with live streaming from your phone, YouTube Live’s audience wants prerecorded video quality and value with the benefits of a live stream.

That’s one of the reasons that we love YouTube Live for in-person events. You already have good videography equipment at the venue for your prerecorded videos, so you can add a few more cameras for high-definition live streaming purposes.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is the “OG” of live streaming on social channels. Facebook is already where people go to connect with loved ones and with businesses, so it only makes sense that live video interaction followed suit. Individuals are using Facebook Live to share updates about their lives (like engagements and baby showers), while businesses are using them to create authentic and genuine connections with real people. Since it’s so easy to use and the barrier to entry is so low, Facebook Live is a recommended platform for any business with a strong and engaged Facebook following.

Important Facebook Live statistics

  • 93.7% of businesses use Facebook, so it’s a strong B2B platform (State of Social)
  • People watch a Facebook Live video 3x more than average, non-live video (Facebook)
  • Facebook Live videos receive 5x more engagement than photo posts (AdWeek)
  • Facebook Live had 3.5 billion broadcasts with 2 billion viewers in its first 2 years (Fidji Simo)

Who is Facebook Live for?

Facebook Live is for pretty much anyone, which can be a blessing and a curse. With billions of users and thousands of businesses, Facebook is an incredible avenue to connect with customers, partners, and B2B contacts. Facebook Live, in particular, allows for a deeper level of engagement from which brands are heavily benefiting.

Facebook Live caters to the Facebook crowd, though. If your audience isn’t already engaged on Facebook, they’re unlikely to start using the platform just to watch your Live (unlike YouTube or Twitch, for example).

You’ll want to have an understanding of where your audience is already spending time and engaging with your brand, so you can align your live streams accordingly.

Benefits of Facebook Live

  • No cost, available to all viewers and businesses (with an account)
  • Private stream available (for groups)
  • Live chat and interaction buttons
  • Allows previewing
  • Advanced analytics and metrics
  • Ability to add a description
  • Can tag friends, choose location, or add an activity
  • Easy to add filters, icons, and graphics
  • Simple and easy interaction

Disadvantages of Facebook Live

  • Private feeds only available through Groups function (each member needs to have FB account and be individually added to group)
  • Wide sphere of competition (so sometimes challenging to stand out)
  • Frequent technical issues
  • Facebook censorship (they have had concerns in the past, so they’re cracking down on Live videos)
  • Won’t connect with every audience (do market research first)

Creating a Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a great platform for beginners and advanced streamers alike. Whether you’re a sole coach or a huge brand, and whether you’re holding your cell phone or using a large camera setup for your event, you can make Facebook work to your advantage.

What do you need to remember to make sure your Facebook Live shows the engagement and results you want?

  • First test the video stream on the “Only me” privacy setting. Always test first!
  • Create a compelling subtitle for your broadcast in the comments section.
  • Reintroduce yourself, your brand, and your purpose a few times. People will log in and out at different times.
  • Encourage viewers to like and share the video while you’re live.
  • Have a moderator (if not the speaker him/herself) who can engage with commenters. Mention a few by name to say hi, thank them, or answer a question.
  • Broadcast for at least 10 minutes. The most effective Facebook Lives go on for about 15-20 minutes (BuzzSumo), so you can get enough people in the room and keep engagement up.
  • Don’t be afraid to try out different lenses, graphics, or drawings in your video.
  • Tag friends. Add a location. Include an activity. Make it more interactive and engaging.
  • Say goodbye with an action-driven sign-off that tells viewers how to further engage with your brand.
  • Keep promoting your Facebook Live after it’s over.

Twitter/Periscope

Periscope is a live streaming app that’s owned by Twitter. You can go live on Periscope and then notify your Twitter followers that you’re live. While all live streaming can be “whatever you want it to be,” Periscope has an interesting reputation for its unique content, from individuals live streaming their daily lives to brands offering super special behind the scenes content. If you’re looking for a novel way to connect with your audience, Periscope could be an interesting live streaming solution to try out.

[Note: We don’t have a lot of reliable, up to date statistics about Periscope. Twitter keeps their information pretty under wraps. However, there are at least 10 million registered users with approximately 1.9 million daily users (Dustin Snout, Twitter quarterly report). In 2015, there was about 350,000 hours of video streamed daily, but we’re unsure of more up to date numbers.]

Who is Periscope for?

The majority of Periscope users are individuals streaming from their phones or tablets. It’s not as popular for larger brands, unless they have a highly engaged following on Twitter. However, people who use Twitter consistently are very consistent about it, and they’re often religious Twitter/Periscope fans. So for those businesses or individuals who have a strong Twitter following, Periscope is an absolute must. It’s an effective way to take the personal and interactive aspect of Twitter to a deeper level that followers appreciate and love.

85% of small and medium sized businesses (that use Twitter regularly) leverage it for customer service (Twitter). That means Twitter and Periscope are also effective tools for building rapport and offering more personalized customer service options for consumers.

Benefits of Periscope

  • No cost and easily available
  • User- and streamer-friendly
  • Real time interaction with “hearts”
  • Interactive map feature
  • Private stream available through Periscope
  • Allows previewing

Disadvantages of Periscope

  • Can only stream privately (to Periscope members and account followers)
  • Users must have Periscope account
  • Only shares to Twitter, not other social accounts (unless you use IFTTT)
  • Frequent glitch issues
  • Content only available for limited time (unless you change settings and download)

Creating a Periscope (Twitter Live)

93% of Twitter’s video views happen on a mobile device. That means you want to really emphasize the mobile, on-the-go experience as much as possible. Shoot vertically. Show some faces. And encourage lots and lots of one-on-one communication.

You also want to heavily optimize for the “Twitter” aspect of Periscope’s live streaming. Since you can’t add external links, you’ll want to use your bio to link out to websites that you’ll be referencing in your live stream. You’ll also want to craft a tweet with your 140 characters that will introduce and describe your Periscope Live. This takes a little extra finesse–but regular Tweeters are used to it.

Some other pro tips for using Periscope:

  • Your thumbnail will be the opening shot of your live stream. So make sure the very first shot is going to give a good idea of the stream. It could be your website homepage, a note, a graphic, your face, or your event’s logo.
  • Start with context as to what’s going on. It takes time to get the notification and launch the Periscope, so don’t jump right into the good stuff. Take your time.
  • Encourage sharing and interaction. It’s easy for viewers to share the feed, and Twitter users aren’t afraid to send off a quick Tweet to their followers. In fact, Twitter has one of the highest share rates, so definitely optimize on it and ask for shares.
  • Take a screenshot of your stats right after the broadcast. Twitter doesn’t keep stats indefinitely.
  • Periscope only keeps your live stream for 24 hours. Make sure you share and re-share frequently during that time, and tell people when it will expire to give them a greater sense of urgency.

LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn Live is one of the newest live streaming options in social media, but it’s picked up steam quickly. It’s a useful tool to optimize on the engagement and interaction of live streaming with the top-notch professionalism of pre-recorded video. You can leverage LinkedIn Live to interact with employees, businesses, and customers with the branded quality and authenticity that people expect from your business.

Statistics about LinkedIn Live

  • LinkedIn has 675 million monthly users (LinkedIn)
  • 5th most popular social media platform, with 27% of Americans using LinkedIn (Pew Research)
  • Brands report 7x more reactions and 24x more comments with live video vs standard video on LinkedIn (LinkedIn)
  • LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video than any other type of post (Marketing Land)

Who is LinkedIn Live for?

There are 30 million companies on LinkedIn (Hootsuite). It is the number one spot for professionals to connect. It’s not for friends chatting about life or sharing their vacation pictures. LinkedIn is for networking within the business world. An extension of that, LinkedIn Live video is made for connecting with other businesses and professionals.

This doesn’t mean it has to be only for building B2B relationships. It’s a great place to find educated customers who are looking to learn more and stay informed in certain industries.

Our favorite use of LinkedIn Live is actually to connect with employees and stakeholders. (Even if customers tune in, they’ll like knowing what’s going on with the inner workings of your business.) According to LinkedIn, bout 30% of a company’s engagement is through LinkedIn, and employees are 14x more likely to share content from employers than other types of content on LinkedIn.

If you’re looking to increase internal engagement and build connections within your organization, LinkedIn Live is an incredible solution.

Benefits of LinkedIn Live

  • Highly targeted audience (business/professional)
  • Can be accessed on newsfeed or LinkedIn Pages
  • Professional and high quality feed
  • Low live stream competition
  • Very high engagement from viewers

Disadvantages of Facebook Live

  • Must apply for access
  • All streams are public (no private streams)
  • No preview option
  • Must use third-party to stream (Restream, Wirecast, Easylive, etc.)
  • Strict guidelines (like no more than one live per day, no prerecorded content, and no overt selling)

Creating a LinkedIn Live

If you’re interested in using LinkedIn Live, you must first complete an application and get approved. Unlike other social platforms, this means there’s a lot less competition in the live streaming sphere–but it also means there’s a higher barrier to entry.

Next, you’ll need to select a streaming tool. LinkedIn itself doesn’t have streaming options, so you’ll need to work with a third party streaming tool that fits your needs and experience level best. You’ll link that platform through LinkedIn’s Resource Hub, and then you’re ready to go live.

Once you’re live, the same rules apply as above. Keep it longer than 10 minutes and focus on engaging, visually stimulating content. Unlike other platforms, though, you can’t get away with just chatting into the camera on your phone. The live stream requires high quality camera and audio with a lot of forethought and planning. We often reccomend planning your LinkedIn Live almost as though you were creating a prerecorded video, so you know how your brand will be revealed and the story of your presentation will be shaped.

Check out these LinkedIn Live best practices straight from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

Instagram Live

Instagram Live is one of the most popular live streaming platforms for individuals and businesses. It’s become one of the simplest and most sought-out spots for consumers to interact with their favorite influencers and brands on a more intimate and connected level. Instagram is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can use to expand visibility and reach, and live streaming is one of the best ways to deepen relationships and engagement.

Instagram TV is also a new development that has been taking off. We won’t really discuss it here, as it’s for long-form prerecorded video (not live streaming). Still, it’s definitely worth looking into for your video strategy. Check out the only IGTV article you’ll ever need.

Awesome Instagram statistics

  • Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users (Statista)
  • 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram (Mention)
  • 500 million IG accounts use Stories and Live every day, and ⅓ of most viewed Stories are from businesses (Instagram)
  • IG helps 80% of users decide whether to buy a product/service (Facebook for Business)

Who is Instagram Live for?

Instagram Live is for any business or influencer who has an engaged following on Instagram. It works especially well for Q&A sessions, product launches/reveals, contests and giveaways, and special guests. Instagram Live tends to be a little less “formal” than other live streaming platforms, so it’s usually best to have a few friendly faces representing your brand.

If you partner with any influencers or have an influencer marketing strategy, Instagram Live will likely be your best asset to work with those influencers to connect with your audience and promote your products.

It’s also important to note that 71% of Instagram’s billion users are under the age of 35 (Statista). If you have a younger audience, Instagram Live is a strong live streaming option.

Benefits of Instagram Live

  • Popular live streaming platform
  • Save replay of video to Instagram Stories for 24 hours (can save stories to page as well)
  • Engage with likes/comments in real time
  • Pin selected follower comments at top of video
  • Instagram filters and graphics
  • Free and low barrier to entry
  • Ability to go live with multiple streamers

Disadvantages of Instagram Live

  • Not great bandwidth (sometimes low quality)
  • Lots of competition with other brands and individuals
  • Can’t download for future use
  • Can’t be private unless you have a private account

Creating an Instagram Live

Going live on Instagram is pretty straightforward. You can click a button and you’re live, whether it’s on your phone or connected to high-def cameras and audio. You should have a moderator to interact with followers and drive engagement during the stream, and you’ll want to ensure the stream is interesting and fun.

What we think is really unique about Instagram Live is how involved followers get. They tune in to their favorite influencers and brands, and they will be actively engaged with comments and likes, during and after the event. You can even invite specific friends or businesses to join the live stream, so you can encourage high end engagement.

To really optimize on your Instagram Live, you want to have someone on your team ready to track viewer metrics and continue interactions with followers in comments, DMs, and more. This can lengthen the life of your live stream for long-term brand success.

Other platforms

Remember that social media isn’t the only way. You can use a third party live streaming platform to live stream in private virtual events, on your website, or through just about any avenue you can dream up. Do your research to find out how your audience wants to interact with you, so you can create the sort of events that will best engage your viewers.

Psst… We like Twitch, too. It’s an awesome platform for gamers to live stream and interact. We like this beginners’ guide to streaming on Twitch if you want more information on getting started with this niche live streaming platform.

We list some of our other favorite live streaming platforms below.

Our favorite live streaming solutions and software

If you’re a beginner to live streaming, you can try just clicking “Live” on a social media platform to get the basics down. This can work well if you’re just looking for live streaming as a supplemental form of content on social media.

However, if you’re looking to see true results with your live streaming and build a credible name in quality content, you’ll want a professional solution to live streaming. We’ll give you some of our favorite live streaming software apps, so your business can have the best solutions to get started with top notch streaming.

The following solutions are best when you’re looking to create a custom or branded product with your live stream. For example, you’re running a virtual event on your branded site. You’re hosting a virtual conference, and then you can then incorporate one of these live streaming extensions on your site as part of the event for a live Q&A or a live keynote speaker.

1. Vimeo (Premium)

Vimeo is a leader in professional live streaming and video hosting. Their slogan, “Live streaming, without limits” truly delivers.

Some reasons we love using Vimeo Premium:

  • Simultaneously stream events on social media and/or embedded on site, right from Vimeo
  • HD quality, even with limited bandwidth
  • Live streams automatically archived in 4K
  • Customizable player
  • Password protection and embed permissions for privacy of event
  • Graphics additions
  • Engagement tools: live Q&A, polls, audience chat, email capture, custom calls to action
  • Advanced analytics
  • Can connect own equipment (camera, graphics, audio mixers, etc.)

2. IBM Cloud Streaming

IBM is at the forefront of all things tech, and live streaming is no different. They stream over 2 million events monthly.

Some of the may benefits of IBM Cloud Streaming:

  • Customizable, branded channel
  • Live and on-demand video in one place
  • Support for website and social network embedding
  • Private video portal (with optional email verification)
  • Watson-enabled machine learning
  • 24/7 one-on-one support
  • High-end analytics
  • Automated speech to text (auto captioning)
  • Live Q&A, polling, slide presentations, multiscreen video options

3. JW Player

JW Player has a lot of great benefits, but one of our favorite aspects is their quality playback on a variety of platforms. Whether your viewers are on your website, a mobile app, or smart TV, JW Player delivers a consistently professional experience.

  • Player embeds in custom, private sit
  • Used with custom RTMP
  • Focus on ad revenue (Video Player Bidding)
  • Engagement analytics
  • Video gallery
  • Advanced features, based on your individual needs
  • Custom pricing

4. Brightcove Live (Enterprise)

Brightcove Live is a reliable platform that lets you live stream on any device, across multiple platforms. It’s a basic choice with lots of advanced options that make it a great option for virtual events.

  • Customizable API
  • Live ads support
  • Monetization of live streams
  • Buffer-free, pause-free, and glitch-free promise
  • Social channel publication
  • Live clipping for social (while stream is running)
  • VOD playback
  • Pause, play, rewind during stream

Going live

It’s time to go live! Are you ready?

We know there’s a lot that goes into hosting an engaging, interactive, successful live stream. Choosing what sort of activities and events to live stream, selecting your marketing channels, learning live streaming software, putting together the equipment, getting a team on board… it’s a lot to handle just for one live stream.

That’s why most businesses outsource their video production and live streaming. Don’t spend time, energy, and resources incorporating an entirely new arm of your marketing campaign.

Partnering with True Film Production allows you to brainstorm, create, and distribute stunning pre-recorded and live videos for your in-person and virtual events.

If you’re looking to increase your views, engagement, and return on video campaigns and live streaming, True Film Production is here to create your custom strategy. It’s what we live for, and it’s what we do best.

Request a quote now to get the ball rolling with your live streaming and video strategy. Reach out now, don’t wait. Since the world has moved more virtual since the quarantine, our lines have been ringing off the hook with businesses looking for a quality video that enhances their digital sphere. Get ahead of the game– now’s the time! We look forward to hearing from you to start brainstorming your next event.

The post The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part II appeared first on True Film Production.

The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part I

This guide is going to give you everything you need to know about live streaming. Whether you’re looking for basic tips on how to get started or you want more advanced training on the equipment to use for live streaming in-person or virtual events, this guide will give you the scoop on it all.

Why’d we create this guide for you?

Our primary area of expertise is event video production. In our years working on event videos, we’ve never seen event promotion flourish like it has since live streaming came on the scene. Our clients have seen massive success by leveraging live video strategies that create immersive events and engender meaningful interactions with consumers.

Still, live streaming alone won’t get you a higher ROI. If you really want to see success and differentiate yourself, the quality of your live streaming video production matters. Anyone can go live now. It’s about creating a live stream that looks and feels just as valuable as your other content.

When quality matters, you want to learn from and work with the people who know video production the best. That’s True Film Production. We’re experts in producing recorded and live videos that cut through the noise to generate views, engagement, and revenue.

We have a stake in your success. So that’s why we’re giving you our guide with everything we know about live streaming, from the equipment you need to the platforms to choose to the content you should record.

It’s time to go live.

What you’ll learn:

Part I

  1. Why live stream your events?
  2. Getting started with live stream video production
  3. What you need for a successful live stream
  4. 5 types of live streams that show massive success

Part II:

  1. 8 ways to encourage engagement on a live stream
  2. How to live stream on 6 key social channels
    YouTube
    Facebook
    Twitter
    LinkedIn
    Instagram
    Twitch
  3. Our favorite live streaming solutions and software
  4. Going live

Why live stream your events?

Live streaming is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Consumers expect that their favorite brands will “go live” to interact with them on a more personal and intimate level. Live streaming opens the lines of communication between brands and audiences in real-time, which creates an authentic dialogue that consumers love, appreciate, and value.

What are some of the advantages of using live streaming for your branded events?

1. Qualified interaction

The people who are watching your live video want to be there. They’ve made time in their day to watch your live stream. They’re not just browsing around and come upon your video and watch it for a few minutes. This means your live viewers have a high level of commitment and brand loyalty, which means you’re more likely to continue to engage and convert them moving forward.

2. Engagement

Live content not only increases engagement levels, it raises engagement in real time. The audience is interacting with the streamer right now, through virtual chats and digital networking. This allows businesses to provide live support, encourage Q&A sessions digitally, and even provide interactive tours or experiences.

3. Differentiation

Like anything, the first adopters are ahead of the game—and usually stay the leaders of the pack. While the prerecorded video is still a large part of visual content consumption, live stream is quickly growing—without yet being overpopulated. People are watching lives on a daily basis, but not all brands have hopped on board yet. Those brands that do—like you—will be ahead of the curve and able to differentiate before live stream becomes the new norm.

4. Cost-effective

Live streaming is one of the most inexpensive forms of video production. Even if you use high-quality equipment and strategy (which you should), you still don’t have the same sorts of costs as prerecorded video. There are a lot of free or low-cost platforms for streaming, and you can create high-quality videos with minimal additional cost.

5. Time-effective

You’re already hosting the event. Throwing it on a live stream doesn’t take much more time to set up and launch. In fact, you’re getting two birds for the price of one—an awesome event and digital content. This widens your reach during the event as well as offering content for promotion post-event.

6. Wide reach

A typical event is limited to a defined number of seats and attendees. Plus, attendees have a time and cost commitment with an event, or they may not be able to attend for other reasons. When you live stream an in-person event online or use live streaming for virtual events, though, you can invite as many digital attendees as you’d like. And they won’t have to worry about travel expenses or taking time off from their lives. There is no longer a location or size constraint (except the capacity of your servers). This allows for a much wider reach, which in turn creates a more connected network.

Live streaming is a powerful and resource-effective tool to connect to a large, engaged audience who is eager to learn from and interact with your brand.

Getting started with live stream video production

Live streaming is different than pre-recorded videos, so the strategy for execution is also a little different. Rather than having time to set up a storyline, curate the content, and polish the final product, live streaming video happens in real-time and of-the-moment. But that doesn’t mean you want to throw it to the wind and just hope for the best. Live streaming video requires ample preparation and pre-production to ensure the scene is set and the storytelling is on point when you go live.

What do you need to think about when you’re creating a live stream video strategy?

  • Content strategy: What is your overall content strategy purpose? Where and how will live streaming fit in and add to the value of this strategy?
  • Goals of live stream: What do you hope to achieve with the live stream? For example, do you want to reach a wider audience, engage customers from home, instill a sense of FOMO, etc.?
  • Content: What will you live stream? Are you live streaming at in-person conferences? Are you live-streaming virtual events? Will you live stream behind-the-scenes or panel discussions, for example?
  • Consistency: When and how often will you go live? Can you create a series of live streams during your event(s)?
  • Audience: Who is your intended live stream audience? How are you going to target your prospects/customers with your live stream?
  • Conversions: How will you promote action during and after the live stream? What will the call to action be?
  • Interaction: A major goal of live streaming is real-time engagement between brands and customers. How will you enable and encourage interactions and conversations?
  • Value: What sorts of value are you going to provide to your audience with live streams? How will you differentiate your content?
  • Distribution: On what platforms will you live stream? How will you distribute your content during and after the stream? Where does your audience want to watch your live stream?

There’s a lot to think about. We’ll take you through some of the key decision factors in the rest of this guide, like distribution channels, technology solutions, and more.

The most important aspect to get started with live streaming is to understand how it fits into your current content strategy. Just like any marketing tool, you should go through your typical brainstorming and creative process to ensure your live streams align with and achieve your business goals.

Brainstorming your strategy is our very first step at True Film Production. No matter what kind of video content you’re looking for, we take the time to define what a valuable strategy will look like for your business, audience, and goals. That’s because we know getting the strategy right is the key to unlocking success with your event content. Learn about our unique video production process here.

What you need for a successful live stream

Preparation is key to ensuring your live stream goes off without a hitch (or at least as few “hitches” as possible). What do you need to prepare in advance for a high-quality live stream?

Internet connection

You can’t live stream if you don’t have a reliable internet connection to support the stream. You want at least 2x the upload speed as the bitrate at which you’ll stream.

For large-scale events where a lot of people might be in the room using the same network, you may want to stream using an Ethernet to a dedicated network. This reduces bandwidth fluctuation, so you know your stream will continue loading.

We typically recommend a minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps. For multiple cameras and larger productions, we recommend at least 50 Mbps. You also want open ports 1935, 80, and 443 to enable a flow of inbound and outbound traffic.

Cameras

The camera is the golden ticket that captures your event, so it’s critical you get the right high-quality camera for your event needs. We typically use an FS7 or c300 for live streaming most events, because it’s durable and flexible while streaming superior quality footage.

You may need multiple cameras to capture different scenes, shots, or experiences at one time. Even a presentation from a keynote speaker could benefit from multiple camera angles, so your live stream audience can see the speaker, the venue, the crowd, and the stage during the presentation.

Audio

You don’t want an awesome picture without great sound to back it up. It’s important to ensure your audio is crisp and aligned with the speakers (no lag time). There’s a lot to know when it comes to audio like mixer outputs, connection types, digital vs analog mixers, audio equalization (EQ), gain and loudness output, microphones, and more.

To make it easier for you, True Film offers different audio packages based on your needs. This includes audio packages with mixers for large and multi-camera events.

Lighting

We always start by taking a look at the venue to note the natural light sources. The sun can be the camera’s best friend—or worst foe, depending on the time of day. We’ll take a look at the scene to see how we can balance natural and manufactured light for each live stream event (noting place and time of day), so you can have the best quality stream.

Basic lighting includes a three-point light kit. This has a main light, fill light, and backlight that adds more depth and strength to the lighting. This works for interviews or contained streams, but it’s typically not enough for most large events. True Film brings in a full lighting package based on the venue’s team and location to ensure every shot is lit beautifully.

Power

Without enough power, your cameras and live stream could shut down. Large events use up more power, so you could end up with circuit failures. If the power blips for even a second, your live stream will cut off entirely. You’ll want to make sure there are different power circuits for lights, audio, encoders, cameras, and other tech to minimize power usage. You may also want a backup power source like an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in case one of the circuits shorts.

Encoder

An encoder is what allows the live feed to be viewed on the internet. You’ll likely need a strong encoder to ensure your video can make the jump from the camera to the web. Check out YouTube’s resource about encoders for more.

Switcher

A switcher helps you “switch” between multiple cameras during a live broadcast. This is important if you want to create an immersive, dynamic event that presents a grander experience to the online viewer. Check out different switchers/mixers to see the number of camera inputs and bandwidth they enable.

Crew

It’s the crew that really makes the show and stream happen. The size of your crew depends on your event and live streaming needs. For example, if you’re just live streaming an interview, you probably only need a producer and cameraman. For a panel of presenters, you’d likely need multiple camera operators, producers, production assistants, and technical directors. You’d need all that and also an audio engineer, grip, and runners for a larger conference.

Do you need a crew if you’re live streaming virtual events? Absolutely. It’s the same as an in-person event, just without the live audience. Even if you just have your presenters tuning in on their own webcams, you want at least a producer and technical director on hand for setup and to fix any technical difficulties as they arise.

Control space

It’s simple, but having enough room for your camera, crew, and equipment is a must. You don’t want people walking in front of your live stream frequently or bumping into your cameras. Work with the venue to coordinate a designated space for your live stream that will be undisturbed and house all the equipment you need.

Graphics package

Branding your live stream is just as important as branding your event. You want people to tune in and instantly know who’s hosting the live stream. To do this, we offer a graphics package that inputs your brand and other value-driven graphics right into the stream. This includes intros, lower thirds, outros, video files, Powerpoint slides/decks (especially for presentations), and other branding elements. Learn more about our graphics packages here.

Preparation

When it comes to live streaming events, you have to prepare for the worst. Preparing for everything is the key to expecting anything. You want to be aware of everything that could go wrong, so you can take steps to prevent it from happening.

You also should test everything before you go live. Test your cameras, audio, lighting, internet connection, stream quality, backup flows, switchers, and anything else you’ll be using during the live stream. Do a trial run to make sure everything looks and feels great before you actually go live. Once you’re live, there’s nothing you can do; so test and adjust ahead of time.

5 types of live streams that show massive success

There are three main reasons you’d want to live stream.

  1. You are hosting an in-person event and you want to extend your reach by offering access to certain aspects of the event from home for non-attendees.
  2. You are hosting a virtual event and want the interaction and connection that live streaming offers.
  3. You have exciting news or information to share with your audience that would feel more genuine live, as opposed to pre-recorded video.

We’re going to give you some examples of live stream topics that have done really well for clients in the past–and that we know you’ll see success with too.

1. Conferences and trade shows

If the event is in person, you can use live streams to show off different booths, product launches, and speeches. If the event is virtual, live streams from each sponsor and speaker are a great way to replicate the personal and interactive aspects of the event. We especially love pairing 3D renderings of booths with live streaming of product releases and discussions to create an immersive experience for the digital participant.

2. Panels and interviews

Whether at an event or you just want to share some information with your audience, gathering some experts in your industry is an incredible way to demonstrate your brand’s credibility, provide value to your customers, and create meaningful conversations between your business and consumer. Live streaming an interview with your CEO or a panel of researchers that designed your product or a table talk of experts is sure to grab the attention of your audience.

3. Concerts and shows

During quarantine, Andrea Bocelli put on a beautiful live stream concert on YouTube that was breathtakingly stunning. Alone in the Duomo di Milano, he put on the Music For Hope concert “for no one,” even though over 39 people were in attendance from their homes. This is a great example that, although concerts are fun live, shows can be equally as impressive, exciting, and experiential through the screen.

4. Training

If you’re hosting a training, you can live stream it to employees in multiple business locations. This allows you to maintain a level of consistency among training while also united branches from across the country or the globe. Many of our clients have seen success live streaming parts of the training, as an introduction from a CEO or an exciting announcement from a team lead, and supplementing compliance or sales training (for example) as a pre-recorded video.

5. Announcements

Everyone wants to feel the excitement of hearing or seeing something as its announced/released. Live stream your announcement so everyone-customers, employees, partners, journalists, shareholders- can see and share in the excitement together. Apple, Tesla, and other major brands live stream all their major announcements and draw huge crowds because they know people want the excitement that comes with a live announcement (more so than a print release).

Pretty much any event, big or small, can be live-streamed for optimal success. If you want to reach a wider audience, live streaming is the way to go.

Want more? Part II will be up on July 14th!

The post The Ultra-Ultimate Guide To Live Streaming Events – Part I appeared first on True Film Production.

How to Make the Shift to Virtual Internal Communication

With 90% of offices making the shift to remote work, communication is vital now more than ever. Traversing the virtual world is a new territory for most. The best way to navigate this new path and keep your team engaged and connected is through the power of video.

Even though video has proven the highest response, engagement, and retention rates of all communication forms, most companies aren’t yet using video for their corporate events. If you make the shift to video, you’ll be at the forefront of the in-house communication revolution. Your team will appreciate and value the effort you put into creating videos for internal communication and branding.

What are the benefits of using video for internal corporate communications?

Video…

  • Communicates complex information in an understandable way
  • Stirs up excitement and engagement
  • Increases response rate
  • Enhances information retention and learning
  • Consistently and quickly disseminates information at scale
  • Connects brand with employees/stakeholders in an authentic, human way
  • Facilitates a forward-thinking environment of tech and communication
  • Shares the emotion and tone behind a message
  • Encourages employees to discuss video’s information with one another

The benefits prove themselves after just one use. So how can you try this out and implement a video campaign for your internal communications?

How to use video for internal communications

There are two ways video can be incorporated into your corporate communication

  1. To record and disseminate information to your team during “remote working”, like filming a training session, or getting a message out quickly to all of your offices.
  2. To enhance an in-person or virtual event, like a training video or product explainer

Here are some instances that video can help with internal communication.

1. Message from the CEO

Now more than ever, it's important that your CEO is at the forefront of communication with employees. This is a time of uncertainty, and the team needs to hear from their leader.

CEOs are busy, so they often don’t have enough time to get face time with everyone on the team. But it’s important for employee engagement and retention for the organization to see and know their leaders on a personal level.

Utilizing video is a great way for the CEO to share announcements and connect with employees. This builds a level of trust and transparency that resonates with the team. We like to think of CEO messages as virtual events. Your executives are creating a digital experience that tells a story, manages change, and interacts with the audience.

Whether it’s a live broadcast with an announcement, a CEO spotlight, or your leaders just saying ‘hey,’ a video is a great way to create a conversation, spread information, and engender the company culture from the top down.

2. Meetings

Meetings are inherently boring, right? Not with video! Whether it’s a small team meeting, a sales department meeting, or a town hall, video is an effective tool to make meetings more enjoyable. You can add a video before the meeting starts to get people excited and to share the purpose of the meeting in a fun, stimulating way. Or you can transform the meeting into a virtual discussion, with prerecorded information paired with live streams of participants. People will be much more engaged with the material and more likely to collaborate when provoked with an on-topic video and interactive digital tools.

Also, record your meetings. If someone’s missing from the meeting or you have teams in multiple locations, you can disseminate the same information by sending them a link to the meeting virtually, or send a recap video afterwards. This is a fast and consistent way to get information out to your team.

You can also live stream the meeting to encourage collaboration across the country or across the globe. Everyone is in the loop and in on the innovative process together.

3. Board meetings

Do the same thing but for your shareholder updates and board meetings. Your board members don’t want another plain old packet of information. Use video reports to highlight what stakeholders need to know in your brand tone. The professionalism of a video shows the time and care your team puts into the shareholder meetings, which demonstrates a level of care for the business overall. Video is the best way to “wow” your shareholders to show them exactly what they’re invested in (and why).

Have board members all over the country or globe? We love using video for virtual board meetings to disseminate consistent information and include all voices in the meeting.

You may also want to record board meetings for future purposes or record keeping. Some companies even use recorded board meetings to their employees for 100% organizational transparency.

4. Training + onboarding

Make your training fun and engaging. Videos are the most successful way to showcase your values and culture to employees. If you show the culture, people are more likely to reflect their own behaviors accordingly. For example, you might show the CEO and a few employee testimonials to get the culture across, and then use product explainer videos to discuss the details of how to sell a product. Whether it’s new or experienced employees, a “culture video” can help keep people engaged with the brand and what they’re doing in their roles. This can be paired with on-job training or totally virtual.

Also, the majority of people learn better through visual and audio stimuli. Training with videos gets their attention while reinforcing the learning process, so people are more likely to remember and recall what they learned in the training. If you want the greatest return on your investment with learning and development, interactive videos and exercises are the way to go.

Like the other examples, recording your training sessions means you can disseminate training across all departments and locations to ensure consistency and engagement. Prerecord trainings for online classes, or you can also record in-person trainings and turn them into online videos to train other teams or offer online resources.

5. Recruitment videos

You can also use video before you even get employees in the door. Recruitment videos help you cut through the noise of the job search. Just like video works to attract customers, it can work wonders to attract employees too.

Recruitment videos work especially well at corporate events or college fairs to attract talent. Most of your competitors will have flyers and brochures, but your enticing video with employee testimonials and brand values can get people excited about your business. Plus, you can curate the video to demonstrate the type of employee you want to hire and the culture you want to create. So the people you attract will be those interested in the brand culture you’re looking to create.

We also like putting recruitment videos on your careers page on your website to share information with curious candidates. You may even want to create a virtual recruitment campaign, centered on prerecorded videos that intrigue potential talent.

P.S.: Testimonial videos from current employees can be your secret weapon during the recruitment process. They work like customer testimonials, but to sell the “product” of your brand!

6. Investment events

There’s a lot of competition to find investors, especially on investor days or at financing corporate events. Loop videos about your brand and products/services are one of the most effective ways to catch the right investor’s attention. An incredible, emotion-driven video will stay in their minds long after the day is over—when they’re ready to open their wallets.

We offer video boards to make your vision come to life at trade shows or investor days. Check out our vision boards services here.

7. Company culture

Fun clips from your employees can show off your culture in recruitment videos or as marketing clips (if you’re service-based).

Plus, like any event, your employees want to relive the fun times. Creating a sizzle reel of your past internal corporate events is a fun way to keep your employees engaged and happy (which also boosts retention).

A lot of organizations are also seeing success by creating a digital culture. Move your trainings and experiences online–especially if you’re moving more towards a work-from-home sort of mentality. This enables a more global and interconnected team, and your employees will love the tech advancements, quality videos, and virtual interactions.

Ready to use video for internal communications?

If you think right now is the time you can lean on video, storytelling or live streaming,True Film Production would be happy to get on a call–even if you just want to get feedback on your current virtual communications strategy.

Remember that the majority of communication is non-verbal. If you want to take charge of corporate transitions, engage your team, get people excited for updates or changes, and cultivate your company culture, the emotions and tone of your video can be the key to your internal communications strategy.

Do you want to take your engagement, retention, and company culture to the next level, both in-person and digitally?

Reach out to us for a FREE consultation about how to implement videos for your corporate events. Whether you’re live streaming an announcement, sharing information at a training event, or encouraging investors to finance your company, we can help your video visions come to life. We look forward to hearing from you to start brainstorming.

The post How to Make the Shift to Virtual Internal Communication appeared first on True Film Production.

The 2020 Guide to Using Video in Your Event Marketing Strategies

Did you know that the U.S. trade show and conference market earned roughly $16B in 2019 alone? Of course, thousands of events happen every year not just in America, but across the entire world, each needing their own event marketing strategies.

And if your role is to work on these strategies, where are you supposed to start? How do you make your event memorable and shareworthy? And how do you get people excited to come back next year?

This is where video comes in. By 2021, for example, the average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. By that same year, 83.4% of viewers around the world will watch digital video content on their phones.

Clearly, your 2020 event marketing strategies won’t be complete — or as successful — without video content.

If you want to pack the most punch with your promotional efforts this year, this guide will show you 16 types of videos that marketers, event planners, sponsors, and exhibitors like yourselves can use to maximize the impact of your event marketing strategy.

16 Videos to Use in Your Event Marketing Strategies

1. Save the Date

It’s as obvious as it sounds: creating and distributing a “save the date” video across social media and your website will let everyone know your event is going to happen.

A useful benefit of this video type is that you don’t need to know all the details of your event to throw together a short, promotional clip for a part of your event marketing strategy.

Just getting your event name and date in front of possible future attendees will make them start to think about it and save space in their calendars. The rest of the details can be released later.

2. Event Hype/Preview

Similar to a “save the date” video, an event hype or preview clip should be an essential part of all your event marketing strategies.

What better way to get attendees excited about your event than by hyping them up with a video about how amazing it will be? You can use shots and relevant content from last year’s footage, (or go shoot new footage, if needed) and combine them into a compelling “ad” for your event.

Don’t forget to create and start using a hashtag along with the video to promote your event on social media. This hashtag should be used every time you post a clip to social platforms, so you can track impact and reach.

3. Event Explainer/FAQ Video

Events involve thousands of moving parts to function smoothly. As such, it’s a smart idea to cover some of these elements in an explainer video where you answer frequently asked questions.

For example, what topics will be covered? Who will be there? What city is the event in? What does the venue look like? What is there to do around there? What does the host have to say about what’s new this year?

This format is slightly different than a hype video, which takes the tone of an advertisement. An explainer video, however, will be more educational and informative by nature.

4. Mission Statement

When you want attendees to better understand the purpose of your event, consider creating a mission statement video. You can include the backstory of how it got started, and what impact it has on attendees, their businesses and careers, and more.

This video can become more robust if you also include interviews with the event’s founder(s), as well as stories from current or past team members, staff, and volunteers.

Sponsors and exhibitors can make their own supplementary mission statement videos to explain why they felt compelled to sponsor or exhibit at this particular event and why it matters.

5. How-To Content

Effective video marketing for events should include new twists on old ideas. So instead of a traditional “know before you go” email or information on your site, why not create short videos covering basic how-to needs attendees will have?

This provides a more dynamic, interactive experience before they even set foot on the event floor. For example, you can explain how to register, how to get to the event venue, how to get your badge, how to interact w/ other attendees respectfully, etc.

Feel free to have fun here, as this type of content is essentially your pre-flight safety video! When done creatively, people will remember it better.

6. Social Video/Teasers

While many of your event marketing strategy videos will already be posted on social media, it’s a good idea to create clips specifically meant for distribution on individual platforms.

These clips can include teasers of the upcoming event, a countdown until the first day, deadline reminders, discount and promotional code information, and more.

The key is to keep these short, make versions tailored to each platform (Instagram, for example, needs square videos), and always use the hashtag you created to promote your event along with the videos.

7. Behind-the-Scenes

Event marketing strategies should always include behind-the-scenes clips. These videos show viewers all the work that goes into setting up and running a successful event, and also provides them a sense of authenticity that real people are behind all the inner workings.

Behind-the-scenes videos can be interviews with and shots of staff and crew as they work the event, or a quick Q&A with panelists and speakers before they present on stage.

Don’t forget to also take pre- and post-event footage if you want to show the event’s full transformation; a time-lapse video covering this change would create some visually-exciting content.

8. Session/Panel Recordings

Every solid event marketing strategy includes recording the sessions and panels that occur at the event. However, it may not seem obvious, but there’s more you can do than simply capturing these moments.

The footage from these recordings can be turned into snippets for social posts, key takeaway videos, recap videos (more on this later), and even used for next year’s promotional videos.

Speakers are also usually very willing to share these clips on their own platforms to further promote the event. Essentially, it’s more free advertising for your event!

9. Live Streaming

Live streaming some or all of your event’s sessions ensures viewers around the world can tune in. Plus, giving non-attendees something to watch can help create a sense of FOMO and encourage them to attend next year.

Also, like session recordings, live streams can be turned into extra content for your event marketing strategies after your event is over. These can be available for download as full streams, or you can cut them into smaller snippets to distribute across social media platforms.

Remember, too, that if you use live streaming software that allows audience interaction, you have someone interacting with the online audience throughout the event.

10. Speaker Interviews/Introductions

Speaker interviews and introductions are incredibly versatile. While their content is straightforward, the videos can be used for multiple purposes in your event marketing strategies.

For example, you can show the video introductions before a speaker takes the stage so the audience becomes familiar with the speaker’s history and the upcoming panel topics, or the interviews can be distributed on social media during the day’s events.

If these clips are filmed before the event, you have even more opportunity to leverage the speakers’ audiences themselves. Encourage your speakers to share their interviews and introduction videos to help build even more interest in the event.

11. Customer or Attendee Testimonials

As the schedule winds down, consider heading out onto the floor and filming customers or attendees in person to round out your event video marketing. Ask them questions like what their favorite parts of the event were and would they attend again in the future.

Getting this type of feedback directly from attendees helps validate the event for future attendees who want to hear from their peers directly, and not just your event team.

Additionally, customer testimonials can result in excellent case studies to promote your event for the following year. Use them as proof the event was a success and provided takeaways for all.

12. Sponsor & Exhibitor Highlights

Events would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors, or without the valuable presence of exhibitors. As such, make sure to highlight their involvement in the event via dedicated video content.

For example, you can show exhibitors setting up their booths and products. as you ask them about what they hope to get out of the event. You can also interview sponsors as to why they were interested in supporting the event.

All of this content can be shared pre-show by all parties involved across social media, on websites, or even via email to supplement your event marketing strategies leading up to the first day.

13. User-Generated Content

Not all video marketing for events needs to be made by you. In fact, it can be just as important to have a user-generated content (UGC) strategy in place as it is your own.

Start by assigning a member of your team the task to watch the hashtag you created on social media. If an attendee posts a great video online using the hashtag, have your team reshare it to your channels.

UGC is invaluable to video marketing for events because it creates a free, organic method of marketing and promotion. Don’t miss out!

14. Thank You/Closing Video

This video is exactly as it sounds: a short clip thanking everyone for attending and for their support.

Its message can be prepared in advance for display on screens on the last day of the event. It can also be shared with attendees via email or social media as soon as possible after the event to keep the buzz going.

Your event’s founder or showrunner provide a personal thank-you to attendees, and sponsors and exhibitors are another good resource to add their own thanks, as well.

15. Highlight or Recap Video

Thank-you videos should be complemented with a compelling highlight or recap video so attendees remember the great time they had at your event (and make them eager to come back next year).

These highlights should include upbeat or exciting music placed over footage from the course of the event. Snippets that include crowds laughing, clapping, or providing a standing ovation are particularly impactful and create positive emotions in the viewer.

The overall goal of the recap video is to amp up attendees for next year, much like a movie trailer does for upcoming films. Event marketing strategies aren’t complete without one.

16. Survey Answer Videos

Of all the videos in your event marketing strategies, this type is probably the most unique, but could also be one of the most important depending on how visually-inclined your audience is.

If you send out a post-show survey that asks attendees if they had any feedback, questions, or concerns about their experience, why not answer them in video format to show you’re actually listening to their requests?

These clips can then be emailed to attendees as a survey follow-up, or hosted on the FAQ section of your site until they need to be updated or reimagined for the following year.

Conclusion

Clearly, video content is a key component to successful event marketing strategies around the world. It’s one of the best ways to ensure you cut through the noise of thousands of other events, and to get viewers excited to attend — and then come back again next year!

With the right plan in place, you can include many if not all of these types of video in your event marketing. Plus, the beauty of many of these videos is that they can be used by all those interested in promoting the event, not just marketers.

This means exhibitors, sponsors, and other participants also have a chance to promote the event, relieving showrunners and event marketers of some of the pressure to bring in attendees and revenue.

So now the next question is this: what type of video will you create first?

Let True Film Production help you get started by setting up a free consultation!

The post The 2020 Guide to Using Video in Your Event Marketing Strategies appeared first on True Film Production.

Developing an Online Event Strategy in 2020

You may have needed to cancel an event. Or looking at your first online event. While you are in quarantine you still need a plan. For you, online events might be a completely new strategy to generate leads and meaningfully engage an audience.

Whether you’re in the initial development stages for an event or just announced an event, you’re looking at dozens of different variables to successfully execute it.

Which is why we’ve put together this resource to help you along the way. In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • How to put together your event requirements
  • Different ways to keep attendees excited for your event
  • Why your content will shape whether you go live or pre-record video
  • How to set up your home for recording video
  • What you’ll need in your event tech stack

First, let’s talk about creating the initial blueprint for your event.

Concepting Your Event

Being quick and nimble is what’s separating many brands right now.

Within a few days of closing, my gym put together a virtual experience where we are all on Zoom calls. We’re still working out which is great and they provided a better response than many fitness facilities out there.

At the end of our session, they asked what else they can do. Someone replied, “can we do distanced outdoor workouts?”

I am recommending this to every business right now — talk to your customers. Find out their immediate needs. Ask them questions like:

  • Where are they going for help right now?
  • What sites are they now regularly reading?
  • What devices do they use at home?
  • What content did they last view on your site, and why?

You can also look at your analytics for device usage and see what social platforms they’re engaging on with your brand.

The 7 P’s of Marketing

Marketing is one of the biggest pillars of a successful digital event. To ensure you get the best results, consider the 7 P’s of marketing as they relate to event management.

1. Price

The same people who would have attended your in-person event expect a high-end experience. If they flew into an event, they were likely expecting to stay at a nice hotel with all sorts of dining options available at their fingertips. Plus, all the ways they could have networked throughout the event.

They may have been ready for a night out with new friends. And a pint of Häagen-Dazs out of the mini-freezer at midnight. Then continental breakfast the next morning.

So even if that conference at the Fairmont (and room service) is off the table for now, you can still create networking opportunities. Set up a private Facebook group or Slack channel where attendees can share what they need help with and introduce themselves. During your virtual event, you can also encourage one-on-one interaction through social media hashtags and other event-specific tools. (more on that later)

That said, now might not be the time for your business to make a 100% paid event. Your focus might be on building your brand and developing a stronger following. Consider if you want to incorporate free and paid tiers for your event and what each entail. Paid tiers could include exclusive VIP access to speakers, hands-on training sessions, additional post-event content, or a subscription to your product.

Once the event is over, think about the next action you want viewers to take and if there is a specific offer you want to provide. This could include:

  • Setting up an accountability group attendees can pay to join with office hours available to answer their questions
  • Offering an exclusive discount on your product or service
  • Pre-paid discount offer to a follow-up event

For many B2B brands, the sales cycle might be a little longer now so your follow-up event might also be more free content. With any paid offer though you should have a much better idea of what’s enticing to your audience after talking to customers.

2. Product

In this case, your event is the product. Your event needs to address your customer’s needs and be delivered the right way to connect with them. Consider also reviewing competitors here, is your event objectively better?

3. Place

Rather than a physical location, consider how you can make it easier for people to register and attend your online event. Can you use reminders and specific platforms so getting to your event is frictionless as possible?

4. Promotion

Whether you’re using influencers, email marketing, social media, or other methods, which avenues have you identified for driving event awareness?

5. Positioning

How do you want people to perceive your event? After attending your event, what do you want to read on surveys and social media?

6. Packaging

For a digital event, this encompasses branding, site design, and any promotional materials. Consider particularly the role you want branding to play with the event’s video content and whether you need to revise branding guidelines to cover video.

7. People

Whether it’s planning or production, people are how you can successfully accomplish your business results and the event you envision.

Don’t have the right people in place? Contact us to help you plan and execute your event.

Identifying Your Needs

Once you know what your customer wants and the KPIs you want to track, write out your needs to launch an event next week or within the month.

Take an inventory of your current assets. There may be existing print collateral, social media pieces, or other content you can potentially repurpose for the event. However, that will require finesse and production skills to translate into a virtual event.

For at least the next 30-60 days, you may not be able to shoot video outside your immediate sight since many cities are shut down beyond essential travel. So you’ll need to learn how to shoot videos from home.

There’s a lot of technical expertise involved to pull off a successful digital experience. For example, if your customers use their devices to tune into your content you’ll need to ensure text is big enough to be legible on an iPhone. Or if your team is looking to record from multiple locations and you still want the same look and feel.

Beyond ensuring the production and technical components are up to par (or better), you’ll also in the initial concept phase need to brainstorm:

  • Why are people going to attend your virtual event? How can you create content that addresses your customer’s needs?
  • Where will your event go live and how will that content be repurposed after the event?
  • What ways can you provide value prior to and during the event?
  • How can you make your event fun?
  • What do you want your audience to do after attending your event?
  • What is the voice and tone of this content?

Need help planning and producing your virtual event? Contact us now.

All that said, in some cases, a higher-end production might not be necessary. Your audience might be solely focused on the actual content. If GitHub puts on a virtual event, their audience would likely be far more focused on what they’re going to learn far more than whether a speaker has perfect lighting.

Keeping Your Event Top of Mind

If you’re switching from in-person to digital events, the biggest change you’ll notice is people may forget about your event. You need content in place so that attendees stay excited and ready to jump in when your event happens.

Calendar invites with a link to join embedded into the emails will be important here. That way, your attendees aren’t digging through their inbox for a link to join your event or potentially needing to provide their name, email address, and other details again — and more likely dropping off before completing if they see that.

Your email sequence might also include:

  • A welcome email after registering that includes an invite to a private Facebook group or Slack channel
  • Announcement emails when your event adds new speakers
  • Event reminder 24 hours before launch
  • Two more reminders an hour prior and right when the event kicks off
  • Post-event email asking for feedback and providing an exclusive offer

Incorporating pre-event video into campaigns targeting your attendees and potential registrations will also be key. Consider adding video to your speaker announcements and if there are any existing video assets you can repurpose to create awareness.

Here are a few other pre-event video examples I’m seeing right now with everyone shifting to virtual events… (click the thumbnails to view the videos in a new window)

Animations

Day-of Hype Video

Speaker Spotlight

Building Networking Into Your Digital Event

When you have hundreds or even thousands of people interested in attending an event, they still want to make meaningful connections. And feel like they aren’t just registering for something they can watch later.

Fortunately, there are a variety of tools you can use to create a greater sense of community. Event software like Hopin lets organizers connect people for one-on-one video meetings. Along with setting up private social groups and hashtags, you can use Run the World to segment your audience based on similar interests. After reviewing your RSVPs you can also host smaller events so these groups can have more direct conversations and network.

Personalizing is also key in post-event communication. Your CRM will be especially powerful during an event. Assign this task and let someone own recording this information so you can leverage it to create more personalized emails that mention:

  • Sessions they attended
  • Questions they asked during an event
  • Comments they left on social media
  • Specific feedback they provided

In some cases, personalizing your emails with custom snippets can double your response rate.

Going Live Versus Recorded Content

Your event’s content and audience will dictate the right type of video you need for your virtual event.

Here are a few different things to keep in mind as you decide whether to do live, prerecorded, or a combination of the two …

Live Video

You may be considering live video if you are providing:

  • Live Q&A after a presentation
  • Small-group access for a conference workshop
  • Panel featuring multiple experts

A lot of influencers are also turning to Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites to broadcast their live video. If you’re approved to broadcast on LinkedIn Live is the most underutilized tool you can use to go live on social media right now.

Facebook and YouTube can be where your audience already visits. If you are trying to reach the masses and your event is anonymous, both sites can take the worry out of managing event registration. With Restream, you can even stream simultaneously on other sites like Facebook and even your own website.

All that said there can be other logistical requirements that hosting your event solely on Facebook or another social site won’t support.

If you’re offering free and paid tiers for access to your event, you could stream the free version on these sites. Social sites can be used to provide a preview of your event and then funnel viewers to your site with a strong CTA at the end of your video. However, you don’t have a way to capture your leads beyond retargeting them with ads if they don’t heed your call.

This is why I wouldn’t recommend just going live on Facebook or YouTube for a digital event.

If your conference has multiple tracks such as breakout sessions for specific topics, you’d also need a way for attendees to specify their schedule — and still be able to attend other sessions if they change their mind.

While live video provides natural interactivity, it can cause issues such as the host’s connection going down or a speaker not showing up on time. If a host drops off by accident or runs into a last minute emergency, you need a plan in place.

Bottom line for planning around live video: you’ll need a pre-event plan, backup plan, and testing so that everything goes down properly.

Recordings

When you’re looking to deliver an event that’s also visually powerful your pre-recorded content will take center stage. To open your online event, you may run a 60-90 second clip; something that connects with viewers emotionally and gets them excited about tuning in.

If you are streaming pre-recorded content you even still have an opportunity to provide direct engagement from speakers to your audience in other ways. Your speaker can answer questions in chat and poll the audience during their talk. As long as the audience knows the video isn’t actually live they’ll understand and engage.

Recorded content from your audience can also be a great way to get viewers involved. Ask them to send in pre-recorded videos or video questions and use those when streaming the event.

Or you can host a trivia giveaway contest. Viewers submit their answers as recordings and their submissions play throughout the event. Then trivia winners could receive a prize.

Hybrid Event

The best-case scenario for your event could incorporate both live and pre-recorded video. Pre-recorded videos, graphics and animations can bring in more value to the virtual event but you are still having the live interactions from a combination of the host, panel, or small group sessions.

For example, let’s say you’re doing a live keynote from Tony Robbins. You can show Tony’s story to excite viewers and get to know him on a deeper level. Then maybe even do a Tony trivia contest. Follow that with a high energy video to get the audience excited so that Tony comes out and nails the live stream portion. After that, the event could stream pre-recorded audience questions answered by Tony.

P.S. I am just using Tony as an example — this could obviously work for anybody and everybody in so many different ways.

Whether you choose to do live, pre-recorded video, or a combination of the two, you have additional content you can now use to continue to drive new leads to your site. After the event, these videos can be used potentially as gated lead generation pieces or outbound content to deliver more value to your leads who missed the event.

Run Through Your Event

To help prevent issues, I recommend doing a test run of different facets of your event.

Your potential attendees may be getting payment errors and you don’t even know it. Don’t assume your payment and ticketing gateways work. Some platforms offer a test credit card feature to do a mock transaction. However, you can always run an actual credit card to ensure it’s working properly and then process a refund for it.

During a practice run of your event you can also test:

  • Audio and video run in sync
  • Last-second session reminders go out properly in real-time
  • Mute, polling, Q&A, and other features specific to your session platform work

You can also test your bandwidth or have a speaker test theirs using tools like SpeedOf.Me.

A dress rehearsal of the event can also catch other issues like a speaker accidentally staring at the computer screen instead of the webcam while recording.

One more pro-tip: If an animation doesn’t load or you have any other technical issues running live on a Powerpoint presentation, have a backup PDF file ready to go and share.

Building an Event Tech Stack

For managing speakers and sponsors, you can use Clust to build an input form and complete eSignatures for agreements. For communicating with speakers, sponsors, and attendees at scale, check out Mailchimp.

Event Registration and Session Management

Some SaaS event management platforms might also be helpful if you are running a large scale event such as HeySummit and other tools for event registration and session management. Just keep in mind it won’t be a solution to 100% of your event needs.

For the actual presentation and recording of video, your stack might include:

  • Camtasia for screencasting
  • Wistia for streaming pre-recorded content
  • Zoom for pre-recorded and live streaming video

For virtual conference tools that also encourage 1:1 interaction and networking, you can also use (as mentioned) Hopin.

During the COVID-19 crisis, a number of software companies are offering free or discounted plans including:

Zoom

Canva

Webex

GoToMeeting

Other Tools

Zapier can help you partially or fully automate a range of tasks including:

  • Sending a welcome email after each attendee signs up
  • Slack channel notification for everyone on your team each time someone registers
  • Uploading post-event content from Google Drive to Wistia

Consider also adding a live chat tool like Intercom to answer questions as prospective attendees browse the event website.

Ultimately your full tech stack will depend on your event needs and goals. Reach out if you need help with narrowing down to the right solutions for you.

Setting Up Your Home for Recording

Whether you’re recording in your place or need to provide guidance to your event speakers, here are a few things needed…

  • Lighting: Since everyone’s working from home you may only have natural lighting as your best option
  • Webcam: Built-in or external
  • Microphone: You can get a solid one from Maono for less than $90.
  • Camera: If you’re looking to catch multiple angles or enhance the look of your event consider an additional camera such as a DSLR
  • Hardware Encoder: Support multiple video inputs including DSLR along with professional mics; encoders can also include the ability to switch between inputs for a multi-cam shoot
  • Backdrop: Consider whether you want a minimalist background versus branding that potentially has to go out to multiple speakers depending on your ends

Extra mics, webcams, adapters, computer, and anything necessary for live events can also help you avoid a potential headache. Having a backup internet connection if possible can also help if you’re live streaming.

And just to give you an idea, here is Rob Lester, Creative Director at True Film Productions’ current in-home setup:

Get the Expertise Needed to Execute Your Virtual Event

Reach out for a free consultation and quote to help you develop a virtual event that will align with your business goals. Our team of digital producers and event planners have the experience, the know-how, and the drive to take your virtual event to the next level.

Our free consultations are no risk, no pressure. We know you’ll love what our True Film Productions team comes up with, and we’re ready to help. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to create great mojo for your brand.

The post Developing an Online Event Strategy in 2020 appeared first on True Film Production.

14 Best Examples of Corporate Videos That Share Your Brand Message

There are a lot of reasons to use corporate videos, whether you’re explaining your product to customers or training your sales staff. But all corporate videos have one thing in common…

The goal of corporate videos is to get your brand message across.

Each video you incorporate in your marketing strategy will have a distinct objective, including those used for events and trade shows. For example:

  • Demonstrating the company culture of the venue where you’re hosting an event
  • Revealing the uniqueness of the event planner who’s putting on the event
  • Showing who’s sponsoring an event and what they’re all about
  • Explaining a product or service at your trade show booth
  • Asking people at a gala or fundraiser to donate to your cause

No matter what that objective is, though, you want any video you share to tell your audience who you are and what you do. Corporate videos are the most effective way to communicate your brand, your product, and your story.

For example, you could use a video at a gala to tell the story of why your organization is in operation, who you’re helping, and where the money is going. Visualizing the mission of your organization firsthand can touch the hearts of donors attending the gala who want to know their money is getting into the right hands.

What should corporate videos look like? We’re going to bring you through 14 of our favorite examples to spark inspiration for your own videos, whether you’re creating a video for your event planning company or to help show off your brand at an upcoming show or conference.

1. Urban Farmers

They’re looking to make waves in the food industry, so Urban Farmers isn’t afraid to change it up with an unconventional video either. They poke fun at the organic food trend, while promoting their greener and healthier methods. They present you with some deep ideas to mull over, but the Western drawl and humor makes it approachable and interesting. We like the lighthearted approach they take to a pretty serious topic.

Use animation and entertainment to simplify the explanation of your brand message.

2. Dubai Association Centre (DAC)

Another animation that explains what the company does, but it’s presented in a totally different way than Urban Farmers. The DAC has a lot of dry, somewhat hard-to-understand activities that can be a challenge to explain to people not involved in the DAC. But the use of a rich, distinctive video packages their messaging in a more digestible way. The beauty of this video instantly draws you in, and the voiceover keeps the message succinct and understandable. What we especially love about this video is that it focuses on people, because that’s what the DAC is all about.

Utilize visuals to reflect the purpose or mission of your brand.

3. Watermark

This video has a similar purpose as the DAC: use animation to get the idea across. What we love about this video in particular is that the outline exactly who their audience is, what their main pain point is, and how Watermark solves that concern. Their goal isn’t to wow with a totally novel video; they’re just looking to give you the facts about why their business rocks, and this video succeeds with that.

Be concise about who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.

4. Spotify

Another animation, but this one’s without the voiceover. Instead, it focuses on the music. Now Spotify is a household name, but this video comes from 2011 when they were just starting out. It’s got a lively beat, minimalistic but charming design, and a simple message: music, like you’ve never heard it before.

With corporate videos, often it’s the sensory aspects—like the visual and the sound—that tell the story.

5. RIPO

A break from the animation, but equally awesome visual storytelling in one of our favorite corporate videos. RIPO is a Latvian furniture designer that shows firsthand in this video what they do. The video is minimalistic in imagery and text, which is reflective of the Scandinavian design that RIPO furniture emphasizes. They also use on-screen text—like Spotify does—to tell a visual story and broaden their audience (rather than using a Latvian voiceover that might alienate some potential viewers).

Design your video storyline, aesthetics, and narration/music in alignment with your audience.

6. Dollar Shave Club

Arguably one of the most popular (and even notorious) corporate videos out there, Dollar Shave Club knows how to use tone and humor to rake in the views. Their first video that introduced them to the world has nearly 27 million views with 133K likes, because it’s just that “f***ing great.”

They’re not afraid to get raunchy and whacky to differentiate themselves as a novel sort of razor company. Imagine making razors fun? If you take a look at their other, more recent videos, you’ll see that same lighthearted tone and storytelling from the first video has defined who they are and how they do business moving forward.

Find a strong brand tone and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different.

7. Bluehost.com

Love at first site is one of the punniest corporate videos we’ve seen, and not without reason. They use the date pun not just for entertainment purposes but also to demonstrate their high-end customer service for their clients. They end the short video with their logo and a quick voiceover to explain what they do, wrapping up the story into a nice little package with a passive CTA. Make it entertaining, but keep it relevant to the purpose of your message.

Throw the viewer off kilter with storytelling, then bring them back to something certain like your logo or a narration.

8. Ford

For Father’s Day, Ford uses a customer testimonial to tell the story about how a dad came to the rescue for his daughter. Although it’s an animation, this story feels real with the cars honking in the background and the light music. What works so well here is that it’s not about the Ford car, and it’s not really even in Ford’s typical brand tone, but it evokes emotion specific to the event going on (Father’s Day).

Tailor your corporate videos to specific events or shows.

9. Hubspot

This video is an awesome representation of how to effectively use storytelling and tone to embody your brand image. HubSpot are known for being marketing experts, and you can see why in this video. Their vid is easy to understand, approachable, tongue-in-cheek, and engaging. Corporate videos don’t have to feel corporate.

Tell the story of your founding/founders. Oh, and have fun with it!

10. AirBnB

There’s a lot to love about this AirBnB video. What we love most is how they use the format of a customer testimonial while representing the heart of their brand: traveling the world and living a richer life. This is a great way for AirBnB to attract more hosts for their platform, but it also shows everyone—hosts, guests, and partners alike—just what AirBnB is all about: the people and the places.

The best corporate videos are those that show happy, fulfilled customers. Notice how AirBnB goes to each family’s home around the world to better demonstrate the vastness of AirBnB’s offerings. They then end by welcoming you to AirBnb, like they’re welcoming you into their home.

Show the faces of the people impacted by your brand.

11. American Express

Have you ever considered using a video at an event to recruit talent? If you’re attending a trade show, you might be looking to sell your product—but you might also be looking to interact with smart minds and talent in your industry. American Express uses this animation to introduce their brand as a tech firm (not just a financial firm) to attract a specific workforce.

Even though this video is working to flip the idea of what Amex is and does, it maintains their brand aesthetic with blue, white, and gold colors. They utilize the visuals to create a strong association between their classic brand and the new message they’re portraying.

Create and maintain your brand aesthetic, even with a new or challenging message.

12. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins does hundreds of hours worth of events every year, so a lot of their promotional corporate videos use footage from those events. These reels allow prospects to see what the event is like firsthand and to see how many smiling faces are impacted by this event. The video uses no voiceover but lets Tony and the participants tell the story, which is a powerful way to put prospective attendees right in the action and make them excited to attend the event themselves.

Transform your event footage into promo reels.

13. Burger King

Burger King isn’t afraid to use shock value to grab their viewer’s attention before explaining the marketing campaign they’re running—giving a free whopper in exchange for “setting on fire” a competitor’s ad in the Burger King app.

This campaign is brilliant. It gets people to download the app, think about the BK brand when they see other ads, and brings people in-store. But even more than the campaign itself, we love how the ad uses visuals and music to push it further. The upbeat jingle paired with the on-text graphics tells a concise, fun story that’s hard not to love.

Use music and graphics to mirror your message.

14. Dissolve

To finish off our list, we’re going to give you one of our favorite videos… that pokes fun at what corporate videos should not be like.

Dissolve is a stock footage company that’s making fun of stock footage. It’s hilarious and entertaining, but amidst the jest, they’re actually showing off the quality and range of the clips they have available. They’re pulling the attention away from their message, while visually demonstrating their point–genius!

So let’s use the Dissolve brand video to give you some parting thoughts about how to create a brand video:

  • Have fun with it!
  • Create a brand tone.
  • Don’t be vague or cliché. Originality is the only thing that works.
  • Describe the pain point, and then show how your brand solves that pain for customers, employees, partners, or other stakeholders.
  • Use visuals, graphics, and videos to reflect and enhance your message.
  • Stay authentic to your brand in every aspect of the video.
  • Show faces. People sell. (But only people who are actually part of your audience and use your brand.)
  • Don’t just list out your brand values. Show them. Prove them with stories and testimonials.
  • End with your logo or a call to action.

Let’s create some cool corporate videos

Whether you’re selling your product, promoting an event, or attracting talent, corporate videos are the best way to reach your audience and attain your goals. The examples we gave you are all unique and novel—but the principles remain the same. When it comes to creating an awesome video for your brand or event, it comes down to telling a story and sharing your message.

That’s what we do at True Film Production. Our one and only goal is to tell the story your audience wants to hear from you. And we do it with the best design elements, specific to your needs.

That’s what makes us different from any other video company. We’re not here to just put together a stock video that gets a few likes. We’re here to create inspiring, entertaining, and evocative stories that make an impact. Like this story from our founder, Stan, that provides a more in-depth look at who we are and where we came from.

Want to start brainstorming corporate videos for your events or brand? Cool. So do we.

All you have to do is fill in this quick form to start creating magic together.

The post 14 Best Examples of Corporate Videos That Share Your Brand Message appeared first on True Film Production.