Lights! Camera! Action! The new variety of video marketing is shaking things up in the trade show world. Just a few years ago, videos at trade shows consisted of a front-end teaser to attract customers and maybe a longer demo video at the back of the booth. But no more! This ain’t your momma’s trade show video. Social video is to the video world what Sriracha is to the condiment world. Oh, my! Imagine the possibilities! Seriously, though, social video brings flavor and life and endless possibilities to a medium that formerly was static, scripted, and limited. You’ve no doubt seen live videos as you’ve scrolled through social media, but maybe you’ve been hesitant to jump in yourself and actually do one. Whether you’ve never done any kind of marketing video or whether you’re just more comfortable with traditional pre-recorded videos, read the following tips to get savvy with this new, better experiential video format that’s sweeping the trade show world.
KNOW LIVE-STREAMING BENEFITS:
- Facebook live videos are featured more prominently in newsfeeds than other business page content. This allows you to regain some of the easy, free social traffic that vanished after Facebook changed its algorithm in 2018. The end result is that you get more reach and more exposure.
- On-the-spot live video shared on social from a trade show reaches an audience far beyond the convention center. It reaches anyone who happens to be scrolling. This can only be good news for you.
- Because of the immediacy of live video, there’s often more connection with your community, which means greater user engagement (6x more than native video according to recent estimates). People who see you using live video know that you are present, which draws them in to “catch” you before you leave the video.
- If you begin live broadcasting from a trade show, other vendors and business partners will be drawn to your social feed, seeing it as a “virtual window” to the rest of the event. This, of course, has a snowball effect as more and more followers join in and share from your feed.
KNOW THE BEST CONTENT:
- New Product Reveals – the instant nature of live video makes it ideal for unveiling a new product or service. People naturally want to be the first to see or hear about something new, and they will clamor to get a peek at what you’re revealing on live video.
- Behind the Scenes – a behind-the-scenes-peek kind of video gives your customers a taste of the personality and flavor of your company. While they can get lots of information from your website, the live video offers them a deeper look, a more personal look. Depending on how funny or entertaining the video is (or who is in it), it might offer a more personal, even “human” glance at your business.
- Q & As – live video is a great place to field questions from customers and clients. Not only does it give you a chance to answer them all in one fell swoop, it gives you a chance to PERSONALLY answer them. Social video can make these general questions and answers feel specific. If you can get a couple of people who really know how to have a great conversation and work the camera to do the Q&A, all the better.
- Interviews – is there a top dog at your event? Is the keynote well-known or are there featured speakers who would be willing to drop by your booth and chat for a few minutes? Even a short video with a star person is very exciting. In lieu of that, you could interview a supplier or business partner who might be of interest to your core.
KNOW THE RIGHT PLATFORM:
- Facebook – Facebook is still the top social media platform because so many users check it all day long. So, naturally, if you use Facebook Live, your audience is going to see it. However, the platform typically enjoys less viewing time per video. And because archived videos are lost in the ether due to Facebook and Google’s ambiguous search criteria, Facebook Live is best used for posting short, timely, high-traffic updates right where you are. Facebook Live is NOT the best platform for longer, more detailed videos.
- Instagram – Instagram’s live video feature works very much like Facebook Live. If you have a primarily millennial audience base, Instagram Live is the platform for you. Featuring Instagram Stories, IG is growing in popularity every day, and has an enormous millennial following.
- YouTube – Because YouTube actually consists of videos, people will watch longer videos and will actually seek out videos here. Also, YouTube videos are easy to find because they are search-optimized. The only real drawback to using YouTube Live is getting an initial draw on your live video. To ensure that people tune in, you will most certainly have to promote the video pre-show, which limits your flexibility a
- Periscope -- owned by Twitter, this live video-casting platform is ideal if you have a large Twitter following. Periscope’s engagement features are pleasing to the eye, as well, and encourage followers to “like” the videos, the speakers, and the comments in real time. When one of these is “liked,” a bevy of hearts flood the screen, making it emotionally pleasing to watch and participate in.
- If you’re looking to create a longer video or to monetize your videos, look toward Brightcove (or other dedicated video platforms) to meet your needs. Longer videos have their drawbacks and benefits that shorter live videos don’t address.
KNOW LIVE VIDEO'S QUIRKS:
- While you don’t want to script your live video, you don’t want to feel uncomfortable. Run through (at least mentally) what you plan on saying and featuring in the video.
- If you’re doing an interview, let the star talent practice a little before going live. Not everyone is equally comfortable in front of the camera’s red light.
- Check your tech before you begin. Is your audio good? Are the acoustics amenable to your speaker? How’s your internet connectivity? Is your lighting strong enough that your audience can see you and what you’re featuring?
- Do you have a plan for signing off? This is an oft-overlooked piece of important planning. Make sure you have a loose plan for getting off the air, for closing out your video without just weakly saying, “Ok, well, I guess that’s all.” Not exactly a mic drop.
Live videos are a great way to reach a wider audience in a fun, lively way. But just because they SEEM spur-of-the-moment doesn’t mean you can’t plan them. Plan the types and frequency of live videos you want to do from your trade show. Promote them to your audience by pushing them on social media. Let your followers know when you’re going live.
By jumping on the live video bandwagon, you can increase your visibility, virality, and interactivity from the comfort of your own booth!
This article was inspired by "Social Livestreaming - Using Live Video for Trade Show Marketing" by Chad Erikson and first appeared at skyline.com