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Getting Started With Video Marketing – What, Why and How

We hear it all the time: video marketing is the way to go to help your business grow.  Millennials want video.  Video is sticky and keeps visitors on your website, helps lower your bounce rate and increase your SEO.  So, the question is; how do we get and use video in our marketing programs & trade shows?

One way to afford creating videos for your marketing content is to find as many uses for them as possible.  You can create a video for your website and then do minor modifications to it so it can also be used in your trade show exhibit or include a link in your email marketing campaigns.

I interviewed Cathan Murray from our Skyline 360 Group to better understand how and when to use video, when to use Virtual Reality (VR), and key tips on hiring a video professional.

Why use video in the first place?

Video is a relatively inexpensive way to show something that may be impossible to demonstrate using a static image or even in person.  It can enable you to illustrate complex ideas without a big investment.  It is also easy to edit, repurpose and share in a variety of ways.

Video use at trade shows

Video is not always the best solution for your trade show.  Sometimes you may be better off with an interactive display in your booth.  An interactive display such as a quiz or self-guided photo tour will enable you to gather and distribute a more customized experience for each user.  This type of experience may be more difficult to repurpose than a video but could be used in a lobby if the content is not specific to the show.

What is the best length for a video?

It really depends there are situations for everything.  Yet some good rules of thumb are:

  • Shorter is better. Two minutes max for a website video.
  • A looping video that you will be showing at a trade show can be up to 9 minutes but only in the right situation usually we recommend around two.
  • Promotional video length depends on the topic.
  • It takes about 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention in a focused piece so getting to the point is important.
  • For a Virtual Reality (VR) video you can create an experience in about 3-4 minutes.

How are videos for trade shows or social media different?

At a trade show, it is harder to do a video with a voice-over due to the noise level.  You can email a link to video with voice-over before the show and then use a shorter version with motion graphic text at the show.  It can be an effective way to reinforce the message.  Then you can even have a longer version with sound that integrates more detail and lives on your website.

Using video on social media can be tricky, as you must catch people’s attention almost immediately before the viewer scrolls to something else.  Videos should be short, or better yet use a GIF that links to a video on your website or blog.  Also, depending on the platform, subtitles or a no-sound option can be helpful as many watch without volume.

What are some good examples for when to use VR?

VR is great when you are trying to put someone in a unique setting that is not easily re-creatable on the trade show floor.  A good example is if you are wanting someone to explore an environment or large machinery you can create a VR video experience that they can explore in the show.

What are the advantages of VR in the trade Show?

You can create a unique experience for the participant and show your company as cutting edge.  It can be an attractive experience that gets more people to come to your booth.  It can virtually transport your visitor to a location that helps you communicate your brand message or event theme.

What are some disadvantages of using VR in your booth?

You can attract people who are not really interested in your company but just want to try VR.  It can be difficult to get people through the experience without others having to wait in line.

What are some effective tips to start using video marketing?

One of the best places to use your videos is on your website.  Make sure you place them in a predominant location so they are easy to find and keep people on your website.

If you are going to place your videos on your website make sure that you hire a professional to shoot your video and even more importantly to edit your video.  According to Cathan Murray from our Skyline 360 creative group, “A good editor can overcome badly shot video, if necessary.”

Make the video concise and to the point.  Focus on the highlights and leave out the details.  The viewer can always reach out to you with specific questions.

If you are planning to hire a professional it is helpful to review YouTube and Vimeo examples so you can reference them and share them with potential vendors to help them understand what style you want.   If you can send them this information before you even meet it can help them prepare for your meeting.

What skills should I look for in a videographer?

  • Standard shooting experience
  • Ability to pilot drones
  • 360 degree shooting experience
  • Ownership of key equipment for the style you want
    • Software: Adobe, Final Cut Pro
    • Camera stabilizers
    • Drones (see what your drone video footage can look like: click here)
    • Industry standard software

What are some ideas for using video in promotions?

  • Create a microsite or web landing page for your email links with select videos about your products or service. You can also use this for Pay per click promotions.
  • Embed specific graphics in your exhibit that can be used with AR to trigger videos using iPads.
  • Use a Google cardboard player to create content and send to high end clients.
  • Send a video postcard via standard mail or FedEx as invitations to a key event.
  • At an event or trade show have your staffers share relevant videos to visitors using iPads.

How should you decide whether to use video?

At a Trade Show: Video is a great way to attract and occupy visitors while staffers are busy, it can also be a great way to showcase products or services you can’t display at the show. Video should not be relied on to be the only way engage clients and find out what they need. It is primarily an attention grabber or can be used to communicate specific messaging once staffers have identified a need.

On your website: you can use video to show your employee’s and brands’ personality, showcase a client testimonial to increase credibility or show a setting or a product at work. Yet, be careful of long videos as some people will not have the time or interest to watch. Key information should be communicated outside the video as well.

On Social Media: you can use prerecorded or live video to communicate more complex messages and to gain attention for longer periods of time. Live video can be especially helpful to create a sense of urgency when broadcasting a limited time event or introducing a new product or service. These videos will also be available on social after the live event and add interest to your social pages.

How have you used video for promotions, trade shows or other marketing initiatives? Answer in the Q&A section below!

About the Author

Sofia Troutman was the Manager of Digital Marketing & Product Innovation for Skyline Exhibits in St. Paul, MInnesota.

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