It wasn’t that long ago that trade show video marketing involved little more than a short, looped teaser to draw traffic into your booth, and maybe a handful of longer videos for back-booth demos.
Starting in 2016, live, do-it-yourself social video began to shake things up. Suddenly the focus switched from scripted, pre-recorded footage to a more organic and interactive live video experience.
If you have been slow to embrace any form of video marketing—or if you have yet to experiment with anything but native, pre-recorded videos—consider the following tips for joining the world of live streaming:
Capitalize on Live Video’s Benefits
• Video created and shared on social media allows you to reach an audience far outside the exhibit hall.
• The immediacy of live video often means greater virality and user engagement, allowing you to better connect with your community. Estimates are that live video gets 6x more engagement than native video.
• Acting as a live broadcaster at a trade show can lead to vendors, customers and business partners relying on your social feed as a virtual window to the rest of the event.
• Facebook videos are featured more prominently in news feed than other business page content, and thus can allow you to regain some of the free social traffic that disappeared after Facebook made its 2018 algorithm update.
Choose the Right Platform
• Facebook Live – Since so many users check their News Feeds throughout the day, Facebook Live videos tend to be seen by a lot of your followers. But the platform also typically enjoys less viewing time per video. Archived videos are also often almost impossible to later find via Facebook’s awkward search function, and similarly aren’t well-indexed in Google search results. Facebook Live is thus often best for posting brief, timely, high-engagement updates from the show floor.
• YouTube Live – Because YouTube is a video-first channel, users commit more time to watching videos on this platform. After broadcast, your search-optimized YouTube videos are also easier to find via a YouTube or Google query. But getting people to tune in to the initial, live video typically requires a lot more pre-show promotion.
• Instagram Live works similarly to Facebook Live, and can be especially helpful if you cater to a millennial audience.
• Periscope – owned by Twitter, this live video-casting platform may be ideal if you are in the have a large Twitter following.
• Brightcove and other dedicated video platforms may be a better solution of you intend to produce lots of lengthy video, if you want to maintain control to all your rights, or if you want to monetize your own videos.
Choose the Right Content
• Q&As – if you often receive a lot of questions about your products or services, live social video can be a great place to field them.
• Interviews – Consider having one of the event’s featured speakers stop by your booth. An interview with one or more your suppliers or business partners can also be of interest to your core customers.
• New Product Reveals – The visual and immediate nature of live video make it ideal for unveiling a new product or service. Viewers will clamor to be among the first to see your new offering.
• Behind the Scenes Videos – Video gives your customers and prospects a chance to learn more about company, processes, or staff than what’s revealed on your website. Live video can give them a rare peak into the personalities and daily activities of your business.
Plan Ahead for Live Video’s Quirks
Not every staff member will feel comfortable “performing” in front of your smartphone lens, so identify your star talent and do some practice sessions before going live.
Since audio quality and connectivity can fluctuate at an event, you may want to shoot your videos in a room with a hardwired Internet connection, where you can also better control the acoustics.
Of course, you’ll also want to be sure to promote your live streams in advance, sending reminder notices so that you have a waiting audience when you go live.
By embracing the ephemeral nature of unscripted live social video, you can lend an added sense of urgency, interactivity and virality to your trade show marketing.