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How To Promote Your Conference Using YouTube

11 February 2013 BY

It’s ‘Event Week‘ here on State of Search and there’s going to be a tonne of information from our bloggers about how to get the best of a conference/industry meet up/convention over the next few days. A lot of the posts are going to be of benefit to attendees (I for one cannot wait to hear some brilliant tips and suggestions) but I’d like to take this opportunity to show how those that are organising the event can use video to promote it, before, during and after.

Before The Conference

Video should form a part of your marketing strategy from the very start. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need a huge budget or lots of footage to utilise this form of content – enthusiasm and ingenuity will get you further than you might think.

Ideas for video promotion:

  • Set up a YouTube channel (if you haven’t already). If you do have one, then create a separate playlist for your specific event. Optimise your titles and descriptions to include information about the event and link back to your section on your website dedicated to it.
  • If you don’t have past footage then you can still use video made by others of the venue/speakers etc. to promote your project. Include these in a YouTube playlist and tweet or post them out to your followers. As long as you give credit to the original source, it’s perfectly fine to curate video content if you think it will provide benefit to your campaign.
  • If you do have past footage then edit it down and use the highlights to show potential attendees what they can expect. Here’s a great example from Distilled of what is effectively a series of clips from a previous Searchlove conference.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XySox510_3Q&version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0]

  • Use annotations on your YouTube videos to include strong Call to Actions (i.e. Buy a ticket now!)
  • If others have footage of your past events, then collate these in a playlist too (assuming they are complimentary of course).
  • Try not to make your promotional videos too salesy and corporate – it’s OK to use some humour if appropriate.

During The Conference

OK, so chances are that you will be running around like the proverbial blue arsed fly on the day itself but with a bit of planning you can get a lot of mileage from video while the event is taking place. If you have a lot of different activities/meetings/lectures going on then consider setting up a live stream to capture as many of them as you can. You can even charge for this ;-)

Ideas for video promotion:

  • Live stream what you can and charge those you can’t attend in person.
  • Live stream what you can and don’t charge, because marketing.

Here’s a very bouncy, upbeat example from VidCon 2011:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDq8HQnU94k?list=PLDAD71D7149EE0D26]

  • Even if filming of the actual sessions themselves is off limit to attendees, encourage them to film in and around the event. If it’s a marketing conference, the chances are this is going to happen anyway so make sure everyone knows the hashtag to use. Assign someone to keep a close eye on social media to monitor what’s happening and respond/promote/retweet/repost if you can. It’s all about generating buzz.
  • Film everything you can for your next promotional event. Interview anything that moves, film the venue, film the before and after parties, film behind the scenes. It’s better to have 30 hours of footage than none at all.

After The Conference

If you organise regular events then promotion for the next one usually begins the minute the current one ends. Take this opportunity to release a video looking back on the event and capturing the thoughts of the attendees, as taster for the next one. Just like the one that SES did after New York 2011:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoJbt2HfGgA&hl=en_US&version=3&rel=0]
Even better, if it’s been wildly successful then others will do this for you :-) There were hundreds of thousands of words written about CES 2013 – and a fair few round up videos released too:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k83TA1xwTQ&version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0]

Ideas for video promotion:

  • Collate any videos that your speakers or attendees made of the event and make a YouTube playlist for them.
  • Release your own round up. Make it short and informative rather than too self-congratulatory.

If you are planning an event then video can be an enormous help with promotion. If you aren’t using video content then give it a go and see how it works for you.

It’s Event Week on State of Search!

It’s event week on State of Search this week! We are looking at everything around events, looking forward to SES London and helping you make the best choices you can make when it comes to attending, speaking or choosing your events.

marin-mobile_report_2013_728x90-bottom

This week is sponsored by Marin Software

AUTHORED BY:
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Carla Marshall is Director of SEO at ReelSEO.com.

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