Of course it’s absurd to call any set of five videos ‘the Top 5’ but it’s fun to create lists, anyway. For the past week I’ve been reviewing videos of 2011 to see which ones floated to the top. There are a lot of social media videos (of course), but these are the five that grabbed my attention.
Social Media Revolution 2011
This video captured the zeitgeist of the various social media stats floating around and presented them in a compelling way:
Egypt’s Uprising: Tracking How Social Media Stirred Action
Social media is changing the world, and giving voice and freedom to a generation that won’t sit still while the current leaders try and keep the status quo. Here’s an interview from Dubai-based News Group International on how social media affected some of the uprisings in the Middle East:
As part of my creation of an upcoming social media event marketing training site, I’m putting together a number of videos on how to use various social media platforms. Watch for the site to launch in early 2012. In the meantime, here’s one of those videos – this is a review of the types of LinkedIn accounts – which one is right for you?
It can’t be the easiest thing to post video from a tradeshow floor, there amongst the chaos and cacophony of exhibitors and attendees.
However, if you make a plan to get some video out during the show, you’ll surely benefit from it!
So to make a plan, make sure you have the pieces you’ll need:
YouTube or Facebook account
Video camera: Flip or Kodak; Smartphone with video capabilities or similar
Online access, either via a laptop with direct ‘net access or w-fi, or your Smartphone
Ability to edit video (or at least be able to shoot short videos that are ready-to-upload immediately upon shooting)
A list of types of videos you’d like to shoot
Once you have the first four items – the technical ability to shoot, edit and upload video – your next step is to create the shortlist of types of videos you’d like to shoot.
Some of those that you might consider include:
Guest appearances in your booth (authors, tech guys, creative folks who don’t normally see the light of day!)
Brief discussions with company reps (CEO, Marketing folks, etc) that discuss pertinent topics taking place at the show
Once you create the list, you are ready for the show. To implement your plan, put someone in charge. Create a schedule, which may include dates and times for product demos, guests, etc. If you can schedule testimonials with your raving clients, do so. Other testimonials may just grow out of random visits from clients or customers. Look for opportunities to put them in front of the camera. If you have room in your booth, leave the camera up on a tripod and ask if they have a few minutes to discuss your product and how it works for them.
If you can follow this type of shooting schedule and compile several raw videos during the show, chances are you can find a few per day to upload to your YouTube channel or to Facebook (or both). Hopefully, you’ll have a lot of videos that will give you plenty of material that you can edit and release over the next several months, hopefully right up to the promotion of next year’s appearance at the same show.
You’ll benefit from posting video in numerous ways: showing non-attendees what’s going on by including them in your show; showing off the various people who do attend (people love the attention); increasing brand awareness, showing how a product works to someone who might not have otherwise ever seen in, which might create a new customer; putting a face on company employees who might otherwise remain nameless and faceless, which makes your company more attractive to people who like to know the kinds of people they’re considering purchasing from, and much more. No doubt you could add to this list of reasons why shooting video at your tradeshow is beneficial – in fact, feel free to do so!
Getting increasingly frustrated by the inability of my smartphone to scan QR Codes that show up in magazines, I thought it would be worthwhile to show exactly what happens (or doesn’t) when it’s time to find out more information.
If you’ve read this blog for awhile or know me at all, chances are you have discovered that, yes, I am a big Bob Marley fan. Have been since the mid 70s. Saw the guy on tour. Twice. Not to mention the tattoo.
So I thought it might be fun to thumb through Marley’s extensive library and pull some song titles for social media tradeshow marketing inspiration. And I thought it might be fun to grab some YouTube videos along the way… So here we go…!
Stir it Up
Before the show, get on Twitter and Facebook and let people know you’re going to be at the show. If you don’t stir the pot, so to speak, the only thing you have to depend on is how your booth is viewed and how your staff performs at the show itself. On the other hand, if you ‘stir it up’ on social media, you can spread the word about your booth (is it new?), where to find it, who and what are going to be there and generally create a bit of buzz.
Get Up, Stand Up
Not getting a fair shake from the show organizers? Getting a raw deal from a supplier? Well, don’t take it lying down! Get Up, Stand Up! Stand up for your rights! Be assertive (not aggressive) in making sure that you are getting the full measure of what you’re paying for. Be mindful of what you deserve – and think of those around you. Stand up for their rights as well when the time is right.
Yes, you’re in the rat race. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of exhibitors who are all trying to stand out from the crowd. No worries! As they say in Jamaica, soon come! Just realize that you’re part of the mix. Not only will you have a lot of competition, you can BE a lot of competition for the rest of the exhibitors. Present your booth and staff on a Positive Vibration and you’ll find that you won’t be Waiting in Vain.
Sun is Shining
What’s your outlook? Are you spreading positive vibrations, or are you Mr. Stick-in-the-Mud? If you believe that the sun eventually shine down on you, let your followers and friends online know about it!
Your clients and customers must feel some love for you in some way. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be buying your product or service. So return the love. When customers stop by, ask them if you can photograph them for your Facebook page. Or get them to sit down for a one-minute testimonial. Show them love by sharing the testimonial on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They’ll love the recognition!
At some point you will be faced with a crisis – small, medium or (hopefully not) large. Keep in mind, this happens to everybody! If you can keep your head while everyone else is losing yours, you’ll appear as the cool, calm collected individual that people can depend on. Always have a Plan B in mind.
Wake Up and Live
Tradeshows are a jam-packed, chaotic environment that goes by really, really fast! Before you know it, they’re over, and you’re left wondering ‘what happened?’ Don’t let that happen to you. Take a few moments during the show to bask in it – to soak it all in – and if the spirit moves you, to share it with your social media community.
The show is over! Hallelujah! You can get back to normal, whatever that is for you. But at the end of he show, don’t forget about those social media followers. Tweet out your thanks, photos, videos and other items at the end of the show. It’ll help remind those followers who you are and what you do. And if you do take time to thank people by name (individual or organization), you’ll be seen as that much more human.
So you’re going to shoot a tradeshow teaser video to get people to be aware of your upcoming appearance whetting their appetite to see your company’s exhibit at the show. But you’re rarely messed around with video. Maybe you don’t like getting in front of the camera. Or you don’t know what to put in a brief video.
Well, let’s take a look at ten things to think about when assembling your video.
1. Know whom you’re talking to
What is your intended audience thinking about the issue you’re going to talk about? Are they well informed? Ill-informed? Mis-informed? The more you can understand the mindset of your audience, the better your video will be. In the case of creating a short video that relates to a tradeshow appearance, does your audience know anything about you company or your product? Are they familiar with the show? Do they have the proper context for your presentation or are they coming in from the cold?
2. Pick a single topic and stick to it.
You’ve seen videos that try to do everything and cover a lot of ground. In the case of a short teaser video, know exactly what the topic and don’t waver. If you have more than one reason to invite people to your booth, do more than one video.
3. If you’re going to be on camera, rehearse your presentation a few times, but don’t overdo it.
There are other ways to create a video than to use a video camera. A screen-capture program, for instance, is a great way to put a video together without actually getting in front of a camera. But if you’re going to put your face onscreen, rehearse it a few times until you feel comfortable with the bullet points you’re going to cover. And yes, you should just cover bullet points, and NOT read a script. By rehearsing it a few times you’ll get comfortable with how you’re going to say it. Record a few times and go with the best. Don’t worry about perfection – there’s still no perfect presentation – but just relax and let it flow and you’ll be fine.
4. Fancy production or not?
In most cases, there’s no need for fancy production. If you’re a service company such as a dentist or accountant, just be real and show people who you are. If your company is a high-end video production company, yes, you should show your chops! But in most cases, expensive production is lost on YouTube. It depends on the expectations of your audience, which are being lowered continuously thanks to a lot of low-end video production.
Want to impress people? Don’t try and be someone you’re not. If you can show who you REALLY are – your AUTHENTIC self – people will find that much attractive than a horse-and-pony show that has little to do with who you are.
6. Don’t waste time – respect people’s time and use it wisely
If you have 60 seconds worth of information, don’t use three minutes to get it all out. Be short and sweet and then get it over with. Respect people’s time. If they get used to your short (and respectful) videos, they’ll have a greater inclination to come back and see more.
7. Don’t do a hard sell – talk conversationally
This goes back to authenticity. Most people don’t speak in a hard-sell mode in social situations. Imagine you’re in social situation and you’re talking casually with a friend or colleague. Now, use the same approach on your video and you’ll be fine.
8. Solve a problem
If you can describe how your product or service solves a problem in 60 seconds or less (and you should be able to do that!), you have a great chance of getting people to show up at your booth or shop. What exactly does your product do? Do you have a proven result? Tell how your solution will improve their situation. Share it.
9. Subtitles can increase response.
Okay, I have no evidence to support this! But to my way of thinking, by showing subtitles you are reinforcing your message. Of course, there are a few people that don’t hear well and the subtitles may assist them in understanding what you’re talking about. Plus, it’s a good place to put a phone number or web URL. Most video editing programs allow you to insert text on the screen. Again, don’t overdo it – but use it.
10. Put a smile in your voice!
One of the first and best lessons I learned when I got into radio as a teenager: put a smile into your voice! It comes across…really!
If you’re not used to shooting video, it can be a major mental shift to be able to have your video camera ready to go at all times. A small Flip video (or similar) camera can help alleviate that some, but it’s still a bit of a shift to go from not shooting video at your shows to shooting a LOT of it for present and future use.
One way to be prepared is to simply be prepared: in the booth, keep your video camera out and attached to a tripod. That way it’s only a moment away from being able to turn the switch and shooting testimonials or demos.
Another way to always be prepared is to ensure that you always have enough power. In some cases that means extra AA batteries; in other cases it may mean that you are able to plug your video battery into a USB or AC outlet anytime. A full-power camera is easier to use than one that’s down to it’s last 10%!
Next, have a list of videos that you’d like to shoot – or at least a list of possible ideas. Here’s an incomplete list of things that you might consider at your next tradeshow:
Testimonials: nothing like a satisfied customer telling potential customers how well your product or service works. The more details, the more believable (but make it short!).
Demos: if you’re able to demonstrate how your product works inside your booth, shoot that demo a few times and put the best one up on your YouTube channel.
Guests: if you have a celebrity or other type of guest, have them sit down for a short interview.
The Boss: is the CEO stopping by and can he be counted on to be a good ‘face’ of your company or product? Then make sure you get him on video discussing something cool, new or important about your company or a specific product.
Q&A: if your product makes people curious as to how it works, shoot random visitors asking questions (get their permission) and then show someone from your company explaining the answer.
Other Products: do other exhibitors have products that can be used in conjunction with yours? Get one of reps from that company to your booth (or go to their booth) and get some video showing how that combination might work to benefit potential customers.
Yes, some of these may take more work than others. But if you come back from your tradeshow with a few hours of videos, this gives your marketing staff oodles of ways to use that video and roll it out on your YouTube channel, blog, website and Facebook page over the next several months. Be sure to put a package together to post a few weeks before next year’s show as well to promote the upcoming appearance.
People like to watch video online – the stats that support this keep growing all the time. Find ways to get people to spend a few moments with YOUR video and you may have a new customer.
What can we learn from 75-year old ski bums? Well, personally, that’s exactly what I’ll be in a couple of decades, so I thought this video was really fun from that angle.
Next? These folks are HAVING FUN! Naturally, since they’re skiing. But given that I’ve been a ski bum since I was about 7 years old (knee-high to a grasshopper), I’ve always tried to incorporate skiing into my daily job. Or vice versa.
What else? They do their best at their skill level. And still take chances, even at 75+. I like that. We should all know our limits and know when to push them.
That’s enough lesson-learning from this. Watch this and have fun! And…it’s only 4 minutes!
Are you stuck in the office all day long, five days a week? Happens to all of us. Happens to me most of the time. But every once in awhile I get inspired and take my work to the ski resort. Can’t do it every day, because on many occasions I have to meet clients in person. But if that’s not the case, I can often handle a lot of the details of work remotely, via a smartphone or laptop.
So Tuesday of this week I took my work to the slopes at Hoodoo Ski Bowl, my ‘home’ resort. And had a ton of fun while doing it. And answered a few client calls, an email or two and communicated with the office on a critical project as well. Yeah, the first time you might feel a little odd about actually taking a client call on the chairlift, but when you’ve handled the issue, you hang up and smile…
Can you work remotely? Can you find a way to mix pleasure with your job? It doesn’t always mean heading to Cabo or the ski resort. It might mean you’re taking meetings offsite to your favorite coffee shop. Or finding a way to engage with your clients or prospects through social media while you’re enjoying a day off. The lines are blurring and will continue to blur between our “work” hours and our “off” hours as we get deeper and deeper and more familiar with tools such as smartphones and the online platforms that allow us stay in front of other people’s minds much easier than before.
Even at a tradeshow you can easily stay in touch with people in other cities, keeping your business going in several areas while also seeing people face-to-face at the show.
Today’s work world means getting adept at using all of the available tools – and knowing which ones work for you and which ones to leave aside.
Some of the tools I use which help me work remotely include Dropbox and Carbonite. They allow me to access documents from anywhere and either work on them or email them when needed. Checking in with your community by using Facebook is also very useful and not time-consuming at all. By linking several accounts together (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn) you can reach people on all of those platforms by interacting with only one.