Yes, I take the office to the slopes on occasion. It’s one of the ways I find balance:
Yes, I take the office to the slopes on occasion. It’s one of the ways I find balance:
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!
The tradeshow exhibit is at least 6 – 8 months away – have you considered your tradeshow marketing strategy? You’d better get started – that’s not that much time!
“Huh? Over half a year and I have to rush things?” you say…
No, I didn’t say RUSH things…I mean you have better get your stuff together because those six months are going to go by pretty quickly. And the last 2 months will go by like an Indy Racer if you haven’t spent the first four months working on it.
Face it: when people visit your tradeshow booth, they expect to see the BEST that your company has to offer. If you’re a manufacturer, your prep time may mean several meetings and coordination with your manufacturing division to make sure you’re showing off the BEST of your BEST.
Why would you want to go to a tradeshow and put anything but the BEST of the BEST you have to offer on display? This is the one time a year that those visitors get a chance to see your goods and services. They’re comparing YOUR BEST with the BEST of several other companies – perhaps dozens of other companies.
So plan to put on your best.
This means your best graphics. Your best exhibit. Your best product. Your best people. Your best lead-capturing system.
When you put your best out there, you’re competing on the same level as the rest of the exhibitors – your competitors. Face it, most of them (but not all) are putting on THEIR best face at the exhibit. So you’d better be putting on YOUR best, too.
The challenge, though, is that we’re all just humans. We all have crazy schedules and incessant demands. And given those demands, when push comes to shove putting on your BEST is often extremely difficult to do. That’s why it takes more effort than you really think it will.
So that gets you back to idea of starting NOW and not waiting another few months on your tradeshow marketing strategy. If you start now and determine WHAT you’ll need to do to put on your best, HOW you’re going to do it, and WHO is going to help you to make sure it’s going to get done, the odds increase that you’ll actually make it happen by the time the show rolls around.
And that gets back to the idea of loving care: if you approach the planning of your next tradeshow with loving care, you’ll cover all the bases you need to cover to ensure that you are putting on your best.
Start now. Give your tradeshow marketing strategy some good old-fashioned love.
Everything you do online can be measured in some fashion. So start measuring.
How many Facebook friends does your company have? How many Twitter followers? How many of your tweets are getting passed around by being re-tweeted? How many views did your recent blog post get?
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to measurements, to my mind, is to compare themselves to all of their competitors, or at least a few of their main ones.
Sure, that’s a good number to know – and perhaps important. But you really should start with comparing yourself to…YOU.
Are your key metrics growing or declining? By what percentage? What types of posts (video/photo/blog/tweets) are getting the most attention? What do people react to the most? The least?
Take note of trends. The more you know about what your audience is reacting to and why, the more you’ll be able to give them what they want.
As a volunteer for a local start-up non-profit community radio station I recently had the opportunity to see how our Facebook friends reacted to a local event we put on. The event was the ‘Beggar’s Ball,’ a raucous and rockin’ 8-hour event featuring live bands, a father-daughter circus act, a belly dancer, and a bevy of local non-profits who share their passions and challenges.
It was a great event. Everyone went away knowing they had experienced something pretty damn cool.
During the show we continually posted photos of the acts on the KMUZ Facebook page. Shortly after the show I posted a larger photo album of the show. A few days later I took stock of the number of impressions we made on Facebook, and how many comments we got about the photo postings.
The photos we posted into the KMUZ stream gathered 7997 impressions. We counted over 30 ‘likes’ of the posts, about half as many comments on the photos and posts.
For a small grass-roots-promoted event that drew 200 enthusiastic folks, we considered the event a huge success.
Again, it’s all in context. Now that we’ve taken the measurements of this particular event and our Facebook interaction, we’ll have something to compare to when we do our next event.
If you’re blogging, tweeting or Facebook-posting at a tradeshow, measure it. Compare to next time. And the time after that. Keep the stats. Build spreadsheets and watch the trends.
If you don’t know where you’ve been, how can you tell where you’re and and where you’re going?
guest article by Jean Watson
When your company is trying to launch and establish its brand, it’s crucial to take advantage of both online and offline brand building methods for maximum brand exposure, visibility, and effectiveness. There are benefits to each vehicle of brand building, but maintaining the popularity of your brand at the forefront is an essential daily task, especially online.
Fundamental Online Benefits
With a Plesk hosting platform incorporated into your brand building marketing strategy, you can utilize the expansive and substantive benefits of the entire Internet for a fraction of the cost of traditional hosting systems. One benefit of online brand building is the enormous exposure your brand can attain at a very cost effective outlay. It’s important to also realize that online brand building can be much more personalized than offline building can be because you have the freedom to highly individualize the psychology of your brand by utilizing distinct links, superior textual content, eye catching graphics, and much more interactive social media tools.
Additional Online Benefits
Brand building online is supremely effective especially with a user interface involving colocation hosting. To be able to differentiate the hardware and software of your choice for the most successful integration of brand building resources is especially effective for most every company, whether new or fully established. It allows much more control and consistency in effectively demonstrating the brand’s value, availability, variety, and versatility to an enormous market of potential consumers. This performance consistency is essential for success.
Principle Offline Advantages
Offline brand building can consist of marketing and advertising elements such as TV commercials, radio advertisements, print and even billboard display ads to start for the most obvious and impressive impact possible. But direct mailing is also highly useful, and short of email direct marketing, offline direct mail marketing can be especially useful for a smaller, more localized brand or company just starting out, if the mammoth financial resources are simply not there yet. Offline branding is also beneficial because companies can reach smaller markets at a more reasonable cost with traditional brand building techniques of publicity and promotion.
Associated Offline Advantages
The effectiveness of offline branding can be due to the fact that it’s normally narrower in scope than the universality of online branding. More specific market niches can be reached with the offline approach. Costs can be controlled better. The target market can have its demographics and socioeconomics studied and approached in very hands on manner. There’s the tangibility factor of having sales staffs being able to physically interact with consumers face-to-face as well, and this can substantively help build genuine brand loyalty at a much faster rate than online brand building attempts.
Jean Watson is an advertising writer for Webhostgear.com and can be reached at email@example.com. Jean writes about technologies, gadgets and social media.
Tim Patterson interviews Marie-Claire Andrews of ShowGizmo, a cool tradeshow service that utilizes QR Codes and more. Great interview if you want to get a lot of good ideas on how to use QR codes at tradeshows.
I’m halfway through a little book called ‘Branding Basics for Small Businesses’ by Maria Ross, which is full of helpful information, and while reading the book, it occurred to me that there is no better place to showcase your brand than at a tradeshow.
Virtually everything about your company comes into play: image, interaction with the public, products, sales team…it’s all there.
And when you think about branding, don’t mistakenly believe that your brand is just your products and services and your logo. Or your advertising.
Everything about your company transmits and broadcasts your brand.
In the book, Maria gave a great example of how a brand is shouted out by the small interactions.
“My husband and I want to love and support a local bookstore in our neighborhood. Based on location, name and visual identity, the store offers a warm, personal book-buying experience unlike the big box bookstores. Unfortunately, my husband was turned off by an incident that didn’t seem important at the time. One day when we entered the store, someone behind us left the door open as we walked in and they walked out. The clerk glanced up, saw the open door, and headed over in a huff to close it. Her body language told us she was miffed and assumed we left the door open. She nearly pushed us out of the way in her haste to make a point and shut the door.”
As she continues, because one clerk didn’t live up to the promise of the store’s brand, her husband is left with a negative impression of the business – and doesn’t feel like going back.
This little eye-opener should help you focus on the little things: is your staff always smiling and helpful? Do you have enough free samples if you’re offering them? Is the floor of your booth as clean as possible? Do you have staff purses, coats and other personal items stacked haphazardly in plain view of visitors?
Any little thing that’s ‘off’ can create a negative impression. And that negativity echoes through a visitor’s mind long after the show is over.
It’s your company. It’s your brand. Everything from your logo to how you answer the phone to how you interact with people at a tradeshow must be derived from how you would like people to perceive your brand.
At your next tradeshow, pay careful attention and see if all that a visitor sees is a positive representation of your brand. If not, find out how to fix it.
(the above link is an affiliate link; I purchased the book and recommend it based on the quality of the content)