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February 4, 2016

How to Drive more Event Registrations by Getting Crafty with Video

It’s coming. Along with the 5432387 details to plan, the long days of travel, the hundreds or maybe even thousands of hands you’ll shake, and the pipeline … just all pipeline you can imagine.

We’re on the cusp of the first event season of the year, and the anticipation is palpable.

You know the value of a great conference, strong planning, and a well-supported marketing plan or you wouldn’t be here, reading this post. So I’ll skip all that event mumbo jumbo and get right to it: if you can increase event registrations,

  1. your direct monetary return jumps, and
  2. the potential for pipeline from new or upsell business spikes, too.

Good thing we have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you boost those numbers.

Surely you already know that including a video to promote your event is a supremely smart idea. More than just a smart idea, adding video to your event landing page can boost on-page conversions by up to 80%. These tips assume you’re already riding along on that bandwagon, have a video idea cooking, and just want that extra juice to pump those registrations up even higher!

[callout-content text=”Webinar: How to Use Video for Events to Sell Out, Find New Business, and Track Impact” button=”Watch Now!” url=””]

Make the Play Button the Star of your Email

Video in eventsSending event invites through email? Of course you are, you smart marketer. Maybe you also know that including a video in your emails can increase click-through rates by 2-3x!

Since you already have that video ready to go (or will soon!), just adding an image of the splash screen—as in, literally taking a screenshot of your player and it’s play button … or maybe your designers have a more ‘professional’ route in mind. *Ahem*—means you can rise from 1,000 people clicking through your emails to 3,000.

Sorry – did you get that? You took a screenshot and added it to an email. … Then you got 300% more people clicking through to your website.

I’ll consider that one on your list to do already!

Oh, and as a side note. Yes, using the screenshot is our recommended approach since most email providers will not play videos directly inline. Plus, you really want viewers to end up on your reg page anyway!

Send Personal Invites … none of these mass mail-outs

Imagine I sat on the rooftop of your office building and shouted “Hey chumps, join our super-cool-wicked-awesome event next month! You’ll love it because there’s going to be some stuff for everyone and drinks and food and stuff.” … That’s what a generic video (or any generic marketing messaging) sounds like to your audience and chances are I’d lose a lot of people at “Hey chumps”. Aside from the fact I called them “chumps”, which could have a lot to do with it, they also just don’t have the attention span or care to sort through your message and determine if it’s for them or not. So more often than not, they default to the “not-for-them” setting.

You can get around this by opting for personalized marketing and let them know you’re speaking to them. Show your audience that this invite (or other event-video concept) was made just for them with a personalized video. Call them by name. We’re all programmed to respond to our name since a young age … and our names generally produce a positive feeling, so this is a win-win all around.

Guide them Right to the Action with a Video CTA

You were trying to boost event registrations here, right? So far we’ve helped more people get to your page to watch the video and captured more of your audience’s attention by addressing them personally. So how do you get them to actually sign up? You offer a CTA within your video! You’ve reeled them in so nicely, it’s only polite that you help guide them to the next step. So use a pop-out CTA part-way through your video or end with one to grab them before they wander off. And remember: think carefully about what the next step is! It might not be to register immediately. Instead, it might be to learn more or maybe even to hear from speakers who will be at the event (see the next tip!).

Offer a True Taste of the Event

No, don’t send them a sausage sample in the mail of the hot dogs that’ll be on the grill. ‘Cuz that’s strange. But dig deeper than a bland overview of your events. Consider interviewing some of your keynote speakers or breakout session leads to give a sneak preview into what they’re going to be discussing.

Okay, you got me, this is a bit of a cheater tip as it involves a secondary video – but it’s so worth it! Additional videos supply more content to your viewers and taking this approach brings a “realness” to your event, it humanizes it, and provides a pretty detailed picture of what the attendees can expect. And lastly, it’s much more engaging than reading a bunch of text descriptions of the sessions! Hubspot took this approach when they announced Martha Stewart as their keynote speaker for Inbound 2014. Check it out:

Make the Video (not just your page!) Easy to Share

Unless you’ve got a real spiffy incentive, people just don’t want to share your registration page. Sorry to burst the bubble here. But what people do like to share is good content with a story. And the more people that share your video (which is hosted on your event registration page and will likely have an amazingly compelling CTA at the end, wink-wink, nudge-nudge!), the more likely you’ll see increased event registrations. So if you branch out from the typical event video with absurdly happy people in a crowded banquet hall with drinks in hand and speakers walking confidently across the stage, and actually tell a story of what’s to come and how it’s going to radically impact your attendees year or even career, then you’re onto something that’s worth sharing.

The next step is making it easy to share. Utilize the sharing options within your video player, ask viewers to share as the final CTA, or include another on-page CTA to share the video. The possibilities are endless!

Video Share Social

That should give you a good leg up as you head into the most exciting and also most insanely packed time of year. You’re well on your way to a spike in event registrations! Have you gotten crafty with video in the past to boost your event registrations? Share with us in the comments!

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Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe MacMaster

Kimbe is the previous Manager of Content Marketing at Vidyard. She loves all aspects of content marketing and has a special place in her heart for using video to drive real business results. She is also moderately (okay extremely) obsessed with her fluffy chow chow, Noah.

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