Ever get to a movie at the scheduled time, and it just begins?
Of course not. Usually, you are treated to instructions about not smoking, talking, and texting. Then there might be a public service announcement or two. Finally, you are invited to hit the concession stand, which you’ll probably have plenty of time for because of what comes next: The trailers.
A trailer is an extended advertisement for a movie, usually shown in theaters. At a big movie opening, you’ll probably see ten of them. They last up to two and a half minutes, and tell you almost everything you need to decide whether to see an upcoming film, or at least a series of explosions and car chases. Sometimes they give the whole story away, and sometimes they inspire audiences to wonder by showing almost nothing.
Trailers often take on a life of their own as well. Avid fans consider them part of the moviegoing experience. Trailers are often art in themselves, and a critical part of entertainment marketing.
Why don’t we apply this technique in business as well?
If you have a long-form online event coming up, maybe a webinar, an on-demand webcast or a live demonstration, you’ll make sure to advertise it in many ways. You’ll send email, post to websites, invite attendees through social campaigns, and your summary material will be mostly text-based.
But if the event itself is visual, shouldn’t the summary be? Here are 5 tips to producing your own trailer for your online video events:
Script - Create a text script that summarizes the primary points you will make in the webcast. The script does not have to be strictly followed when reading it on camera, but is more like a guide for keeping the short presentation focused. This will also help you develop the 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ that you can use for other event advertising materials as well.
Example: “Watch our upcoming webcast to learn how to fold laundry, mop your kitchen floor and write a best-selling novel all at the same time. Reserve your seat today at wonderwidget.com.”
Quotes – Take quotes from the script that help to illustrate your main points. It should cover the topic, but also provide a little bit of the flavor and personality that viewers will experience during the event.
Example: “Our guest presenter says, ‘Wonderwidget’s stealth technology is a big deal – it keeps it from being stolen. Who wants to wake up to that?”
Secrets – Don’t give it all away. A good movie trailer makes the audience want more, just like a great book keeps you turning the page to see what happens next. Leave the viewers with just enough information to decide to attend your event, but not so much that they feel like they don’t need to.
Example: “If you really want to grow a thick, lustrous head of hair in 6 weeks, just give us a half-hour and we’ll show you how.” (I’d click that)
Graphics – Include graphics that show the concepts the video will cover. If you include research, show a slide or two of your charts and graphs that will appear during the event. Imagery that helps to set the mood or support the main points in your script go a long way toward showing viewers why they should sign up for more.
Length – Make sure the video is short – anywhere from 30 seconds (preferable) to a minute and a half, maximum. Most web videos that are longer do not get watched at all, until viewers are in the later stages of a dedicated information-gathering effort. Your short video is meant to appeal to people who may be ready for the full presentation, but still need some persuasion.
Just like a good novel keeps readers turning pages to find out what happens next, a great trailer leaves the audience with the impression that the movie will change their lives. Your B2B video summary should work to get people interested in seeing your presentation in its entirety, in all of its silver-screen glory.
But I recommend leaving out the explosions and car chases.
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