Guest post: How to Use a Flip and YouTube to Reach More People

This is a guest post by Adam Franklin, Marketing Manager of Bluewire Media, the web strategy company he started with school mate Toby Jenkins. They co-created the Web Strategy Planning Template and wrote Web Strategy Secrets e-book (both free downloads). You can follow @Franklin_Adam on Twitter.

You may have seen more and more people attending events with a Flip video camera. They are inexpensive, fit in your pocket and are super simple to use. If you really want to, you can do some basic editing using free (and easy) tools like iMovie.

This is great news for event organisers. Now it is cheap, easy and fast to share your event and reach the millions of people around the world who watch YouTube videos every day!

Before we begin, just a quick word on etiquette: if you do record an interview or film a speaker at an event, always get permission from them to use the footage. The best way to do this is to ask them at the end of your interview if it’s OK to post the video to YouTube and use on your website. And always give credit where credit is due; usually that means acknowledging the person and providing a back link to their website.

Here are five ways to use a Flip (or other video camera) and You Tube to reach more people.

1. Pre-event teaser videos

Marketing an event can be tough work but you can make your life a lot easier if you get the keynote speakers to help you out. What works well is when you ask speakers to submit a 45 second video teaser of what they will be talking about at the event. Ask the speakers; “What will the audience discover during your presentation?”

Ideally this can be uploaded to your website and emailed, tweeted and Facebooked around. Plus you’ve got the bonus of the speakers sharing it with their followers. That’s a lot more attention than you would get by just sharing it with your own database. Here’s an example of one I did for the SME Technology Summit.

2. Film the speakers

Most speakers will be happy for you to film their presentation and post it to YouTube or create a 5-minute highlight reel. Of course, ALWAYS check that this is OK. Since speaking is some people’s full time profession, they may prefer you don’t share their content.

However, in my experience even professional speakers encourage you to share their presentations! You just have to look at the success of the TED Talks: All presentations by the world’s best speakers are available for free online. Here’s an example of Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos’ TED talk.

3. Interview the speakers afterwards

Most speakers at events and conferences genuinely want to educate as many people as they can by sharing their knowledge on a specific subject. You’ll find that nearly all speakers will be happy to do a 1–2 minute interview with you during a morning tea or lunch break if you ask them nicely. After all there are always some people who really want to attend an event but can’t.

Begin this interview with the question: “For the people who couldn’t be here, what are the 2 most important things you shared with the audience today?”

Here’s an example of one with Jack Daly.

4. Interview attendees

At popular events, it’s inevitable that some people have questions to ask, but there’s not enough time. This is a golden opportunity for the event organiser to ask these attendees what they would’ve liked to find out, but they didn’t get a chance to ask.

These questions can form the basis of a brilliant a follow-up blog post. It’s also useful feedback for the speaker. Kick off by asking “What question were you hoping to ask today, but didn’t get a chance to?”

5. Get video testimonials

After every event, you can easily ask a few happy attendees if they’d like to give a short video testimonial. Of course you can re-purpose that video into a written testimonial too. Ask: “What did you learn at today’s event?”

Let them mention their company name and offer them a back link to their website and you’ll have plenty of compelling footage to attract attendees next time you run an event. Here’s an example of a testimonial reel from the Growth Summit in Las Vegas.

Just remember, once the testimonial is done, keep the video recording and ask if they give you permission to use that video on YouTube and for marketing purposes. This is way easier than worrying about signing release papers!

So go on, get yourself a camera and start making great videos. Good luck.