How to Make Effective Promotional Videos for Virtual Events

E.ON Animated Connected City

In 2020, the nature of in-person events dramatically changed. From internal events to trade shows, event organisers and conference attendees have had to adjust rapidly to a new way of approaching an event in a new digital environment. 

Part of this transformation means that events that were once held at a fixed location are now a fully digital experience. Although different from what many were used to, this new virtual environment has now opened up endless possibilities, as professionals can now attend an event from anywhere in the world. 

Events are the ideal way to gather like-minded people together to discover more about a subject that will benefit them or their business. However, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself, especially in an online space, as it is unquestionably less personal and you have to rely on virtual interactions rather than face-to-face. 

No matter if you are hosting the event or attending the event, preparing a selection of high-quality digital assets that can support you before, during and after the event is key. 

This includes animated video, as it is an integral part of promoting virtual events. Animation works well for event promotion because it offers an engaging, branded way to retain audience attention, convey and summarise information and prompt discussion. Plus, they can be highly tailored to your own messaging, which means the sky’s the limit in terms of how creative you want to be with your video.

To help you get started, we’ve gone into more detail below about how to make a promotional video for an event. We’ve also listed some best practice tips to make sure that you get the most out of your investment. 

Best-practice tips 

Incorporate your brand identity 

By using animated videos to promote yourself, you are giving your brand a voice. Knowing this, you will want to make sure that you maintain brand consistency across all platforms and therefore may need to develop an on-screen brand identity to continue your look and feel into a digital space. As this is an introduction to who you are, this stage is important. 

Your corporate brand identity and your event branding may in some cases not be the same. This is particularly true for internal events where a new, fresh look and feel may be needed to disrupt the status quo or reward employees with something distinct and different. 

However, using your corporate brand as an endorsement for the event is a possibility and can add more weight to the event. Whatever you decide, ensuring the videos you commission embody your or the event brand is key as it will help you distinguish yourself from every other online experience (if you are hosting an event) or tailor your message to the purpose of the event (if you are attending).

If you are interested in learning more about branded content, you can read about the power of branded content using video in one of our recent blog articles.  

Keep them short 

As a brand, you have a story to tell. But when it comes to video, you will want to keep it short and to the point, so that you maintain engagement with your audience, especially during an online event where their attention can be easily lost.

Imagine a video like a good story, it needs a hook to capture the audience’s attention, a narrative that is clear to follow and moments that evoke an emotional reaction in the viewer.  A well-structured, well-written, well-produced animated video can pack in a lot of digestible information and be a pleasure to watch. This makes them an asset to have in your arsenal when you are hosting or attending an event 

Content and form are important to a successful animated video, but so is restricting the duration. The rule of thumb is to keep animations under two minutes each, as this tends to be the length that gets the best engagement rates. 

Consider optimal video formats for different platforms

Next, it’s important to think about the different ways you will be using the video. Whether it’s for use at the event itself, as a social media post or to promote directly on a website, there are different formats that tend to work better for different platforms. 

For example, videos that will be used for Facebook promotion need to have dimensions of  1280 x 720 pixels and a minimum width of 600 pixels (length depends on aspect ratio) for landscape and portrait. 

For Linkedin, you will need to keep your animated video to an aspect ratio of 1:2.4 to 2.4:1 and a max file size of 5GB for organic posts, whereas you have many more options for paid campaigns, but a file size limit of 200 MB. 

Knowing where the animated videos will play before, during and after the event can help streamline the production process so that assets are designed for all sizes and formats from the outset. This will save you, your marketing and your social media teams money in the long run.

PMG Career Pulse Portal - Animated Learning & Development Video

Tailor the messaging to the audience

Like anything in the world of digital marketing, putting yourself in the shoes of your target audience, and tailoring the messaging around what will grab their interest, is what will allow you to make the most of your investment. 

For example, if you are hosting a virtual event, then you will want to tailor your messaging around the aims and goals of the event itself and how it will benefit attendees. 

If you are attending the event as a vendor, then you are better to focus on why someone should chat with you and what value your product/service offers that would solve an attendee’s problems. 

To make sure you get this step right, we highly recommend involving an animation studio (like us !!) with knowledge in event branding, as they are often set up in-house with professional scriptwriters.

Plus, it’s important to note that when it comes to event branding, experts in physical event branding won’t always be the experts in digital/virtual event branding. Therefore, if you choose to work with an external agency to help you prepare for an online event, motion branding and video experience are key capabilities to look for.

Where & how to use your promo videos 

Now that we have covered some of the best practise tips to follow when creating animated video content for an event, we will now look at the different ways you can use video to support a virtual event.

During the event 

First and foremost, you will be using your video during the online event itself. You still need to think about where you will be using video i.e. as presentation graphics behind a panel or as inserts in a webinar-style conference but more importantly, you will need to think about how you will be using them, which will help you decide on how many you need overall.

For example, you may need a series of videos that cover different topics, including an explainer video that acts as the perfect introduction to your brand, a video that supports a complex topic during a presentation, or a video that you send to a lead who requests more detailed information about a product or a service. 

Plus, by planning the different types of content you need for the event, you can then work backwards to how you can use the videos for marketing purposes. Having the core event template in place for your videos means you can easily reuse assets, making it easier and more cost-effective. Below, we’ve covered a few of the different ways you can incorporate your videos into your marketing for the event. 

Email marketing

Email marketing is a great marketing tool, especially for brands who are hosting an event, as they can be used as timely reminders and highlight how attendees can prepare for the day. 

An excellent way to incorporate your animated videos into your emails is by adding short snippets of the full version, which are easy and quick to make when you already have the full asset. If you choose to do this, just make sure that the video is able to be converted into a GIF with a text overlay, as not all email providers support video formats.

Social media 

Similar to your email campaigns, you can repurpose shorter versions of videos you have prepared for the online event on your social media channels. 

If you choose to advertise on social media, make sure you include LinkedIn as a key platform, as video campaigns tend to have around 50% view rates, which is high compared to other platforms. 

Plus, social media videos get shared 1200% more than text and images combined, so you are greatly increasing your likelihood of your network sharing your video, which essentially gives you ‘free’ advertising.

Landing page design 

If you are hosting an event, designing a landing page where people can easily register their attendance will be one of the most important elements of your online presence. 

Your design should be simple and should always include at least an introduction about the event, details of the schedule, date and times, and a form that allows you to sign up in a few simple steps. But by adding a video on this landing page, you can boost your conversion rate by up to 80%, so you will want to also factor this into your design.

Ready to get started?

As we discovered, planning to have one or a series of animated videos ready for a virtual event will not only help you stand out on the day, but also will give you a series of useful assets to help you achieve the best possible ROI. 

For more information on how to get started on your animated video for your next virtual event, contact us today.