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June 8, 2022

How to run a video review collection “event” that actually works // Local Marketing Insider #035

How to generate lots of new customer video testimonial content with an event. Our event with Hula generated 39 in 2 hours.

39 videos in 2 hours.

Ok, a little background.

The Widewail team lives and works in Burlington, VT.

Our office is located in Hula, a shared working space for companies of various sizes and individuals working remotely.

A couple of months back, the Hula team invited us to host the monthly “Meet at Hula” networking event for all of its tenants and coworkers.

As the host of that event, the Widewail team wanted to show off Invite Video. We also wanted to see if we could collect a lot of video content in a short period of time at an in-person gathering.

Delightfully, it worked. The result? 39 videos in 2 hours, 26 of which were good quality and useful for Hula’s marketing. 

Here’s how we did it: using QR codes printed on flyers around the bar, we were able to direct people at the event into a video capture flow, followed by a short form collecting their names and contact info, and then a legal release. The final screen is a thank you page, which made each participant eligible for a free drink.

Watch the results:

In breaking down why the event was so productive at capturing video, I think there are a handful of insights the LMI audience could use as a guide to planning a video-collecting event. Here’s what we learned.

Determine if your product or service could make sense for a video event

Before thinking too much about the specific features of the event, I think it's worth strongly considering if your product and customer are a good fit for a video review event, or if SMS invitations to leave a video review would work better.

Would your customers want to show up to your event in person? 

The types of businesses that could align well with a video review event include businesses that are already hosting events, have a community element (like Hula) and whose customers have invested time and money and are therefore committed to your product or service. If your customers interact with your business briefly and infrequently, this type of event won’t work as well - in which case sending SMS invites directly would work better.

Make video part of a larger or existing event

Adding a video component to an event that your business already hosts would likely work well. You could also consider creating an event for something broader than video such as a conference, awards ceremony, networking event, or customer appreciation event, and then work in the video component as a secondary item.

You offer an expensive product/service

If your product requires a lot of research and money, buyers will naturally be more invested in your business and therefore more likely to be willing to record a video.

Your customers spend a lot of time at your business 

Businesses with a community element and/or consistently returning customer base are good candidates for a video event. These types of businesses are woven into the fabric of the customer’s routines. For example, employees at a shared office space, gym members, season ticket holders to a sports team, or residents of an apartment community.

Ask specific questions of customers to encourage video reviews

Provide attendees of the event with a few prompts to get started and foster creativity. The questions you ask should align with the content you’re trying to capture from your customers that will support your broader marketing objectives.

At the Hula event, all of the content we collected is designed to be used by the Hula marketing team, so we posed three questions: 

  • What’s your favorite place to work in Hula?
  • What do you love about Hula?
  • What is your favorite perk of being a Hula member?

From a technology perspective, we used Invite Video to build 3 different video campaigns, each prompting one of the questions. Then we generated 3 QR codes, each one going to a landing page where you can record videos related to that question. The user submitted the video along with a form providing their name and email or phone number, and then signed the standard legal release we include in every Invite Video flow, giving the Hula team rights for marketing use. Finally, reviewers could show the “Thank You” screen to the bartender for a free drink, an element that further motivated reviewers to share their feedback.

Offer an incentive

During the event at Hula, we offered a free drink to anybody that left a video review. In the context of a networking event that made a lot of sense, and it was definitely a huge motivator for a wider group of people to take part. 

What is your incentive?

Each event will need its own unique incentive. Coming up with this will require consideration for where your customers find value. Anecdotally, integrating the incentive with the event helped to create a richer overall experience.

A legal note

Offering an incentive for a video review is completely legal. But, if you decide to provide an incentive, you must disclose this when publishing the review content that the review was incentivized. It does not need to be very showy, simply adding “*this review was incentivized” to the bottom of a social post, for example, would be enough to stay in compliance with the FTC. 

As a side note, I’d be tempted to include what the incentive actually was when publishing, especially if the incentive is small. In our case, a drink is not a huge incentive. By disclosing the specific value provided, in the case of a smaller incentive, it could reinforce that the review is genuine.

Don’t use a shared device

I would avoid relying on a shared device that needs to be engaged with from a single location. If possible, facilitating your event attendees to record on their own devices will add an additional layer of comfort. Additionally, it will also enable the ability to record many videos at once as opposed to waiting in line for the camera, photo-booth style. 

Provide breakout space so people can record privately

Most people, myself included, would feel uncomfortable recording themselves around other people. Many are happy to say something, but the thought of others watching as they record is too much pressure. Provide a satellite space close to the core event space that gives event participants a chance to record in privacy, like a breakout room or private booth. 

Have staff advocates and tour guides

You’ll benefit from having staff on hand to encourage videos and answer questions people may have about the process. I’ve also found many people are not super comfortable with QR codes, so having help close by can be important for basic technical support.

Key Points

When done right a video event can create a whole library of new content in a single day, vs. spread out over a longer period of time. We tested it out with our office building, capturing 39 videos in a 2-hour networking event.

To recap, if you’d like to put on your own event, here’s what you should consider.

  1. Determine a logical reason why your customers would show up to the event. Most likely, if your business already hosts an event, adding video to that experience will be the best option.
  2. Ask customers specific questions so they have a prompt when recording.
  3. Offer an incentive to get more event attendees involved.
  4. Let event attendees record on their own devices.
  5. Provide private breakout spaces for recording.
  6. Use your team at the event to provide encouragement and basic technical support.

If you’re looking to add customer video to your marketing, developing an event like this is one of the best ways to jumpstart your library.

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Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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