With more people now accessing the web with mobile devices than desktops, it’s no wonder that video is becoming such an important medium.

Video is already responsible for 60% of mobile web data traffic, showing it is the preferred way to browse when using a small screen – and that figure is predicted to increase to 78% by 2021. For other compelling stats about the engagement levels offered by video content check out this video by G&B Agency.

Marketers have seized upon this trend for video, with the amount of video content from people and brands in Facebook’s news feed more than tripling. Facebook now clocks up 8 billion daily video views.

It makes sense then, if you’re promoting a consumer event, such as a festival (especially one with a younger audience), that video should play a central part in your marketing.

Using video on social media, you can reach potential attendees at the beginning of the buying cycle and engage them with content that makes them eager to learn more. Here are six steps to great video promotion.

1. Keep it short

The prospect of video marketing might seem daunting, but you don’t have to produce a feature film. According to AdWeek, promotional videos designed for mobile viewing should be no longer than 30 seconds.

For millennials they should be even shorter – a study by IAB found brands running 10-second mobile video ads had greater appeal and persuasion potential with younger audiences. However, a slightly longer, 30-second spot did better with those between the ages of 35 and 54.

Despite this, it’s worth bearing in mind research by Microsoft that found that the average digitised brain only pays attention for eight seconds. Be sure you grab attention immediately and keep the action going at a good pace.

Below is a good example of a 30-second video promoting the line-up at V Festival, using an eye-grabbing mix of live action and graphics.

2. Know your audience

Regardless of the length of your video, for it to be effective, the study by IAB said it must be well targeted, relevant and enjoyable. Thinking beyond a pure, highlights-style ad for your event, what could you offer your audience that they would find valuable?

Ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show, the RHS released the below video about ‘greening your grey front garden’. This practical video demonstrating a front garden transformation, with useful tips and advice, is bound to inspire would-be gardeners to visit the show.

By focusing on a topic your potential attendees care about (and will be searching for) you can reach a far wider audience. ‘How to’ searches on YouTube have increased by 70% year-on-year, with Google reporting that 91% of smartphone users turn to their smartphone for ideas while doing a given task.

3. Make it understandable even if viewed silently

Since Facebook launched its autoplay feature, marketers have been enjoying massively increased exposure for their videos. However, to succeed in achieving what qualifies as a ‘view’, videos need to pass the platform’s ‘the three-second audition’.

Those first seconds of your video, before the viewer decides whether to click to view it in full, will be viewed silently. It’s therefore necessary that the visuals speak for themselves.

But beyond capturing their attention, it’s still advisable not to rely on sound as many people will have a preference to watch in silence – if they’re viewing on a mobile, they may well be in a public place without headphones.

The below video for The National Wedding Show details all of the attractions of the event without the need for audio. If your video does have a voice over, make sure you also have subtitles so nothing gets lost.

4. Upload the video natively to every channel

It’s important to realise that sharing a video to Facebook does not offer the same benefits as uploading directly to the site. Facebook’s algorithm favours native video (video uploaded directly to Facebook), which means people are far more likely to see native videos in their news feeds.

A YouTube or Vimeo link shared to Facebook won’t enjoy autoplay and is far less likely to achieve engagement. What’s more, uploading straight to Facebook means you enjoy robust analytics that can help you refine your strategy and learn about your audience.

Analysis of native videos on Twitter also shows more overall engagement than shared third-party videos: 2.5X replies, 2.8X retweets and 1.9X favourites. So while it might seem a pain to upload your videos separately on each platform, it’s key to achieving maximum reach and engagement.

5. Push viewers to more in-depth content

Your video is the first step on the user journey to purchasing a ticket. The purpose is to drive initial interest in your event and prompt further engagement, so don’t leave a dead-end at your conclusion. Aim to push viewers through to the next step of content, whether that’s simply to your website, a longer video or in-depth blog post on a specific topic.

If you’re interested in collecting email signups (which of course you should be), consider linking to a competition or free download. Whatever action you desire for people to take, make sure you end with a strong call to action.

This video for New Scientist Live, which aims to drive people to their website to buy tickets, creates interest by posing lots of questions that people can get answered by attending the show. It finishes with a bold graphic telling people not to miss out, but to book now!

6. Use Facebook to build an audience

Coming in at just pennies per view, paying to promote your videos on Facebook can be a very cost-effective way to grow your audience. Facebook makes it easy to target users with the most potential for conversion by allowing you to build custom audiences based on your viewers.

For example, you can re-target users who viewed at least 50% or 75% of your video. You can also build ‘look-alike’ audiences based on the interests and behaviours of these engaged viewers.

This is great news for events that are new or don’t have a large existing following, letting you quickly build an audience of users genuinely likely to be interested in your offering.


Take your event promotion to where your attendees are – on smartphones. Capitalise on small screen space and get viewers attentions with short, lively, image-led videos. Refined ad targeting options mean your event can enjoy engagement levels akin to national television campaigns but for a fraction of the cost, so get out your clapper board and start thinking like Spielberg!

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