An over-the-top (OTT) platform is the best, most effective way to build a resilient fitness business. It scales easily, has custom tools for engagement and monetization, and helps you hold onto members for life- if you do it right. Here’s how to make OTT work for you.
Why are OTT fitness platforms so popular?
Convenience is the biggest selling point for an online fitness platform. It fits into any schedule. Users can log in from anywhere with internet. There’s no travel involved, either, so they can be ready for a workout in minutes. Just those two factors eliminate the most common excuses for skipping a session.
Safety has become another major consideration. Only 45% of people who used to regularly use gyms have gone back since the pandemic.
The perception is that a crowded gym isn’t safe yet. Experts are conflicted on when that idea will fade; for now, OTT fitness platforms let users stay healthy without taking risks..
There’s also the issue of value. OTT fitness platforms are more affordable than a gym workout, but still give users access to expertise, structure, and variety.
The fundamentals of a successful OTT fitness platform
The good news is that many of the skills you need to build an online fitness platform are the same ones you’re using now to run your brick and mortar business. Just follow these core concepts to stay on the right track.
Design content with your members in mind.
The audience you have online is not going to be the same audience that comes into your studio. You need to identify what it is that makes them different in order to present your content in the most accessible way.
It may be helpful to ask questions like:
- Who is your OTT audience?
- How often do they work out?
- What equipment do they need for your workouts? How can they get those items?
- Can workouts be adjusted if the user is travelling?
- How tech-savvy are your members? Do you need to create a tutorial for your platform, or will having it be intuitive and directed be enough?
Once you know who you’re creating for, look through content you’ve already created and see what translates well to an OTT fitness platform.
You should have a comfortable catalogue of pre-made content that members can explore right away, with a clear path through content based on their fitness goals. Quizzes are a fantastic way to suggest content and gather feedback from your members at the same time. Consider leveraging them when possible.
Most importantly, set a minimum content schedule and don’t deviate from it without a very good reason. It’s fine to post extra content, but try not to disappoint your audience by skipping a post. Work ahead when you can to avoid disruptions, or have guest session leaders on standby if you can’t make a live session.
Make the most of monetization.
Along with control, money is one of the top two reasons fitness entrepreneurs launch an OTT platform. Posting to YouTube is only a good income stream for the top 3% or so.
96% of creators don’t make enough from YouTube’s partner program to cross the poverty line. Even that top 3% has to worry about unexpected demonetization due to policy changes or algorithm errors.
Owning your OTT fitness platform gives you many more options for monetization.
- Subscription fees: Over half of the global revenue from OTT fitness platforms comes from subscription fees. Users are comfortable with streaming subscriptions now, and willing to pay for good content.
- Premium content: Having a tiered platform is another popular structure, with both free content and premium content that comes with an upcharge. This is a good approach to a new or uncertain audience, since it lets them try your platform before spending.
- Early access to new content: A variation on the free-premium content model is to have all new content drop early for higher-tier members. This encourages new users to subscribe. Once your content wins them over, they won’t want to wait for more.
- Exclusive extra training sessions: The overhead of a full studio can price private training out of most people’s reach. OTT sessions cost you less to run, which you can pass on to your members. They spend less while you make more.
- Branded merchandise: If there’s one thing the fitness community loves, it’s sharing what worked for them. Branded merchandise is bragging rights for them and free advertising for you.
- Ad sharing and sponsorships: You have access to all the same kinds of ad sharing and sponsorship opportunities on your own platform as you would on YouTube. The difference is control- you decide how much to use and who to partner with.
Use platform tools to keep members engaged.
An OTT fitness platform may be more convenient than in-studio classes, but you still need to build a habit of opening and using your platform to retain members.
Tools like email updates, push notifications, and calendar integrations alert members about upcoming classes and events. You can also allow users to schedule themselves to go through catalogue content, with notifications to help them stay on track.
I have a studio. Is an OTT fitness platform still useful to me?
Even studios that focus on brick-and-mortar classes can benefit from OTT. Consider it extra income without much extra investment. You can use staff training sessions to create new content, and you already have a set and the physical equipment needed. Diverse income streams can stabilize your studio through market fluctuations, making you a more resilient business.
Think about member loyalty, too. OTT offers your current members extra content which makes them feel like they’re getting more value for their membership fee.
Plus, an online platform lets you hang onto members who might otherwise leave. Whether they’re unsure about the pandemic, moving away from your studios, or just nervous about working out in the studio, having the online option gives them a step between “coming in weekly” and “leaving forever”.
Finally, many studio owners find that an OTT fitness platform can be a useful funnel to their in-studio classes. Curious newcomers use your app, get excited, then look for a studio nearby. If there’s not one close to them, they might generate enough buzz to justify another location (or possibly a franchise!).
OTT has a bright future
The things we’ve talked about here aren’t secret. The major players in the fitness industry see the value of OTT, and most have already taken advantage of it. Others are following as technology puts it in their reach.
In 2019 the fitness streaming market was estimated at around $6 billion. Those in the know expect it to hit nearly $60 billion by 2027. For a flexible, disruption-resistant technology like streaming platforms, that’s as sure a bet as you’re going to find.
Are you ready to claim your share of the OTT market? FanHero has created platforms for fitness leaders at all levels. Contact us to find out how easy it is to get started!
Streaming Services are Growing to Meet Global Need During the Pandemic
As companies struggled to find new ways to do business during the pandemic, streaming services really stepped up to the plate. They’re being used to a novel degree- and they may be changing the way we do business forever.
Where streaming stood in 2019
The streaming market looked bright at the end of 2019, with a value of $24.9 billion. Industry experts expected a steady growth of 4.5% over the next five or so years to reach $32.3 billion by 2025.
There was good reason for the modest but confident predictions. About 55% of households had at least one streaming service, with more being developed by major players like Disney and Discovery Channel. User-owned content on YouTube and other streaming platforms was growing as well.
Enterprise adoption was rising at a slightly slower pace. It showed promise, but many companies still considered it a second best option compared to physical meetings and events. The conversation was, “Is streaming worth the effort?” instead of, “How do we stream effectively?”
Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and predictability went out the window.
Throwing a wrench in “business as usual”
The pandemic was already starting to affect business when 2019 came to a close, and 2020 only made things worse. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, governments imposed major restrictions on local movement, the use of public spaces, and international travel.
Under the weight of those restrictions, businesses that relied on in-person activity or movement were hit hard. That included:
- Major events like conventions, sporting events, and concerts
- Hospitality and recreation, especially restaurants, hotels, and fitness centers
- Business-to-Business (B2B) interactions such as seminars and sales visits
- Enterprise activity that requires personal interaction, like operations meetings and recruiting fairs
Even when events were allowed to take place, there were limits. Suddenly everyone was struggling with occupancy restrictions and sanitation protocols. At the same time, employee outages were at an unsettling high.
The result was slower production, slower shipping times, and higher operational costs.
This had a devastating impact on global markets. Most major economies are estimated to have lost at least 2.4 percent of the value of their gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. In the United States, which lost 2.3% compared to a 4% increase in 2019, that translated to a loss of over $500 billion.
Stock markets reflected the damage. In its worst performance since 2008, the FTSE dropped 14.3% in 2020. As early as March 16th the Dow Jones Index was reporting a single-day fall of nearly 3,000 points- the all-time largest single day drop on record.
Streaming services to the rescue
Kept indoors and with unexpected time on their hands, people globally began spending more time on streaming video services. When the United States imposed their first widespread restrictions in March, Nielsen reported a 34% surge in streaming video on demand (SVOD) usage over just 2 weeks.
Streaming has become part of daily life instead of a coping mechanism. 75% of internet users are still watching more streaming content now than they were before the pandemic.
They aren’t just spending more time with SVOD. They’re also experimenting with variety. Platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and creator-owned apps are seeing a significant rise in both new users and time spent on platform.
Content, not cost, has become the most important factor in choosing which subscriptions to prioritize. Only 46% of users say they choose a platform based on price. Instead, they follow content that speaks to them and are willing to pay a little more for consistent quality.
How streaming services have transformed enterprise operations
The biggest change in streaming services during the pandemic has been a steep rise in enterprise usage. Companies who were considering widening their investment in streaming now rely on it to keep their business running smoothly.
Streaming services keep companies in touch with their employees. More than 89% of the workforce operates from home at least part time during the pandemic. That makes live streamed company and team building events critical interactive engagement tools.
These events pays off in productivity and employee loyalty. Employees who consistently have positive interactions with company executives are three times more engaged at work.
Businesses are also using streaming to continue their company training programs. This way they can stay compliant with federal and industry guidelines without putting their workforce at risk of exposure.
Customers respond to streaming media, too, with e-commerce live streams experiencing a boom. E-commerce streaming covers events like:
- Live demos
- Tutorials and training courses
- Product releases
- Interactive Q&A sessions
- Live stream shopping
Live stream shopping has been a surprise hit during 2020. It’s bringing a dynamic experience to users who are shopping from home more often. The category generated $136 billion in China last year. Industry experts are watching for that success to fuel the growth of live stream shopping elsewhere over the next few years.
On a larger scale, virtual events are picking up the slack from major events which were cancelled due to the pandemic. There have been successful conferences, workshops, fandom conventions, and seminars throughout 2020. Some of the in-person aspects are limited, but the lower overhead costs and wider accessibility give these events an impressive potential for profit.
Some industries caught up faster than others. The Detroit Auto Show- a huge annual event for the automotive industry- was cancelled with no virtual counterpart. San Diego Comic Con, which can be considered the entertainment equivalent to the Auto Show, went ahead with a live streamed event that included a virtual dealers floor and interactive fandom panels.
Continuing a major event during the pandemic both protects a brand’s reputation as an industry leader and keeps the audience engaged. Streaming is a way to do that safely and economically.
Streaming’s impact on the music industry
Music has a complicated history with streaming services, but the pandemic has improved that relationship. Streaming was valued at $26 billion in 2019 and is projected to hit $46.9 billion by 2027. That comes at a time when downloads are dropping in popularity by more than 20%.
Live streamed concerts are growing in popularity and profitability. Bandsintown tracked over 60,000 in 2020 alone. There was a huge boom in March, a steady upward climb through the summer, and a slight dip in Fall before the current rise of 5% monthly.
More than 80% of fans are interested in watching a live streamed concert now. More importantly, they’re willing to pay for the show. In June paid live streams were less than 2% of available shows; by November they accounted for nearly half.
Having premium streams as a viable revenue source is helping many artists stay afloat with their usual concert schedule reduced or cancelled entirely. This is especially true for rising artists, who account for nearly 20% of live streamed shows.
What makes enterprise streaming so appealing?
Pandemic or not, streaming offers advantages even over live events at times. The most obvious is budget related. Streaming an event lowers costs for both the hosts in terms of overhead and attendees in their travel expenses and time expenditure.
It’s possible to read a wider audience with streaming than a live event. Physically, the event isn’t limited to those who can spare the time and money to travel or by site occupancy restrictions. Simultaneous translation opens the door for attendees from other language groups. The virtual framework can be made more ADA accessible, too, which is a common stumbling block for live events.
Streaming is also more convenient for the audience. It’s less disruptive to their daily life, and if they can’t watch live hosts have the option to make the video available online afterwards.
Most importantly, streaming services can still offer a high quality experience on par with live events. Because operational costs are lower, more of the budget can be directed towards higher tier guests, materials, and special effects.
It’s also possible to share things that can’t easily be shared in a conference center, such as:
- Fixed-site prototypes
- Demonstrations of large or space-sensitive services
- Guests who can’t make time to travel
In short, streaming offers a comparable experience at a lower cost with more flexibility. That speaks to companies who are trying to do less with more to meet their business goals in a tough year.
What does the future of streaming services look like?
As you may have guessed, the streaming market is wildly outperforming expectations from 2019. It was predicted to reach $32.3 billion by 2025, but as of 2020 is already valued at $50.11 billion. Experts are estimating a growth rate of 21% through 2028.
There have been some technological stumbles adjusting to the increased demand on infrastructure, but at this point those are evening out. The ability to rapidly increase capacity to meet demand is winning over those who were skeptical.
Now, streaming for enterprise is becoming as accepted as entertainment streaming. It’s no longer a fallback plan- it’s a viable first choice. Even after the pandemic fades into history books, streaming will remain a safe, reliable option for both work and play.
Whether you’re a creator looking to connect with fans or an executive planning your next corporate event, FanHero has the tools you need to get streaming. Claim your free consultation with a streaming expert now!
How Broadcast Media Can Help Your Growing Business Play In The Big Leagues
Broadcast media might seem out of reach for growing businesses, but it’s both more affordable and more impactful than you might think. In fact, it just might be the tool you need to get your business from the minor leagues to the majors.
What is broadcast media, exactly?
Broadcast media is any visual or audio content transmitted at a distance to a distributed audience. A lot of people interpret this to mean either television or radio. In fact, the modern definition includes a range of newer mediums, such as:
- Live streamed interviews
- Open virtual events
- Digital journalism
In short, anytime you’re broadcasting audio or visual content to the public, that’s broadcast media
Why is broadcast media valuable to younger companies?
As broadcast media has expanded to cover online content, the costs have fallen within the reach of small to medium companies. It’s now possible for any business to incorporate broadcast media into their marketing strategy.
That’s a game changer, considering the medium’s potential. Let’s run down a few of the most powerful advantages.
Reach: Modern broadcast media reaches people where they are- online. The average person watches more than 10 hours of online broadcast media every week, and that’s not just streaming TV platforms. It also includes content like online tutorials, influencer videos, and product demos.
They’re engaged in broadcast media, too. Videos especially generate more interest than image or text ads, are shared more often, and help viewers retain more information about the brand and product than if they simply read it.
As a side benefit, content can spread organically among a self-defining target audience as people share them with friends who might be interested.
Brand confidence: People want to feel comfortable and confident in the brands they use. They don’t want to get scammed or wind up with an inferior product, and this can make them wary of trying a service or product from a smaller company.
Encountering a brand multiple ways can ease those fears, increasing the perception that your company is a mature, legitimate brand and a safe bet. Video content provides extra peace of mind. Potential customers can see a product in use or examine the results of a service themselves.
This isn’t a small section of the market pushing for broadcast media. 54% of consumers would like more video content from brands, especially tutorials and new product demonstrations.
Return on investment: With relatively low costs and more demand for content, broadcast media is a solid investment. Companies net an average of 66% more qualified leads from video marketing than from online text or image ads.
Lead generation is just one benefit. Add in wider brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and more customer loyalty, and you begin to see why 88% of companies who used broadcast media in 2020 were happy with their ROI.
That’s up from 33% in 2015, reflecting major growth in consumer interest. Customers are getting used to broadcast content from all their favorite brands, and that’s not going away.
What kinds of broadcast media can I offer?
With low costs and high potential ROI, it seems like an obvious choice to make room in the marketing budget for broadcast media. What makes some companies hesitate is uncertainty over what content they should broadcast. There’s a fear that creating content will get in the way of their business.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The kinds of content customers want to see can be produced alongside your regular operations, or even become a part of your product development process. Here’s what’s popular:
- Product demos: This is “start of the funnel” content which attracts new customers. People like to see something in action before they buy, especially in a live stream or minimally edited video. Genuine content builds that all-important confidence to convert.
- Tutorials and product training: After demos, tutorials are some of the most useful content for keeping customers engaged. It helps them get past any sticky points instead of giving up and abandoning a product out of frustration.
Companies who offer educational content are seen as industry thought leaders- the people who know how things work and are happy to share that knowledge.
Don’t overthink this one; a fifteen minute “tips and tricks” video can be as effective as a longer tutorial.
- Interactive Q&A sessions: These help you as much as your customers. They provide a forum for users to offer feedback and get answers they couldn’t find on your website.
Live video is seen as less rehearsed and more genuine, too, so an unscripted session can improve your relationship with customers.
- Sneak peeks: Generate excitement ahead of time to have strong early sales of new products. Hollywood has been doing this for decades with trailers- why not learn from their example?
- Highlight community and charity efforts: While this doesn’t directly result in sales, it does build your company’s reputation and draw attention to worthy causes. People tend to share these even when they don’t share more enterprise-focused videos, which pulls in a wider audience.
Of course, these are just ideas to get you started. You know your company best, so there may be other kinds of content that would resonate with your target audience. The main takeaways here are that making content won’t disrupt your business, and that broadcast media is both more affordable and more valuable than you may realize.
In other words, don’t settle for a double play when you have a star player on the bench. Knock it out of the park with broadcast media!
Making content can fit into your operations, but the technical side of broadcast media can be intimidating. Don’t let it steal time from your core business. FanHero can set you up with the tools you need to reach your potential!
Moving Up From YouTube to FanHero
You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to take control of your content by shifting focus from YouTube to FanHero. Now… how do you actually make the move without losing your audience? Here’s our 6 step plan to a painless transition.
1. Review and adjust your business plan
A video on demand (VOD) platform operates differently than YouTube. You basically control everything. The content you offer, the partners you work with, the level of interaction you get with your fans- all of these are up to you.
The flip side of getting more control is that you have to actually make those decisions. You don’t want anything to slip your mind, so go over your business plan top to bottom. See if there’s anything you need to tighten up, or if there’s maybe an opportunity for more revenue somewhere.
While you’re doing that, update your content strategy as well. Ask yourself questions like:
- What content will be free? What will be premium?
- What kinds of new features will you offer?
- Where do you plan to be making most of your money?
The answers will help FanHero fine-tune your app features, too.
Plan how all your branded social media accounts will connect with your FanHero platform. TikTok and Instagram are great funnels for new users, as is (surprise!) YouTube.
Which brings us to….
2. Don’t delete your YouTube channel!
You might have outgrown the platform, but you worked hard to build an audience. Don’t throw them away!
YouTube can still grow your audience by attracting new fans through shares and recommendations. Plus, it lets you hang onto fans who aren’t ready to make the leap to your platform yet. Both of those groups may convert to app users later as they see the premium content you offer there.
Look at your content strategy again. Decide what types of videos will be posted on YouTube and which will be FanHero exclusives. Don’t drain your entire YouTube to make content; that could disrupt your marketing funnel.
Instead, shift the more exciting new features to FanHero. Make that the “cool kids club”, and consider posting your YouTube content there as well to let users find all your videos in one place.
3. Work with FanHero to create your app
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to get started! Here’s a few tips for working with the FanHero team:
- Be clear with your requirements. This is your platform. Be sure to explain what you need from it, what would be nice but can be added later, and what you absolutely don’t want.
- Listen to suggestions and feedback. FanHero is invested in your success, so be open to the team’s feedback. They may have ideas that can help elevate your vision.
- Speak up early if you have a problem. Everything is both cheaper and easier to fix in early stages. If something is going very wrong, raise your concerns right away.
4. Build hype as your app progresses
Take your audience on the journey with you from the start. Use them to shape development, even. Giving fans updates and running polls on features, content, and style will make them feel invested.
Building hype like this has a secondary benefit: it generates data to guide your ongoing content strategy. You can read comments or poll results, or just compare statistics on videos for different features to see what resonates with fans.
You’ll be creating content to populate your channel through this time. Tease it on your YouTube every so often to excite your fans.
There’s actually another side benefit: VOD development updates are basically free content for your channel. You can promote the more profitable FanHero app while still maintaining your current audience.
5. Hold a killer Launch Party
Remember to save something big for Launch Day to give fans a reason to make the leap.
- A special live stream countdown on your YouTube channel will remind fans it’s happening. One idea is to make the switch yourself an hour after your app goes live. The time constraint adds a little urgency (no one wants to miss the first stream) that can push hesitant fans to download.
- Special guests are a classic. Maybe invite several throughout your launch stream. Trading other creators for guest appearances on their FanHero platforms or YouTube channels is a great way to get interesting guests free.
- Prizes and giveaways will always be fan favorites. Any swag you give away should have your app branding on it when possible. Throw a few stickers or a hat in the package if the swag can’t be branded.
- Fan-requested content – that is, anything people have been asking for over time- is sure to drive up downloads. Make sure everyone knows they can finally see it in your FanHero app.
Have your platform content in place and ready to go before Launch Day. Make sure there’s plenty for your new VOD members to explore, and that it’s obvious when more will drop. If people have to hunt for information, they’re less likely to stay active.
It may be a challenge to balance with your live stream, but stay in contact with FanHero throughout Launch Day. They can respond quickly to technical issues before they affect your audience.
6. Settle into your new content production and management cycle
Once you’ve had a successful launch, keep the momentum going. Stick closely to your release schedules for new content. Otherwise subscribers might feel like it’s a dead space, or that it doesn’t live up to your hype.
Do spontaneous in-app live streams every week or so to keep users engaged. The more often fans see that push notification and open their apps, the better. You want checking your app to become a habit.
Remember to keep posting to your YouTube. Not just promos for your app, either. Give your audience value to keep them there; just tease what else is available in the app.
A final piece of advice: bring up your FanHero platform organically. Casual references will keep the promos in your own authentic voice instead of the dreaded “reading from a teleprompter” voice. The personal touch reminds fans what they like about you, and that can nudge them towards a download.
You’re not in this alone, If you want more advice on how to move your audience to a profitable FanHero VOD platform- or just have questions about what we offer- drop us an email!
White Label Event App Vs Container App: Which Do You Really Need?
Choosing between a white label event app and a container app is one of the first major logistical decisions when setting up an event app. Don’t let it become a sticking point. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, so use your event’s priorities to nguide the decision. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a white label event app?
White label event apps are custom designed at a company’s request. They are entirely customizable; anything the developer can put in an app can be integrated into a white label event app. That’s a bonus when it comes to monetization, since there are more ways for event sponsors to be seen within the app.
Branding is another advantage of white label event apps. Everything from the app icon to interior design and colors is on brand. There are no competing visuals to pull attendees’ attention from the event. Customers simply search for the event by name, download the app, and are within the event when they register.
Customization and brand visibility do come with a higher price tag than container apps. The other drawback is that Apple requires every company to have their own Apple Developer Program (ADP) account to publish in the Apple Store. That means a six week wait if your company doesn’t already have one.
How is a container app different?
Container apps are housed within an event hosting app. Imagine a single umbrella app that hosts multiple events under it. Instead of going directly to your event in the app store, users download the host app, then search a list of events to find yours.
Costs are lower with a container app because some of the structure is already in place. Plus, you can expect faster development (in part because the app is being published under the host’s ADP account).
Because a container app opens within the host app, there is a tradeoff when it comes to branding. Generally the interior event will have your branding while the app icon and external areas (like login screen and event search functions) show the host’s brand. There are still plenty of customization options, though what’s available depends on the host.
That loss of control is the main drawback of container apps. They’re less expensive and faster to build, but at the cost of less branding and monetization opportunities. Sometimes it’s also a concern that a container app’s performance and availability is dependent on the host.
Making the call
A lot of factors play into this decision, but it essentially boils down to two questions:
- What’s your budget like?
- How important are brand presence and customization?
If a white label app is in the budget, it does provide a high quality experience. The brand is front and center, you have plenty of options for sponsor advertising or special features, and you have more control over the app in general.
Intense brand awareness and detailed control aren’t always priorities, though. Sometimes your audience is already very familiar with your brand and your event needs are simple. If that’s your situation, container apps are a fast, budget-friendly option that still delivers good customer experience.
Still not sure what you need? FanHero offers both white label event apps and container apps. Our focus is always on your business goals instead of steering you towards a specific product. Tell us where you want the event to take you, and we’ll help you get there!Virtual Conferences and Events: A Guide to Success
It may have been unfortunate world events that led leaders to explore new ways to do business at a distance, but that innovation is paying off. The biggest gains are being realized by those who pivoted towards virtual conferencing and events. In fact, 94% of users report an increase in productivity when using video conferences.
However, to realize that productivity gain, the event has to go smoothly. Read this overview to learn how to make your next virtual conference a resounding success.
Win support for a virtual event
Internal support is absolutely necessary for live events to succeed. Well before the event, do some internal education about the benefits of virtual conferences over in-person events. Some talking points could include:
- Lower cost, since going virtual cuts out travel and site expenses
- Wider reach limited only by internet availability
- Eco-friendly reduction in carbon emissions and paper waste
- New revenue streams for paid events, such as advertising revenue
- Lasting engagement through video replays
Having the team on board is the first step towards a solid event.
Lay out a clear goal. Consider:
- What’s the main purpose of this event?
- What should it achieve?
- How will success be measured?
Next, decide how to pay for the event. Sponsorships and partnerships are popular options for paid events, as are entry fees (a “pay per view” mode). When that doesn’t work, advertising can create a long-lasting revenue stream. Use this plan to put together a budget for the virtual event.
Research the target audience. Ask questions like:
- Who is this for?
- What do they want?
- What don’t they want?
- What’s the best platform to reach that audience?
The audience should be considered at all stages of content planning. After all, it’s as simple for viewers to leave a virtual event as it is for them to join.
Timing is a major factor. The event should be long enough to get everything without forcing attendees to sit at a computer all day. Build in “breaks” as often as you normally would for “in person” events. Also, look for other events in the same space (considering both audience and time) that might pose a conflict.
Build audience excitement in advance
A virtual event shouldn’t be a surprise. “Flash events” can be profitable when there’s an attentive audience already, but they’re too risky for most hosts.
Cross-platform marketing is key. Find your audience where they are through social media, pop-up ads, and email or text lists.
It’s a good idea to offer incentives to attend a virtual conference live. Recorded views are good, but live engagement is better. Give the audience a reason to want to tune in, like:
- Live interaction with keynote figures
- Prize drawings
- Exclusive content that won’t be available later
- Sneak peeks and new announcements
Remember not to bury the lead! When advertising put the biggest draw front and center on primary graphics. Use secondary graphics to help support speakers in promoting the event toin their own audiences.
Play to the strengths of a virtual event
Virtual events aren’t just a fallback plan. They have distinct technological advantages over in-person events. Leverage that technology for greater impact.
- Use dynamic charts and graphics instead of static displays.
- Gamify the event! An interactive challenge tracker gives the audience a way to track their own progress and compare it to others.
- Host live polls and a live chat to keep the audience engaged.
Building on that last point, encourage audience participation and engagement wherever possible. Getting involved creates a feeling of immediacy, helps hold a viewer’s interest, and improves knowledge retention when that’s a goal.
Like any event, virtual conferences should have “handouts” in the form of downloadable resources. These can be video resources or PDFs. It’s also a great place to repackage existing content for the new audience.
Plan to prevent technology issues
Technology is much more reliable than it used to be, but it’s not perfect. Signal issues can be a problem, and unlike in-person events there’s no option to work around faulty technology. Take steps to prevent basic tech issues.
- Host all keynote talent and content on reliable internet networks when possible.
- Update all connected computers and software in advance.
- Use redundant recording in case of unexpected issues.
Do a tech rehearsal early enough to fix any identified problems. Check microphones, internet connections, headphones, visualization software, recording, playback, chat features, downloads, and anything else that might become relevant. Have backup hardware on the day just in case.
Create and distribute a plan for emergencies so everyone knows what to do. Who will take over if a keynote participant drops out unexpectedly? What will they do?
Strongly consider using a boutique streaming provider instead of a public platform. Having a rapid response team on hand goes a long way towards overcoming unpleasant technology surprises.
Learn from every virtual event
A planner’s job doesn’t end when the event does. Use every event to make the next a greater success.
- Track participation.
- How many people logged in?
- Who participated actively as opposed to simply watching?
- How long did people stay?
- When did the most social media shares happen? Before, during, or after the event?
- Send out post-event surveys. Ask attendees if they would attend a similar event again and why.
Incorporate all this feedback into the next planning cycle for the next event. Experience is the best teacher, so make a habit of pushing insights forward where they’ll do the most good.
Looking for a little more guidance for your next virtual event or conference? We’ve got you covered! Reach out to one of FanHero’s virtual event experts today!Using Video Content to Power Employee Wellness Programs
Having employees work from home can be both convenient and productive.
It does, however, make employee wellness programs hard to run.
These programs are a major draw for employees; sometimes they’re even a deciding factor when attracting new hires. Employers don’t need to sacrifice this perk just because teams are telecommuting.
They can run an effective employee wellness program online using video. In fact, this might even be a great time to start one.
Here’s how to make a video-based program work.
Lay out goals for your employee wellness program
Every company has different fitness and wellness needs. A shipping company might want to promote core and back strength to prevent back injuries.
A tech firm could be more interested in encouraging desk-bound workers to get up and moving. Before setting out an employee wellness program, set out clear priorities to guide content creation.
Be sure to solicit input from the team about what their fitness goals are, too.
Create a content strategy
The term “employee wellness program” covers a lot of territory, from tips in a weekly newsletter to gym memberships and company-wide fitness challenges.
The type of video content available for a virtual wellness program is equally varied, including:
- Nutrition pointers and recipes
- Health advisories
- Mental and emotional wellness tips
- Fitness advice
- Workout videos
A good wellness program has a variety of content.
If a video is released every Tuesday, set a schedule where the first Tuesday of the month focuses on mental preparedness techniques, the second highlights fitness tips, and so on.
Produce video wellness content
Some fitness content might be worth outsourcing, but informational videos are simple to create.
Much of it can be done with a high-quality smartphone and some inexpensive accessories (a tripod and a lapel microphone, for example).
A few tips for high-quality video:
- Be sure the background isn’t too distracting- a bookcase or office wall with a few art pieces works well.
- Speak clearly at a natural pace. Become familiar with the script ahead of time to avoid having to look down at notes, or have lines displayed behind the camera on a tablet or card.
- Shoot a few takes and edit together the best.
- Stay away from straight PowerPoint presentations. Create dynamic graphics and use music to keep viewers engaged.
If the company has a dedicated content platform, wellness videos and posts can be securely uploaded there instead of working through public tools like YouTube or Vimeo.
If not, remember to use the platform’s settings to keep company content within the company.
Be consistent and responsive
Once the program is running, employees expect to see content posted on schedule.
Have at least a full month of content ready before launching a virtual employee wellness program. That puts a buffer in place if something happens to delay new content. (Don’t forget to catch up once the setback has been cleared!)
Keep an eye out for employee feedback, especially in the earlier stages of the program.
Companies with their own content platform will have access to a wealth of performance indicators, including how much of a video employees watch and how often they come back to a post.
Others can send surveys out through company emails. However, feedback is gained, use it to shape the wellness program.
Highlight content employees watch heavily and phase out anything that isn’t being used. With mindful curation and a little creativity, a virtual employee wellness program can be as valuable as a physical program.
Get started today to help employees stay on the road to wellness.
The best way to enrich company culture while keeping business talk in-house is through a custom content platform. We can show you how to unite your employee wellness program and other team-building content on a single proprietary platform. Schedule your free consultation today!