By Brent Manning, Riverbend Malt House

Virtual malt house tours are a great way to engage potential customers in the age of COVID-19. Riverbend hosted a virtual tour using Facebook Live a few months ago. Both Facebook Live and Instagram Live are excellent platforms for content generation. Each allows for “in-person” engagement during the initial filming as well as long-term hosting of the video for accessing later. These videos can also be downloaded for future use on YouTube or embedded in your existing site similar to how you see below.

Below are a few tips I’ve compiled to help others execute a successful tour.

Before shooting your live video:

  • Clean all workspaces that will be shown during the tour.
  • Alert and engage staff regarding the best time of the day, day of the week, etc. to host the event.
  • Choose a time when background noise from machinery will be very limited.
  • If using Facebook, schedule your live video as an event on your Facebook Page.
  • Submit your event details to the Craft Maltsters Guild, so your tour is included on our events calendar.
  • Create unique posts on your Facebook page to alerts your followers about the virtual event.

Video Content:

  • Introduce yourself and your business.
  • Share a 2-minute history of the business.
  • Next, give a 2-minute overview of what grains you work with and where they are grown.
  • Then, give a quick review of the role malt plays in the beer and spirits production.
  • In the next 10-15 minutes, discuss the malting process: steeping, germination, and kilning.
  • Leave time to answer questions.
  • Keep it short, less than 30 minutes, but ~20 minutes is ideal.

Post Virtual Tour:

  • Post and share your video to your Facebook feed.
  • Follow up on any questions that land in the comments section. 
  • Consider downloading your video to post to a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo.
  • You can also share your video link with customers via email or embed it on your website as part of a blog/news post.

Visit the Craft Malt Week hub to find social media resources and submit your event. Need tutorials on using live video? Check out the help centers for Instagram and Facebook Live.