The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) is the premier trade association dedicated to serving the material handling business community. Over 600 distributor and manufacturer companies worldwide utilize MHEDA’s resources to help their business stay competitive and employees stay connected.
Over the last 60 years MHEDA has successfully bridged the gap between dealers and manufacturers by serving as a resource to all industry stakeholders. MHEDA knows that its continued success is dependent on keeping the lines of communication open with its members so it strives to keep members interacting and engaged with the association and with each other.
By 2011 video was already proving to be a great tool for audience engagement and it was then that MHEDA decided to integrate video into their communications strategy. As a small-staff association, MHEDA knew that it needed to outsource to a company with the expertise to skillfully produce videos that would be professional, creative and compelling. What they soon learned was that when it came to developing a video strategy, quality is a consideration but there are other equally important concerns.
The four key areas of consideration are:
1) Video Platform – How would the videos be uploaded, stored, published, distributed and measured?
2) Content Strategy – Who would plan and manage the development of video content that would help achieve the association’s business goals?
3) Monetization – Professionally produced videos are expensive so how would they offset the cost?
4) Best Practice Integration – How would results be measured? Who would be in charge of analyzing the results in order to optimize their strategy for the best return on investment (ROI)?
MHEDA knew it had to be involved with video but with so many options, didn’t know where to start. That’s when they turned to Naylor.
MHEDA’s group publisher (a Naylor expert who is well-versed in the supply-chain industry) and Naylor’s video partner, WorkerBee.TV, worked closely with MHEDA to identify the desired objectives that MHEDA hoped to achieve through video, and then came up with a road map and business model that would get them there.
The initial goals that they identified were communication and monetization, and so the decision was made to develop MHEDA-TV – a communications platform that would increase engagement through relevant video content, offset costs and, eventually, enhance non-dues revenue for the association.
Video as a Communication Platform
As MHEDA began integrating video into its existing member communications, such as newsletters, blog posts, and on its website, it started to build awareness of its new video capabilities and found that video was actually strengthening all of its other communications.
Positive member feedback, reinforced by strong viewership metrics proved that members were receptive to MHEDA-TV as a communication platform. Greater numbers of visitors were coming to the MHEDA site due to improved search engine results and visitors were spending more time on the website than ever before.
These videos soon demonstrated a positive return on investment which drove demand for expanded offerings at an increased frequency. After four videos were produced over a 12-month period they transitioned into a monthly communications program.
The initial success of MHEDA-TV led to discussions withNaylor about other association challenges that video could address. An education portal stood out as the next opportunity for MHEDA to enhance the member experience and value through video.
Video as an Education Platform
The creation of the video platform (MHEDA-U) to supplement MHEDA University gave MHEDA members access to 24/7/365 online educational and training videos as well as pre-recorded sessions from its live events. This allowed the association to extend the reach of its annual convention and regional conferences and, in turn, earn additional non-dues revenue from both members and non-members. By developing a thoughtful, strategic approach to its next phase of video integration, MHEDA also ensured that the education portal would serve as a conversion point for encouraging non-members to join and developed a pricing strategy that created an additional source of dues and non-dues revenue for the association.
This new educational platform was well-received by members. In fact, feedback about the video training was so positive that it became the catalyst for a new educational video series, The Forklift Thought Leader Series.
Video as a Member Service and Recruitment Tool
As demonstrated above, Naylor’s Association TV leverages the power of video to meet association objectives. Another objective that MHEDA had was to help members attract young graduates to the vast career opportunities in the supply chain. A newly produced video combined with the continuing advocacy efforts of MHEDA has already impacted member companies and helped to fill the many vacant opportunities in this growing market segment.
Another association objective is to continually recruit new members. One of the values of The Forklift Thought Leader Series was that it worked with the individual dealers to help educate their customers and prospects on how to make smart buying decisions. This drove unique member value that could not be found outside of the association which in turn drove membership. Overall, this educational series drove 5-figure revenue back to the association and recruited 17 dealers that joined the association to take advantage of this program.
MHEDA continues to outsource technology and to operate as a lean and efficient staff. By leveraging Naylor to help monetize its digital, print and video capabilities, MHEDA has continued to grow and improve without negatively impacting its staffing or operational budgets. Video provided incredible benefits for MHEDA; it increased engagement, expanded audience reach, generated non-dues revenue, created new member value and drove membership.