According to Naylor’s annual association communication benchmarking study, more than two-thirds of associations (68 percent) report that they have integrated video into their communication strategies or soon plan to do so.
Have you integrated video into your organization’s communication efforts?
So what will it take to get the video fence-sitters on board? It’s just a matter of time, according to Aaron Weisberg, video sales manager of Naylor Association Solutions. “Video is the most mobile form of content that members and suppliers demand. Associations shouldn’t only be scouting their competitors’ digital offerings to see if they include video; they should be listening to the rumblings of their membership.”
Association Adviser: So, is it as difficult to implement video as many associations believe?
Aaron Weisberg: Associations should simply take the technology piece out of the picture and concentrate on what they want to do with video. Technology and production providers are out there to assist associations with the “scary stuff” so that the association can use the medium to its fullest potential.
AA: Why is now the time for associations to jump on the video wave?
AW: Video has become the dominant form of Internet traffic. The behavior that consumers developed in binge television episode watching and viral clip sharing has now moved into people’s work lives and has transformed how they now do business. Businesses are using video to spread their content marketing messages and those businesses are looking for valuable forums to spread their message. There is no better forum than the associations to which they belong or identify. Once that last 32 percent of associations [from your benchmarking data above] notices that their membership is looking for such a forum, then their decision will be easy to develop a video platform.
AA: From a technology standpoint, what is the biggest hurdle you face when you talk to associations about bringing in a video-streaming platform?
AW: A video platform can be either really easy to implement or entirely too difficult and expensive. It shouldn’t be either. An association can walk around an exhibit floor with their smartphone, upload some clips to YouTube and embed those clips onto their website in about two minutes. That same association could also use the next two or three years to build up its own digital infrastructure to include live-streaming, continuing education programs or on-demand streaming. That disparity is what confuses a lot of associations and muddies the water when it comes to what the ideal video solution they need.
AA: Which type of content seems best suited for association video?
AW: Content that encourages viewers to drill down for more information. People are in associations for a specific reason and they’ve already qualified themselves as a selective audience that will understand your message. Leave the cats playing pianos to YouTube. You’re not going to get 25 million views on a video clip. But, you can definitely produce industry-specific video in categories that matter to your association and get a relevant and focused viral video. Use the stars of your association who have something to say about critical areas in your business and you’ll get the most traction.
AA: How can streaming video help associations attract and retain members, especially younger members of the profession?
AW: If an association develops a video program just to have video, it won’t increase traffic, drive revenue or increase membership. But, if engaging video content is produced, then it can be a very valuable recruiting tool. If your video programming uses the association’s most valuable resource—its members—talking about what they’re most passionate about, then young, prospective members can identify with the person in the video and see themselves taking a similar role in that association and eventually joining.
AA: How can associations new to video ensure their members that they won’t be subjected to intrusive ads when they try to watch a video on the association’s website?
AW: This goes back to the technology question. Intrusive ads are a major concern for all video streamers, but if the association controls its own platform, then it controls its ad serving. If you rely on someone else’s platform (i.e. YouTube), then you’re subject to any ads that the host platform seems fit to be served.
AA: More and more research seems to be indicating that ads on video platforms perform better than static banner ads on websites.
AW: Video ads are just more prominent for a longer time. At the same time, the longer the viewer is watching the video, the more that person is qualifying himself or herself as someone who identifies with the content. Now, you have a person who is involved with the content with a prominent video ad. The important part is to have an ad that holds some significance to the content. The viewer is now engaged with both the video and the advertisement and a clear call to action—be it a banner or wallpaper—will follow the ad.
AA: How about streaming and monetizing your live events for a virtual audience?
AW: Unless you have a must-buy session from a conference that is built for a video audience as well, the best thing an association can do with its content is to open its content to a general audience or at least its own membership. Offering the live stream and the corresponding on-demand videos to a large audience will attract sponsorship opportunities.
AA: Any final thoughts for our readers and viewers?
AW: Your videos should show members at all levels of the organization, not just top leadership. The leadership’s message should be seen in the activities and interactions between and among your membership.