Last month, we explored the power of adding video to your current communication strategies and how MHEDA, WRLA and other associations are using video to increase member engagement and retention and to raise non-dues revenue. Here we look at ways to improve the way in which you promote and measure the effectiveness of your videos.
You’ve worked hard to create amazing videos for your members. But, how do you guarantee that members can see and engage with them? Promotion. Promotion. Promotion. Here are several ideas you can use to promote your videos to members:
How to Promote Videos to Members
- Through email. There are many ways you can approach promoting videos with email. Each time you post a video you may create an email to send to members that includes a brief description of what the video is about, who is speaking in the video, and why you shouldn’t miss it. Alongside the video description, include a screenshot and call-to-action button that links both directly to that video. This will help generate more traffic to both the video and your association’s video channel.
Or, if you post several videos at one time and do not want to send them through multiple emails, you can create a three-in-one or four-in-one video email. This is basically the same as the email example mentioned above, but includes a few different videos. Check out this example of a recent email from the College Student Educators International promoting a few videos from its TV channel:
Another way you can promote videos with email is to create a yearly video recap. Compile a list of the most popular videos from the past year and promote them in a single email, post or tweet to members. This will continue to increase the number of eyes on your video channel. Plus, anyone who may have missed a specific video email may catch it in this yearly recap.
Don’t forget that you can follow-up with a reminder email. A reminder email lets your members know that these videos are available if they might have missed them earlier. Depending on how often your association posts videos, you can decide whether or not you feel it is best to send a reminder email to your members. Just remember, you don’t want to lose the effectiveness of this tool by sending too many emails within a short timeframe.
- With social media. Each time you publish a video, share it to all of your association’s social media accounts. Coordinate your posts alongside any emails you send out about the video(s). Here’s an example post to help you get started:
The newest episode of [Channel Name] is now LIVE on our website! Watch now and update yourself about [featured topic] and [secondary topic]. This video also features [person’s name] of [company or organization] talking about [topic]. [Link to video here]. (Be sure to include relevant hashtags when posting to Twitter).
By sharing your videos as they are posted, you are encouraging members to like and share your video posts on their accounts. More shares of your posts = more eyes on your videos.
- In the print and digital versions of your publications. If your association has a magazine or membership directory, you have a great opportunity to promote your video channel in both the print and digital versions. You can do so with a snippet within the Table of Contents or an advertisement within the publication. Check out this example of an advertisement in the Georgia Society of Association Executives quarterly magazine to promote their TV channel:
- In your eNewsletter. Does your association have a monthly eNewlsetter? If so, you have another location to promote your video channel. Within your eNewsletter, preferably above the fold or in a right or left sidebar, you can include a screenshot and a brief description of the video just as you would when creating an email. Here’s an example of how the Western Retail Lumber Association is promoting videos within their eNewsletter, The Toolbox:
As you can see in this example, they promote their most recent video first thing in their eNewsletter. They have a snippet of the video, a link to their TV channel home page, and a call-to-action for advertisers to promote their products or services on the WRLA TV channel.
- On the home page of your website. This is extremely important if you want to generate as much traffic as possible to your videos. Your website’s home page is usually the most visited page on your website and offers prime real estate to promote your TV channel. It also makes it easier for your members to find your TV channel.
WRLA promotes its TV channel on the home page of its website with a TV icon placed next to its social media icons. WRLA also has an image about its TV channel in the image slider at the top of its home page. And, if you scroll down further on the home page of its website, there’s an image for WRLA TV and a call-to-action for you to watch the latest episode.
- At events. If your association hosts an annual event or holds a monthly meeting for members, you can use these gatherings as another opportunity to promote your TV channel. Produce and bring postcards or flyers describing your video channel and its benefits to your members. Be sure to include a link to your video channel home page. You can also set up a television at your event or meeting with a teaser of videos from your TV channel.
Understand What’s Working and What Isn’t
Now that you have been on track promoting your videos as they are posted, it’s time to analyze what’s working and what isn’t. From our 2014 Benchmarking Report, more than one in three associations (36 percent) felt they could improve member engagement by collecting and using data more effectively.
You can capture a lot of information about your member’s behavior on your TV channel, but don’t try to analyze everything or you will only get lost in a sea of data. Instead, focus on what’s important to you – total visits, time on the page or site, most watched video, and email opens. Aaron Weisberg, video sales manager at Naylor Association Solutions, states, “To fully engage with your audience, you cannot rely on people to stumble upon your content. You need to actively pursue the groups who are going to get most out of the video experience and connect with them. If you open the appropriate channels of communication with the appropriate audience you will observe an increase in all of the important video metrics.”
After each video you have is posted, check back two weeks later to review stats on what you’ve done to promote your video(s) – through email, social media, etc. If you’ve noticed that an email helped increase views to a particular video, keeping using email to promote new videos. Make notes of what’s working for your association and implement the same promotion process for future videos.
In the end, ask your members for feedback about the videos you provide. Last month, Association Adviser held a webinar discussing the power of video and how you can use it to solve a variety of challenges your association may be facing. In this webinar, an important point was how to learn what’s working and what isn’t directly from your members. After you’ve had your video channel up and have promoted it well; ask your members how they feel about it. Send out a satisfaction survey to find out what members like the most and what they’d like to see next from you association’s TV channel.
Michael J. Barry, Director of Strategic Communications at American Society for Quality (ASQ), did so after their first year of their ASQ TV program. In the end, ASQ learned that it has significant unmet demand for long-form instructional content.
The tips above are a few ways you can better communicate through video with your members. But, don’t forget that video is just a piece of your communication strategy and integrated sales offering. It’s important to communicate with your members on all channels and not focus too much of your attention on any single one – share the love among all of your communication channels. As mentioned in our webinar last month about video, “Associations shouldn’t have video in a separate silo. Instead, video should be a part of your overall communications plan and, if appropriate, your overall communications and events plan.”
If your association is just beginning to think about adding a video program, consider how it will fit into your communication strategies. Allow your video strategy to evolve over a period of time, just as you would when adding a new communication channel. Taking on video isn’t going to be easy, as you need to have a strategy set in place first and both the time and resources to keep it on track. But with defined goals and objectives, you will be able to demonstrate value and commitment to your members in a new way.
How is your association currently promoting videos? What’s working for you and what isn’t? Share your thoughts in the comments below.