If you and your association staff are not already thinking along the lines of this quote when you hear the statistics about video usage, you should be.
Associations, as epicenters of communities, hubs of information, and catalysts for action, are in a fantastic position to take full advantage of video as a way to interact with members and other stakeholders.
Video is here and it isn’t going anywhere:
- In the next three years, 74 percent of all Internet traffic will be video.
- 6 billion hours of video are watched each month.
- 65 percent of video viewers watch more than three-quarters of a typical video.
The thought of producing an ongoing video series can be overwhelming to an association that wants to start a video channel, or for a group that is already producing limited event- or topic-based videos. But as with any major project, starting or breathing fresh life into your association’s video program is a simple matter of planning one step at a time.
First, think about your strategy and define your goals and objectives. What would your association like to accomplish through video? Your goals might include:
- Covering more events for members who cannot attend or who want to reference event recaps later.
- Delivering educational material in a more user-friendly format.
- Introducing board members, staff, new members or industry leaders.
- Complement existing communication channels, such as a newsletter.
- Showing your members and prospective members, especially younger ones, that you’re relevant and contemporary.
Define Your Audience
Next, define your audience. You would never launch a magazine or an event without first thinking about who will engage with it the most. Launching a video program is no different. Who is your potential audience? How and where will they view your videos—on a smartphone or tablet in the field? On a desktop at their home or office? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you estimate the size of the effort you should put in, as well as guide what type of content you produce.
When it comes to content, don’t be afraid to utilize the knowledge of your members. They can be a great source for content that is based on their industry knowledge, their specific work responsibilities, their experience with a certain issue, or their working knowledge of a certain type of project.
Do you have strong thought leaders who can help you provide content? Let them—this is a great way to help members shine in their workplaces and among their industry peers. Make sure you set boundaries and guidelines for the content—for example, it must be educational, include client examples and cannot be salesy in nature. See Hank Berkowitz’s article in the April 2015 issue for more about finding the right balance between educational content and your business objectives.
Mine content from events
Events are also great places to gather content. Most of your most influential members are all gathered there, so take advantage of this fact:
- Schedule short interviews with members in between educational sessions.
- Film b-roll (generic footage) that you can later use as background images or intros/outros.
- Position a crew in hallways to conduct impromptu interviews about hot industry topics—or something quick and lighthearted.
- Film demonstrations of new products or services on the show floor.
- Interview your board members about why they dedicate time to your association.
In terms of the return on your video investment, content via thought leaders or events isn’t the only way to offset your costs. Branding opportunities with banners and pre-rolls are easy ways to involve suppliers and vendors year-round, and they offer your association the chance to profit with some non-dues revenue. Creating event-related videos that feature sponsors and exhibitors (who pay for the opportunity to be featured) offer a way to provide more value for those sponsors and extend the exposure of their sponsorship.
Benefits of Video Communications
Video’s time to shine as a communication tool is now. People no longer want to be sold to; they want help navigating their way through the purchase decision process, and video can provide that outlet. More than 70 percent of B-to-B marketing professionals say video is their go-to type of content with the best ROI. Companies are investing more time and resources into video marketing, and associations should consider how they can grab a share of the corporate money available through paid placements and video-related sponsorships. The benefits to associations from hosting paid video content are numerous:
- Fund better engagement with their members.
- Provide an outlet for suppliers to showcase their offerings.
- Earn non-dues revenue that can fund other association projects.
- Keep membership dues low.
Carpe diem, associations. Seize the video.
Want to know more about the power of video? Watch our recorded webinar about planning and executing a video program.