The experts don’t have to tell you that there’s something magical about video – your gut told you a long time ago. It’s a medium possessive of a hypnotic, sometimes all-consuming power that resonates with us humans in ways text and still images simply cannot. So if your association is without a video strategy, Jess Abelsohn is here to show you where to start.

I don’t know about you, but when a video pops up in my inbox or on my Facebook news feed, it’s quite rare that I don’t click on it.

There’s just something about that little play button that seems to get me. Every. Single. Time.

So what is it about those videos that’s drawing me in? Is it the fact that I can watch and listen rather than read? Is it the beautiful cinematography (sometimes)? Or is it the fact that I trust the source that’s sending them out and I know it will be something useful?

Hopefully, it’s all three.

Using video to connect

How many times have you purchased a product and said ‘oh, I’ll YouTube how to work it’, even though you have that little instruction manual sitting right next to you?

How many times have you watched videos to research a product before purchasing? According to a recent report by video editing website Animoto, 73 per cent of you should have put up your hands.

Associations are no different.

When possible members are researching your area of expertise, statistics show that more people will watch a video to find out about what you do, rather than read about it. In fact, 58 per cent of respondents in the report found companies that produce video content to be more trustworthy.

Here’s more proof

Don’t believe us that you need to be making videos? Here are some more statistics:

  • According to the Educational Marketing Group, 50 per cent of smartphone users watch video on their mobile devices.
  • According to Forbes, 59 per cent of senior executives said they prefer watching video to reading text.
  • According to Cisco, you are four times more likely to look at video on a website than text and images.
  • According to Nielsen, Americans aged 18 to 64 have more than doubled their digital video viewing from 13 minutes a day in 2012 to approximately 27 minutes today.

Also, it’s been proven that information obtained visually and audibly is more memorable. Plus, video is more shareable. According to Simply Measured, video is shared 1200 per cent more times than links and text. Invodo says that 92 per cent of mobile video viewers will share.

Want to build your membership base? It’s time you implemented a video strategy into your communications mix.

If you’re going to do video, be sure to do it well

Associations are about members. Associations are about human connection. Associations are about collaboration. Use this! Use your members in your video communication strategy. You’ll be amazed at the stories your members have and you’ll be even more amazed at how many are waiting for you to ask them to share those stories.

Take GoPro, for example. It isn’t an association, but there’s a lot we can learn from its marketing strategy – focused almost exclusively on the stories of their customers, like the gorgeous Jake and Theo:

And these guys who went to cuddle some sharks:

And these two magnificent creatures who thought it a grand idea to dance on the side of Oakland City Hall in California:

Even the videos that aren’t necessarily focused on its customers, and are just hauntingly beautiful to watch, still convey the message the organisation wants to send: use us, look what you can do with our product, look at the emotion you can convey, the excitement, the thrills. You can do all of this with our teeny tiny little camera! This video is one of our favourites:

The American Chemical Society is going great guns with their video strategy, mainly because they talk about things the general public want to hear. Their recent Hot Sauce Science video racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube within a month and had coverage on major news outlets too. Why? Because they’re not just talking to their members, they’re going wider and broader, appealing to a whole range of people (while subtly promoting themselves at the same time). Check it out:

Teach for America is doing a similar thing but they’re getting their members to do the talking. Their videos show you what they’re doing for the children of America, how they’re helping teachers to teach and how they’re making a major impact. The Real Corp Stories:

The city-specific stories:

And the ‘Meet the’ series:

All give a human element to the association. The association also produces videos introducing members to their staff:

Remember, an association isn’t bricks and mortar, it’s people, so show your members that you’re human too.

6 things to get your video strategy started

You’ve decided to delve into the video world and you’ve purchased the equipment. Now what? Create your video strategy.

First things first: get to know your members

There are probably hundreds of members on your database with a story to share. Use this. People love to watch people.

Create explainer videos

As an association, you’re seen as your industry’s go-to source of expert opinion so make sure you live up to this reputation. Create explainer videos to help members in their businesses and use these very members to do it. Are you a peak teaching body, for example? Pop up explainer videos that show how to make boring topics fun, how to create lessons plans or how to get through to that one child who just won’t listen. Remember, you’re the expert so share your knowledge!

Promote and broadcast your events

We don’t just mean on the day, we mean in the lead up, on the day of and after the event. Build up your event through the use of video. Do you have a convention coming up? Get the keynote speakers in front of your camera to build momentum for the event. Include footage of the event’s entertainment in action to build excitement. And then once it’s over, make sure you’ve spoken to members (on camera) about what they’ve taken away from the event – this will come in handy when you start to compile next year’s promo video!

Introduce yourself to your members

Your members need to know who you are; they need to know that your association has people behind it. Make sure they know your face. And if you’re doing something great, like fundraising for charity, share it with your members. Here’s a great example from the Craft and Hobby Association:

Promote your products and services

It’s ok to talk about your products and services. Use your video strategy to promote these BUT only if it’s in a really practical way. Again, rally your members to back you up. If you have a mentoring program, for example, find someone who has been through it and have him or her talk about the mentor experience.

Keep your members in the loop

Of course, you want to keep your members up to date with what is going on in your association so use video to explain, in a clear and insightful way, what you’re doing. Are you lobbying the government to change the laws affecting your industry? Are you changing your constitution? Make sure your members know about this, remembering all the while that members engage more with video than text.

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