Giving your association’s stories their 15 minutes of fame has never been easier. Video has an immediacy and impact that consistently outpaces other mediums. I’m glad to see so many organizations producing compelling content.
Some professionals still think of video as a one-off initiative. In fact, it has the potential to be the star of your communication campaigns and the basis for multiple other varieties of messaging. Consider these statistics:
- Businesses using video marketing grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t. (Vidyard)
- 93% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. (Wyzowl)
- 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing. (Animoto)
Dan Stevens, President of Association.TV/WorkerBee.TV, is the expert I count on to keep me on-trend with the latest developments in video. He is an entrepreneur who was quick to pick up on the promotional goldmine video can be for associations.
Understand the New Environment
Back in 2019, when I interviewed Dan for our book “Association 4.0: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Risk, Courage, and Transformation,” video was still a communications outlier. It was considered too resource intensive to play a consistent role in most promotional strategies.
Dan was determined to make us see the light. He explained his early enthusiasm for the medium like this. “I realized that associations already had the content and the audience. My goal with WorkerBee.TV was to help them leverage and monetize assets they already owned and showcase their brands in a new context while creating a simple model that could become self-funding.”
At the time, those ideas sounded like a tall order. But fast forward four years later. The cost and effort needed to create a video are significantly reduced. Almost every association features clips on their website. But some organizations are still treating video like a tourist in their communications programs. It spends some time on the website and then disappears until the next opportunity for a visit.
Make Content Work Harder
When Dan thinks about video, he never sees a single piece of content. Where you might look on your production as one meal, Dan is thinking about creating a whole menu as well as all the money you’ll save by taking an innovative approach to dining. Here’s how he describes that vision.
“Why would you release a great story in just one format when it can be told on so many venues in different ways? Much of what associations do today is analog. The big-ticket events are in person. Many groups still print a magazine. In that scenario, all of the best content only hits approximately 15 percent of the audience.
“Video and other electronic content allow owners to format the information for different tasks and platforms. A 45-minute presentation can be repurposed as both a three-minute micro-learning session and a 30-second social media promotion. With just one piece of content, you’ve created a sales funnel from social channels back to the accredited learning program. Soliciting sponsorship could allow you to monetize the same product twice.”
Dan offers a unique example of this type of video recycling. To create engagement on multiple levels, he suggests a docuseries promoting career opportunities across your organization’s industry. This topic appeals to both insider and outsider audiences. It is an effective recruitment tool that also promotes public awareness. In addition, a powerful film clip can be the backbone for an entire multi-media and sponsorship campaign, making it even more affordable.
Dan emphasizes the importance of integrating video with the overall content strategy. He recommends building a promotional calendar that engages members at all points of their journeys, especially younger generations.
“A three-minute video can be more compelling than a one-hour webinar. So why not entertain and educate? That concept works well for Netflix,” Dan advises. “With a little restructuring, your digital content calendar can become a revenue generator that will also attract diverse audiences.”
Integrate Video With Strategy
Developing a holistic approach to video content is a comprehensive process. Start by reviewing your strategic plan. Focus on the areas related to member recruitment, engagement, education, and public awareness. Explore how video could help you advance each of your objectives.
Use data to target initiatives and identify audience personas. Consider the topics and platforms that are appropriate for the various demographics. There are as many formats in video as there are for print. You can produce influencer segments, learning snippets, testimonials, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, or live streaming.
Live streaming paired with influencer content can be an especially effective promotional vehicle for associations. Along with delivering a powerful personal endorsement, interviews in the exhibit hall or at networking events, bring a conference to life. Individuals, who either weren’t able or eager to attend, might be convinced that the conference is not to be missed next time around.
An overarching strategy should help to match content to style and create a range of unique presentations.
Cast a Wide Net
Video needs more than one home. Don’t impose limits on your content. Create both long and short-form clips that can be used on your website, social channels, video-sharing sites, and email campaigns. Remember Dan’s advice and multipurpose each production.
Keep Branding Consistent
A video, like any other piece of content, is an opportunity to showcase your brand. But just because it’s a video doesn’t mean that you can throw the style guide out the window. You want viewers to immediately recognize your voice. That calls for a consistent look and feel across platforms. However, you may need to tweak current rules or add some additional direction. These are areas for consideration.
- Fonts—Evaluate whether your current brand typefaces work well on screen. Contrast and clarity are key.
- Graphics—Maintain a style that is consistent with other content. When you wear Brooks Brothers on the website and social media, don’t break out the Hawaiian shirts for video. You’ll confuse the audience.
- Tone—The advice above also applies to tone and language. If “60 Minutes” is more your style than “Saturday Night Live,” stay in character.
- Color—Use your brand colors when there is an opportunity in intros, outros, and backgrounds.
- Diversity—Maintain the same diversity standards you apply to other initiatives and content.
When you integrate video into the organizational strategy, don’t forget to include your sponsorship program. Vendors appreciate the chance to have high-impact visibility. And, unlike many other activities, video rewards them with the ability to track exposure.
Dan offered this bit of wisdom, “Digital platforms allow you to measure engagement and revenue. But many associations are still asking sponsors to support activities where success can’t be evaluated. It’s impossible to count the sales leads you received from having your logo on a lanyard or a sign on the door.”
So go ahead and put your association in front of the camera; but when you do, remember that video should be more than one episode. With the right approach, you can create a binge-worthy series.