Create Authentic Human Connection with Video Content

By Kaitlan Arndt

We’re all looking for authentic human connection – your association’s members are no exception – and associations play a critical role in providing people with opportunities to develop those connections with their peers by sharing their expertise, learning from one another, and working together to make progress toward shared objectives.

If video isn’t already a critical component of your member engagement strategy, it should be. Overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic moved many of us from shared offices to at-home workplaces, made video the new normal for business communication, and transitioned in-person conferences to virtual, on-screen events.

And while the pandemic accelerated video’s dominance as a communication tool, your audience was already moving in that direction. According to Hubspot, 78% of people watch online videos every week and 54% watch online videos every day. That trend will continue: 71% of people are watching more video this year than they did last year.

Video is dominating today, not because of social distancing, but because it’s a powerful way to connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time. That isn’t going to change. Even when we’re able to get back together in large gatherings, your members are still going to want opportunities for authentic peer-to-peer interaction with a face-to-face feel. Leaning into the power of video now will propel your organization into the future.

There was a time when the cost of video production and distribution meant that only the largest organizations could move the needle with video – that time is gone. Today, we all have supercomputers with professional video cameras in our pockets. We’re more than content consumers. We’re content creators. And, we trust each other’s ideas and content much more than highly produced brand or company-created content.

Why? Because we’re all looking for ways to create authentic human connections. We don’t want to be talked at by organizations. We want to communicate with other real people. When you give your members opportunities to co-create content with your organization and consume content created by their peers, you help them create the authentic human connections they seek. And delivering that value makes your association an engaging source of community.

Leading associations are incorporating video into their member engagement strategies in a variety of ways. There are many ways to do it, and one size does not fit all. All this means co-creating compelling video content to attract new members, retain your current members, and drive critical non-dues revenue doesn’t have to be hard. Here are three ways how:

1. Put your current members at the heart of your strategy. Remember, people aren’t joining associations because they want to engage with your organization or brand. People are joining associations because they want to network and build authentic human connections with like-minded professionals. Leverage these real humans and the social proof they offer.

  • Encourage new members to introduce themselves with a video and feature the videos on your membership sign-up page so potential members can see your community first-hand.
  • Amplify the diverse voices of your members by co-creating content with them instead of relying on leadership who may not represent the diversity of your community.
  • Create welcome videos for new members. Ask leaders, staff, volunteers, and select members to welcome new members to the community with an authentic visual greeting.

2. Retain your current members by giving them opportunities to connect with one another visually all year long, not just at your in-person meetings and events. The rise of social networking has made it easier than ever for your members to find and engage with one another virtually. Make sure your organization is leading the way in providing digital engagement opportunities.

  • Add video messaging capabilities into your existing online community using plug-ins or extensions.
  • Celebrate an anniversary or important industry event with your members by asking them to share their own personal stories and experiences.
  • Launch a Member Spotlight program to highlight member accomplishments across your marketing channels. Encourage members to nominate their peers with a video.

3. With the right video content, you can increase conversions and drive critical non-dues revenue. Ninety percent of people say they rely on video to decide whether or not to make a purchase. So, it’s no surprise that using video on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%. Consider using these tactics:

  • Incorporate prerecorded video content into your events. This can be done in many ways, such as: panel interviews, session summaries, speaker introductions, and virtual award ceremonies.
  • Make video submissions part of the application process for Continuing Education instructors. Their videos will give you a feel for how they’ll perform and can be used on landing pages.
  • Offer your event sponsors the opportunity to tell their story in a short video. Because your audience is more likely to engage with video content, it’s highly valuable.

There are numerous ways to use video content to drive member engagement all year long. Whatever strategy you use to engage your audience, remember to always keep the objective top of mind: find more ways to provide your members with the opportunity to build and maintain the authentic human connections they seek.

Kaitlan Arndt is the associate director of marketing at Gather Voices, which is building the next generation of video software solutions, enabling organizations to dramatically increase their engagement in email, social media and on their website. Gather Voices helps its clients with member engagement, continuing education, advocacy, internal communications and virtual events. Learn more at www.gathervoices.co.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Skynesher

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