HOW TO OUT INFORM AND PERFORM
The essential element of any association is membership, growth, and retention. As such, you’re constantly trying to acquire new members, remind existing members why they’re members, and strengthen your brand recognition in the industry.
In today’s day and age, the way to stay relevant and ahead of your competition is to out-inform your competition.
Sounds great… but what does that mean?
Well, think about it from your own perspective: you’re reading this blog because you’re seeking ways to improve your video communication skills. This probably means that you’re in marketing in some capacity.
Now, your members aren’t any different. Many members want to stay up to date on the latest industry information and trends in their field and professions. But in today’s hyper-saturated and ludicrously noisy marketspace – you need to present that information in an engaging and readily accessible manner.
That’s where video comes in. It’s the ideal medium to provide your members with helpful, relevant, information.
The story can make even the most mundane subjects fun. And video is Story’s ideal format. Why? Because video can make even simple industry updates fun and engaging. No one wants to read a report – they want the facts. If a picture is worth 1000 words, and Video presents 24 pictures a second… do the math. You can be far more effective getting the details of a report out via video. And that’s the simple stuff we’re talking about. You can excite your members about the possibilities of your industry through personal profiles, or emerging technologies or trends.
With this in mind, we outlined the 5 Steps your association can take to out inform (and perform) your competition using video:
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND WHAT INFORMATION YOUR AUDIENCE WANTS
Yes. This is basic. And that’s why it’s the foundation of everything you’re going to be doing. Because before you plan to produce any videos, it’s important to understand what your audience wants. It’s not about what you want to say, or what leadership wants (that’s the second step), but you need to understand what information your members are seeking out.
The easiest way to get this is to ask. Ask in person. Ask over emails, or surveys. But the important thing is to ask. Think about your audience. Not every member is an executive… well… unless your association literally is made up of executives. But think about every member. Every perspective. The largest segment of your audience. From the highest levels to the boots on the ground. What do they want? What common interests do they share? What type of information gets the most likes on Social, or views on YouTube? And not just on your channel – but elsewhere. What’s getting traction for your competition? What’s hot on Google trends? That’s what your members care about.
STEP 2: UNDERSTAND WHAT INFORMATION YOUR LEADERSHIP WANTS TO SHARE
If you’re smart (and employed) you get this. But there’s a reason why we make this a second separate step. Because it’s critical that you take a step back and treat this as a separate consideration. Because it is. What Leadership wants and what your members need may not always be the same thing.
Yes – it’s important to remember that your audience is clamoring for information. That’s wonderful. But you also need to understand what matters to the leadership of your association. What are their goals? What messages are they trying to get out? And don’t just read their report – ask them. Find out what really matters to them. Hear it from their perspective and in their own voice (whether that’s an actual voice or a digital one). A conversation in person, over the phone or via email will allow you to ask follow up questions and gain insight and understanding behind the decisions they made and the goals that they set.
STEP 3: COMBINE THOSE DESIRES
OK, great. You know what your members want, and what Leadership wants… and hopefully those two desires are already in complete and utter alignment. If so? Sweet! You get to skip on to Step 4. If not, this is where you need to get creative. Find ways that you can blend the two desires together.
For example, if Leadership wants to push a particular initiative that your members aren’t even aware of – see what you can do to get a few members involved. Talk to them about the initiative. See if they think it’ll have the impact that Leadership thinks it will. If they’re excited, capitalize on that – maybe they’ll be willing to be a part of your video! Maybe they’ll allow you to interview them about the new initiative, and how it works.
If they’re resistant to the new initiative? That’s almost better. Seriously. You can use that to your advantage. Find out why they’re not receptive. Take notes… and be sure to address that in your video. Address their skepticism head on. If one person is thinking it – others are likely to as well (but do your due diligence and confirm this!). Afterall, the best stories (videos) derive from conflict and overcoming adversity.
STEP 4: CONSIDER WHAT KINDS OF VIDEOS YOU CAN PRODUCE
There are sooooooooo many types of marketing videos. Because of this, it’s helpful to think of each video type as a tool in your marketing tool belt. You need to select the right tool for the job. And… no. Not every marketing video requires someone answering off camera questions with a shot of them walking down the hall, awkwardly talking to a colleague. In fact… our company is literally on a mission to rid the world of that. But think about the information you need to convey. How can it most effectively be presented? Are they simple industry trends? Are you trying to excite people to attend your event? Are you presenting an award? What if it’s all of the above?
Let’s take the simplest one: Industry updates. There are dozens of ways that you could package that information. You could use animation that uses simple text, or create a character that presents the information. You could have an Association rep deliver the information straight to camera. Or multiple association reps. You could combine all of the above. You could even get your members involved. You could have them submit videos, and encourage them to participate. You could make it a social media thing… Whew. OK, you get the idea. It all depends on how you want to present your association’s brand to your audience.
STEP 5: CENTER THOSE STORIES AROUND YOUR ASSOCIATION
Warning: do not get carried away! When coming up with these ideas, it’s easy to get excited about them. It’s easy to get lost in the idea – and drift away from who your organization is. This step is meant to check that.
The best way to ground yourself is to review your association’s values. Again, this is fundamental but so easy to lose sight of. For example, if your association deals with heavy and technical legal matters, a cartoon gavel singing songs about the latest Supreme court rulings might sound fun… but probably won’t match your brand values.
That’s why it’s important to align these ideas with the brand you are, or are trying to become. A great way to do this is through profile videos. You can highlight your association’s values in award videos, or member spotlights. You could do a case study video about a member following a certain policy or practicing a new technique. You could encourage members to attend an event by following a member around at an event and documenting their experience. If it’s online, you could interview them throughout the event over Zoom about the experience they are having. There are so many ways you could go about demonstrating the value that participants gain from attending your event (either physically or virtually).
The point is, your association is on a mission. You have dozens, hundreds, or thousands of members… which means there are literally thousands of stories that you can share – from all sorts of perspectives: from giving new members reasons to join, to having more experienced members sharing what they’ve gained from being a part of your association. The possibilities are literally endless.
OK. Hopefully, this has given you a lot to think about. If Moneyball taught us anything, it’s that Information is key. As a marketer, it’s not what you do with that information, but how you present it that’s going to matter to your audience – internally and externally. So, by keeping these 5 steps in mind, you can start to out-inform and perform your competition!