3 Essential Strategies from Associations Who Use Video to Grow Their Membership

Does your association really need video? Well, let’s take a look at the research…

Forbes reports that 87% of online marketers are currently using video content in their digital marketing strategies. So for any serious marketer, video is a critical piece of the marketing mix.

Why the trend towards video? To start, it’s part of a larger cultural shift. After Google, YouTube is the second most-trafficked website in the world.

So yes… it looks like video is here to stay.

And for your association, video is a serious marketing opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Every association is competing for attention online, and video is sticky — viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.

Bottom line, video is an essential tool for capturing member attention and improving engagement. And it can even help you deepen member relationships across your organization.

What Can Video Do For Your Association?

Do you have local chapters for your association? A network of members distributed across the country (or the world)? With each member in your network, there’s a valuable, authentic story. But so many of these stories remain untold… why?

Because professional video shoots are expensive, and you can’t just send a traveling crew across the country collecting member videos all year long.

In this struggle, associations are not alone. Most marketers have a hard time producing as much video as they would like. In fact, Buffer reports that 83% of marketers would increase their reliance on video as a strategy if there were no obstacles like time, resources, and budget.

And what if there were no obstacles — what if you had a way to increase the number of stories that your association can tell each year?

Video content provides MANY opportunities to step up your marketing game and spread your message. Video marketing is making huge strides in three key areas where every association needs positive results:

  1. Improved attendance and engagement at annual conferences
  2. Increased member retention via digital channels all year long
  3. Increased member enrollment for continuing education

And what if there were no obstacles — what if you had a way to increase the number of videos that your association produced each year?

Well, then you’d have MANY opportunities to step up your marketing game with video. You could use video to meet these critical needs for your association:

  1. Promoting your annual conference, making a measurable improvement on attendance and engagement
  2. Collecting member stories and use them to drive up member engagement via digital channels all year long
  3. Increasing member enrollment for continuing education — by creating promotional videos that leverage instructor expertise and drive conversions on your course landing pages

Spoiler Alert: Some associations have figured out a way to overcome resource constraints and produce a lot more video (they’re using Gather Voices). Check out these tactics  from leading associations who are creating the videos that every association needs to have.

3 Types of Video That Strengthen Member Relationships within Associations

1. Conference & Event Video

Associations can use video to promote their conferences, driving increased ticket sales and member participation. Let’s take a look at how you can use video for conference and event promotion.

Promote Speaker Sessions

A dynamic speaker holds your attention, and a great session gives you actionable insights that you can try out in your own association. These are the things we love about conferences. And pre-conference speaker videos are a great way to remind people why they can’t miss your conference — you can use them to build hype around specific sessions and get people fired up for the main event.

Blackbaud (a leader in software for social good) uses pre-conference videos to build anticipation for their annual BBCON. These videos give prospective attendees a glimpse into the energy, passion, and personality of featured speakers.

For BBCON 2018, Blackbaud used Gather Voices to collect over a dozen speaker videos from across the country. They shared each video across their digital channels and paired it with a call to action to register for BBCON.

“90% of customers say video helps them make buying decisions and 64% of customers say that seeing a video makes them more likely to buy.”


Enhance Plenary Sessions & Keynotes

Another great use of video is collecting pre-conference video that you can cut together for keynote presentations and plenary sessions. Do you use your annual conference to present awards to leaders in your association? Many associations do, and it’s a perfect opportunity to integrate video.

For example, in 2018 the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) honored Jane Menseck with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which they announced at their annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). In the months leading up to NTC 2018, NTEN asked other leading members to share their congratulations and a personal story using video. They used Gather Voices to request and collect these videos from their members.

The result was a compelling video for NTC’s plenary session: a supercut of real people using their own words to celebrate Jane Menseck and her Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tell Video Stories at the Conference

Conferences represent an incredible opportunity for association marketers — with so many leaders and members in one place, there are literally hundreds of stories to be captured.

And most associations are shooting video during the conference in some form or another. But traditional conference video has some major challenges. Event video crews bring a lot of equipment and it can take weeks to receive an edit of their footage. By then the conference is done, and members are ready for a break from all the conference hype. The moment has passed.

That’s why savvy associations are finding quick ways to produce video at the conference and share it in real-time. The Society of Women Engineers is a perfect example. During their annual conference, they set up a Gather Voices Video Kiosk at a prominent location on the conference floor. They set up the Kiosk in 15 minutes, using one of their iPhones as the video camera. Then, they asked women engineers to share their passions and ambitions in two minutes or less.

Using Gather Voices they collected stories from over 50 women engineers in two days — and they used the Gather Voices platform to publish these stories on social media within minutes of recording the videos.

2. Member Stories to Drive Engagement

“Social video generates 12x more shares than text and images combined.”


For leading associations, geography can be a significant barrier to member engagement. With members and chapters across the world, associations have come to rely on digital channels to build connections between members.

And while these tools are making our associations more connected, they also present a challenge: there’s just so much noise in the digital landscape. Every day we’re bombarded with thousands of social posts and hundreds of emails.

Here’s an example of how the noise is just making us less likely to engage. In a recent study from eMarketer, permission-based email marketing reported the highest ROI of any digital marketing tactic. So you might think it makes sense to send email as frequently as possible. But there’s a drawback to sending too much email — you risk pushing your audience “email fatigue” or a loss in engagement due to sending too much email that’s irrelevant or boring to them.

How can your association stand out in digital channels and make a real impact on member engagement?

That’s where video can give you an edge. Video is human. When we see videos with real people, it resonates with our humanity… and it makes more of an impact than just text or images. Which means that video is inherently more shareable than text and primed to drive increased engagement.

Of course, you still have to produce the right kind of member video for your association. Fortunately we have some examples of associations who are easily producing authentic, shareable video stories of their members.

Tell Member Stories

Most of the time, members meet each other at events and conferences. There’s no substitute for building relationships in person, but for large associations, this presents a challenge. Annual membership conferences only come once a year — even though associations and their members are doing interesting work all year long. How can you keep members engaged with each outside of the conference lifecycle?

The League of American Orchestras uses Gather Voices to power their Meet the Staff series. These simple videos run less than one minute each, showcasing the interests and expertise of a single member.

The League uses these videos to help members connect with each other in anticipation of their annual conference. They keep the series going even beyond conference season, using video to collect and share member stories on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter all year long.

Celebrate Member Accomplishments

Association marketers know that their members are doing great things, and member accomplishments are a perfect opportunity for meaningful storytelling. We’ve already shown how video can be used to enhance award ceremonies at conferences, but that’s not the only time that you want to celebrate your members.

The Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP) uses Gather Voices to power their ongoing Stories That Set Us Apart — video series that celebrates different member achievements. For  one video, they tapped into a state pooling organization, Insurance Services of Oregon, to talk with incoming Executive Director Patrick Priest. Patrick shared his career journey from starting as a CPA, finding the pooling industry, and making the leap to Executive Director. This video became a powerful moment of reflection as he shared why becoming an Executive Director was a major career goal for him.

With videos like this, AGRiP shows the human side of their members and lifts up their achievements to inspire other members across the country.

Enhance Member Newsletters

For many associations, digital newsletters are a critical marketing tactic. By sending relevant, timely emails to their member base, association marketers can drive traffic and conversion for their campaigns.

Within these campaigns, video represents a serious opportunity to increase engagement — putting videos in your email newsletters can increase conversion by up to 300%.

The Association Forum has started using video to enhance their monthly member newsletters. As an association for associations, Association Forum provides education on best practices in the industry. In the last year they’ve focused on educating their members about video — and what better way to do it than a video link in their latest member newsletter.

3. Continuing Education Promotion

“Where both text and video are on the same page, 72% would rather use video to learn about a product or service.”


Video is a great way to educate and share expertise. But it’s more than just exposure — video is a huge driver of conversions for online marketers. Consider that landing pages with video convert up to 86% better than landing pages without video.

So, anytime there is an opportunity for a clear call to action and conversion point, association marketers should consider how they can use video to enhance the user experience.

That’s where continuing education programs represent an excellent opportunity for video marketing. Most likely, you’re already using video within your continuing education courses. But are you using video to promote the courses and drive course registration?

If not, it’s worth considering how you might use video to promote continuing education.

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) uses video to increase conversions on their course signup landing pages. Powered by Gather Voices, they collect and publish short, personal videos from each instructor and position these videos at the top of each course landing page. By rolling out these videos, NTEN has seen a measurable improvement in their time on page and course conversion rates.

Tactics like NTEN’s course promotion videos show us what’s possible at the cutting edge of association marketing. When you have a way to collect videos quickly from people all across the world, you can integrate video across all your marketing efforts — instead of just confining it to siloed, expensive video productions.

***Pro Tip: As a rule of thumb, your video should always be above the fold so that it’s immediately visible to readers. You also don’t want to overwhelm your readers with too many videos, just as you don’t want to overwhelm visitors with too much text on precious landing-page real estate.***

Video on the Cutting Edge

Given their current options for video production, most associations spend their video budget on one or two big video projects each year. Then it comes to ongoing video content, they come up empty — and it’s often due to resource constraints. That’s because most associations are stuck using the traditional model of video production.

In the traditional model, associations experience a high cost per video in both time and budget. For each production, association marketers will:

  • Hire expensive video teams
  • Organize on-camera speakers
  • Orchestrate days of shooting production
  • Spend weeks in post production
  • Produce one or two finished videos for each project

But there’s a better way for associations to create video — a way that dramatically reduces the cost per video and enables organizations to produce video at scale. And that’s the distributed model of video production.

The traditional model has a top-down approach, driven by video professionals and their vision for an expansive video project. The distributed model flips that on its head, taking an organic, bottom-up approach to video. It simplifies things for association marketers:

  • You don’t need a video team; everyone can use their mobile phone cameras
  • No need to get everyone in one place; members record video wherever they are
  • Get the videos as soon as they are complete
  • Produce dozens of video pieces for each project

You Can Produce Exponentially More Video

Associations are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this distributed video model. For associations, member knowledge is your greatest resource; and every member is walking around with a high-powered mobile camera in their pocket. It’s just a matter of getting them to use their phone cameras to share their stories within your organization.

That’s where Gather Voices comes in. Our software makes it easy for you to create video requests and distribute them to your members. Members can easily film short videos on their own mobile devices — these videos are uploaded instantly to your Gather Voices dashboard, where you can caption, edit, and publish in minutes.

We’ve helped dozens of associations create exponentially more video, resulting in increased shares and engagement across their marketing channels.

Request a Gather Voices Demo

If you’d like to see how Gather Voices can work for your association, just drop us a demo request below  ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

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