Looking for ways to increase membership renewal in 2021? Sounds like a plan. And adding video to that plan could help make your association a renewal superpower.
Our whole lives became video based at the start of the pandemic, and the value of video has become much more apparent anecdotally and quantitatively since then. Why is video so powerful? Because it increases engagement, participation, value, and community, said Gather Voices CEO Michael Hoffman in a recent webinar on using the medium to boost member renewals.
But it’s important to have a plan. Seventy-eight percent of associations that have seen an improvement in renewals state they have a tactical plan to increase engagement, according to Marketing General Incorporated’s 2020 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report [PDF].
Keep It Real
Video may seem expensive, glitzy, and out of reach, but it doesn’t have to be. Especially now, in this moment, authenticity is key, Hoffman said. The most resonant videos are not highly produced but are simple segments featuring real people talking about their real experiences.
“Engagement is about creating something new and letting members be the star of the show,” he said. And that emphasis on real people and real stories is good news because it means expensive production companies are not necessary. You can use inexpensive tools like Zoom recordings to build up your video library.
When you ask a member to share their experience in a video, that person’s story becomes a powerful testimonial that will influence others. Just asking for it creates a different relationship between the member and the organization: It says, “We value you. We value your experience, and we want to know about it,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman recommends using video to boost membership renewal on these platforms:
Website. The average user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video. When your members spend more time on your association’s website viewing video content featuring their fellow members, their sense of community and belonging increases because they see themselves reflected in real people sharing their experiences, rather than brand messaging.
Social media. Incorporating video into social media messaging creates deeper engagement and greater retention of content. People remember 95 percent of a message viewed in a video compared to only 10 percent in text. And 85 percent of marketers say video is an effective way to get attention online.
Email. Email is the main tactic associations use to connect with members for renewal. Putting the word video in the subject line of an email doubles open rates and increases click-through rates by two to three times.
Video on websites, social media, and email leads to member engagement by making campaigns and communications perform better across channels. The good news: This doesn’t have to be a major—or expensive—production. Video enhances the platforms you are already using to increase click-throughs, engagement, and conversion.
It’s important to remember however, that video is not a strategy. “Video is a tool, and your strategy is your value proposition, your messaging, your targeting, and your communications plan,” Hoffman said.
The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to assess whether you’re using all the tools at your disposal—including video—to carry out your member retention strategy.