Associations have great stories to tell. That's a fact. But a story told poorly isn't going to help with member engagement. That's where video content - if done well - can make a difference and achieve great cut-through.

If your association is embracing video content - or plans to - here are some pointers to help make sure your members, and potential members, tune in.

1. Too long is too long

If it feels too long, it is too long. While the right video length is hard to quantify, shorter is often more effective. In many cases, gone are the days of any promotional material being over 90 seconds long. That's not a lot of time to get your message across, so be succinct and remember that video is accessed when audiences don’t have the time to read an article on a subject.

2. Obey the 80/20 rule

The ‘80/20 rule’ absolutely applies to video. To put that into context, 80% of a video should be educational, and only 20% promotional. For example, in association space you might want to talk about how members have overcome challenges and achieved success, not why you are the best association on the planet.

3. Keep production invisible

No matter what the budget is, the elements of production should be invisible. At the very least, your audience shouldn’t be thinking ‘Why is the sound bad?’ or ‘Why can’t I see that guy’s face?’. You may film a CEO on the phone, and he may be saying some great stuff, but people won’t want to listen if the production is sub-standard.

4. Make it video, not text

People don’t go to a video to read a list. There are so many videos out there that are really just PowerPoint presentations. If you’re just doing video that replicates the written word, you'll lose your audience.

5. Don’t overuse it!

Video is a great tool, but it can be overused. If you provide too much of it, people will see it as ‘just another video’. The best thing is to be selective, and make sure there’s a reason for it being a video. Otherwise the audience will switch off.

6. Know your audience

As well as asking why make a video, associations should think about where your audience is likely to access a video, and on what device. The place they are going to be when they see it is also important. If that’s on a mobile, you have to construct the video it so it works best on a mobile. For example, you need to ensure the people occupy a suitable proportion of the screen so they can be seen well enough on the small screen.

7. Scrap the script

Though a ‘talking head’ might be more comfortable reading a script, it’s a good idea for them to speak naturally. If you do use a script, make ake sure you let the interviewee review it beforehand and make amendments so they can express themselves in their own words. If it’s scripted entirely by someone else, you can get a very wooden delivery.

Simply asking your spokesperson questions and making it conversational can help keep the video authentic. A talking head droning away to a tedious script might well mean your viewers will stay away from subsequent videos in droves.


Access1st has partnered with video production company Shootsta to offer our association partners exclusive, discounted deals on their services. Full details can be accessed behind the 'Association professionals' log-in. Here's a cool video we made with Shootsta at the 2017 ACE Conference in Sydney.

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