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Onboarding, Event Content and Marketing, and Promoting Innovation... Video Plays Many Association Roles Today

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By Ronn Levine


On the National Association of Broadcasters website, under a section titled Innovation Stories Videos, a two-minute video shows how Beasley Media Group is reaching young audiences with a novel strategy for a radio broadcasting organization—investing in competitive video gaming. The clip features Lori Burgess, COO for Beasley’s esports division. “Younger consumers around the world…are heavily invested in video gaming,” she said. “And we really saw an opportunity to get very, very immersed in this space and start to attract and develop these relationships with younger consumers when they’re forming their decisions about what matters most to them.”


The NAB also uses a dynamic 30-second video to promote Next Gen TV, which "offers 4K ultra high definition video quality, theater-like sound, mobile reception and innovative new features to enhance and expand the broadcast viewing experience.” We will probably see more varied videos from them in 2021. Dorian Sullivan, VP, audience development, NAB, told us last week that, given the current state, they are starting to look at their speakers in a new way—asking them to contribute more to the ongoing conversation of the community. “We’re looking to revise our contract [by requiring] two thought leadership pieces before the show, and maybe a webinar after.”


NAB’s innovation, promotion and speaker videos demonstrate just a few of the many functions for video these days by associations and publishers. It makes sense. We love video—seeing that magic arrow in the middle of an inviting image propels us to click. More than two-thirds of those polled by Reuters say they access online news video weekly; in some countries that number goes to 95%. "Across countries, 52% access video news via a third-party platform each week, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, with a third (33%) accessing via news websites and apps." Add Instagram to that now.


Here are more ways that associations and publishers are using video now:


Editorial content. Of course, this is probably the biggest use. When The New York Times sends out its morning Today’s Headlines email, the sections progress from Top News to Editors’ Picks to Today’s Videos. One of our Connectiv members, PMMI Media Group, recently posted a multi-use video on their Packaging World website. PMMI's Jim Chrzan conducts an excellent short video interview with Candice Crane of Petal Sparkling Botanicals on the subject of emerging brands. The video serves many purposes: it’s informative content; it’s a primer for something bigger—“Enjoyed this video report? To see the entire PACK EXPO Connects Friday Jumpstart program, click here”; and it introduces more valuable content—“Watch dozens of demos on demand from leading packaging and processing machinery and material suppliers.”


Event content. According to a recent survey from pre-pandemic 2020, 55% of all companies incorporated some type of video in their events, a massive jump from early 2019 (38%). That number has probably jumped more since then. The Food Marketing Institute opened its virtual meeting with footage of members talking about the importance of grocery stores and communities during the pandemic, the role they played, and how they gave back to their communities. “Opening the event with the stories was so powerful,” said Margaret Core, VP of marketing and industry relations. “That’s engagement: We let the actions of our members tell our story.”


Onboarding new members. “How to Access ACI Practices,” the American Concrete Institute onboarding video says, before a Siri-like voice comes on: “As a member benefit, ACI members have full access to all of the American Concrete Institute’s practices including guides, reports and tech notes…” The video proceeds for another 80 seconds, giving the new member a full scope of all the available benefits. Another video, a minute long, tells how to best access Concrete International Magazine. “As membership and marketing professionals, we think the longer the list of benefits the better,” Kevin Mlutkowski, director of marketing at ACI, told Associations Now. “Our goal is to have members understand what’s available to them.”


Recruiting talent. In a full-screen video on Money-Media's homepage—with the headline, "Why should you work for Money-Media?" above it—pre-pandemic New York City looks fast-paced and beautiful. We hear from various employees about the career-growing opportunities, trust and camaraderie they share. Then we see laughter, food at staff gatherings, a softball title and comfortable meetings. Towards the end, managing director Dan Fink says: "Money-Media is one of those rare places to work. We publish our value on the website for the world to see. Those aren't just marketing spin—we live by those values every single day.”


Event marketing. There are three videos on the site for the IAAPA Expo 2019 Return Attendee Promotion. IAAPA is the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. The videos represented three personas: an exhibitor, a repeat attendee and a first-time attendee. The repeat attendee video was launched with registration and received 12,000 views, 7 shares and 51 responses. It was then edited to serve in their video pre-roll advertisement campaign on YouTube. The video’s VTR (view thru rate) was a strong 71%. The first-time attendee video debuted on social media prior to the early-bird deadline and received 21,000 views. (Read the creative agency’s story behind this here.)


The publisher as hired producer. A company called Brandt asked Meister Media Worldwide to produce a marketing video featuring a grower who just had a record soybean harvest. “BRANDT received the finished, four-minute video in time for their sales meeting, and they were able to prove the effectiveness of some key products through the testimony of a well-known grower,” writes Meister Media. “We worked with BRANDT to identify the key points they wanted to cover and developed interview questions to focus the discussion. A videographer was hired, and one of our custom content editors flew to the grower’s farm…”

Ronn Levine is the editorial director for SIIA. He can be reached at