In our increasingly connected world, it’s easier than ever before for your current members and prospects to learn about your association, the programs you offer, and the value you provide. But, access to information itself doesn’t always translate into more new members, renewals, and event attendance. To drive revenue and engagement, you need to deliver high-quality content.
But what is high-quality content? It might not be what you think. Perfectly polished information laid out in your association’s brand voice is good. But, what your organization says about itself will not resonate as well as what real people say about your organization. 83% of consumers don’t trust advertising. But they do trust their peers.
It’s no surprise then that testimonials are often cited as one of the most effective content marketing tactics. Your members need social proof during their decision-making processes. Whether they’re considering a new membership, thinking about attending a conference, or trying to decide if your Continuing Education course is right for them, testimonials can help them feel confident in their decision.
And, video testimonials can be some of the most powerful. Why? Because video adds a human, emotional component that is more difficult to capture with written words. Video testimonials allow viewers to put a face with a name, and, if done right, help your members and prospects see themselves in the reviewer’s position.
Here’s how to get started creating compelling social proof for your association:
Determine Where Social Proof is Needed
Incorporate video testimonials wherever you ask your members to make a decision. Consider the Marketing Communication channels where you’re looking to drive conversions, such as website landing pages, email marketing, and social media. Here are some common examples:
- Increase conversions on your Membership Sign-Up page by including video testimonials where current members share how your association delivers value and meets their needs
- Drive attendee sign-ups for your virtual, hybrid and in-person events by including real-world experiences from previous attendees on your Conference Registration page
- Create demand for your Continuing Education courses using testimonials where past enrollees share how they applied what they learned outside the classroom
Identify the Right People to Provide Testimonials
Remember: people want to engage with real people, not with brands. Look for current members who have enough experience with the topic you’re asking for a testimonial about and who are engaged with your association. To identify engaged members, look for people who provide feedback to staff, are active in your Higher Logic communities, regularly open your email communications, or who are always in attendance at your annual event.
Make sure that you collect video testimonials from a diverse group of people that actually represents your target audience. You want your prospects to see themselves in your organization’s content and gathering diverse voices is fundamental to achieving that objective.
Keep it Authentic and Human
Heavily produced video content looks great, but it isn’t what’s most valuable to your members and prospects, especially when it comes to providing social proof. In fact, production quality is less important to video viewers than it used to be. Video that teaches people something new, allows people to dig deeper into their interests, and relates to people’s passion is rated much higher than production value.
When requesting video testimonials from your members, keep it light and authentic. Encourage people to be who they are and share their true opinions and experiences from their heart, rather than dictating a script. While good lighting and sound are important, don’t worry if the “set” isn’t perfect. You don’t need fancy backdrops or background music.
Leverage the Content Across Your Channels
Many organizations leverage testimonials on their website, either on a dedicated page or throughout the website on specific landing pages. And that makes sense; incorporating video content onto landing pages can increase conversion by 86%. And, video can significantly increase dwell time on your site.
Video testimonials also make great content across a wide variety of Marketing channels. Consider making a YouTube playlist of testimonials and making testimonials a regular part of your social editorial calendar and paid social campaigns. And, when you include video in your emails, you can see open rates increase by 19% and click rates by 65%.
Request More Testimonials to Stay Relevant
The work of gathering video testimonials from your members should be an ongoing process. People are looking for timely, relevant content with a just-in-time feel, so make sure that you continue gathering testimonials throughout the year. Create processes for gathering testimonials during your events, after your Continuing Education processes, and as part of all of your member engagement strategies.
Gathering authentic, compelling video testimonials consistently doesn’t have to be hard. We are all walking around with tiny supercomputers in our pockets and your members and prospects already know how to use them to create video content. Incorporate video testimonials into your Marketing Communications strategy today and drive results.
Michael Hoffman is the CEO of Gather Voices and an expert in the use of video in marketing and digital engagement. He teaches marketing at the University of Chicago and is a long-time consultant to business leaders on constituent engagement strategies. In 2017, Hoffman founded Gather Voices to revolutionize how organizations create and use video. Gather Voices’ Video Relationship Management (VRM) software solution enables associations to leverage the power of video to achieve revenue-based outcomes, like new member acquisition, membership renewal, and event attendance.