The world is going visual! YouTube is the #2 search engine on earth. Pinterest has become the #3 social network based on sharing visuals. And tools like video sharing app, Socialcam, are seeing adoption skyrocket. How can you translate the popularity and comfort of video into your private customer or member community?
Here are 8 ways to effectively use video to engage your customers, members, prospects, employees, partners, or any other audience in your online community:
Create a welcome video for different customer segments or member types that reinforced the value of your community and organization, as well as guides them to areas of the community where they can engage quickly.
Create a 'how-to' series or record training webinar on industry best practices or your specific products and services. Then, host them in your online community for members at no cost or use the built-in online store to generate revenue. Better yet, let members of the community post their own helpful videos to help spread their expertise and build a personal brand. See an example of how Black & Decker used video in the employee section on their online community to cut training time in half and boost enthusiasm.
Encourage your product management team to create a video explaining the product roadmap, a new feature concept, or a new program. Use the community's commenting and discussion group features to spur conversation and gather feedback. Remember that you can use the group security tools to only give access to the video and discussion to select members or customer advisory groups.
Increase buzz and engagement in your private online community by launching a themed video contest where community members can submit, vote on, and share videos on a specific topic. For instance, a software company or user group could hold a social video contest to find the best use a new feature or module. It gets people energized, involved and educated about new ways to find success with your solution.
Create short videos to explain a new product, service, or program to help customer and members get excited and the most out of it. You'll see awareness and adoption spike as you explain new initiatives in a very human way. This is also a great way to kick-off conference or customer event registration.
With a crisis comes chaos followed by uncertainty. As unforeseen changes occur in markets, politics, and within your organization, one of the most effective ways to reassure your customers, members, and partners is to create a straightforward "the buck stops here" video clearly explain what happened and a way forward.
When you have an idea or a position on or issue that you would like to spread, create a brief video educating your constituents on your worldview. If you script, produce, promote it correctly, your target audience is more likely to take the time to listen to, understand, and respond to your message.
It is just a good practice to give your customers and members some "face time" with the people they work with daily and your company's top executives. Along with the blog posts, documents, and discussions, include a healthy mix of short videos to reinforce the humanness of your brand.
Videos are very easy to create. It often takes me half the time to create a video than it does to write and publish an eBook or white paper. Remember, your videos don't need to be perfect and you don't need expensive production equipment to produce helpful video content. Many of the tools you need are already built into your existing computer, mobile device, and software.
Technology Tip: When selecting a private social networking platform, be sure that they host your videos and media securely. Some of the more basic systems will stream videos, but they have to be hosted elsewhere. Though some of your videos should be cross-posted to public sites, like YouTube and Vimeo, many of your videos for customers and members should only be accessible in your secure private online community.