Online communities are powerful. They play a vital role in how your customers interact with your business and the world. They influence customer decisions, conversations, purchases and even their internal monologue of who your buyers are.
They are also instrumental in defining the direction of brands.
Take Lego Ideas, for instance. It’s a creative online community filled with enthusiasts who submit ideas for new lego designs. Lego offers members the chance to engage with the brand through activities, contests and product ideas.
Members submit designs and the community votes for their favorites. If a design receives 10,000 votes, it could become one of Lego’s official sets. What's more, the winner receives a percentage of the sales revenue.
But like all effective marketing, the community you build has to constantly be engaged to stay relevant, interesting and grow. You need to deliver messaging that resonates with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.
One of the most effective ways to generate interest around your brand and products is through video.
It's no secret that video is a must for all brands today. 83% of marketers say they’ve received positive ROI from the medium, while 94% attribute a clearer understanding of the products or services to the effectiveness of educational videos.
And more marketers are creating more video than the year before. Content Marketing Institute’s annual report shows that more than 50% of respondents produced more video to fuel their content marketing strategy.
But how do you use it to grow your online community?
Here are 7 ways you can use video to build awareness and gain more members.
1. Create Irresistible Content
While the importance of creating great content may seem like a no-brainer, it’s still a challenge for many brands. They simply haven’t found their voice and may be just a little misaligned with their messaging, a problem that can stunt your community growth.
Salesforce found that 80% of consumers see authentic content as the most influential factor when deciding to become a follower of a brand. That said, the need for authentic and quality content is stronger today than ever before.
If you’re struggling to find your voice and produce great content, there’s a quick and simple fix for both issues: create a well-researched community member persona.
Establishing who your ideal member is will help you quickly develop ideas for strong content. It will also help you identify why members would find your community attractive to start with.
DigitalMarketer offers a free template for download. It’s clear, easy-to-understand, and will help your get specific about who your members are and what they want to see.
2. Share Free Video Content
Free, quality content is still one of the best ways to attract viewers, especially if it addresses a major pain point. And if you do a good job of creating authentic and helpful videos, you’ll benefit in two ways.
First, video can be optimized for search on various platforms. For example, on YouTube, using on-page SEO, you can increase the chance of your video ranking higher. Secondly, people love sharing helpful content. Doing so speaks to the five human primary motivators for sharing content online.
As more people share your valuable content, you’ll generate more views and community growth.
3. Promote Exclusive Content
Promoting exclusive content is a smart way to give prospective members a ‘look under the hood’ of your community. It shows them what kind of content, special offers and value they’ll gain by joining your tribe.
For example, DigitalMarketer often shares clips from their Traffic and Conversion event on Facebook. This type of content could only otherwise be accessed by attending the event.
And for any marketer in need of unique insights on what comes next in the evolution of digital marketing, the shared clip is instantly appealing.
What kind of content should you consider sharing? It can be anything that would not already have been shared publicly (think webinars, fireside chats, office hours etc.).
4. Cross-Pollinate With Partner Brands
Cross-pollination is a simple concept to implement. It involves working with brands that cater to buyers who fit your persona profiles to help grow your brand. Access to a wider audience means more views of content and a greater chance of attracting people to your community.
This may sound like an uncomfortable proposition to make, but it’s possible to pull off and happens daily.
In the example below, Step Crowder from CourageandClarity.com shares a post on Fizzle’s Facebook page. Fizzle is an education platform for entrepreneurs, making them the perfect audience for Steph’s live broadcast on goal setting.
5. Motivate Members to Share Your Video
Remember the five motivators for sharing content online that we touched on in tip #2?
You need to lean into them.
These motivators show that people want to better other people’s lives, reflect their identity through what they share, grow relationships, the need for engagement, and to spread the word about something they believe in.
And Wyzowl found that 69% of viewers would share a branded video if it contains content that might be of interest to their network.
Asking your members to share content may feel a little weird at first, but it’s a savvy and easy hack you can use. Also, it won’t cost you a cent!
6. Publish Videos on Other Online Assets
Being everywhere is crucial for brand growth. As part of your content promotion strategy, aim to share each video in as many places as possible to generate the most reach.
Here’s a list of 3 places to share your videos:
Your website (add to relevant blog posts and website pages)
Social media accounts (yours, partner brands and motivate staff to share via theirs)
Video platforms (YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, and more)
While different from these platforms, email it’s still a strong and very valuable asset. Broadcasting your videos to your email list subscribers will help engage existing community members to generate as many views and shares as possible to help grow your community.
7. Post Content Regularly
Consistency is an element of building a well-engaged community that you can’t ignore. People want to see more videos from brands. And like all other forms of content in your digital strategy, publishing video regularly can help grow your audience.
But don’t rush to meet this insatiable hunger for video without a solid strategy. Ensure you create content that helps generate revenue. For example, if you’re planning on creating a YouTube marketing funnel, it’s a good idea to know what types of video you currently have.
If you seem to have a mix of top, middle, and bottom of the funnel content but can’t seem to generate the number of views you need, focus on producing more top-of-funnel content to build your audience first. This approach will help you create a community around common challenges and position your brand as a thought leader in the space.
As your community grows, then focus on creating content for the middle and bottom of your sales funnel.
Growing your online community with video marketing is a must. There’s ample proof that it generates results, and that more people want to see quality video content published regularly. While video should definitely be in your content arsenal, ensure you use it strategically. Create content that empowers your community and forms part of a well-developed marketing funnel.