As you begin to create community content for your new online community, one of your first big pieces of content can be a video! A video is a succinct, fun way to share about the launch of your new online community and get your future community members excited about signing up as soon as the community is available.
One quick note before we dive in: Creating a video isn’t right for every community. You may not have the budget or bandwidth to create a video, and that’s fine. Prioritize your community budget on the most important parts of your program. But, that being said, a video doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy! The personal touch is what counts. It can be as simple as recording a community walk-through for your new users on Zoom, and then making some quick edits.
Discover five examples of online community promo videos to see the different approaches you can take to create your video, and get inspired.
This video shares the key purpose of the Acer Community and highlights all the ways that customers can benefit from getting involved in the community. We asked Brad Bliven, Sr. Program Manager of Digital Services at Acer, for some tips & lessons learned around producing your own online community video:
- Any tips for someone else trying to create a video for their community? “Video promotions work good for things like Community introductions or short clips that explain features or best practices.”
- Would you do anything differently next time? “The challenge is revision control. Changing a website function or UI often results in the need for a video update too. So keep last year’s marketing promotions out of view of your videos to avoid chasing your tail!”
2. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Lauren Kocher, Senior Manager of Community Engagement at ISTE, created this promo video with her team for their online community. It’s a personal message from the community manager sharing the benefits of joining, giving a quick tour of the community, and highlighting where to find useful resources.
Lauren shared some tips for creating your own video:
Did you have to make the case to produce the video? “We did not have to make a case for our community videos, but they were very much a low-production effort of our community team. I wrote the script myself and recorded each video using Screencastify (which does have a small cost associated to avoid a watermark), but someone could do something very similar for free using Zoom. We benefit from having a fair amount of agency within our community team to produce our own marketing materials, which I know isn’t the case for everyone.”
Any tips for someone else trying to create a video for their community? “The biggest advice I would share for creating a promo video like this is to keep it short and sweet. Our community is a members-only community, so we’re making the pitch to people already in our network to get them to engage with a benefit of their membership with our organization.
For us, it was important to focus on the things that our members are most often confused about and basic functionality of our community site, rather than get into the weeds of the ideal member experience. Also, don’t feel like you need to fit everything into a single video. There’s no reason you can’t have multiple short videos that serve different purposes, or target different audiences.”
Would you do anything differently next time? “One thing I would try differently in the future is recording audio separately from the screen recording. It was so hard to sync up physically navigating the site with the script I was reading, and led to many more mistakes than if I had just done them separately. It would require me to either beef up my video editing skills, or find a colleague who could help me out, but I think would ultimately save time and effort not having to re-record whole sections of a video every time I didn’t click a button as smoothly as I’d have liked.”
3. CPA Australia
CPA Australia created this short animated video to announce the community and highlight key benefits of joining the community. Remember, your video doesn’t have to be long to be impactful. One tip to keep in mind when creating your video is to use subtitles like CPA Australia did so your audience can watch the video without having to turn on their audio. This makes consumption easier, especially on social media.
Chris Detzel, Community Program Manager at Reltio, created a video to promote the launch of the new Reltio community for master data management professionals. Hear how he brought the video to life:
Did you have to make the case to produce the video? “I worked heavily with my Social Media manager. Our CEO is a huge advocate of the Community, this helps in getting people to do things. Also finding people that are tech, video and just savvy within the organization is the key. Sometimes you have to beg, borrow and steal. If you ask them nicely they will do things for you. I do it all the time!”
Any tips for someone else trying to create a video for their community? “Learning and using technologies like Camtasia to do the video is ‘easy.’ My recommendation is that you learn some of these skills yourself as a community leader because if someone else can’t do it, you can. Look, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just try things. That’s the beauty of community, it’s not perfect. Also, you could get on Upwork.com or nDash. They have affordable talent. You can use them for video editors, blog posts and a ton more. I use them for a ton of content pieces.”
Learn more from Chris in his guide on building a B2B online community.
5. Blue Prism
The community team (currently James Woods, Community Manager; Melanie Giuliani, Online Community Manager & Strategist; Norah Alsudani, Community Strategy Director; Lorena Seco de Herrera Ortega, Community Associate) at Blue Prism created a community intro video and paired it with explainer information on their public community welcome page. This is a great approach, because the video can get people excited while the page can include a call-to-action to join the community and provide more detailed information about how to login.
4 Things to Keep in Mind Before Creating Your Online Community Promo Video
- Create a script. You don’t want your video to stretch on and on. Practice by thinking through an elevator pitch. Let’s say you have 30 seconds to pitch the community – What would you say? Give it a try a few times and write down re-occurring points.
- Highlight the key benefits. What problem does your community solve for your customer?
- Think in terms of keywords and helpful statistics [access X number of resources, join X number of industry peers, etc.]
- Why would a member want to take the time to log into the community? Help them see the value to them.
- Personal communication makes a difference. Consider having a leader in your organization join you on the video or film a second short video where they promote the community too.
- Ask beta testers to help. Did you ask any customers or members to be community beta testers? Ask if they wouldn’t mind filming a casual video answering a couple questions, like what they like best about the new online community, or what they’re most excited for.
Bonus: Tips for Promoting Your Online Community Video
Don’t stop with just creating your video! You’ll want a plan to promote the video so that it’s seen by as many of your target audience as possible.
Here are a few ideas for promotion:
- Share it via email. Announce that the community is coming soon and let them know when they will be able to sign up.
- Include it on a main “About” page in your online community.
- Post it on social media. You could also host a contest for your staff to share it as well.
- Enlist your beta testers or founding community members to share the video.
- Create an automation rule that sends the video out to new members in their first week of being in the community. (You could also include it in your welcome emails if you don’t want to send an additional email just about the video.)
- Using personalized widgets (a Higher Logic Community feature), only surface the video on the homepage of your community to members within their first month of community membership, or to members who have never posted before. Not all members need to see this video once they’re more experienced in the community.
Want to learn more about launching a new online community? Get the full scoop in our guide.
Online Community Manager
Sara is an online community manager at Higher Logic. She works with 5-6 customers at a time to maximize their success. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Marketing and Psychology. In her free time, Sara enjoys reading and spending time in Washington, DC.
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