By Guest Blogger:

Nathan Coyne, Director

Senate Media

As we head into 2019, membership organisations are realising the important role of visual content – and especially video – in engaging their members.

75% of member organisations expect to make greater use of images, illustrations and videos over the next year, according to the latest Digital Excellence survey by MemberWise.

We look at the three areas of video that we expect to grow in 2019, and examine how membership organisations can benefit from them.

1. Native video on social platforms

Membership organisations are investing in their social media presence, with 51% of organisations now rating their presence between seven and ten (out of ten).

More than a third of membership organisations now have an employee dedicated to social media, and as such we would expect to see an increase in the use of native videos – a fancy name for videos uploaded directly to social platforms – in 2019.

Social platforms have invested heavily in the ability to ‘natively’ host videos so their users no longer clicked off to YouTube and other video sites.

The most popular social media platforms among membership organisations are Twitter (used by 97%), LinkedIn (83%) and Facebook (80%). Facebook and Twitter have allowed native video embeds for a few years, but LinkedIn only enabled it for Company Pages in April 2018.

Social platforms want you to watch video, because they can sell their most lucrative advertising alongside it. Their algorithms are set up to make video a success, and this is borne out in the stats. Videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than images.

We also expect to see increasing numbers of videos with a 1:1 aspect ratio – or square video, because they take up 78% more space than widescreen format videos, and are more attention grabbing as a result.

These are stats you can’t ignore, and we expect them to grow in 2019.

2. Live streaming

Live streaming is another area that membership organisations can benefit from in 2019.

In recent years it has been embraced by social platforms. If you have a large group of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followers, or YouTube subscribers, you have a ready-made audience for your live videos.

Statistics show that users spend three times longer watching live videos than pre-recorded videos. After breaking news, conferences are the second most watched form of live videos – suggesting a latent demand for ‘live’ work-related, professional content.

Most membership organisations have at least one large conference per year, that could generate increasing engagement by providing a live stream for members who were unable to attend; or equally for attendees to watch back.

3. Interactive video

Interactive video is the third and final area we have highlighted for growth in 2019.

Interactive video takes ‘engagement’ with content to the next level by asking them questions, by letting them choose what happens next, or just by letting them choose what they view.

Interactive videos typically use a special player that adds an interactive layer, so if you want to test the viewers’ knowledge of the video as they watch, simply add a few quiz questions.

This can be great for gamification or training purposes. 11% of membership organisations are currently using online gamification, mostly for eLearning and CPD.

Branching videos on the other hand give viewers the opportunity to choose what they want to see at a particular point of a video, whether via a menu or a simple left and right option, and could be a great way of providing an overview of the membership value proposition.

Organisations who use interactive video will be seen as ‘innovative’, while offering heightened engagement and an added level of user control; which is why we expect to see much more of this style of video in 2019.

Demand for visual content from members is growing, but selecting what resources to deploy and what to create requires careful consideration; and must be allied to a plan to promote content and measure return-on-investment. Membership organisations who rise to this challenge will reap the rewards from increased member engagement in 2019.