Convincing Your Boss

Five reasons to add video to your content marketing plan.

By Amy Thomasson


With any technology, there are early adopters, late adopters, and non-adopters. Marketing guru, Seth Godin, calls early adopters the fringe, a tiny group of people who engage with the new, the different, or the risky idea. Eventually, if the concept is powerful enough, it begins to resonate with those around the fringe-loving, until it gathers enough momentum to go mainstream.

According to Wyzowl’s fifth annual “The State of Video Marketing” survey conducted earlier this year, 87% of marketers are using video in their promotional toolkits. It’s safe to say that video marketing is well past the fringe at this point. In fact, if your organization is not adding video to your 2020 marketing vision, your content strategy is in danger of being myopic.

Those of you in content development roles are likely aware of this, but that doesn’t mean you don’t face challenges getting the rest of your team on board. If you need extra support getting your C-suite to approve your video marketing plan, these five reasons will help you get your proposal across the finish (dotted) line.

1. Video Commands Attention

Michael Hoffman is the CEO of Gather Voices, a company that has created a platform that enables associations, charities, and other organizations to more easily add video to their marketing mix. “Whether we like it or not, people are reading less and watching more. Video is essential simply because it’s where people spend their time.” The statistics back up Michael’s thoughts. Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index states that by next year, video will account for 79% of all consumer internet traffic. If you want the best opportunity to reach your members where they ‘live,’ you need to reach them via mobile phone, tablet, or laptop with compelling video content.

But what about embedding video within other forms of communication, such as an eBlast or eNewsletter? Can video assist with improving steadily declining open rates? The good news is that this is also a resounding yes. According to Experian’s Digital Marketing Report, when the word ‘video’ is used in an email subject line, open rates double and click through rates go up two to three times. Most importantly, however, not only are viewers watching, they’re also lingering longer on video than other forms of content, with many marketers reporting that video has increased viewer dwell time leading to increased content absorption.

2. Video Establishes Connection

Associations thrive on creating community through connection, although geographic disbursement, increased demands, and decreased discretionary time all present potential barriers to this connection. Waterkeeper Alliance is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to clean water that has found a way to utilize video to establish powerful connections with their audience. Maia Raposo, communications & marketing director, “Since Waterkeepers Alliance is an advocacy organization, engagement and emotional responses are critical for us. Our videos are centered on issues-focused content. We aim to create a sense of place and an emotional connection.”

Waterkeeper Alliance has achieved this powerful connection through their SPLASH video series, which helps viewers feel a personal connection to America’s waterways through demonstrating the joy of engaging in water-based activities like swimming, paddling, and boating, while also successfully integrating a series partnership with Toyota.

An advocacy organization like Waterkeepers Alliance has a clear message and call to action, so what can more traditional associations do to establish the same sense of connection with members? Since we’ve already established that the majority of online traffic comes from video, we know that there is plenty of space for a wide variety of video content, and association can easily start by reaching out to members to create their own videos, or user-generated content. User-generated videos are more memorable than other forms of media, and are also excellent for establishing the next point.

3. Video Builds Trust

“We’re in a world where trust has been eroded,” says Hoffman. “People don’t trust government or media, and they don’t trust brands or institutions, including associations. They trust their peers and the lived experiences of people like them doing similar work. For associations, video is a way to build trust by putting forward the voices of the membership rather than the voice of the brand. It enables you to make the organization come alive through the voices of your members.”

Trust is the base upon which membership, event attendance, and product purchases live. Content marketing is the antithesis of advertising, as it is based in trust. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “the art of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a target audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action.” How do we create relevancy, value, and ultimately action? We create it through consistency and trust.

4. Video Increases Conversions

The National Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) is a trade association that provides a community for those interested in the use of technology to support nonprofits, and they have seen continued success and quantifiable return on investment through their video marketing program. “We use video to promote our educational courses, and our annual Nonprofit Technology Conference on our website, through email, and on social media,” says Erin Adams, digital marketing manager. “In one recent use, we found that including a course instructor’s video link in an email increased the email’s click rate by 75% and boosted the average course registration by 33%.”

NTEN isn’t the only organization up-leveling their conversions. User-generated video content consistently results in higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without video regardless of organization size or type. Interestingly, this also applies to in-person sales. An analysis from Aberdeen Group and Brightcove found that organizations using video require 37% fewer site visits before an individual responds to a call to action. Thus, by increasing your video traffic, you can decrease your sales team’s foot traffic!

5. Video Breaks Barriers

Now that you’re armed with statistics and real-life stories for your C-suite, the final step is to anticipate and prepare to answer their questions about barriers to entry. Isn’t it time-intensive, knowledge-intensive, and costly to produce and distribute video content?

Erin Adams says, “You don’t have to be a video expert to produce compelling video. Start with the basics and keep testing to see what resonates with your members. If you’re requesting video, refine your ask so that the objectives and technical specifications are clear from the start, and offer incentives for partners who record video for your organization. Add captions to improve accessibility and for optimal social media viewing, and prepare for additional elements like title and end cards for brand visibility, and share additional information or context.”

Technology like the Gather Voices platform can assist with making this easier. “We have 350 member groups in 44 countries, which makes hands-on or in-person video work difficult,” says Raposo. “Through an easy collection, management, and publishing technology, we have been able to hand over video to volunteers on the ground and cut out production costs.”

As with any well-branded video, we will end where we began, with a final thought courtesy of marketer, Seth Godin: “Marketing is the act of making change happen. Making is insufficient. You haven’t made an impact until you’ve changed someone.” Now go forth and use the evidence provided above to convince your boss, your team, and your organization to invest in video as an essential component of your marketing mix.


About the Author

Amy Thomasson is director, marketing for the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. She can be reached at

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