What Associations can learn from Today’s YouTubers

Content is king. We've all heard it before. But have we in the association space really put it to use?

How would you stack up compared to say… some of the YouTubers of today who are using practicality to grow and nurture an audience base in the tens of thousands from the comforts of their own home. (Or as some would say, their parents' home)

Don't get me wrong. A balanced content strategy DOES require adequate planning and investment of resources. But as an avid consumer of at least one basketball-related online video per day, I believe some of the most active users on YouTube have made good by focusing less on themselves and how their videos look, and paying more attention to delivering content (and amount of content) that their subscribers find interesting or useful.

Here's just some of what I've observed from some of the basketball channels I follow.

1) They don't get hung up on aesthetics (as long as the content is good)
While there is value to investing in professional video equipment and crews, it's not always needed. If the basketball content I search for is "how to perform a cross-over dribble move", I wouldn't mind watching a video that is shot on an iPhone with zero graphics or animation, as long as the instructor is credible, and the audio is clear. Emphasis on the audio being clear. You can have 4K video quality, but if the viewer can't understand the audio, your content won't be very engaging.


This screenshot is of a video in which the publisher uses zero camera tricks. Just a tripod, clear audio, and good content for viewers trying to learn best practices in ball handling.


2) They make multiple uses of a single piece of video content.

We all enjoy being there in person to watch the big game. But if I can't attend it, I may just want to watch the highlights - the game-winning shot, the technical foul that led to a player being ejected, or perhaps commentary from the most valuable player. These are all short videos derived from the same content, and if it's interesting enough, I might decide to watch the full game on replay. Ask yourself - what more could you be doing with the video interviews or recording of your keynote from a recent event?

3) They make sure their audience is continually fed with content.
I recently watched a video published on one of the accounts I follow online. It was composed of only text and music, but the text represented the publisher's message to all subscribers. It was an apology for not posting any content during the holiday season because he or she was away on a family road trip. While I don't suggest associations release an apology like this, I do suggest that associations consider the logic. In this case YouTubers believe it's their responsibility to publish informative or valuable content regularly, otherwise, their followers may decide to take their SUBSCRIBE elsewhere. Question - what level of engagement is your association missing out on by not investing in a frequent video program?

Ultimately, associations need to complement the above with a sound content calendar, monetization strategy, and also a platform that manages the viewer experience, and distribution of content (and that's where Association TV steps in). In no way am I suggesting that if you apply the above list, your video program will be a mega-success. These considerations are only part of a bigger effort. But they are important to factor in, because a program that falls short of delivering the quantity and integrity of content to its audience, could end up falling short.

Randell Mauricio is Chief Operating Officer for WorkerBee.TV

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