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Community: The Secret to Subscription Video Success

[This is the third blog post in a series about marketing your video subscription service. The first post can be found here, “Happily Ever After for a Subscription Video Service” and the second one, “Four Ways to Demonstrate Value to Subscribers“.]

Once you’ve launched a subscription video service, you’re ready to start building out the video library. But don’t stop with videos – work on building the sense of community among your subscribers.

This is the third (and final) post in a series about marketing your video subscription service. These posts have discussed value nurturing – strategies for delighting your customers so they use, renew, and recommend your service. As in the best movie trilogies, this last installment brings it all home with a big reveal. Here it is:

The secret to subscription video success lies in your subscriber community.

Competitors may publish similar videos, but your subscriber community is yours alone.

Expand the value of your video service by making the subscriber part of a larger community. The more you build and reinforce that sense of community, the stronger your overall position in your market.

You can choose to reinforce the sense of community within the platform or create virtual or in-person gatherings outside of it. Better yet, do both.

Create Community Within the Platform

Look at the experience of using the platform from the subscriber’s perspective. Most video hosting platforms include features that, if used wisely, will make the subscriber feel like something bigger.

Usage data and statistics. Can you transform the subscription and user analytics into value nurturing tools? Why yes, you can. Here are a few possible approaches.

  • Share usage data about videos and customer segments. In the earlier days of Netflix, when it was only DVD rentals, the website I used to choose videos included a list of which DVDs were popular in my city. This list made me feel part of a larger community of Netflix users in my city. And I found some interesting recommendations from that group.
  • Share real-time data. How many people are watching this video or taking this class right now? That small insight connects the subscriber with the larger customer community.

Reviews. Invite subscribers to review videos or share their opinions on courses. Subscribers will learn from each other, and you will gain insight into what your customers value. People who submit the reviews get the added bonus of being helpful to others.

Subscriber-generated content. Invite people to share their own videos, whether as part of the general service or as part of a limited-time contest. If appropriate, curate and feature customer-generated videos in a special category. This gives individual subscribers visibility within the larger platform and again creates possibilities for connections. In addition, subscribers who invest the time and effort in submitting videos are likely to remain loyal to the service.


Beyond the Video Screen

Connecting people in meaningful ways is an act of generosity. Businesses that make connections add value to their customers’ lives.

Beyond the video solution itself, find ways to connect subscribers with your company and each other. Focus on making meaningful connections and delivering value rather than selling. Here are a few ideas.

1. Host an online forum where subscribers can connect with each other. Often, customers will answer each others’ questions. As a side benefit, you’ll learn more about what your customers need and value.

The swimming instruction site Total Immersion Swimming hosts an active discussion forum. Topics discussed extend beyond the technique to areas such as open water swimming and using wetsuits in triathlons. Subscribers can use the forum to find training buddies who live near them, extending connections from the online world to the real one.

2. Manage communities on existing social networks. You can also manage online communities on existing social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or others. (Again, this depends on where your subscribers spend time.)

3. Host in-person events. In-person connections are much more powerful than virtual ones. Host events related to the videos and your subscribers’ interests, and try to gather local subscribers as well as prospects to strengthen links within your community.

That’s All, Folks!

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