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Four Ways to Demonstrate Value to Subscribers

[This is the second in a three-part series of blogs about building value into the ongoing subscriber relationship. Read the first post, “Happily Every After for a Subscription Video Service” here.]

You’ve launched a subscription video service and have signed up the first customers. People are watching the videos, you’re bringing in new content, and all is right with the world, right?

Maybe, but you’re far from done. Your mission is to keep subscribers feeling good about the choice they have made. In fact, they should be so happy that they make the decision to renew again and again. And that takes some work.

This is the second part in a three part series of posts about using value nurturing strategies to add value to the experience of being a customer. The first covered customer relationships beyond the video. This post talks about demonstrating the value inherent in your service.

Here are four ways to use this strategy in your subscription video service:

1. Give Away the Ending (Sometimes)

Your video may speak for itself, but you can set expectations before people start watching.

Of course, don’t spill the plot of a suspenseful movie! But do set the right expectations. There’s nothing worse than expecting a Disney film and seeing Tarantino movie instead.

If you offer instructional or educational videos, be as explicit as possible about the value the viewer can expect:

  • For instructional videos, highlight “what you’ll learn” points from each video.
  • Add a comments section and invite customers to share the most important things they learned from each video.
  • Add tests or quizzes after the video to reinforce the lessons learned after the fact.

2. Do the Math for Subscribers

The usage statistics on your video platform can play an important role in value nurturing. Let them do the math for your customers. Share the information that makes sense for your service:

  • Let people know how many hours of videos they have watched
  • Keep track of the number of videos watched
  • Set up different course plans and track progress through them

Don’t wait for subscribers to search this data out. Be proactive; pull together data into quarterly or annual reports, or reach out to subscribers when they reach a specific milestone. These communications will remind customers about why and how they’re using the service.

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3. Badges? Maybe They Do Need Stinkin’ Badges!

Sorry, I can’t resist having fun with the movie quotes. But speaking of fun—are subscribers having fun with your service?

If you track subscriber usage, consider adding an element of competition or play. Help subscribers “level up”, give them badges, or create other types of rewards. Gamification can be as simple or complex as you need.

For example, whenever I hit a certain level of steps wearing my Fitbit, the company sends me a “badge” that puts the number in a context, in a graphical badge that I can share on social media.

The Fitbit app also lets me compare my activities with friends, setting up friendly walking competitions or group incentives.

Consider adding game-like features to encourage subscribers to return:

  • Award badges or recognition for watching a certain number of videos
  • Create friendly competitions with social recognition for completing series or courses
  • Give subscribers easy, graphical ways to share information about progress on social networks

4. Track Usage Across the Entire Service

When I was young, the McDonald’s store in town posted a sign keeping track of how many people the chain had served. Watching the number tick up was part of the fun of being one of the crowd who went to McDonald’s. (Okay, now you know that I’ve been around a while.)

Can you share similar data with your subscribers, making them part of something larger? Look through the overall usage statistics and find interesting facts that might resonate with your customers:

  • How many hours of video have you added in the past quarter?
  • How many subscribers used the service in the last year?
  • How many hours have people watched so far this year?
  • How many courses or sessions have subscribes completed?

Put those numbers in a context that makes sense. A meditation video service might tell subscribers that they have contributed to more than 2,000 hours of loving-kindness meditation worldwide, while a site specializing in horror films could boast a certain number of screams or shrieks produced (based on the average number per film and scariness ratings.)

Mining aggregate service data reminds the customers of the value that they’re realizing and helps them feel part of a larger community. The idea of community will be part of the next blog’s topic, so stay tuned.

For more value nurturing strategies, read the book Subscription Marketing.

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