Firstly, they are a membership-driven organization. They make money primarily through monthly subscriptions.
Secondly, they distribute content. Netflix curates a collection based on what they predict members will want to see. And more recently, they’ve begun producing their own exclusive content to fill gaps they see in the market.
Lastly, they focus on retaining subscribers. Keeping their audience entertained and invested in their platform is key for their survival.
We hope this sounds at least vaguely familiar because this is essentially what your associations have been doing since their inception.
What does all this add up to? Booming streaming platforms like Netflix have wildly high member-retention rates. In fact, some studies show that Netflix has a customer retention rate of 93%.
Well, part of the reason for their success is their ability to adapt. Transitioning from a mail-order DVD company to a video streaming platform showed their ability to anticipate incoming trends and made them the poster child for digital transformations.
You can see this in their extensive use of data and analytics. With 75% of viewer activity based on personalized recommendations, their algorithm successfully keeps viewers engaged by predicting what they would like to watch based on their past behavior. You have this same information on your platform and can use it to track what your members are interacting with and then suggest other content they might be interested in.
So you don’t have a fancy AI that will track members and collate data for you — that’s fine. You have access to analytics from your web page and AMS/CRM. Use the data to track activity and discover what your members want more of or even what they don’t care about. With digital platforms, see which members log in, what they view, and how long they view it — all information you can use to plan future content or suggest content that you already have to keep them engaged.
The only problem is if your videos, webinars, podcasts, or virtual events are on separate platforms. This makes it difficult to gather data.
If your videos are on YouTube, you’ll be able to see things like reach, engagement, audience, and (if you’re monetized) revenue. But this only extends to your own videos. You won’t be able to see how viewers found you. The closest you can get is comparing the number of clicks on a link (say from Twitter or LinkedIn) to the number of views. But it isn’t exact, and with the lack of information, you may not even be able to tell if it was one of your members or prospective members who was watching.
You could spend a whole bunch of time and energy downloading all the different reports from all your platforms, but then you have to somehow sort, analyze and integrate them into usable data. Not to get political, but that sounds like a nightmare. On the other hand, if you happen to have someone on your team who loves doing this type of work, then, by all means, go for it. Far be it from us to spoil someone’s fun.
But, if you also avoid math and statistics or just want to simplify the reports, a single platform with your LMS, videos, podcasts, events, articles, and webinars all in one place will make the data easier to analyze. It also allows you to track members from one content source to another, giving you further insight into what they’re looking for.
Now, you may not yet have a fancy algorithm to give members suggestions based on what they’re watching. That’s something you can work up to.
Use the information you have to influence and improve your programming. Perhaps members are clicking off at the 2-minute mark on your videos or skipping over certain topics altogether. You can see where interest is lagging and pivot, adjusting for what your members want to watch.
Media companies do this all the time. Netflix noticed a trend of 80s nostalgia and capitalized with Stranger Things before rebooting the classic cartoon She-Ra in 2016. After the success of these two shows, they’ve continued the trend with another classic 80s cartoon — He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
Shows with higher ratings get more seasons, spinoffs and are even used as inspiration for new shows (or reboots). You can use this same approach. If your video about membership benefits does well, try doing a spinoff that goes in-depth on some of those benefits and features member interviews. If you notice a particular topic getting traction in your social media feed, find out how to make content out of it. Just remember that it goes both ways. If season 1 doesn’t perform well they’re probably not going to be renewed.
Take advantage of the data you collect while your members are on your site. If members aren’t watching full videos, make them shorter. If they’re ignoring content about a particular topic, find out why and adjust your strategy. Make your member’s experience the best it can be and build engagement with data.
Go forth and use it wisely.
If you want to dig deeper into this topic, or more specifically, discover how you can make your association as binge-able as Netflix, you can find a summary of the presentation from Association TV’s Dan Stevens and Association Analytics’s Greg Pollack HERE.
And, if you’d like to see the presentation live, you can watch Dan Stevens on November 10, 2021, at CSAE 2021: Community – the details are HERE.