Is it time to create your own Chamber TV “channel” and take advantage of our binge-watching culture?
Gen Xers and Millennials may be the last generations who will remember eagerly waiting for the right day and time to watch their favorite show. Some of us might’ve even changed plans “back in the day” in order to see a season finale or premier. Or got up early to watch the same Looney Tunes over and over every Saturday.
Streamed programming changed the TV-watching paradigm forever. Today, we stream at leisure, getting the content we want when we want it.
But this isn’t just for entertainment’s sake. It’s how we digest all sorts of media including professional development videos and webinars.
I have signed up for several webinars (in fact, way more than I have attended), knowing full well I can’t make the time it’s scheduled.
But I know that most webinar organizers will send out a recording (or a link to one) that I can watch on my own schedule. This is the preference for a lot of participants, your chamber audience included.
That’s why some chambers of commerce professionals are creating video libraries of webinars, tips, and even their own TV series!
Are you ready to join them?
7 Reasons to Start Producing Chamber Video for Streaming
Chamber TV may not be right for every organization but some are actively embracing the idea.
Here’s why producing video for streaming consumption is becoming so popular with chambers:
- It’s a good source of non-dues revenue. If you have businesses or thought leaders who are willing to pay to be featured, your TV channel can be a great source of non-dues revenue. Advertising is a secondary source of non-dues revenue on these videos as well. Or take a hint from Hollywood and add a little “product placement” in the background such as a branded backdrop or branded mugs on the set. Just make sure if you choose to “double-dip” with charging a featured business and an advertiser/sponsor that they are not in any type of competition. You don’t want any hard feelings in the episode. Tarpon Springs Chamber uses a simple Square form to obtain payments for their My Chamber TV segments.
- It gives members exposure. People love to watch video. It’s a good way to give members exposure and showcase a human side of the business leadership or the employees.
- Helps people make an emotional connection. Words are wonderful but people identify with emotions they read on people’s faces. Adding video to your resource library can help your members and staff have a greater emotional connection with your audience.
- Provides good visuals. If your member sells something visual, video can be an excellent way to showcase it.
- Creates speaker footage. If you have someone in your community who’s working on thought leadership or breaking into presentations or public speaking, they need footage they can share. This is not always easy to come by. Your video could provide that for them.
- Can lead to a sale (and data). You can provide purchase or booking links in your show notes. If you use bit.ly or other link shortener, you can track exactly how many referrals came from the video link and use that data to entice future guests to do a video with you. It also provides stats for the business that appeared on the show.
- Effectively tells your area’s story. Stories are memorable and video is a great medium for sharing them.
5 Tools You Need to Create More Professional Videos
Like many marketing components, you can spend a lot or a little on your video production. At the very basic level, you’ll want good lighting and a phone, preferably a tripod or something to hold it steady when filming. It’s likely you can scavenge these things from what you have around your chamber office or home.
While your Wayne’s World-level Chamber TV channel might be charming, consider making the following investments if you want to upgrade the look and feel of your videos:
- a green screen. This provides a consistent, professional background no matter where you are. You can also project onto it and change up your background in a variety of ways including broadcasting from “in front of the Eiffel Tower” in your living room.
- background. In lieu of a green screen, you can create your own background. (You can see this below in the Tarpon Springs example. They have a really nice, professional studio look.)
- a good mic. We’ve all watched videos with bad sound quality. A good microphone can be expensive but sound quality is one of the top reasons people close out of videos. The type of mic you choose will depend on how you are interviewing or filming. If you’re behind a desk, for instance, a standing mic, lavaliere, headset or boom mic could work well. The investment in tech that minimizes pops, hissing, and other distracting sounds is worth it.
- editing software. You can live stream and post it unedited or you can show it live and then edit it afterward. While you don’t need expensive editing software it does contain more features for splicing, music, and other finesses than what you might find in the freebies.
- professional lighting kits. Good lighting makes a huge difference both because it looks more professional and because it makes everyone look better. There are movie actors that owe their whole career to great lighting.
If you don’t want to invest in your own equipment, you may be able to find a member with these things. Conversely, you could invest in your own equipment and rent it (or your studio) out to offset the expense.
Want to know more about creating your own video? Check out this step-by-step tutorial by Hubspot.
Examples of Chamber TV and Video Channels
Now that you know why you should do it and what’s involved, let’s take a look at some chambers that are already successfully using video and/or TV episodes.
Each of these chambers uses TV/video in a different way.
Which one would work best in your community?
Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce: Studio TV Interviews
The Tarpon Springs Chamber runs live hour-long episodes and saves the videos to YouTube for on-demand viewing. Check out their member interviews here.
Wichita Falls Chamber: Spotlight on Hometown Products
Wichita Falls created a video series called Made in the Falls that is “dedicated to showcasing products made in Wichita Falls. Each video showcases a product, how it’s made, the inspirational stories behind it, and a glimpse at the people behind the products.”
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce: Recruitment
Hiring is difficult these days but Dayton area employers have a secret weapon from the chamber of commerce. The chamber created a video series under the hashtag #HelloDayton to function as “a recruiting and on-boarding tool for the chamber’s member businesses.”
The Hello Dayton video series highlights some of the many benefits the Dayton region has to offer. Videos are broken down into important categories like housing and entertainment. Their “how it was made” behind the scenes video has garnered over 30,000 views on Facebook.
Worchester Regional Chamber of Commerce: Economic Development Storytelling
The Worchester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Exchange “showcases the stories behind the economic development in Worcester.” They’ve featured many local business leaders sharing their successes. They stream live and play the videos on their local cable channel as well as making them available on YouTube.
Video and television/live-streaming is a strong way to reach your audience. It provides the opportunity for high-profile exposure for your members and non-dues revenue for your chamber.
Have you launched your own Chamber TV channel? How are you using video at your chamber? Feel free to tell us how you’re doing and what your experience with it has been on the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook.