Is it time to start a YouTube channel?

Is it time for your association to start a YouTube channel?
Is it time for your association to start a YouTube channel?
  • Cody Hobbs
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  • Association . millennial . video . Youtube .

We’ve talked before about the potential benefits of starting a weekly or monthly podcast, but we haven’t really talked in-depth about video.  And that’s because producing video content can be difficult.  It requires a whole new skill set from just writing content, or even producing a timely podcast.  Some associations already do post videos of key-note speakers from their events, but producing regular content just doesn’t seem tenable.  And even if you do manage to higher a staffer who produces quality video content, will the return really be worth the cost?

The short term answer is: maybe.  Associations appealing to seasoned professionals may not see much benefit to producing video content.  Veteran members may be accustomed to reading content either from the website itself, or in some cases still prefer print copies.  From this view, adding a more polished and regularly scheduled video production to your line up may seem like a waste.  But that’s shortsighted thinking.

With the rise and proliferation of cheap video recording equipment, the upcoming generation have found a new home on YouTube.  What may have started as childish musings has transformed, in recent years, to serious business.  Some have even decided, and found success at, turning their video-making hobby into a career.  And more and more, people in this generation are starting to see traditional television as obsolete.

These cable “cord-cutters” are getting more and more of their content from online sites like NetFlix and Hulu.  But even more surprising, their starting to turn away from traditionally produced media all together.  YouTube has revived the modern “essay”, and covers broad topics like since, philosophy, and more.  While these video essays may not be as highly produced as traditional television, their quality easily rises and matches what tehy’re aiming for.  This means that the people in this generation aren’t just using video content for entertainment, they’re using it for educational purposes as well.  All this to say, the growing YouTube market is starting to bite into the traditional written article space, too.

As your association starts to look forward to the future, and how to court the growing number of millennials entering into the workforce, it would be wise to meet them on their grounds.  That means delivering content to them in the way they prefer, just as you accommodate your older members by still offering a printed publication.  Surprisingly, this is something few associations have figured out.  As i mentioned above, they might have video recordings from conferences, but little else.  In this age of such fierce competition, cracking the video egg could put you a head above the rest.