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How to Engage Your Audience through Video


It is no secret that video is one of the most engaging forms of media. Most people prefer to watch a quick video with workout tips instead of reading a story about it. Therefore, a great way to engage with your members is through video marketing.

Two years ago, Gainesville Health and Fitness (GHF) partnered with its local ABC TV station affiliate in Gainesville, Florida, to put together weekly health and fitness videos that run on the news. “It runs every Monday morning and then of course we re-purpose that everywhere,” said Debbie Lee, the chief marketing officer at GHF.

Each video is about two minutes in length and teaches the community how to do something fitness oriented, with some nutrition or dietary tips as well. “We just finished doing ‘Bodyweight Exercises for Travel,’ or many times we do things that are seasonal,” explained Lee. “We work with the station and they have some ideas based on what they know their viewership wants to hear about. For example, in April we did a ‘Summer Ready’ series where we mixed up fitness ideas along with nutrition, because if you are looking to be beach-body ready, you have to address some of the nutrition aspects as well.”

Lee works with her team to produce the videos in-house before sending them to the TV station each week. “From a production standpoint, it is definitely work on our end, but it is super organized now because we know what we are doing,” she said. “We have an editorial calendar, so we can look at what the topics are, then we pick our trainers or instructors. We know when we are going to film, the appropriate lighting and sound. Then we edit everything and we send it over to the station. It is not like you need to have a whole TV production department to do it. With all the technology it is not as challenging as it would have been years ago.”

According to Lee, there are numerous benefits in pursuing a video project like this. Not only does it give the club great exposure through the TV station viewership, but it also provides Lee with an extensive amount of content. “On Facebook, video gets our highest engagement,” said Lee. So it helps us in all of our digital marketing. The far-reaching effects are quite tremendous. Content is king and you have got to have it. This allows us to have a lot of content for a lot of different audiences.”

Lee shares a few tips for managing a video project:

  • Create an editorial calendar with topics that are timely and resonate with your audience. “Maybe they are seasonal or they are based on a national health observation, like national heart disease month, those kinds of things,” suggested Lee. “It is really determining what your topics are that fit you and the audience you want to get to.”
  • Give yourself a deadline. “The main reason we get this done is because we have to,” added Lee. “We have a drop-dead deadline. The No. 1 thing is you need to have a deadline that is non-negotiable, because if you don’t it will always get pushed back. Whether it is going out in a newsletter every Monday or something else, figure out what your urgency for getting it done is.”
  • Pick your talent. “Not everyone is good on camera,” said Lee. “You need to have someone that has a little bit of energy and feels comfortable. Some are better than others, so it takes a little trial and error.”

Worried you don’t have the resources to put together something like this? Like Lee said, with today’s technology anything is possible. “The good news is, you probably have someone on your staff that has in interest in photography or videography that you might not know about,” said Lee. “If you are not doing it for TV and you are using it in-house or on social media, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy.”

Emily Harbourne

Emily Harbourne is the assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine.

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