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Video Communities and the Value of the Retention-Advocacy Feedback Loop

If you had to choose, which type of shopping cart do you prefer: physical or virtual? With 63 percent of all shopping occasions taking place online, it’s not hard to see how the allure of digital convenience can give even the most well-established brick and mortar a run for its money. From groceries to footwear, everything the average shopper will ever need is only a few fateful clicks away.

The internet changed the whole ecosystem of normal consumer habits. Coupons are copied and pasted instead of clipped; abandoned shopping carts disappear into the ether instead of blocking the nearest checkout aisle; receipts clog your inbox instead of your trash can. But that’s not to say that all aspects of the real world shopping experience translate easily into the digital domain.

Say you’re looking for recommendations on which brand of product to buy. You can’t call over a staff member to ask about specifics or lean over to see what everyone else put in their carts, so where do you start? The vendor-supplied user reviews underneath each item? Aggregated Amazon user scores?

The internet’s wealth of options can feel like an overwhelming wall of noise if you don’t know which voices to listen to. So why not direct your potential customers towards something eavesdrop worthy?

It Takes A Village To Build Your Brand

In the past, we’ve discussed how Video Social Proof can increase your brand’s engagement potential by emphasizing relatable, visually-focused solutions with the proper context at just the right time. The fifth Video Social Proof principle may be the hardest to nail down, but will also see the greatest returns on your investment: Communal.

An engaged community is the end goal of every effective Video Social Proof campaign, cordially inviting your customers into this brand community to which they feel a true connection and membership. With the right approach, you can create an environment where users gravitate towards your brand, keeping the conversation around your products alive through regular, authentic interactions that serve to expedite each customer’s path to purchase.

And authenticity is absolutely the key here; users can smell committee-curated video content and overly cheerful actors ten pages away. By fostering the growth of your brand’s online community, you create a space for genuine, approachable discussions about your value from users who speak from experience.

A Video Is Worth A Thousand Forum Posts

What sets a community of user-generated videos apart from, say, a dense collection of written reviews or a typical high-traffic message board?

For one, giving customers the chance to share their thoughts face to face with other users puts a more relatable spin on the user review experience. Instead of considering a purchase through the lens of an indifferent star rating, video communities put the user experience front and center.

Video communities also inhabit a unique space between message boards and social media platforms, taking a few of the most effective aspects of each and dropping some of the biggest drawbacks.

  • Review videos can be collected and published across your full marketing cycle to boost and support your audience, making sure that they are seeing the most relevant and helpful content at critical moments.
  • Video communities can serve as a sort of social hub for your user base, showcasing trustworthy peer voices whose experiences will resonate with other viewers and reinforce the idea of brand kinship. 
  • Since users won’t have to wander far for links to the products being discussed, in-platform video communities can drastically increase engagement and simultaneously usher customers along the buyer’s journey without ever leaving your desired path to purchase.

So, we can already see how video communities can be used to leverage existing customers and keep an engaged user base active and responsive. But those are the broad strokes; let’s get into the specifics.

Community Standards

A communal approach to Video Social Proof empowers several key elements that allow you user base to flourish:

  • Trust: In Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends Research, brand trust is noted as one of the top trends to cultivate if you hope to reliably increase engagement. With scripted video ads, you run the risk of turning potential customers away with contrived, inauthentic pitches and artificial enthusiasm. With video communities, however, you create an enduring, but unobtrusive, link between your product and the people most interested in using it. Potential customers can hear about your brand’s offerings straight from the mouths of current users, while satisfied customers can feel free to gush about their recent purchase in a safe, agreeable environment.
  • Participation: Video communities allow for a freedom of expression that’s hard to replicate across other modes of communication; they also provide a level of personal interaction that’s intimate enough to build trust without sacrificing accessibility for those who have just only begun to tune in. Offering users the opportunity to step into the LED-generated spotlight, even for a moment, leaves the door open for long-term engagement. For video community members, there’s nothing wrong with being in the audience when you can step in front of the camera at any time.
  • Reward: Finally, let’s get to the sweetest dopamine release of all: a well-earned reward. By enticing your video community members with discounts, giveaways, merch, and anything else that your marketing department can come up with, you can spark as many conversations as you’d like to see with just a few lines of prompting text. Of course, those are only the most tangible rewards on offer; becoming a member of a flourishing video community can be its own prize if you’ve built up enough brand recognition.

Looking for a more...perpetual argument in favor of video communities? Then let’s set our gaze on a tale as old as commerce: the buyer’s journey.

The Retention/Advocacy Feedback Loop

The path to purchase is never an easy one; for every enticing offer and ritzy graphic, buyers will find ways to poke holes in your pitch. Through the magic of video communities and Video Social Proof, you can ease customers along the buyer’s journey by helping them recognize their role in your brand’s ecosystem.

You’re probably familiar with the first three stages of the typical buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase. To stay focused on how video communities can help you, let’s take a concentrated look at the last two steps and how they can feed off of each other with the right community-based approach:

  • Retention: A great way to keep customers engaged is through repeated, novel interactions with your brand. Through video communities, you extend the half-life of user engagement; customers can view user-generated videos to facilitate purchase recommendations, then, after the purchase itself, return to the community to flaunt their new goods. Regular incentivized campaigns, such as the giveaways mentioned above or TikTok-like prompts, can inject new life into the community and increase your brand’s visibility without the trouble of scripted video production. Which leads neatly into...
  • Advocacy: It’s not a stretch to say that your customers are your best advocates. Letting satisfied users do your marketing for you without the veneer of corporate intervention is a tough trick to pull off, but the return on investment can be staggering. Video communities give your users a space to speak to your product’s value and show those on the fence what your product could look like in their hands. If you play your digital cards right, your video community just earned you an additional sale and convinced your new customer to upload a video extolling the quality of your product. And so the cycle begins anew.

The retention/advocacy feedback loop described above can make growing your own video community a breeze, but that’s assuming that you’ve chosen the right video community platform for the job.

Our particular brand of video features and platforms has seen no small measure of success across a wide span of industries and clients.

We’ve helped companies, across industries, harness the power of user-generated content to boost engagement and build robust communities.

If you’ve got an idea on how VideoPeel can help you set up your own video community platform, request a custom price quote or put some time on our calendar for a personalized consultation.

Let us help you build your brand’s video community from the ground up. Customers are always talking about the products that bring them joy; give those conversations a place to reverberate.

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