Think about your club. What are the qualities or characteristics that make it unique? How do you stand out from every other club in your area? If your club website is like most others, there is little differentiation online between your club and others in your area. Heck, there are few characteristics of your online presence that make you different than any other club in the United States. When looking at club websites, it can be difficult to understand what sets one club apart from another.
When digging a little deeper the answer to the question, "What really makes your club unique?" usually comes down to this: "Our members make us special." And yet, on most club websites, there is no opportunity to get a sense for the members or even the staff that make a club apart from the rest. Stock photos, or "professional" photography of the club is standard website design aesthetics which adds up to nothing more than an online brochure. It's been said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth 10,000 words (or more!). I'm willing to bet that you'd agree with that.
The power of video is undeniable. If you watch video on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc. then you know that people have become conditioned to "click play." Why not? It's easier than reading and in many cases watching a video is faster and more descriptive. So, why don't private clubs use more video on their website to stand out? There are any number of reasons from, "We don't know how to do it", to "No one else in our market has video on their website", to "It's not consistent with who we are." None of those responses speaks to the most important question - would prospective members find video helpful? The answer is yes.
Of course, cost is always a factor and knowing what kind of video to produce can be confusing. These concerns are valid and not all videos have the same price tag. To start, identify the biggest points of differentiation for your club. Then, consider the greatest needs of the club - are you having a hard time attracting new members? Is it difficult for members to get to know each other, or is the club culture suffering? Regardless of the challenges facing your club, there's usually a video that can help communicate your key messages and help you stand out from other clubs in your area. There are at least 4 videos that can help you differentiate your club from others around the country, let alone your area, that are easy to produce and won't break your budget:
This is the most straightforward video that you could produce. A simple video that explains all that you would like a prospective member to know. In this video you can showcase the amenities your club offers. From the pool to the dining options to the golf course or the fleet of boats available to members. It's also important that you include members who can provide testimonials for the club. Ideally these are members who reflect the type of people you'd like to attract to the club. So, for example if you're trying to attract younger members, feature your younger members in this video. At the end of this video the viewer should see not only what you have to offer, but they should be able to see themselves at your club.
Member ProFile Videos
One of the biggest concerns that people have when joining a club is not knowing if they'll fit in - especially people who have never been a member at a private club. A member profile video should feature a member who represents the person/family that you'd like to attract. This is a piece that should be relatable for the viewer and lead them to feel like they'll fit right in. Often young families with small children will be concerned that their children may not be welcomed at a club and a member profile video that shows a family with young kids can quell any fears that a prospective viewer may have.
You know who are the first friends many new members make when joining a club for the first time? The staff. The membership director, the host/hostess at the dining room, the starter on the golf course, the aquatics director at the pool, the racquets director or the commodore at the lake. Before a new member knows anyone else, it's your staff that should be most accessible for a new member. Creating staff bio videos helps prospective and new members get to know your team even before they join. In many cases, a prospective member can glean a great deal about your club's culture just from getting to know your staff.
Banquet/Catering Overview Video
Not all clubs are open to hosting weddings and events for non-members, however, for those that do, an overview video of your accommodations is an important marketing piece. Similar to the Overview Video, this piece focuses strictly on your banquet and catering team and capabilities. Show off your ballroom and the different decor that can be selected. Interview your Catering Director or Wedding coordinator so the viewer can determine if they will be comfortable working with that person. This video could also be a testimonial video that features a bride and groom or a primary contact for a gala that hosts their event at your club. Never before have reviews and testimonials been more important and this is a video that can answer many concerns that prospective customers may have.
Time is valuable these days and your time, as well as your prospective members and customers is scarce. We all know that the odds of "closing the deal" is greater if you or your membership director can get a prospect onsite for a tour. What we don't know is how many people have heard about your club, visited your website and made up a story in their head about what your club is and is not based on rumors and what they see online. Video can change that. It has the ability to bring the club to people who want to know more. Video also showcases your club, your members and staff in a way that engages the visitors who could soon become your future members.