How to Sell Video

Here’s How Forum Engagement Can Change Your Sales (+ Ideas to Make It Work)

by Paula Rosenberg · March 28, 2016 · Comments

Forums are one of those “old school” internet tools that still actually work. (Just look at perpetually-active Reddit, if you need an example.) Forums are like the digital room you want to gather all your friends and fans in, to start conversations, answer questions, and see what everyone’s talking about. That’s why it can be such a powerful tool for video sellers who want to build their audience. 

Each VHX publisher has their own community forum built into their site, so you can make customer engagement personal from day one. Forums tend to be most successful for sites that are frequently releasing new content, like subscription video and series. In fact, SVOD sites on VHX that have active forums make over 4X more revenue than sites without forums. Yup. Get to stepping…to your forums. 

Some Forum Basics

Make it personal. Forums are a casual place to spark conversations, so talk like yourself!

Post consistently. When you launch forums, start by posting a couple of new threads a week. If your community grows and members start their own threads, you may find that you don’t need to start as many yourself.  

Be responsive. When folks ask questions, offer advice, or start a new thread, respond! They’re ready to interact, so you should hop on the chance. Down the road, with more voices in discussions, you may only need to respond to threads a couple times a week.  

Find more forum setup basics over in our help docs.  

Building an audience around subscription content

One of the biggest challenges of running your own subscription video network is keeping customers engaged, so they’ll stay customers. Forums are a great way to offer something extra to paying subscribers that keeps engagement up month-to-month. Here are some creative ways to connect:

  1. Create a place for members to introduce themselves

    An intros board is a great way to welcome fans on an individual level and encourage them to connect with one another. On the fitness site Yoga with Adriene, Adriene started a simple introductions thread that hundreds of her fans have responded to. Members love seeing where everyone is from and hearing how they got introduced to yoga.  

  2. Start a Q&A

    On a Q&A board, fans can ask all kinds of burning questions. Here’s an easy way to add content: Do a weekly or monthly video where you respond directly to their queries via video. The training site Gifted has taken the Q&A concept even further — they actively ask fans to post their ideas for what videos and extras they’d like to see.  

  3. Give supplemental information

    Forums can be an interactive way to provide extra information or guidance to your audience. In addition to their threads around workout videos,  Bar Brothers uses forums to offer subscribers additional fitness and nutrition tips. This is especially helpful for instructional content, where a developed forum community can help each other navigate lessons

  4. Offer exclusive private boards

    Make your subscribers feel like true insiders by giving them private access to content that the rest of the public doesn’t have. This can be a useful tool if you have fans on social media that you’re trying to convert to paid subscribers — it’s another extra that you can easily offer as part of your monthly subscription. For example, Yoga With Adriene has most of their boards open to the public, but also runs a private board with discussions just for members. 

Using forums to keep video series fans excited

Oh the pleasure and pain of waiting for the next episode! Forums are the perfect place to keep fans engaged and excited between episodes, or between seasons:  

  1. Encourage topic threads

    This is a way to keep fans hooked between episodes. Start threads devoted to individual characters, episodes, story arcs, etc. An African City’s fans love engaging on these topics, and also have threads dedicated to the fashion and music on the series.  

  2. Make off-season chat fun

    Use active forums to keep momentum going or reel fans back in before your next season releases. When the current season is wrapping up, start a thread asking fans who or what they’d like to see more of in the future. Black & Sexy TV has a great example of this — they started a thread asking fans what type of characters they’d like to see in future shows. And as you’re getting ready to release a new season, use new threads to continue the chatter and build up the hype.

What other ways do you use forums to connect with your audience? We’d love to hear from you!