How video content is powering 12WBT's member and social media marketing strategy

Michelle Bridges-owned fitness business is now looking to grow video content assets for marketing opportunities

12WBT mindset page example

An integrated and scalable video management platform is giving the 12 Week Body Transformation team the confidence to rapidly expand its offering for members while opening new social and marketing opportunities.

12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) is a 12-week exercise, nutrition and mindset program offering created in 2010 by celebrity personal trainer, Michelle Bridges. The foundation of its programs is a subscription-based member website, where content related to health, fitness and wellbeing is accessed through a paywall.

The company has hundreds of videos including short exercise demonstrations, 45-minute workouts, and one-to-one mindset pep talks with Bridges, and is continually adding new material. The group currently offers 13 different distinct programs.

Videos are designed to address different stages and milestones in each health and fitness program, and are constantly being refreshed as new scientific and medical information becomes available.

“Video content is central to the experience and we’re shooting new videos constantly,” 12WBT video content lead, Joady Weatherup, said. Customers in any program are scheduled two pre-recorded videos per week. These assets are reused across several programs but are often distinct to a member journey.

“For example, a pregnancy program member wouldn’t see the same content as those members on a marathon program,” she said. “The other factor is we have many returning members... and at the very least, they need to see new or different material than during their first experience. So we have a range of video material oriented to them.”

Back in mid-2011, it became apparent the company needed a more comprehensive video management tool and two years ago, 12WBT invested in Brightcove’s Video Cloud Smart Player solution. The company previously used public platforms including YouTube and free services, but recognised it required better security, to control its own IP, and to have a more flexible and robust system.

“The other option was to host videos and try and serve them ourselves but why reinvent the wheel?” Weatherup asked.

In the past two years, the business has gone from one program to 13, segmented its audience, and doubled the number of rounds of programs to eight per year. As a result, 12WBT conducted an RFP 12 months ago to review video management options available to suit its growing needs. The decision was to stick with Brightcove.

“At times where we’ve needed functionality and they don’t have it yet, the team has been really responsive, come back and run betas with us,” Weatherup said.

One of the key features for 12WBT is Brightcove’s API. Video assets are integrated directly with 12WBT’s content management system (CMS), reducing workflow management while giving the team control over the publishing process.

Weatherup said the capabilities available through Brightcove’s platform have led 12WBT to become more ambitious with its video portfolio, as well as provided the ability to manage public-facing campaigns and member content offerings in a different way.

“We are able to deliver the right content to members at the right time,” she said. “It’s not just websites or to their laptop, but also to their mobile or iPad. We have clear visibility across where people are watching our content.

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“They [Brightcove] can and do influence how we implement a new initiative and functionality.”

12WBT is now turning its sights to better utilising video in marketing and social media efforts. Weatherup said it is testing a range of activities to see what works and why.

“There is increasing demand from our marketing and social teams to provide more video in those channels. The challenge is to marry this with our end game and aim, which is to connect to more potential members,” she said. “As a membership subscription site, we know we have a great array of content but how do we show that to people without letting them in? That’s where our focus is.”

Integrating video content into its social community is another priority, and 12WBT can publish directly from Brightcove to social media channels. The company has 800,000 Facebook fans.

“We have a strong community of members returning, and they feel part of the family. This defines our social media presence,” Weatherup said.

One example where video is proving much more compelling is through ‘before and after’ stories of members.

“With static photos, social communities online often question if they are authentic. But if we turn these into testimonial videos exploring that member’s journey, that conversation becomes one of inspiration and congratulations,” Weatherup explained. “They get significantly more social shares. So video works for us and we’re having a good hard look at that, what it means and what we can learn from that.”

The company also launched a new public website last month that is more video centric.

“It’s a great example of how the role of video has evolved for us and our members,” Weatherup said. “People view screens now, they don’t read them as much. Showing people what’s there with video is a lot more effective.”

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