Genealogy is growing dramatically in popularity. Multiple television shows depict family history discoveries, and the use of DNA to help folks climb there family tree has become mainstream. If genealogy is so popular, why is genealogy society membership declining, and how can we slow hat trend?
Genealogy societies have traditionally been centered around genealogists coming together in person, sharing research success stories, and learning more about how to find the records and stories of elusive ancestors.
These days though it’s easy to get distracted by by online research and perceived short cuts. The newest generation of researchers started their search not in a library, but on a computer keyboard. The problem is that they often don’t know what they are missing when it comes to what genealogy societies have to offer.
One solution: show them the value with video!
Create Video Magic with Animoto
(Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thank you for supporting the Genealogy Gems blog!)
One of my favorite video creation tools is Animoto because it helps you creates incredibly professional-looking videos in a shockingly short amount of time. And most importantly, Animoto requires no more technical skill than clicking, dragging, and dropping with a mouse.
Rather than seeing the Internet as the enemy of your society, embrace it and put it to work for it. Online video is terrific tool for:
Building your membership
Providing genealogical educational information
Sharing events with those who are unable to attend in person
just to name a few ideas.
See It for Yourself
Last year I had the pleasure of presenting a full day genealogy seminar in Fresno, California. Turning photos of the day into a video that could be used to build membership was a breeze With Animoto. I selected a design, uploaded my images and added text to help make the case. Here’s an example of a video I created for the Fresno Genealogical Society.
Getting the Word Out
A video like this can spread the word and reach prospective members in a variety of ways. Here are just a few ideas for how a genealogy society can grow membership using video to achieve their engagement goals:
Download the video from the Animoto website and show it at your next meeting so visitors can envision reasons to return
Embed the video your society’s website (just copy the code from Animoto and paste it on your webpage and the video will appear in a convenient video player)
Share the video on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram to not only get views, but provide a super simple way for supporters to share it which will get your society more exposure.
Keys to Video Success
Just a bit of planning can deliver great results. Here are my recommendations for how a genealogy society can grow membership and achieve promotional video success:
Keep it short – it took just 1 and 1/2 minutes to convey the answers to the who, what, where, and why questions folks may ask when considering a genealogy society in the Fresno area
Let images do most of the talking – there’s no need for being verbose if you have energetic imagery that convey your ideas.
Highlight the benefits – the big question potential members have is “why should I bother joining a genealogy society? Make sure you answer that question in your video
Tell them at the beginning and end how to find you – repeating your website address and keeping it on the screen long enough to jot it down gives them what they need to contact you. And after all, that is the goal of your video.
How to Create Your Genealogy Society Video
We have lots of how-to video creation resources for you here at Genealogy Gems. Click here to find step-by-step instructions for creating videos on Animoto, and to see more examples of the role that video can play in your family history.
More Resources Reveal How a Genealogy Society Can Grow Membership
Don’t just gather genealogical information. Take the time to tell your ancestors’ stories!
Video is the perfect medium for sharing your family’s history. It captures the interest of the eyes and the ears.
In this episode my special guest is Kathy Nielsen. She’s a librarian from California who recently started creating videos. She’s going to walk you through the simple yet effective process she followed. Then I will share additional things to consider and strategies that you can use.
If you’re not interested in creating a video, that’s OK. Today’s episode will make you a better storyteller and will provide you with inspiring story examples by other genealogists.
Elevenses with Lisa Episode 14 – Creating Family History Story Videos
Watch the video and read the full show notes here.
After listening to this episode, watch Elevenses with Lisaepisode 16How to Make a Video with Adobe Spark to learn how to make videos quickly and easily for free.
Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the handy PDF show notes for each of these Elevenses with Lisa episodes. Simply log into your membership, and then in the menu under “Video” click “Elevenses with Lisa.” Click the episode and scroll down to the Resources section of the show notes.
Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the show notes PDF from the Resources section on that page.
Don’t miss the Bonus audio for this episode. In the app, tap the gift box icon just under the media player. Get the app here.
Sunday, September 27th. “The Irish philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke stated in 1790 that “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” For those that do the looking forward, or those just idly curious about in their roots, today is Ancestor Appreciation Day. Census records play an important role in researching individual details, but the law mandates a 72 year wait for access. Annually, though, the Bureau’s American Community Survey compiles statistics for detailed ancestry or ethnic groups or populations in the nation. The largest reported ancestry is German, at over 41-million of our nearly 330-million population. The Irish of Edmund Burke come second, with nearly 31-million, or more than remain in Ireland itself.” Profile America
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Get Unlimited Photo Enhancement and Colorization at MyHeritage
There’s a new video tutorial on genealogy apps for Genealogy Gems Premium website members: “How to Find Essential Genealogy Apps for Genealogists.”
What are the best apps for genealogy? The ones that accomplish whatever you want to GET DONE. Like:
working on your family tree
translating an old church register
digitally restoring an old photo.
Having your mobile device read you an e-book or blog post (yes, you can do this for free).
But to make the most of the many mobile tools out there for the genealogist, you need to strategically look for them rather than hope you stumble across them. Because most of them aren’t conveniently marked “for the genealogist.”
Save 10% off Mobile Genealogy with Coupon code web10
The How to Find Essential Genealogy Apps for Genealogists video is one of nearly 30 full-length video tutorials (and an Evernote mini-series tutorial) that you will have access to as a Genealogy Gems Premium Member. To learn more about membership, click here.)