It’s fair to assume that all organizations would like to get an edge in marketing, right? Nonprofit organizations often face special challenges in communicating with the public, potential donors, volunteers, and myriad other kinds of stakeholders. When it comes to marketing, nonprofits can get a little boost by emulating successful tactics of for-profit companies, as they have already tested these strategies out. I’m a big fan of not reinventing the wheel!
Increasingly, the private sector is proving that using video in their online marketing is critically important, and their use of video shows no signs of going anywhere but up.
Statistics on Online Video Marketing
There are a ton of stats around video consumption online, but here are a quick rundown of some that focus on how effective video can be in converting website visitors into action-takers (whether that’s a purchase, a signup, etc):
Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined – Brightcove
Companies that use video as part of their marketing see 41% more traffic than those that don’t – Aberdeen
62% of consumers are likely to have a poor perception of a company that publishes poor quality video – Brightcove
Video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80% or more – Visually
Video on homepages can increase conversions by 20% or more – Visually
70% of marketers feel that video produces more conversions than any other content type – Vidyard
Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines – Brightcove
40% of consumers state that video increases the chance they’ll purchase a product on their mobile device – Adobe
Why Does Video Marketing Matter for Nonprofits?
You might be thinking “Okay, so for-profit companies find this helpful, but I’m not selling a product. How does this help my nonprofit?” Well, if you shift your thinking slightly to think of your mission as a product you have to sell to sponsors, donors and volunteers, the lightbulb should click on.
Using video to take advantage of this huge potential for visibility, sharing and interaction can really help boost your organization’s connection with audiences. Video can be extremely effective in forging an emotional connection between donors and your mission, which will make your eventual ask so much more powerful.
The combination of audio, imagery, and text that you can offer in a single video can be game changing for your messaging to the public.
Video Ideas for Nonprofits
So we’ve seen that videos can be powerful for nonprofits, but you might be at a loss as to where to start. Here are some quick and dirty ideas that might help get you in the right frame of mind:
Reimagined Blog Content
Why not let your blog content speak in various formats? There are some great tools out there that let you quickly convert text content to video (Content Samurai, talked about below, uses some awesome algorithms to make this a snap). One quick (high quality) video made from content you’ve already written can get this content seen on multiple platforms that your text-based blog post would never be able to touch.
This type of video works exceptionally well when some or all of your blog post content is a list of some sort.
Your donors no doubt get appeal emails or letters from more than just your organization, so standing out is critical. A video from your organization is more likely to create an emotional connection with your appeal than text or images alone. Let them hear someone tell them the relevant statistics your appeal letter will reiterate, or have one of those your mission has served tell them their story. This is a surefire way to increase donor buy-in and make the final ask of the appeal more effective.
Call for Volunteers
Put your volunteer coordinator on screen and have them say the words “We need your help!” With information put into a compelling video ask, your volunteer appeal can be put in front of audiences online that you might never reach with a web page or blog post. The addition of images and video clips of past volunteer efforts will add an element of volunteer education that can inspire a potential volunteer to take the next step.
Quick Annual Report Snapshot
Text- and graphic-based videos can be great at conveying snapshots of data, and keeping it interesting. Annual reports as a whole are not usually gripping page turners, so introducing your year’s successes to a wide audience and introducing them to the data (and those that need to read the full document will be primed and ready).
You can share this video on social platforms to showcase the wins of the year, and embed it on the page used to access the full report as an effective primer. Remember, landing pages that include a video are proven to be more effective!
Video Production Tools for Nonprofits
While we have the “why” down, the “how” of making a well-produced video is where a lot of beginners start to get nervous. Surely, making a professional-feeling video must be hard! Actually, with the right tools it can be pretty straightforward.
No matter the tool you use, you should always start with thoughtfully considering your intended audience and crafting your content around that (this is a rule of thumb for anything you put out, but bears repeating here). If you think of your ideal audience member viewing this video, is it something that “fits” them and your intent for them? Just put some thought to make sure the audience and the content line up, and you’re ready to go.
There are lots of video production tools out there, some better than others. Here are a few with their accompanying pros and cons.
This is the movie production tool that comes with every Mac as part of the iLife suite.
- Comes free with Mac systems
- If you’re on a Mac, integrates well with a lot of the other Apple programs (iPhoto, iTunes, etc)
- Can’t use this if you’re not on a Mac
- Not always the most flexible
- Take some getting used to, not the easiest learning curve
Premier is Adobe’s video editing software, and has been used to produce full-scale Hollywood movies.
- Widely used by professional video producers
- Professional quality
- Probably the biggest learning curve of any software on this list
- Not the easiest to use if you don’t have experience
This is my top recommendations for beginners to approach video creation for most applications. Content Samurai is a web-based app that uses advanced speech and text algorithms to take your text content and convert it quickly into a high-quality video for use online. The video on their website can tell you the details, but it’s an incredibly intuitive step-by-step process that lets you quickly churn out high-quality videos on the fly.
- Web based, can use anywhere on any type of computer
- Super easy learning curve, intro video breaks down the steps
- Built with impressive speech / text recognition algorithms to help automate the process
- Adding images, text, speech and music is an easy, guided process
- Not free, though has a 30-day money back guarantee (Bright Nonprofit readers can get a 50% discount by going here)
Various Free Options
While you can find free video editors online, I generally recommend staying with the paid programs. You’ll get a better product, and you avoid any of the potential malware you can be exposed to when downloading from many of the shadier “free software” sites online.
Note: If you have some stellar recommendation of a free video editor, please shoot me an email at email@example.com and let me know! I’d love to have a solid free solution that someone has experience and success with to present to readers.
Video can seem intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be hard or scary. When you have the right planning in place and tools like Content Samurai making the process easy, even someone who’s never produced a video can pick it up quickly.
A tip for beginners, if it really feels scary to put something out there, just do it. Just create your first video and get the scary process out of the way. You don’t even have to release what you make, just make it. Once you have some experience and see how easy it can be, the next attempt will be easier.
Take advantage of video marketing online for your nonprofit, and you’ll be getting the most bang for your social buck.