Video marketing is probably the best medium available at the moment for engaging audiences and promoting messages. According to research by HubSpot, 90% of users make decisions based somewhat on videos, and 92% of viewers on mobile platforms share video with others. That, alongside the fact that the increasingly important millennial market is heavily engaged with video marketing, is reason enough for your nonprofit to consider creating more videos.
That being said, making a video isn’t as simple as it sounds (and it doesn’t even sound that simple to most). There are a lot of ways video production can look under-done and unprofessional, and unless you happen to fall into the so-bad-it’s-good valley and go viral, a sloppy video isn’t going to sell many people on anything. So, here are a few tips to bear in mind when putting together a marketing video for your nonprofit.
Before you pick up a camera, spend a good deal of time planning out your video and how it will be produced. Firstly, why are you making it? Videos, like any marketing medium, can be mobilized to do a wide variety of things: attract donations, spread awareness, increase engagement, and so on. Set out a specific and pre-defined goal that will guide your production process.
Next, do research on your competition to see what familiar styles and tropes your target market responds to. It’s important at this stage to not beat yourself up for what other people are doing. Just because another nonprofit has made a funny and engaging video that you wish you had come up with, doesn’t mean that you can’t. This process is about identifying basic elements that might be helpful, like video length, visual-to-written content ratio, style and color pallet. As always, however, stay true to your brand and its own style and tone.
Conducting research will help you develop an idea, after which it’s important to sketch it out in a storyboard. This is a written out visual plan, sort of like a comic book, which highlights what each shot in your video will look like and what you want them to convey. It helps to be detailed in this section, but you may want to leave some room for flexibility if you find that one part doesn’t work so well during shooting.
Once you’re actually into the production stage, don’t forget to get quality audio for your video. When it comes to video, we all have pretty good quality cameras on our phones, but audio recording is still way behind. If you don’t pay attention to getting good sound quality your video will always look unprofessional, even if the visuals are great. I recommend investing in an external audio source to record audio which you can later sync up with your video. An easy way to sync audio and video in the editing process is to clap in the recording and sync them as best you can. Even a budget microphone will be better than a phone’s internal speakers.
Audio is important in post-production as well, as that’s when you get to pick some engaging music to go along with your visuals. Music provides an emotional edge to videos that you just can’t get with visuals alone. Some music you find online may not be available for commercial use without permission. A great, free resource for background music is the YouTube Audio Library.
If you’re working for a nonprofit, chances are you believe pretty strongly in your mission. Video marketing is a great way to communicate that passion to a wide audience, but if you try to be too Hollywood you may end up losing your emotional connection. Embrace your limitations and capitalize on the fact that you can create a personal connection with viewers. You can do this in any number of ways from having your staff or shareholders give personal statements, to showing your work first hand. Take Rhett & Link’s local commercial remakes as an example. If you can communicate effectively, viewers will forgive a lot of lower-quality video choices.
Once you’ve got a video, get it out there in every medium you can. Don’t just upload it to YouTube and wait, push it on your social media channels and encourage people to share. You’ve put a lot of work into this, it’s time to be proud and show it off!
Include it in your newsletter or play it at a fundraiser, just make sure your donors get to see how much effort you put into your mission.
Katherine Rundell is a marketing professional at Custom Paper Writing Service UK and Boom Essays. She enjoys learning about and writing on different aspects of online marketing, technology, and entrepreneurship. Her recent work includes helping nonprofits boost their brand potential. She is also a firm believer in lifelong learning and continuous self-improvement. Katherine is an educator at Best Essay Services.