As a nonprofit organization, you dedicate extensive efforts to running your nonprofit but may not have enough time or money dedicated to marketing and promoting your cause.
And in today’s digital world, your organization needs more than just word-of-mouth, print material, or even a website to reach potential supporters. Video marketing can be an incredibly effective, and inexpensive, tool in raising awareness, connecting with audiences, and inspiring engagement.
Benefits of Video Marketing for Nonprofits
Leveraging video can take your nonprofit’s marketing efforts to a new level. Below are just a few benefits of incorporating videos in your marketing initiatives.
Increased Engagement and Reach
Google’s algorithms along with popular social media platforms like YouTube (which is owned by Google) prioritize helpful video content for search results rankings, making it crucial to produce compelling content that attracts viewers and amplifies your nonprofit’s story.
For maximum impact, ensure calls-to-action in your videos are clear, relatable, and sincere; this will increase the chances of followers taking the desired next step. To extend your reach consider collaborating with influencers or other organizations whose social clouts could help broadcast an amplified version of your cause.
Video marketing is a powerful tool to share your mission, inspire support, and demonstrate your impact, while giving viewers a firsthand view of your work. Showcase real people, such as volunteers who are passionate about what they do or the people you serve to highlight how they’ve benefited from your organization. Showing your clients or volunteers helps connect emotionally with viewers.
Video making is becoming more affordable and accessible than ever, which is a bonus for nonprofit organizations with limited resources. Nonprofit organizations have various video marketing options, such as producing videos themselves.
An affordable option is using a smartphone. Most of today’s smartphones come with a variety of advanced video capturing and editing functions that can help you produce high-quality videos. You can find several free online video software options that can help you get your video ready for distribution online.
In addition, you can also use existing footage from past projects or campaigns to create compelling videos. This way, you can get more mileage from your content and extend its reach, while avoiding additional costs.
Develop a Video Marketing Strategy
Before you grab your smart phone and start filming, you need a comprehensive video marketing strategy in place. This includes defining your goals, identifying your target audience, choosing the right video format, developing a budget, and promoting and distributing your videos.
1. Defining Your Goals
To craft a successful video marketing strategy, you must define your goals. First, consider what you hope to achieve with your video content – whether it’s spreading awareness, recruiting volunteers, raising donations, or educating your audience about your cause. Having a specific goal in mind will help you customize your videos accordingly. For instance, if you’re looking to increase donations, creating a video that showcases the impact of donations or highlights an urgent need can be effective.
2. Identifying your Target Audience
Who do you want to reach? Is your focus on millennials, baby boomers, or other specific age groups? Knowing your audience’s characteristics and personalities will help you craft video content that will speak to them. For instance, if your organization is devoted to environmental causes, you can create a clip that targets millennials and Gen Z to showcase how climate change can affect succeeding generations.
3. Choosing the Right Video Format
Selecting the ideal video format is critical. Your video options hinge on your target audience and the objectives you set earlier. Several formats are available, whether it’s educating viewers about your company’s vision or highlighting your impact. Examples include how-to, animated, live-action, or explainer videos. Each format has a distinct role based on your nonprofit’s needs.
4. Promoting and Distributing Your Videos
To ensure your video content reaches your desired audience, decide on a promotion and distribution plan. Social media platforms, websites, email newsletters, and YouTube are excellent ways to distribute your videos.
Make sure your videos are formatted for search engine optimization (SEO), so people can easily find them when searching the topic. Finally, track your video’s performance to measure your success and adjust your video marketing strategy accordingly.
5. Establish a Working Budget
Creating videos can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Before initiating the production process, it’s wise to set a budget for production costs such as props, actors, or post-production elements like sound editing. Making a budget in advance can save you a lot of trouble and help avoid unwanted expenses.
Video Production Tips for Nonprofits
When developing videos for your nonprofit organization, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Producing a good video requires careful planning and execution. Below are three essential steps to follow during pre-production:
Before filming, plan out your video’s story with a storyboard. A storyboard visually represents your video’s narrative, scene by scene. Storyboarding helps you stay organized, plan your shots, improve your video’s pacing, and stick to a budget.
By mapping out your video’s structure, you can ensure that it conveys your message effectively, engages your audience, and ends with a strong call to action.
A well-written script is the foundation for a successful video. It helps you stay on track while filming, ensures that all key messaging is included, and helps you deliver your message concisely and effectively. Be sure to write for your audience and use clear, straightforward language.
Your visuals should support and complement your message, adding depth and interest to your video.
Consider the types of shots you want to capture, the lighting and color scheme, and the overall style and tone. Be sure to plan for visuals that effectively convey your nonprofit’s impact and emotions. What or who are the subjects? Will you film clients? If so, you’ll need to make sure you have full rights and permissions for filming them. This involves drafting a video release form that documents the consent of anyone you plan on featuring in your videos.
Your pre-production efforts will make your production process smoother and more efficient. Here are some tips to keep in mind during production:
For nonprofits on a tight budget, creating your own videos or working with skilled volunteers can save money. However, it’s essential to weigh the costs of having quality equipment to get the job done right.
To create professional-looking videos, you need the right equipment, whether using a smartphone camera or a DSLR. You might need a high-quality microphone. Investing in the necessary equipment can make a significant difference in achieving the desired look and feel.
Working with Professionals
Collaborating with professionals is another viable option for nonprofits looking to create top-tier video content. Here are two factors to consider when working with professional production teams:
- Finding the Right Partners – Nonprofits should seek production professionals with experience in creating impactful visual content. Look for partners with relevant experience working with nonprofits and who understand your vision, so they can tailor to your unique communication needs.
- Collaboration – Build a collaborative relationship with your production team. Communicate, share feedback frequently, and respect each other’s expertise. Collaboration will help achieve a polished final product that can meet your unique goals.
Producing quality content is only part of the process. Keep these tips in mind during the post-production phase:
Refining raw footage into a polished video that tells your story effectively is where the magic of editing happens. Use smooth and seamless cuts and transitions, no matter what video editing software you use. If you cannot hire a professional to manage this process, numerous free online tutorials are available to help you learn the basics. Make use of paid applications like Adobe Premiere or take advantage of free online video editing tools like Canva for nonprofits.
Music and Sound Effects
Enhance the emotional impact of your video with the power of music and sound effects. The right music can evoke deep emotions and make your message unforgettable. Get permission for your music, and ensure it’s a perfect fit for your content.
Captioning and Subtitles
To reach a broader audience, including people who are hard of hearing or who speak another language, add captions and subtitles. Additionally, captions help deliver your message in noisy environments like restaurants or busy cafes. Fortunately, there are several easy-to-use online tools for generating captions and subtitles, including Filmora, YouTube, and Otter.ai.
Give Your Nonprofit The Visibility It Deserves
Video marketing can enhance any nonprofit organization’s marketing strategy. By using visual storytelling, nonprofits can effectively reach their audience and convey their message in a memorable and impactful way. Give your nonprofit the visibility it deserves by creating high-quality video content to share your story.
Author: Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County based commercial video production company. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes.