Creating video for charities
Has your charity embraced the power of video yet? With 87% of online marketers claiming to use video content as part of their strategy, 70% of users saying they have shared a brand’s video with a friend, or on their social media channels, an average user spending 88% more time on a website with video options and 57% of people who watch a video for a nonprofit go on to make a donation - it is time to take video seriously.
For a charity, video is a great way to show impact, increase charity donations, recruit volunteers, educate people about your mission, raise brand awareness or promote your charity events.
Creating video can seem like a daunting task which requires high-budgets and tech sills but I have recently started creating impact videos for Kent Community Foundation using a phone and a few cheap pieces of equipment. Here is how I plan, shoot, edit and promote video for Kent Community Foundation:
- When creating content, think about who your target market is e.g. donor, volunteer, beneficiary, general public awareness, voluntary sector.
- Have a strategy in mind and think about the marketing funnel – whether it is an 'awareness', 'consideration' or 'purchase' video. For example to build awareness you could create an educational video with a free resource to download. If they have expressed an interest (consideration) – perhaps they have downloaded your free resource or are on your website, show them a beneficiary story to demonstrate the difference your charity has made to an individual. When your ‘purchaser’ is ready to donate or volunteer (depending on your audience), make it clear for them how to do so. Have a clear call to action on your website and across social media, look credible and include video testimonials from other volunteers/donors.
- Beginning - Make the introduction count - you have 3 – 5 seconds to capture your viewers’ attention and let them know the value of the video.
- Middle – I use our impact videos to tell a story, usually with three main sections, starting with an introduction about the charity overlaid with cutaways of the project in action. I follow this with a beneficiary and the impact the charity has had on them. I conclude with a clip about the funding through KCF and how this has benefited the project/charity.
- End - Don’t forget to add a call to action at the end – this will differ for the stages of the funnel – don’t go in too hard for an awareness video (ask people to share or comment on the video or subscribe to your newsletter), save the ‘donate’ CTA for your purchasers!
- Videos do not have to be high-end using expensive technology. I shoot all of KCFs videos on an Android phone which is good enough quality for what we want to show. You don’t necessarily want your donors thinking you spend a huge amount of budget on creating all singing, all dancing videos. What we achieve is raw and real life and is much more about the content.
- Think about your key elements like lighting, audio, framing, background and steadiness. I use a gorilla tripod which helps with the steadiness of my shots. It can be hand-held or placed on a surface for piece to camera shots. You can pick one up for around £10-£20. I also use a clip-on microphone which plugs into my phone to make audio for interviews much clearer, especially if you have got noise in the background.
- Ensure your phone has enough memory and battery and switch it to do not disturb mode!
- I use Adobe Premier Pro for editing. However, there are cheaper/free alternatives like Clips, Inshot, idbuild, Moovly, VideoScribe, vyond, iMovie, Filmora, We Video and Wideo.
- Think about adding subtitles to your video – 85% of people view video on social media without sound. Facebook has an inbuilt subtitle function and there are paid for tools like Rev which can do this for you for other platforms.
- Use background music to enhance the story, elicit emotion from the viewer and perhaps cover up unwanted background noise. I use a royalty free site called bensound.com You just need to credit them in your description.
- Think about the length of your video for different platforms. I usually stick to below three minutes for an impact video which is going on our website. I then create shorter snippets of around 30 – 60 seconds which can be used on social media platforms. You can then link to the full video in your post.
- Pick out quotes and snippets from the video then direct them from social media to a landing page with a longer video and text to accompany it
- Think about the platform you are using – the optimum max video length for Facebook is 30 seconds and 10 seconds for Twitter and LinkedIn to capture attention
- Encourage people to share your video including your team to spread it further
- Use Twitter media studio to make more of your video – this can add titles, choose a thumbnail and a call to action.
- Post your video directly to the social media channel rather than linking to YouTube. Facebook favours this and will more likely show your post!
- Push it out more than once! You have spent ages filming and editing your video – don’t just post it once. Cut it up and feature different sections. Make the most of this rich content!
- Send out in an email - adding the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribers by 26%, according to Animoto.
- Use tags to extend your reach and make it searchable
- Think about the video thumbnail – will it make people want to click to watch? You can choose a thumbnail on the social channel you post to
- Put some money behind promoting your video on social – videos do really well as content for paid social advertising and don’t cost an arm and a leg!
- Play your video at events – have it running on an iPad screen if you have a stand
- Pin your video to the top of your Twitter feed – this is an easy way to encourage more views
- Proactively engage and share your video in a LinkedIn group
- Share your video with us! We have a new page on our website that not only includes our impact videos but videos that have been shared with us. Also, tag us in videos on social media and we will share!
There is so many resources and tools out there to help with your video marketing. Check out blinkback's 45 Resources for Video Marketing.
Hopefully you have picked up something useful - time to grab your phone/camera and start filming!
Hannah Lawrence, Communications Executive - connect with me on LinkedIn