The past few years have seen a steady rise in the effectiveness of video as a way to engage with audiences. Nonprofit audiences are no different, so if your organization has yet to get on the video train, it’s time.
In this blog article I want to explore a few easy ways you can start to incorporate it into your strategy this month and how to get it done with a minimum of frustration and time.
Facebook & Instagram Stories
If your nonprofit uses Facebook, Instagram, or both then you need to start using their built-in Stories functionality. Basically, you film short 15-second clips of anything you want. You can even overlay “stickers”, text, emojis, polls, and more on top of the video to further engage viewers.
Your audience is probably already watching stories on the daily so if you’re not putting something in front of them then you’re missing a great opportunity. And come on…they’re only 15 second clips so you don’t need to spend much time on this.
Effective stories are usually not super polished, either. Look for moments that are funny, entertaining, or where you can show people behind-the-scenes moments they wouldn’t see otherwise. Shoot it straight from your phone and don’t worry about editing anything.
Short, story-based clips
One of the best ways for you to convince people of your organization’s greatness is to show them in video form. Look for moments you can film at a performance, gallery show, or event. (Just make sure you get releases from anyone in the video).
You could also set up times to film program participants and attendees talking about the impact your nonprofit’s work has had on them. People loooove videos like these and they truly compel people to engage and give.
Best of all, this doesn’t need to be high-tech. If you have a smartphone and a tripod (you can get them on Amazon for $20) then you’re good to go.
Boomerangs are short video clips that loop, so they appear neverending. They can be really funny and social media users love them. If this sounds silly and not worth your time, I would urge you to give it a try anyway. It only takes a second to film something for a boomerang (dance lends itself really well to this) and only another few seconds to post it.
I’ve seen many arts organizations get great results from them in the form of comments, messages, and followers. Some have even used them to successfully ask for donations.
You can use the built-in boomerang feature on Instagram or get an app to make them and then post them on any social platform.
Slow-motion or time-lapse clips
Many smartphones now have a built-in feature that allows you to film slow-motion or time-lapse (sped up) videos. They are a lot of fun and if you’ve never played around with them, you should go do it right now!
When used on the right subject and with good timing you can film some mesmerizing material or some really hilarious clips to share with your audience.
I subscribe to the belief that you should offer valuable, entertaining content 90% of the time. But the remaining 10% of the time you should be promoting whatever your nonprofit has to sell (tickets, classes, events, rentals, donations campaigns, etc.).
Video is a great platform from which to sell your nonprofit’s wares. Film short, entertaining videos (preferably with a sense of humor or which tug at the heart strings) and watch your audience respond.
Great tools to help you get it done:
If you’re sold on video, but still a little unsure as to how to get started, here are some great tools to help you out:
WeVideo – Super affordable, user-friendly video editing software. I use it for CNPS videos. It’s incredibly easy to learn how to use it, has plenty of functionality, and will allow you to host videos in the cloud, download them for posting to social media, or give you code to embed them on your website or blog. It will also allow you to record audio-only tracks or record your computer screen (especially useful for how-to videos).
Promo – A subscription-based platform that allows you to create polished, marketing videos in minutes. They have tons of fun templates, pre-recorded videos, and free background music. Their editor is really easy to use so you can completely customize and brand any videos you create.
FotoPro Smartphone Tripod – A lightweight, telescoping tripod for any smartphone, available on Amazon. It comes with a remote trigger so you can start and stop videos from a distance and it’s just a little over $20.
HootSuite: This is a social media scheduling tool. It allows you to upload photos, videos, and text to any of your social media platforms and schedule them for the date and time you want them to post. Just set it and forget it. It won’t work for stories or live video, but you can use it for any pre-recorded videos you want to post and it will work like a charm and save you tons of time.