POV: You understand the power of video when it comes to sharing your nonprofit’s story, but the world of video marketing seems a bit intimidating and out of reach.
Trust us – we get it. Perhaps you started working or volunteering for a nonprofit because you are passionate about the cause, and now you feel a bit over your head regarding communication strategy.
Or, perhaps you are an aspiring video curator driven to begin the video marketing journey, but you are not exactly sure where to start.
Let’s cut to the chase. If your nonprofit is not currently utilizing videos to tell your story, grow your communication platforms, and inspire empathy and trust in your donor base, you have a major opportunity in front of you!
Video is the not-so-secret ingredient that will take your nonprofit marketing to the next level.
And luckily, advances in technology are making video marketing more and more accessible – whatever your starting point may be.
Here are three types of videos your nonprofit needs, along with six tips to get started with video marketing.
3 types of videos that will level up your nonprofit video marketing
1. The storytelling video
Without a doubt, storytelling is the most effective way to grasp hold of the human imagination.
Because of this, every single nonprofit should have at least one storytelling video.
This video should be between 45 seconds and 5 minutes in length and should articulate your nonprofit’s origin, mission, vision, and impact.
The storytelling video should live on your website and YouTube, and you can share it across all social media platforms.
I highly recommend hiring a professional videographer or camera crew for this video style, as it will make a huge difference in overall quality.
If you do desire to create a video in-house, however, there are countless stock video and editing software options that you can utilize. (Links are added towards the end of this article.)
2. The short-form video (Instagram Reels and TikTok)
Instagram Reels first rolled out in 2020 in response to the rising popularity of TikTok, and they are undoubtedly the best way to increase your nonprofit’s brand recognition.
These videos are typically 15-60 seconds long and can include anything from paired-down versions of your storytelling video to “viral” trends.
“Viral” trends are sounds or songs that are trending on Instagram or TikTok. You can apply one of these sounds or songs to your video to help it show up on users’ social feeds.
The best part about Instagram and TikTok videos is that you do not need special equipment to create them. Both Instagram and TikTok have video editors and music options within the apps, and content can easily be filmed on an iPhone.
While professional-looking videos certainly have a place on these platforms, casual and on-trend videos thrive in this space. And don’t overthink it – just get posting!
The more you post videos on Instagram or TikTok, the more likely your nonprofit will be seen by potential donors and volunteers.
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3. The donor "thank you" video
Thank you letters and cards are a staple component of nonprofit marketing and fundraising, but they can also be time-consuming and tedious.
Instead of sending out thank you cards this year, consider sending out a video message!
A video message can be more personal than a letter, and it is relatively easy to make.
For this style of video, focus more on content than on video quality. This means you can use an iPhone to film, but you want to ensure that your words are intentional and heartfelt.
You can then send the video out via email.
6 effective video marketing tips
1. Purchase a great camera
If you are planning to do in-house videography, you will need to make an initial investment in a camera that is versatile and user-friendly.
I recommend the Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera or an equivalent.
This camera does both photo and video and is relatively easy to operate.
2. Utilize free stock footage
Did you know that there are thousands of free, professional-looking videos online that you can download and utilize for free?
My favorite website for free stock footage is Pexels. This site offers both photos and videos and categorizes them into collections, making it easy for you to utilize multiple clips from the same scene.
This footage will work best for a video that layers a voiceover over b-roll.
3. Music is key
Not all videos require music. When used, however, this creative element has the power to make or break your video.
Two great places to acquire music for your videos are Musicbed and Soundstripe.
These websites offer royalty-free and inexpensive song options that you can download and add to your video.
4. Use accessible video editors
Video editing is not only for professionals! Though most video editing platforms have a slight learning curve, there are countless tutorials on YouTube that will help you work your way through.
Some of my personal favorite video editors are Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, and iMovie.
All three of these editors have free and paid versions that you can utilize.
5. Choose one CTA per video
The CTA – or “Call to Action” – is a very important addition to any marketing video.
You may make an incredible video, but it might end up as wasted marketing space if it does not move people to take action.
The CTA can be simple. “Visit our website”, “Sign up to volunteer here”, or “Share this video” are all examples of CTAs that you may choose.
Make sure to only select one CTA as this will help viewers know exactly what action step they should take.
6. Add captions
Captions are a great addition to video for several reasons.
First, most social platforms do not play sound automatically. Captions can pull in more viewers.
Additionally, captions are important to include for those who may be hearing impaired.
Rev captioning is an excellent choice if you do not want to do the work of captioning your video yourself!
For as little as $1.50/minute of footage, Rev will create captions or subtitles that you can utilize during the editing process.
Level up your nonprofit marketing with video!
While it may seem like a lot of effort to implement video into your nonprofit marketing strategy, I promise the reward will be worth it!
Whether you choose to use one of the many accessible video editing software programs or prefer to hire a professional, adding videos to your website, social platforms, and email campaigns will level up your marketing and embed your brand and mission into the hearts and minds of your donors.