How to Use Online Video to Strengthen Your Nonprofit Marketing Impact — Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants

How to Use Online Video to Strengthen Your Nonprofit Marketing Impact -- Carnival of Nonprofit ConsultantsHow do you put online video to work to boost your nonprofit marketing? That’s what I asked colleagues to share in this week’s Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants.

Here goes:

  • Alia McKee of Sea Change Strategies Direct remembers how Video Killed the Radio Star (not a bad song 20 years later). She recommends that online video should complement — not replace — more traditional and online channels at this point. She also shares 5 key tips for online video success, including keeping it under 2 minutes.
  • Steve Andrews at the UK-based Whitewater agency shares the SolarAid (a nonprofit he’s helping to establish) online video strategy — they’ll be using video primarily to deliver timely, tangible, powerful feedback to donors. Donors and beneficiaries will be able to converse via blogs and vlogs (video diaries).
  • Higher ed marketing guru Bob Johnson suggests that online video is an expectation for many nonprofit audiences (definitely for prospective college students) and warns against talking heads and other staged approaches. He also stresses the importance of quality production — as budget permits.
  • Katya Andresen advises on how to succeed in nonprofit marketing in a quick-and-dirty (but effective) video, with links to easy directions for doing it yourself. Katya, you win the “most original” prize by a landslide. Enthused by her video experiment, she goes on to critique Neiman Marcus’ anniversary video campaign, concluding that show, don’t tell is the ultimate video must.
  • This startling video from Greenpeace absolutely captivated me because it’s startlingly original, short, a bit frightening and hugely compelling because I get blamed for a huge world crisis. I clicked on the call-to-action link at the end of the video.
  • Hatef Yamini at Frogloop interviewed video experts at Online Video Services (OVS) who advise that knowing your audience and selecting video “stars” that appeal to that group is key. Another  important guideline — quality counts, e.g. you get what you pay for. OVS estimates the cost for a professional video shoot, including editing, at $1K for each minute of on demand finished content.
    • Caveat — There is an active debate what quality means, and adds, in online video. Some Carnival bloggers hold out for the authenticity of amateur video. My take — that amateur video will soon become tedious as the novelty of the medium erodes. Expectations for higher-end production values will begin to increase very quickly. I’ve watched this cycle before, most recently with blogging.

Some Nonprofit Video Successes
There are many powerful nonprofit videos out there to inspire and guide you. Here’s a list of top picks from Carnival bloggers:

  • The Buffalo Movie — Video evidence connects donors and beneficiaries
  • This video from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School lets students talk about how they advance their careers in a great example of “storytelling” content that’s more effective delivered in video than written out as text.
  • The Central Dallas Ministries Transition Resource Action Center produced this video, which motivated NPowerDC’s Jocelyn Harmon to become a first-time donor.
  • Kids radio program Kidcast put together this simple video to spread the word. Thanks to David Brazeal for the heads up.
  • Alia points to IRC communications officer Emily Holland who recently traveled to Darfur to document the lives of displaced Sudanese survivors. Her video diary shows us that IRC is working on the ground in key areas and is an absorbing story. Again, authenticity rules.
  • NC environmental organization RE3.org is using video for online training, with the long-term goal of reducing training-related travel. This is a very simple and clever use of video — RE3.org simply video tapes a PowerPoint presentation with the audio, resulting in a full-fledged Webinar. Simple but elegant.
  • OVS credits the California Bar Association with setting the bar in using video as a fully-integrated component of its anti-smoking campaign. Here’s Carol Burnett.

Let me know (click the Comments link below) how your nonprofit is using video, and what’s working best. I’ll spread the word.

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Nancy Schwartz in Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, Case Studies, Nonprofit Communications, Video | 4 comments
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