Is It Time Your Nonprofit or Business Considered Using Video?

There are a lot of choices to pick from when deciding which types of media to use when sharing your organization’s content online.

You are probably already utilizing common types of content such as articles and images to promote your cause or business. Perhaps you’ve even experimented with other forms of content such as infographics, GIFs and podcasts.

In today’s competitive and web-centric climate however, you should be aware that you need to vary your content types to have the best chance of attracting new customers or donors. If writing and publishing short blog posts are your chosen content type, think about how easy it might be to diversify into other text formats such as written testimonials, white papers, ad copy or e-books. If your business favors an image-based approach, you could always consider showcasing satisfied customer pics, sales fliers, charts or image slideshows instead of the usual product or conference pics.

Generally though, most organizations tend to stick with their tried and true format (or two).

The reasons for this are usually quite simple:

  • It is the easiest format for your team to produce
  • It seems like the most logical format to represent your business
  • It appears to be successful
  • It is what you’re used to
  • It is the format that you feel you’re almost expected to produce

Yet is this really for the best? There is one content type which many nonprofits and businesses tend to shy away from or not even consider, despite it being the most popular format on the web: video.

Why Video?

Video is more than just the “flavor the moment.” It is also the most engaging and impactful content type out there.

There are a growing number of reasons why your organization might want to start using it. Some of the impressive statistics from video as a format are showcased below. In fact, the rate at which businesses, nonprofits and marketers are all turning to video for the first time now even has its own moniker; the “Pivot to Video” phenomena.

Consider the following stats compiled from various marketing, trade and social media studies:

  1. YouTube is the second most trafficked site, trailing only Google. (Alexa)
  2. 8 billion videos are watched every day on FaceBook (Social Media Today
  3. Videos are six times more likely to be shared than photos (Social Media Today
  4. 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. (Wordstream
  5. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. (Wordstream
  6. 82% of Twitter users now watch video content on Twitter. (Twitter
  7. Companies that use videos in their marketing have a 27% higher click-through rate and a 34% higher conversion rates than those that don’t. (Buffer)

Depending on your business’ or nonprofit’s focus, two of the primary goals in marketing your philosophy, brand or services are to try and reach new potential eyeballs while also retaining the interest and trust of your current base. Video offers you a new opportunities to do both. So whether you’re trying to attract new customers, policy allies and donors, or whether you’re trying to find a new approach to serving up your message to your established base, video has some impressive statistics for why you should consider using it as a format. Go beyond your normal routine of blog posts on FaceBook or industry product images on Instagram and enter a new world of engaging and effective content.

Getting Your Message Out With Video

Thanks to worldwide advances in internet access and bandwidth, mobile device viewing capabilities and the affordability of digital cameras, nonprofits and small businesses have the ability to directly speak to their constituents in a more personal and engaging manner than ever before.

Video provides a great opportunity if, for example, you’re interested in:

  • Sstories to solicit donations for your cause or charity
  • Trying to drum up interest in your latest digital or physical products
  • Rolling out a new service your offering
  • Reinforcing your brand
  • Thanking your donors and/or customers for their support

Together with your team review ideas that could deliver your message in a more personalized and entertaining way than just text or images can provide. Show your product in action instead of just a static photo of it. Put a face, voice and personality on the people you are trying to help or a noted spokesperson for your cause.

Video Length, Affordability and Resources

Videos don’t have to be five minutes long or done in an expensive production studio to be effective. Many successful videos are made with just cell phone cameras or the built-in camera and mic from a laptop or computer.

As a matter of fact, the shorter your video, the better. Shorter videos are more likely to be shared and to be watched all of the way through than longer ones. If you can get your message across in 60 seconds or less, that is optimal. If you’re highlighting a lengthy conference or panel discussion, it’s important to archive the whole event but make sure to post the key parts as short digestible segments. You’ll have more pieces of content to publish and they’ll be more likely to be engaged with and shared.

Videos can be made even without a camera. Your video could consist entirely of images and text, or even a movie version of something you put together on SlideDeck or PowerPoint. You can decide whether it needs narration or public domain musical backing, or if your visual presentation is informative enough and needs no audio.

As you dive into the video landscape keep in mind.  You can survey the landscape of affordable digital cameras, mics and video editing software. Additionally, there are lots of video production marketing firms and independent contractors who you can hire if you don’t have a staff member who is video savvy.

There are also a lot of resources for nonprofits that can help guide your team through the process.

YouTube’s Impact Lab has a program and specific tools for nonprofits to use such as video storytelling courses tailored for social impact innovators, ad grants and donation cards which allow viewers to make donations to your organization directly from your video.

FaceBook has NonProfits on FaceBook, Fundraising with FaceBook Live and a Help Center FAQs section just for nonprofits.

Twitter has Twitter Nonprofits (@Nonprofits)  and recently launched Video Website Card Ads for businesses.

Lights, Camera, Action!

If you’re looking for a new way to engage with your audience, video should be on your short list of possibilities to try. It has become the most popular content type on the web and the content type that is most often shared. It has also been found to be the content type whose message is most likely to be retained.

Videos do not have to be slickly produced or expensive to make. And there are numerous organizations, tools and resources on the web to assist you with both the making of, and the marketing of, your video efforts.

If your business or nonprofit is interested in expanding your reach, getting your message out more effectively or attracting new customers, video provides an excellent opportunity to do just that.

For additional information and tips on making video work for your organization, check out:

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Jeff C.

Jeff Creamer is a DC-based WordPress website administrator, tutor and consultant. He has been helping small businesses and nonprofits launch and manage their WordPress sites since 2013.

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Kristy Bauman

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