Published by Peggy on 19 Mar 2011 at 10:53 pm
Did you know that 88.6 million people watch online videos on an average single day in the US. Videos are a powerful way to impact communities and raise money but how do you make a video effective? What are the top questions one should ask itself before doing a video? This is a brief summary of my learning on the topic today.
FUNDRAISING HAS A LIFE CYCLE
Fundraising has a life cycle. Nasser and Danny suggested that nonprofits should leverage the use of video at each cycle whenever possible. The 5 levels of the life cycle are;
- Awareness and identification
This stage is about building awareness around an issue. One good video which showcases how to do this is “It’s in your hand” by Watershed MG. Watershed took a simple issue that everyone can relate to…hand washing. The video very effectively communicates their message. This could be described as a ‘soft sale’ video.
This stage is about ‘the ask’. Humor (if appropriate) works very well with this type of solicitation as nobody likes to be asked for money. However, it does depend on your audience. The video ‘Malaria NO MORE Serious, Serious PSA‘ shows one way of doing this’. The use of celebrities can also help, however it can be sometimes be over used. BUT don’t be put off by this. If you do have access to someone famous to make ‘the ask’, you should leverage it because it works!. The ‘Maleria NO MORE’ video also shows the incorporation of actions bars which allows videos to become viral and makes ‘the give’ just one click away.
It is very important to acknowledge your donors. Some people overlook this process, yet it is easy to make a video at this stage. The video showed for as an example of this was “The boy who lived” by Uncultured Project. You want to make sure your donors feel acknowledged. This is not a hard sell.
- Engagement: Tell them about the work on the ground. An example of this was “Prayer answered in the Form of a Dairy Cow” World Vision
- It shows what the organization does with the money they receive
- It shows how they are helping to address the cause
- It primes you (the viewer) towards the next step for stewardship
In this stage, it is important to show the next phase of your program and new possibilities.
THE ANATOMY OF A VIDEO
To be successful, a video should been seen and conceived from both the perspective of the viewer and the perspective of the producer.
From the viewer perspective:
- Identification: You should be able to identify with the video. It should be taken from the viewer’s perspective. It’s about you.
- Emotions: The video needs to make you feel something. It needs to create emotion -“Giving is an emotion and it is irrational” says Katya Andresen
- Learning: Ideally, it should help you to access information about something (for example, the importance of hand washing)
- Call to action & call to impact: it should make you feel like you can do something that can have an impact: THIS IS SO IMPORTANT that I need to do something about it
From the producer perspective:
- Who are you trying to reach?
Establish a clear understanding of who you are trying to reach as your audience is very specific. Every organization should have some idea of their demographics. To help the process, try to create 3 imaginary people that will be watching the video
- What are you saying?
A clear message is essential. Do you know exactly what you are trying to say? Remember your pverall proposition. You want to say only one thing clearly at a time.
- What do you want your viewers to do?
A clear call to action needs to be made in the video. Do you want viewers to spread the word? Do you want your viewers to carry out a few different actions?
GENERAL TIPS around videos making – BEFORE AND DURING
- KEEP IT SHORT (under 2 min is ideal). Poweful videos are often under 2 minutes. The impact needs to be immediate i.e. within the first seconds.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE: choose one message to focus on
- BE GENUINE: you don’ t have to be cool. Focus on content that is compelling rather than what’s cool
- COMMUNICATE URGENCY: This is very important
- SET REALISTIC GOALS: Think about distribution goals and what a successful ROI looks like. Define your audience and set up success metrics. Before you even think about video production, plan how you will distribute your video.
- Research your peers and competition to see what they are doing. Services like Visible Measures will help you to benchmark.
Some of the resources that were discussed:
- http://www.universalsubtitles.org: free tool to caption videos & translate those captions.
- Free music to use on nonprofit video: Jamendo
- YouTube for Non Profit to add captions and direct links to your website
Many thanks to a fantastic presentation, and to some great tweets from everyone who joined in this session.
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