It’s all too often that I come across nonprofits scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to get their feet wet in social media with limited staff and a bare bones marketing budget.

Looking for an easy way to communicate your organization’s mission? 

Recent statistics have shown that 63% of people are watching online video, up from 32% just a year ago. I promise you that unlike our wavering economy, this statistic is only going to increase. Lucky for you, video is one of the easiest, most effective methods of connecting with your target audience.

What can I do to create a good video?

If you don’t have the funds to hire a freelance videographer, stop thinking like Scorcese and start thinking practical. Pick up a Flip camera and tripod for starters. Draft up a shoot plan, find a spokesperson or someone impacted by your organization’s mission and shoot a 2-3 minute spot. Plug in the Flip into your computer, make some minor edits (editing software included – the added great bonus of the Flip), click share on YouTube and wah-lah!

*Obviously I recommend you put more time and effort into creating a spot than just this, but my intention is to let you see that the basic framework doesn’t have to be a production plan that costs thousands upon thousands of dollars.

But, won’t my message simply be lost amongst the millions of other online nonprofit videos?

This is where you can make a difference and where too many nonprofits fail to act. Do yourself a favor and apply for YouTube’s nonprofit program. It’s hardly an “application process” as you’ll almost certainly be accepted after YouTube takes a day or so to confirm that you’re a nonprofit. Not only is it free, but the program allows you to brand your YouTube channel as well as individual video pages – a huge advantage for increasing the visibility of your mission to viewers. Companies pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for this type of branding on YouTube and you have the ability to take advantage – for free.

Beyond that, you’ll need to carefully optimize your video with an appropriate title, description and tagging as well as embed the spot on your website and other social networking sites – but that’s for a future post.

But, how will I know if my videos are effective?

Glad you asked. YouTube Insights provides all the statistical and analytical data you need. From referral search terms to breakdowns on your viewers’ demographics, YouTube has you covered.

So, if you’re thinking about how to increase your visibility and capitalize on ever-increasing online audiences, consider taking advantage of video. You won’t be disappointed.

-Scott

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About Scott Meis

SVP, Digital Content Strategy @ Weber Shandwick Seattle. Outdoors. Adventure. Travel. I dig the Foto.

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Social Media, Video, YouTube

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