Video is more and more a huge part of the storytelling process for fundraisers. It's a great way to communicate the impact of philanthropy in the world. But, most fundraisers aren't video professionals. Once you have your video done, what are the best practices to get your constituents to watch it? I asked my friend and colleague, Ndlela Nkobi, that question. Here are his 5 best tips for getting your message seen! Enjoy! -- Jessica Cloud, CFRE
Congratulations on finishing your organization’s video! After weeks (sometimes months) of planning, shooting, and editing, you have finally uploaded your film to YouTube. Now what? How do you make sure that your video gets the views it deserves and has its intended impact? Though there are no guaranteed ways of making your video go viral, here are some steps to make sure the people who need to see the video actually see it, watch it and take action.
1. Reinforce Your Call to Action
Videos are generally created to get people to take some action (sign a petition, donating, joining a mailing list . . .) and your call to action in your video is where you ask your audience to take that action. Make sure you reinforce that call to action whenever you get a chance (your website, YouTube, your platforms). The ultimate success of your video will be based on how many people take you up on your call to action.
2. Have a Great Thumbnail
Pick an engaging still image to give your audience a quick snapshot of your video. That thumbnail is also the image that is generally automatically used when the video is shared on social media and on platforms like WordPress. Consider creating a custom thumbnail that could also includes words that would further draw the viewer in.
3. Pay Attention to your YouTube Descriptions, Titles, Tags
The title, description and tags you use on YouTube will not only help people find your video when they search for related content but they should also draw people in to watch the video. Not everyone is going to see the video on your website so give your viewer all the information they need to take the next step in your video description.
4. Place Video on Your Website
Placing your video on your website gives you much more control over how the video is presented to viewers with things like the call to action, video placement and supporting text/images/graphics.
5. Promote the Video on Your Platforms
Once the video is ready on YouTube and on your website, share it widely on your various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, mailing lists, . . . ) Your platforms will be one of the main ways that the people in your community find out about your video. Don’t be afraid to repost content (especially on social media) to make sure as many people see your post as possible.
Bonus action: Check Your Analytics
Here is another area where you get to define what success looks like for your video (or campaign). Whether you are looking at Google Analytics or YouTube analytics (ideally you are doing both) this is where you get to see how successful you were with things like page views, videos views and how long people are looking at your video. It is also important to look at engagement (likes, shares, comments . . .) Analytics and engagement are matrices you use to help you plan for the next videos you are working on producing.
About the author: Ndlela Nkobi is a filmmaker and online video content creator based in New York City and Johannesburg. He works with small businesses, nonprofits, consultants and artists to connect with their clients through the use of video. You can see his work at ndlela.tv.
Ndlela Nkobi has worked for Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (Columbia University) and Third Sector New England (Boston, MA). He has worked with Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (Columbia University), New York City Department of Education, Nonprofit Consultants Network (Boston, MA) and Starr King School for the Ministry (Berkeley, CA).
Hi readers, I hope you enjoyed this guest post. Do you have additional tips for how to get the most reach on promotional videos? Comments and questions are, as always, welcomed and encouraged!
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Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.