Videos, whether we like it or not, have become the most widely accepted way for people to learn more about a product or organization…

Sure, some people might be willing to read a few paragraphs about your objective, but with a 1-2 minute video that inspires action, you may find a much larger audience not only willing to engage with your objective, but share it with their friends as well.

In a survey conducted by ReelSEO, it was revealed that 93% of marketers are using video in their campaigns. 93%!  — Imagine that you went to a party of 100 people and only 7 people brought lime soda, while everyone else brought lemon soda. Clearly, those 7 people would appear to be out of the loop. Well, that or they’re some hip people that think they’re “too cool” for lemon soda. — Either way, 93% is a huge number and it doesn’t look like it’s getting smaller anytime soon.

Online videos account for more than half of web traffic every day. That’s a lot of ‘play’ buttons being pressed – and you’re missing out if you’re not one of them!

Smart, creative videos can set you apart from the crowd. But they have to be done right… people know when they’re watching content that isn’t authentic or sincere, and just as much as a video can have a positive impact on your organization, it can have a negative impact too.

So, how can you achieve the greatest positive impact with your audience?…

 Open With A Bang!

If it took one click for them to start watching your video, it only takes one click for them to stop watching. Show them in the first 15 seconds why they DO NOT want to do that. Show them why your content matters. This can be accomplished with a startling statistic, quote, or simply a powerful combination of shots and music that draws in the audience’s attention…

Creating Video

Whoa… Margie! Margie come look at this!”


 Be Authentic

With so many videos flying around, a lot of content can seem fake or insincere. You know the type – the infomercial-like “buy it now” feeling. This type of video can dramatically reduce trust in your organization. You need to be fully honest with your audience and tell them why you need their help and specifically how it’s going to be applied. Authenticity is key to building a lasting relationship with your viewers.


 

 Connect With Your Audience

Your foot is in the door, and now it’s time to have them welcome you in. When planning your video, you have to think about more than just your needs, you have to think about the needs of your viewers. What are they interested in? What do they care about? How can them helping you, help them? Sometimes this can be more straightforward than you think. Simply reminding them of the joy and happiness they can receive from supporting your cause can suffice. No matter what, you have to think about who your audience is and why their interests align with your interests.


 

 Nail The Audio

Sure the audio is important, but the visual is always the most important, right? WRONG! Because videos are so often thought of as a visual medium, audio is repeatedly over-looked as the less important stuff. Poor audio is the number one way to spot an amateur video from a professional one. Buzzing, hissing, muffling, and sharp cuts in sound are all signs of poor audio.

For general events and showcases, consider a cardio-directional microphone such as this one.

For interviews, consider a lavalier microphone such as this one.

What type of mic you should use highly depends on the camera that you’re using, but any common DSLR will will work with the mic systems above.

Unless your video is done all in one shot, then you’re likely going to have to find ways to transition your audio in editing too. There are many techniques you can use in editing to create a seamless audio track. Crossfades, L-cuts, low/high-pass filters to name a few. Google any of those to find out more. Just remember, clean audio = clean video.


 

 Keep It Concise

We all have a busy schedule. Sadly, this has put us in a “time is of the essence” mentality, and our attention span is continuously shrinking. According to the chart below, the shorter the video, the more likely people will watch your entire video.

Creating Video

This is helpful for understanding how length can correlate to attention, but don’t feel like you need to create some sort of 30-second viral video to have an engaging campaign. The goal is not to create a viral video or to maintain 100% of viewer’s attention. The goal is engagement from your target viewer. Give yourself the time to make your point clearly and effectively, but avoid any rambling on. Or, as Ron Swanson would say…

Creating Video


 Call To Action!

Creating Video

This is it. The final step. You’ve managed to hold the audience’s attention until the very end, and now it’s time to seal the deal. A call to action, as one might assume, invokes action!

Subscribe

Learn More

Donate Now

Share with your Friends

These are all calls to action (CTAs). The components of your video should lead up to this message. You’ve shown the viewer your cause and what they can do about it. The CTA will tell them how to do it. When all of the steps before this are done effectively, the user should (hopefully) be eager to sign up, learn more, donate, etc.


 

An effective video will emotionally connect with your audience through sound and visuals and the CTA will use that inspiration to conduct positive behavior.

Make sense? Great!  Now get filming! 🙂

Oh, and while we’re on topic…

Get the latest nonprofit fundraising tips and product updates delivered to your inbox every Thursday