Everyone knows that YouTube is the perfect site to while away the afternoon, watching video after video. But many are quickly discovering that YouTube is also an indispensable tool for online marketing efforts. Did you know that YouTube—owned by Google—is also the world’s second largest search engine? It makes sense considering the rate at which online video consumption continues to grow, with video expected to comprise 90% of all internet traffic by 2015. This makes now the perfect opportunity for nonprofits to implement video that spreads their message to potential donors.
Why We Love Video
Video is one of the hottest trends in online marketing and social media because it appeals to our visual nature and encourages discussion and sharing. Nonprofits can easily take advantage of this trend by producing their own videos to raise awareness, broadcast events, and to keep their audience up to date on their recent goings-on. In fact, it’s said that the value of one minute of video has the equivalent impact of 1.8 million words. Video’s ability to quickly and concisely inform an audience is best summed up by Lisa Lubin:
Doing Video the Right Way
There are some important points to keep in mind when making your own videos. Thankfully, with the ubiquitous state of smartphones and webcam technology, producing and uploading your videos has never been easier, faster, or higher quality. That being said, there are still many areas in which it’s easy to fall short. Keep in mind the following tips and you’ll be able to create videos that spread your message.
- Have a clean backdrop. Choose a background that is white or neutral to avoid visual distractions.
- Keep it short. Stick to making your video about 3 minutes in length. Any longer than that and your message may be lost on the viewer.
- Dress simply. Avoid busy patterned clothing or extreme appearances so people can focus on what you’re saying, not what you’re wearing. Solid colors in darker tones usually work best.
- Draft an outline. Have your video script prepared. You don’t want to sound rehearsed, but you don’t want to say “um” and “uh” too much. Be polished in your presentation and you’re halfway there.
- Don’t rush it. Give yourself time to make a quality video. Hastily produced videos just make it look like you don’t know what you are doing, nor do you care. This can be negatively perceived for non-profits.
- Use the right tools. If your smartphone works best, stick with that. Webcams may be easier to work with as they are already built into your computer.
- Test. Experiment to find the right process. Find the right location, lighting, and tools to make the best video you can. Can you hear yourself okay? Is the picture clear?
- Create a schedule. Make an editorial calendar by brainstorming relevant topics and upload videos regularly, as you would update your blog. Doing so can provide extra traffic to you website.
- Mix it up. Do videos of your events, interviews, and interesting content. Don’t be predictable.
- Experiment. It’s more important to try different things than to expect perfection.
- Spread the word. Draw attention to your YouTube Channel on your website and social media pages. Get people to subscribe to your page who already like your Facebook. Include new video uploads in your email marketing, blog posts, and tweets.
Consistency is the key. The more YouTube videos you produce, the more skilled you become at making good ones. Analyze your YouTube Channel metrics, and produce more of the videos that you viewers seem to like. As a nonprofit, you probably have learned to wear many hats, and have had to do less with more. Video is a great medium that carries maximum impact on your audience for the time invested. It’s part of a complete online marketing model that builds your fan base, donors, and ultimately makes a difference for your cause.