Video matters. It grabs more attention, tells a story more effectively than text, is easily sharable on social media channels, and can be a conversation starter (how many times have you said to a friend, "have you seen that TED Talk about …"?)
Recently, YouTube, See3, and Edelman teamed up to survey the role of video within the non-profit world. Surveying over 450 respondents representing a vast array of nonprofit organizations, the study revealed that nearly all nonprofits recognize the importance of video (91% of respondents say they want to be making more video). Yet respondents were less confident about their capabilities to effectively utilize video in their communications strategy, and how much they should be investing in creating high quality, professional video assets, as 76% responded that they don’t know how to measure video success analytically.
While an increasing number of nonprofits are learning about the power of creating their own video assets, there are many ways you can leverage video in your work.
1) Not all video needs to be highly professional. Jewish Community High School of the Bay recorded a brief video of a student leading a Zumba class. This snippet was gold on Facebook as they began to shift their social media strategy to a more transparent community building approach. Informal (yet still high quality with attention to sound and lighting) works well, in the right setting. See our post about the new short format video apps Vine (on Twitter) and Instagram for tips on creating even shorter videos.
2) Curate great video content from others. IKAR was smart in creating a video that sent a powerful message that was applicable to a wide audience. While the video clearly adds to the IKAR brand, it was really easy to forward and repost because of the universal message. This is creating social content at its best. Many individuals and organizations reposted this video because it fit with their own brand and personal ethos.
3) Use video as a conversation starter. ELI Talks are a series of short, thought provoking videos of live talks related to Jewish community and culture. Conceptually derived from TED Talks, ELI Talks are a great way to begin deep conversations among staff, boards and other groups about issues of great importance to the Jewish community. For example, Rabbi Sid Schwarz’s talk describes his experience taking a group of synagogue members to volunteer in Haiti, and Gidi Greenstein's talk explores the balance between flexibility and rigidity as we chart our course into the Jewish future. You can find discussion questions underneath each video to get the ball rolling in your conversations.
4) Go small. Two new applications have recently taken off that allow you to record short — very short — videos via an app. Vine is the Twitter based app (6 seconds), and Instagram just release their own version (15 seconds). By definition these are short, and if you use them well, short and sweet. Many nonprofits are creating simple videos that help viewers connect to their mission powerfully by 'reporting from the field' (see the Humane Society and Charity:Water examples). Other brands are putting in more effort (often with stop-motion design) to create powerful mini-mercials (see these examples from Etsy and lululemon). Collections of short videos like this, a regularity of posting them, help tell a story in a unique and powerful way, that's quick and authentic.
For more about the survey and resources to help you improve your video efforts, check out the full YouTube/See3/Edelman survey report and online video guide here.
How are you using video? Share your stories and post links in the comments.