Aaaaand … Action!
1. Develop a simple plan to guide your project. Whether you're shooting a 30-second public-service announcement or an hour-long documentary, begin by shaping a plan incorporating preproduction, production and postproduction.
This is really no different than other nonprofit marketing endeavors you work on. You don't jump into writing a brochure, annual report, website, fundraising campaign, advocacy campaign, etc., without some up-front planning.
2. Test your video idea against your communications goals. Don't produce a video just for the sake of doing a video. Review your organization's communications goals and best strategies to meet them to assess if video is a relevant channel.
Key questions include:
● What's the purpose of the video?
● Who is the target audience?
● What actions do we need to motivate?
● Who do we need to reach?
● What are the best channels to reach them?
3. Know your audience. This is definitely one of the 10 commandments of online video production. You craft your website, annual report, and e-news messages and graphics to connect with the wants and preferences of your audience. Do the same with your video.
The imagery, sound track and text must appeal to your network. Video is more "in your face" than text or graphics, so if you strike out, you strike out big.
4. Evaluate your resources to ensure they match your concept. There's always a connection between production values and budget. However, advances in software and hardware technology, and the increase in those trained to produce video, means quality video is within reach of the typical nonprofit.
No matter the approach you have in mind, your video budget and work should include at least these basic elements: the team — on camera and off; the location(s) where it will be shot; the equipment for the shoot and edit (cameras, lighting, editing suites); the graphics needed for the video (still photos, logos, other typical artwork you integrate into your organization's fundraising outreach); and other effects including music, props, costumes.