Not all Videos Are Created Equal
Granted, the last few weeks have been full of a certain kind of video on social-media channels (I promise not to blog about "ice buckets" for a while). But the "I Will What I Want" video series from UnderArmour is simply amazing. While I would not normally reference commercial videos as great examples for nonprofits to use as "what to do," I believe UnderArmour nailed it with this series.
If you haven't seen them on TV or social media - take a glance at least at this one.
They really have all the key components of what we, as nonprofit marketers and fundraisers, need to have in our videos to make them work hard for our missions. Let's break down at least the video about Misty Copeland. Here are the key elements that need to be present in any video that is focused on not just building awareness about the brand but trying to excite people and get them to engage with the video itself.
1. Creating an emotional reaction
Whether you're selling a mission or a line of sports clothing, it is clear that emotion is a critical element. But not just any emotion. As nonprofits we sometimes have a tendency to think that "sad" is the best emotion for getting our donors to open their wallets. But in reality there are other emotions that can create that same reaction. The UA video takes a "star" and tells her story — a story that resembles many of our own stories of great dreams and sometimes being underestimated.
The sense of empowerment is just golden in the video — yet, it is not "sad." It creates an emotional reaction, but more importantly it creates a connection because many of us can find examples of this type of disappointment and yet ultimate success somewhere in our lives. So, don't just think of the sad scenarios with the sad music for your videos; think of the type of story and message that will not only get the wallet open but will get the video moving from one friend to another. That is the key to today's marketing videos.
2. Creating a conversation
It is critical to have viewers see themselves in the story. This is something offline marketers have tried to do for many, many years. It's as basic as not being about the brand — but about how the person connects to the brand. The beauty of social marketing and video marketing is that the connection creates a conversation.
Everyone I know who has experienced the Misty Copeland video had some kind of story or example that made the video personally relative to them. In the case of the nonprofit, the video should help the viewer feel like they are or can be a part of the mission of the organization. Or, perhaps more importantly, they can be a part of the solution to the problem or challenge that the organization's mission addresses.
As nonprofits, we cannot assume that all of our prospects and donors have a personal connection to the issue within our nonprofit specifically, but in reality everyone can be a part of a solution to a problem. The key is to make our viewers believe it and feel it. If we are honest with ourselves, the video is simply the spark that creates the dialog that ultimately drives action. And speaking of action ...
3. Creating an action
In reality, the action is very important for a social-media video. And, let's be very clear here, it is not a "like" that is the ultimate prize — it is the "share." UA has perfected it, and even just the title alone — "I Will What I Want" — creates the spark to
- Watch the video (perhaps over and over across the various stories);
- share the video; and
- make an empowering comment or even add your own story.
To create a social video that not only is just begging the viewer to share it but also motivating someone to comment is what we should all be striving for when putting our missions into video for social consumption. Nonprofits often think a "like" and a comment about a donation is the goal. I would challenge all of us to create videos designed to get someone's attention and have them share it with their personal network with their own story. Yes, yes — we want the donation. But we really want to be highlighted as being relevant to someone.
4. Having a goal (and measuring It)
You didn't really think you could get through one of my blogs without the talk of measurement, right? I'm not going to harp on this one because I shouldn't have to. Set your goal (by the way, did I mention it should be share and comments - not just likes?) and make sure you measure it. The beauty of social media is that, unlike the offline world — where you go to market and sit back and wait/watch — you can pivot very quickly in the online world. If something is working, you can actually help it work harder by managing your marketing across the various channels available (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc.). The same goes for a poor showing on social media: If something doesn't work or take off, review it — review the messaging, review the call to action and make changes.
The folks behind the UA series must be proud of themselves. If they are the typical ad agency they are probably going to claim they always knew it was going to be a huge success. But, deep down inside, they have to realize they touched some pretty big heart strings with a lot of people. Their social-marketing strategy behind the videos (and the whole campaign) has done everything we should all want to model when we create the amazing videos that reflect how our missions work and why donations and awareness are so important.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.