Yes, Your Online Videos Must Change From One Channel to Another
In the past I’ve blogged about the power of video for nonprofits. I still feel very strongly that we, as an industry, can’t just do video. We must do video right. For the last few years, Facebook and YouTube have been the primary places for nonprofits to showcase their messages and missions in video. But, with the growth of other channels, there are multiple opportunities for nonprofits to reach the marketplace. But here’s the catch: As social media has evolved in the eyes of consumers, we as marketers must respect that all social media channels serve different purposes within a person’s life. So, in addition to the general video best-practices that I have always trumpeted (listed at the bottom)—there are specific rules for the differing channels.
And, if just being a good marketer and targeting your audience within specific channels is not enough, according to Cisco, video traffic will account for 79 percent of all consumer traffic on the web in 2018. In other words, we better get on it and get it right. Let’s talk about channels specifically:
It’s simple. Think of yourself. Think about what you want when you are spending time in that channel. Most people want to be entertained. They visit Facebook to escape from something they are doing. But, according to Facebook, the average time for a visit is only 18 minutes. So, you need to make sure your videos are entertaining and even humorous when appropriate—and they cannot be too long. If someone is scanning their newsfeed and wants to see what’s happening across all of their friends and family, they are not going to want to watch a three-minute video. Keep your videos below two minutes for Facebook. Also, keep in mind that with updates to Facebook in the last year, videos start automatically. In other words, you must have something that is going to grab their attention immediately to get consumers to stop scrolling and watch the full video.
If your brand is already on Instagram, this should be an easy transition for you. Several years ago Instagram allowed videos to be posted, and while it was a slow start, it has really taken off in the last year as a great way to build your followers. It’s an easy jump for consumers to accept videos within their Instagram visit, so you are not asking consumers to accept a new dynamic. However, different than Facebook, you’ve got 15 seconds to create a marketing reaction. So, the best thing you can do is stay very close to how you represent your brand through photos on Instagram. It needs to feel very consistent and truly an extension, versus a different theme. While Facebook allows you to build a story and end with a call to action—Instagram is more, well, instant. Get to the point, keep it tight with your basic message and have a very quick and easy call to action.
OK, I’ll admit it, I did not think this channel was really best positioned to help nonprofit brands. I am not sure if I am wrong but as of last year, 100 million people were watching videos on Vine each month. While I still would not make this your top priority, if you have a healthy video strategy and you’ve run out of other ways to enhance your social media strategy—then go for it! But, you have only six seconds to get a message across. This is actually a head scratcher to me for nonprofits. There’s not enough time to really market something and unless there is high awareness of the brand by the followers, six seconds is hardly enough time to explain a need or a complex mission.
Last but not least, there is YouTube. According to the channel itself, more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos. If you have videos, you must have a YouTube channel—and frankly, if you don’t have videos you need to change that, and do it quickly. While YouTube can act as your library for consumers who want to truly absorb everything about your mission in video, it is also a way to build new relationships. Make it easy for your constituents and realize that someone viewing a video on YouTube has very different expectations than someone stumbling upon a video on Facebook or Instagram. This is your chance to highlight your mission with no restrictions of time or looping or consumer distraction.
With that said, there are some key components of a nonprofit video that really must be present.
Emotion: 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 consumers to engage with us. But in reality there are other emotions that can create that same reaction. Focusing on empowerment can be equally impactful. Empowerment creates an emotional reaction, but more importantly it creates a connection, because many of us can find examples of disappointment and yet ultimate success somewhere in our lives. So, don't just think of sad scenarios with sad music for your videos; think of the type of story and message that will not only get the wallet open but will also get the video moving from one friend to another. That is the key to today's marketing videos.
Conversation: It is critical to have viewers see themselves in your 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. In the case of a nonprofit, the video should help the viewer feel like they are or can be a part of the mission of your organization. Or, perhaps more importantly, they can be a part of the solution to the problem or challenge that your 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...
Action: In reality, the call to 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. When consumers share a video, they are making a personal statement to their network of family and friends about the importance of the message. What is even better? To create a social video that is not just begging the viewer to share but also motivating someone to comment is what we should all be striving for when putting our missions into video for social consumption. And, perhaps of even greater value is the type of comment. 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. This creates action and highlights the relevancy in someone’s life.
Now, go get busy and do some filming folks!
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.