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4 Tips for using video effectively in your digital strategy

By Anne Stefanyk
January 19, 2022

Black and white photograph of a woman making a video of herself on a smart phone.

As a nonprofit professional, you know how powerful advocacy videos can be for charitable organizations. Just think of the classic ASPCA video featuring a carousel of devastating animal video clips and Sarah McLachlan's melancholic voice in the background. You know it’s almost impossible to watch that video without a few tears welling up in your eyes!

Nonprofit videos have the power to break your supporters’ hearts, build them back up again, and inspire them to take action. That’s why you may want to explore adding video to your organization’s digital strategy. 

Whether you’ve never taken an organized approach to video or you’re looking to boost your existing strategy, you’ll need a dedicated plan to incorporate video into your digital strategy effectively and sustainably. Here we explore the best strategies for integrating video naturally into your digital advertising plan. 

1. Redefine the concept of video.

You might feel intimidated by the prospect of adding video to your digital marketing repertoire, so it’s important to reframe the way you think about video. 

A video doesn’t always have to be a carefully crafted presentation with multiple interviews or camera angles. Video can be a quick, 30-second repeating gif on your website homepage or they can be a behind-the-scenes Instagram Live tour of your nonprofit’s facilities taken on an iPhone camera. In other words, it can be as casual or formal as you want to make it. 

Additionally, videos can be infused into other online marketing efforts, such as social media campaigns or blog posts. When you’re planning your next digital marketing campaign, think of ways to incorporate video  with other elements such as written copy and visuals. 

Getting Attention’s guide to nonprofit videos recommends integrating videos into your organization’s marketing culture. Think of video as a unique, additional format to tell your nonprofit’s story in a new way. 

2. Incorporate calls to action.

Video can play an integral role in facilitating the donor journey. The donor journey is the steps your supporters take from initial awareness of your mission to donating. 

According to a Google study, over half of the people who watch an online nonprofit video donate afterward, making video a highly effective platform for boosting your fundraising.

Viewers should leave your videos with a clear understanding of the next steps for getting involved with your nonprofit. Use videos to describe your fundraising efforts and encourage viewers to contribute with an inspiring call to action. Include the URL or a link to your online fundraising page and explain how donations make a difference. For instance, at the end of an animal shelter’s video, let viewers know that a donation of $10 can help feed a shelter dog for a week. 

Lastly, ensure your videos incorporate accessibility best practices so everyone can engage with them. This includes avoiding flashing or strobing elements and including accurate captions or a transcript. 

3. Promote your videos on the right channels.

The platforms you use to share your videos are just as important as the content of the videos themselves. Here are the most popular and effective platforms for sharing video content: 

  • YouTube and Vimeo: As the most popular video-sharing platforms, these two websites are naturally the first place to post your videos. Supporters can browse all of your videos in one place on these platforms. 
  • TikTok: TikTok has exploded in popularity in the past couple of years. Major nonprofits such as UNICEF and the American Red Cross have found significant success on TikTok, with hundreds of thousands of followers each. Post shorter videos on this platform or participate in trends. 
  • Instagram and Facebook: These are two of the most popular social media platforms, and they are also among the most video-focused. Posting your videos on these channels allows supporters to share your content easily. 
  • Email: Email is a great way to send video content directly to your supporters’ inboxes, helping make your messages more engaging. 
  • Your website: Videos can bring your website content to life, whether used on your home page or within blog posts. 

Use metrics from past marketing campaigns to determine which channels are most popular among your supporters. 

It’s also important to share your videos at the right time. Review your social media and email analytics, such as open rate and engagement metrics, to determine the best time and days to post. 

4. Use analytics to assess your progress.

Each digital platform you share your videos on will offer some form of analytics that you can use to assess each video’s effectiveness. For example, YouTube offers information such as:

  • Traffic sources (what channels viewers are using to find your videos)
  • When your viewers are on YouTube
  • Watch time (how long viewers spend watching your video before clicking away)
  • Audience demographics (such as age and gender) 
  • Other channels and videos your viewers watch

Other sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, reveal information about the level of engagement followers have with your videos, using metrics such as the number of shares, likes, and comments. 

Review these analytics regularly to assess what your most successful videos are and why. This data-driven approach ensures you’ll continue moving forward with the most effective video strategies.  

Whether you’re a marketing expert or a digital content whiz, you know the importance of using quality videos to support your nonprofit’s digital strategy. By using these strategies to weave video into your digital marketing approach, you can engage supporters in a new way and incorporate video sustainability into your regular marketing activities. 

Tags: Accessibility; Marketing; Fundraising