Video creation is challenging and can feel like an overwhelming endeavor. Without the right storytelling plan, your message may get lost, leaving supporters unmotivated and confused about a call to action.
If you're struggling to put together a compelling video, you're not alone. In this article we will:
- Teach you the framework needed to communicate your message and inspire action from your audience
- Dive into how to develop talking points and keep your film on message
- Explain how to film from home
- Share five suggestions to ensure your video achieves your goal
Why does video content matter?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most effective nonprofits use video more frequently than their peers.
It makes sense! Not only do videos grab people’s attention, but they also keep it. In fact, viewers remember 95% of a message told in a video. That’s why video storytelling is such an effective tool to wake people up and inspire change.
What type of nonprofit videos you should be making
There are a few types of videos we recommend for nonprofits:
- Mission video
- Impact stories
- Campaign video
- Community supporter testimonials
- Asks for donations
- Newsjacking and reporting
We’ll provide some examples and explain each in more detail below.
⚓️ Mission video
Mission videos are videos that showcase your organization's mission and the impact that you are making towards accomplishing it. Mission videos should be informative and inspirational, clearly demonstrating the need for your organization by showcasing the problem that you work to solve.
⭐ Impact stories
Impact stories are videos from those you serve, who share their personal stories and testimonies about the impact that your organization has had on their lives. Impact stories include things like providing statistics on program success, showcasing the transformation someone experienced by getting involved with your nonprofit, and sharing the benefits your community has experienced from your programs.
📣 Advocacy videos
Advocacy videos showcase community members’ experiences and concerns in a first-person voice. These videos provide lawmakers with much-needed context about how certain issues impact the community. These videos can even be sent to lawmakers via email or leveraged on social media (Don’t forget to tag those electeds!).
🎯 Campaign video
Campaign videos showcase the purpose of a particular campaign. These can be used to drive your audience to take action, whether it be to donate as part of a fundraising campaign or write an email to state officials as part of an advocacy campaign.
💛 Community supporter testimonials
Community supporter testimonials are a great way to create social proof and build authority for your organization. Consider featuring people and family members who have been impacted by your programs, local celebrities, and elected officials. Use these videos to speak directly to how your programs are benefiting the community and its members.
🤝 Asks for donations
One of the most obvious videos for nonprofits is the ask video. The ask video demonstrates an urgent need to raise funds to address a pressing issue. Ask videos can be used throughout your digital marketing efforts, but can also be used during fundraising events to inspire action.
📰 Newsjacking and reporting
Finally, the last type of video we recommend is the newsjacking and reporting video. This type of video is crucial when responding to a crisis or pressing matter in your community. Think of it like a segment you would watch on the local news. Keep it informative and share the direct facts and impacts on your community. If you can, add in statistics and data that demonstrate your organization's authority on the topic.
5 tips and reminders for creating great videos
Creating videos can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! In this section, we will walk you through 5 tips and reminders to create a great video.
Offer words of encouragement to your subject 👍
Offer words of encouragement to your subject to help ease the tension (and after they finish a take)—especially if they are camera shy.
Encourage your subject to talk slowly 😮💨
Ask the subject to pause between questions and thoughts to give the editor ample footage to make clean cuts.
Write a script for your video 📝
It’s completely okay to script these videos, and in fact, you should! Using your brand talking points will help you stay on topic and create a video that will engage your audience. You can also use your script in post-production to create closed captions or a transcript.
Keep it casual 👖
Conversational language is natural, more engaging for your audience, and prevents the dialogue from sounding stiff and formal. After all, folks typically are watching social media videos to escape work, not be dragged into more of it.
Keep it short ⏰
People tend to quit listening and become easily distracted with long videos, so we recommend trying to keep social videos under 30 seconds and other videos around two minutes long. Each written page (double spaced and 12-point font) takes about two minutes to read out loud, so be mindful of this when writing your script.
Back to you
Storytelling is an effective tool to motivate people to make change.
The most effective nonprofits regularly use video to communicate with their audiences, and viewers remember the message they hear in the video.
Use mission videos, impact stories, campaign videos, community supporter testimonials, asks for donations, and newsjacking and reporting videos to grab people’s attention and keep it.
If you're struggling to put together a compelling video, you're not alone. Download Marketing Mission’s free checklist for recording video from home.
Givebutter made a $100 donation to Cody's charity of choice, Good Neighbors, for his guest blog contribution.
Cody Hays helps organizations grow their impact through creative, data-driven digital marketing.