Best Practices for Nonprofit Video Marketing

Setting Clear Goals

Video can do so much more than communicate information, and you probably want people to do something with the information and ideas you share. But the potential of video marketing to connect, engage, inspire, and motivate is only useful when you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Even the goal of “raising awareness” without having specific targets in mind is likely to lead to wasted resources and disappointing results.

What goal or goals will your video marketing campaign advance? How will you measure success?

Articulate goals that are clear, concrete, and measurable. Your answers might include:

To build your nonprofit’s brand.

  • With what audiences?
  • How can a stronger brand advance your organization’s mission?
  • Is your brand already well defined? Is it just getting established? Is it evolving?
  • How should the target audience understand your brand when the campaign is complete? What associations should they have? How should it make them feel?

To draw attention to your issue or cause.

  • Who is the target audience?
  • Is the target audience already aware of the general issue or cause, or will the video be an introduction?
  • What should the audience learn from the video campaign?
  • What do you want them to feel?
  • What should the audience understand about your role in addressing the issue?
  • What do you want them to do about it?
  • What outcomes do you want from this heightened awareness? Media attention? Legislation? Direct action?

To start or deepen a conversation.

  • Is this conversation already happening?
  • What are other parties saying?
  • What’s missing from the current conversation?
  • Who do you want to engage in this conversation?
  • What specifically do you want a deepened discourse to achieve? More people adopting a healthier diet? A change in policies for asylum seekers? More women promoted to positions of corporate power?

To reach out to those you serve.

  • Who are the people your nonprofit serves?
  • What needs are you fulfilling for them?
  • Who isn’t aware of the services or resources you offer?
  • In what ways do you want them to engage with you?
  • How do you want to help? By giving them a warm meal? Job training? A concert? By taking legal action to defend their interests or their environment?

To recruit more volunteers or to retain those you already have.

  • Who is currently volunteering with you, and in what ways do they serve your mission?
  • Do you need more volunteers to do the same work, or is there a new, specific, or unmet need?
  • How many volunteers do you need?
  • What skills or resources or qualities should these volunteers have? Carpentry skills? A good phone presence? A polite but firm hand with crowd control?
  • Where are you most likely to find qualified volunteers? What education do they have? What jobs? What events do they regularly attend?
  • What do volunteers get out of working with you?
  • What have existing volunteers accomplished for your organization and for the people you serve?

To convince large funders to support you.

  • Who are the potential large funders you want to convince? Individual benefactors? Foundations? Government grantors? Corporate sponsors?
  • Is the video marketing campaign tied to a particular proposal, application or fundraising event?
  • In what situations and contexts will you share the video campaign? In a conference room? At a gala? As supporting material for an application?
  • How many funders and how much money do you want to raise with this campaign?

To inspire small donors to contribute.

  • How do you currently reach out to small donors?
  • Is there a particular demographic of donors you’re trying to reach?
  • Are there lapsed donors you hope to reactivate?
  • Are there occasional donors who you hope to convert to recurring donors?
  • Which is more important in this campaign: the number of new donors or the amount of money raised?
  • What do donors get out of supporting your organization?

Some combination of the above.

Video marketing campaigns don’t have to be single-purpose. Video is a layered medium capable of multitasking. You can’t do everything at once, but you can do a lot.

You can build your organization’s brand while calling attention to an important issue and raising funds to support your work to address it. You can recruit new volunteers while thanking those who are already contributing their time.

Just make sure you clearly articulate each of your goals and take the time to plan out how you’ll integrate them each into your overall campaign.

How can video marketing further your mission?

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