Why Video is Important, What to Film, and How to Maximize Your Exposure

Videos are everywhere — especially today as we are amid a global pandemic. I recently listened to a presentation crisis communications during COVID-19 by Ellen Lahr of EGLahr PR & Media. Ellen shares “You are responsible for telling your organization’s story.” She goes on to explain that “video is a powerful way to achieve many different things in your organization internally and externally.” And I agree — video is an incredible (and free) tool that can be used to share your story of impact. They are especially powerful for nonprofits.

A compelling video is a critical way to incite action and deepens your connection with current and potential donors. According to a recent Google study, 57 percent of people who watch a video go on to donate. And I’m sure you’ve noticed that your video content does so much better on social media than other posts. In this post I’ll give ideas for video content you can film and then 4 easy ways you can repurpose that content to maximize its impact.

Everything I share today can be done without complicated tech and at no cost to you. 

What To Film

To kick things off, let’s chat about what you can film. You’ll notice everyone is filming from their homes — from the local news station to American Idol. The production quality isn’t perfect but it gets the job done. So if you are concerned about not having a video professional filmed is holding you back, it shouldn’t be. Your community wants to see you, face to face, and something is better than nothing. You can film from your phone or even directly from Zoom. Here are a few ideas:

  • Share updates from your staff. What they have been up to, what they are working on, and how the community makes this work possible.
  • Ask clients to send in video testimonials or updates on how they are doing.
  • Interview clients as things open up and they return back to your organization — what’s it like to be back? Still have clients at home, ask them to email a video update, or record a virtual Zoom.
  • Film a behind the scenes, how does something work at your nonprofit — people love looking behind the camera.
  • Or maybe how does something work now with COVID precautions in place.
  • Perhaps capture something you do every day like answer questions on the phone or in an email with a narrative.
  • And lastly, instead of filming a video perhaps considering going live on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook (I have an upcoming post on this).

When thinking about your own video the length should be around 1-minute maximum. And the key component of the video is your call to action. What are you asking them to do after they watch — is it to donate, to share with a friend, or comment? Be sure that you always end with a CTA.

How to Edit (or not)

Now that you have that video footage, let’s talk about editing your work if you would like to do so. If you have a Mac and are familiar with iMovie, you can easily splice and dice the video and add text. But what happens if you don’t have a Mac or aren’t tech-savvy and don’t know how to do that? Well, remember that smartphone you shot the video on? Let’s do the editing there on a free app called InShot. Both iMovie and InShot allow you to trim the video and text. And again, the video doesn’t need to be long, probably a minute max.

Once the video is ready to go, get ready to upload it to YouTube and you can share it in its native format on your social channels and in your email marketing.

How to Maximize Your Exposure

After you’ve put all that effort into creating a work of art, let’s slice and dice this original video into additional content to maximize your exposure.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Turn your video content into a blog post.
    1. Transcribe the video’s audio with additional formatting, add a few photos and embed your native video at the bottom of a blog post.
  2. Using the your video editing program (on your phone or computer), trim your video into tiny bite size videos (a good quote, a portion that answers a question people usually ask, maybe an important clip of your organization at work) and from there:
    1. Post that clip on Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn
    2. Share to Instagram stories and Facebook stories and add captions right from your phone
  3. Use a photo editing tool like Canva and transcribe a great quote from the video to create a graphic(s):
    1. Share the graphic on your social channels with a link back to the video on your blog post from above. (increasing traffic to your website) 
    2. And if you make more than one graphic, you can turn those into a Instagram Carousel 
  4. And lastly, consider making a gif — people love to share them and giphy.com is a free tool.

I’d love to see the video creations you come up with. Feel free to tag me @thejennybdesigns when you post. And if you need help putting any of these ideas into place, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you. I know you can do this.

I know you can do it!