Video Lessons NGOs Can Learn from the For-Profit World

Philanthropy and videos go hand-in-hand. There’s no better way to share your compelling stories than through a video. When you can show your audience what you’re doing to make the world a better place, the results speak for themselves.

The problem is that many charities think that they have to treat their NGO video marketing strategy completely different from for-profit businesses. They believe that video is for selling products — not garnering donations or volunteers. But that’s not the case at all.

Branded videos work for both charities and traditional businesses to increase audience engagement. Your goal, just like any for-profit business, is to generate money, and video marketing is a valuable tool for making that happen.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here are the facts:

If you want the results we’ve highlighted above and more, then your NGO needs to treat video the same way as for-profit businesses. In particular, there are three crucial lessons you need to learn.

Lesson 1: Influencers Are Valuable

On average, you’ll earn $5.20 on every dollar you spend on influencer marketing. And if you’re looking for the king of influencer marketing, it’s video.

Influencer videos are one of the most effective ways to build your audience, create credibility, and drive engagement. That’s because when you bring in influencers, you also bring in their audience, which helps you connect to a much wider variety of individuals. Just make sure that you don’t take a narrow view of influencers.

Influencers are not just famous actors or singers. You don’t have to hire a celebrity to create a tear-jerking video that encourages donations (à la ‘90s). Instead, you can look further afield for influencers. Instagram stars and YouTubers are great influencers who can help create videos for you, or you can reach out to people with large social followings who already donate to your cause.

A few ideas to get you started with influencer marketing and to help you raise awareness through videos:

  • Bloggers: Reach out to bloggers who have the experience, expertise, or interest in your field.
  • Experts: Find scientists, researchers, professors, and other experts in your field who can speak about the work your NGO is doing and why it is important.
  • Social Media Stars: Find Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter stars who have large followings and who talk about topics related to your NGO. You can ask them to share clips of themselves participating in some type of focused challenge — and spread it among their followers— to help support your goal. Then, take it a step further by pulling in all those videos using a hashtag for a compilation video.

Lesson 2: 360/VR Videos Are Worth It

Not only are 360-videos and virtual reality videos really cool and useful for selling products, they’re also great for engagement and awareness for NGOs. These types of video are still fairly new to the market, so they automatically stand out on social media and landing pages. They make people stop and watch.

Better yet, according to a recent study “Think with Google,” the click-through rate on 360-video is much higher. People who take a moment to stop and interact with these unique video types are far more likely to click through and ultimately convert into a donor or volunteer. These types of videos are especially great for going viral.

The key is to use 360 and VR videos in the right way. Here are some great ideas:

  • Tour: Take a tour of your work site or office so that your audience can get a personal feel for what it’s like.
  • Event: If you’re hosting an event, use a 360 or VR video to give your viewers a similar experience to if they were on the ground.
  • Adventure: 360 videos and VR videos are especially enjoyable when you want to put viewers in the driver’s seat. So, during a volunteer day, have one of your team members in charge of filming the experience.

Lesson 3: Focus on Your Audience

Last, but certainly not least, make the videos customer-focused instead of all about your NGO. Many for-profit businesses have transitioned to customer-centric marketing, and this can work wonders for non-profits, too!

Yes, you want people to know about your cause and what good you’re working towards, but audiences get tired of hearing all about you.

Instead, create videos about how your viewers can benefit and how they can have an impact on the world. Share a video that demonstrates how a viewer can help your cause directly—how they can get involved. Make it about them. When you place your audience first, you’ll have more luck grabbing their attention because it will feel more personal, you will increase their motivation, and they will be better able to imagine themselves actually being involved.

Here are some tools to humanize your non-profit video strategy:

  1. Use real people. Show images of your volunteers working hard to fulfill your nonprofit mission
  2. Embrace your unique brand. Make sure your potential donors recognize the aesthetics that connect your brand to the cause.
  3. Speak their language. If you want to target multiple audiences across the globe, translate the video to the relevant languages This doesn’t mean that you have to create videos from scratch each time. Using the right video creation platform can enable you to duplicate and adapt your videos to the right audience quickly

NGO Videos Are Powerful

Your charity’s videos can be a powerful force for your marketing team. They can demonstrate your organization’s incredible work, highlight the impact of your programs, and bring your audience into the fold.

While sticking with the tried and true practices of storytelling and creating a personal connection with your cause, you can also produce effective charity videos with some tricks of the trade from the for-profit realm that will keep your organization modern and take it to the next level.

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