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How videos can help your nonprofit

Welcome to the 18th episode of Nonprofit Video Comms, the podcast to help your nonprofit be seen and get funded and be more helpful to people.

If you're a small nonprofit or a nonprofit consultant, thinking about video marketing, but you're not quite convinced, maybe you're new to the idea or you've seen it a while. Your peers are doing it and it seems like a lot of work. Maybe you just need a good case for it or you're [...] and of course with non-profits you are risk averse, you need to make good decisions with marketing dollars. It's possible you've also done video before, and it didn't turn out quite the way you hoped, and it was too expensive. Maybe you feel burned. I want to talk about two ways that videos can help. Maybe these are two ways that you haven't heard before.

Forget the old way

In my experience, what I'm about to say kind of seems unusual to people when they hear them for the first time. So let's give this a try.

I want you to forget about the old way. The old way is to make a video and hope people see it. Of course there were some tactics, there were some strategies and methods to increase the chance of people seeing it.

But, 10, 20 years ago on YouTube, it was kind of a big messy public forum, where anybody could just try to do something big and dramatic and be seen. But right now, with the way algorithms work, the way search functions work, the way different devices operate, the current way is not to make a video, post it and hope. The current way is to make a video that meets people where they are. Let me clarify that. So the two ways that video can help...

Go small but relevant

The first way is to be small but relevant. What I mean by small is instead of going big and dramatic and cinematic, just cover one answer to a question, cover one common topic, or go even smaller and more narrow. Cover something really niche and really specific to a small portion of your audience.

When you go small like that, when you go relevant, when you go specific, when you give a good clear title, it helps you show up in the search tools — like Google, Yahoo, Bing, whatever, Duck Duck Go — that you use. And their social media news feeds, you might show up somehow… the algorithm has figured out that your topic relates to this person's typical searches or typical interests.

Or if you're using selfie style video apps, you can get so specific by actually just sending a self-recorded video right into someone's pocket, onto their smartphone, into their text messages, into their messaging apps. So that's one way videos can help. It's small, but specific.

Videos can be teammates

The second thing: videos can multiply your efforts. Instead of thinking of them as promotional, viral tools, you think of them as workers, as clones, as a teammate.

So, a simple screen recording of training can help your digital volunteers who are probably during this pandemic all remote. Or you have connected organizations across the country and you need to onboard people at different time zones.

You've probably already been doing this, but I need you to start thinking about the video training also as “video marketing.” Using video to multiply work, to increase your capacity, to increase your presence inside of your community or your niche or your sector is part of marketing.


So those two things, again, (1) go small but relevant and (2) multiply your efforts.

Now the final word about those two things is that this does not imply that you move slow. In fact this helps you move faster. So instead of going big to try to be seen by a lot of people and the result is you're just adding more noise and saying kind of nothing at all, you're going small. Maybe it starts with 5, 10, 15 people who see your video, but it is so hyper relevant. It is so hyper helpful that they share it. It's so relevant and so helpful that it moves them forward instead of just bookmarking some really cool video, the video actually moved them to take an action and click on something.

So you start to see a result of these small, very relevant videos. In my opinion, it's agile, it's easier to make, and more natural, more human. And you're using the video communication tools for marketing. Instead of using filmmaking and cinema as video marketing here, you're using video communication.

I hope that helps you feel a little bit more at ease and energized to get into video marketing. Thanks for listening. That was episode 18. My name is David Phu, spelled P H U. I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn and please check out my website,, where you can check out free resources, training, and full service video products.

Till next time.


Learn about our services at Nonprofit Video Comms or follow David on LinkedIn.

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