David: This is episode 13 of Nonprofit Video Comms, the show to help your nonprofit with video marketing to help you be seen, get funded and be more helpful. My name is David.
What exactly do we measure when it comes to video results? The most common measurements available to us on Facebook, on YouTube, on Instagram, on the common platforms are things like views, likes, comments, and some variation of engagement. Whether it was impressions or interactions, over the past however many years this has become the common reporting tool to your manager, your boss, your executive director, your board at the end of the year when you want to report that your content, your posts, your videos, your updates, your announcements “did they raise awareness?”
Does a 20% increase in likes equal raising awareness? I don't know. Does 3% increase in comments equal audience engagement? I don't know. And the reason I say I don't know is because I have yet to see a small nonprofit really convince its decision makers, its managers and its board the real value of this type of interaction.
I've seen convincing correlations with large campaigns of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where you might say this much engagement has a correlation between this many signups or sales. But at the small nonprofit level, when you're doing everything by yourself, without paid ads, without a professional marketing agency execution, what does that really mean? A 10% increase in likes equals, what, a 10% increase in raising awareness? What does that mean? You look around the room and you kind of get the half smiles, the confused nod like, “okay, yeah, I guess we'll report this to the funder,” and I know.. I know as the former comms person, you've done your best. We did our best to give something tangible, to give a number, and it doesn't feel quite right. It doesn't feel quite tangible. These tools from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, whatever these tools were offered to us by these free platforms have become the norm for reporting, and it's still not quite there.
Here's what I would rather know if I were in charge of a campaign: how many people registered, how many people signed up, how many people donated, how many partners or funders found it influential in their decision?
Would you rather report to your boss one video view by one person — and stick with me here — this one sad little number led to a major partnership or led to a significant donation? Or would you rather report 1000 views led to “raised awareness” ? I would choose the first thing.
Tips for tracking video metrics
Here are two or three ways to keep track of that, and this is going to be the most inconvenient, tedious way. And I'm sorry it will not fit into your automations. But, keep track of any real life comments about your video. Keep track of anytime somebody says, “yeah, I saw your video and I'm here to check out your services”.
Ask people when they're inquiring and just ask in passing “Did you happen to see our video? No?” “Okay, what about the video helped you make a decision?” Just make it conversational. Do it in passing. Ask anyone, not just your clients, not just your potential members, but ask your partners. Ask your funders. Ask your fellow staff. Ask your sponsors. Ask anybody that might have had some sort of even the most remote passing possibility of passing by that video.
I promise you, keeping track manually, organically, on a little tiny post-it note or in a spreadsheet about these measurements that have nothing to do with the tools given to you by Facebook, you will look back on those notes at the end of the year and you will be so thankful. you will get to that point on the day of reporting and preparing your notes and your summaries and your tallies. You're going to go “Holy crap: four major funders said, I love what you said in the video and we saw a good fit” or “20 volunteers said the video helped them see themselves as a good fit or helped them relate to their own situations,” because you kept track on the side of your desk on a napkin.
In-real-life comments, when you report that, that is going to beat the “Facebook says we had a 20% increase in likes.” I promise you. I promise promise promise you.
That was episode 13. Thank you again for listening. My name is David Phu. P-H-U. Would love to connect with you on Linkedin and please check my website nonprofitvideocomms.ca . You can see our services and resources from the free stuff to the training to the full video production.
See you next time. Bye.