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Unusual video marketing tips for nonprofits

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

David: Welcome everyone to the very first episode. I'm David. I co-own a small business called Nonprofit Video Comms. Our company has a bit of a different approach when it comes to preaching the power of video for nonprofits. It's a bit of a different, maybe slightly against the grain rebellious. It's certainly not something you're going to hear a lot of, at least these days from video Studios or production companies or other videographers and freelancers. We are all about being practical and functional and just getting to the point really on the spectrum of types of videos, where on one end, it's all about sort of the brand story, emotion, heartstrings, cinematic, glossy drone cameras, maybe having a video crew and storyboarding, that's all fine. That's good. That's fair. And I come from that Actually. we're actually more interested in the other end of the spectrum, which is keeping it completely simple, practical, as homemade as possible. Use what you can. And there's sort of a few reasons for that approach for this stance we're kind of taking. And that is if you're tiny or small or medium sized nonprofit and you tend to be drowning in tasks, maybe you're in communications or marketing because you have to be or maybe you have that role, but you're sort of under-resourced it's completely impractical to be cinematic and glossy and high production and always trying to plead with viewers and tell your story. It's actually as effective or more effective to be homemade, to be practical, to use what you have. There are a few reasons I believe this. And the first one is that…

Google owns YouTube and on a YouTube... In an interview, I'm sorry, I forget who it was, talked about which videos tend to do best, which ones win on YouTube. Apparently, what the winning videos have in common is that they have a sense of authenticity, keeping in the mistakes, being off the cuff, being recorded at home, whether it's on a nice camera or smartphone kind of doesn't matter, and it's intimate. It's personal, and these ones tend to win.

Another reason we believe in keeping things practical is it's just affordable. There is a big sort of misconception that successful video also equals expensive and complex video. The storyboarding, the crew, the lighting, the sound. There's a way to achieve all of those things that is what I would call good enough.

And finally, another reason that I think keeping things practical and simple is that the more you if you manage to get set up and practice doing the videos yourself or appearing in them yourself or filming other staff or writing them or finding ideas, the more you practice the actual act of making the video, the quicker it comes and the more of a return you start to have on being able to communicate with your nonprofit audience online.

So our approach is functional and practical. Videos over cinematic videos now, of course, I believe both have a time and place, but I want to do the most that I can for the organizations that I love to work with. And for me, the fast track is being practical. So what does that look like? What is a practical video?

Well, we're talking about maybe you are onboarding a lot of digital volunteers, since the pandemic digital volunteerism is a thing and you need to onboard, I don't know, ten a week, maybe a large organization, 20 to 30 a week, and making a series of videos by yourself on your laptop, maybe with some help from someone like me so that you by yourself, can do the job of two or three people multiply that effort.

Another example of a practical or functional video might be an explainer of what it's like to work for at your organization. You might get volunteer applications or staff applications where they self select or they find a better fit. They find a good fit themselves. And this sharpens your recruiting. You might use another kind of video where on a donor journey on your website maybe have three different landing pages. One landing page is a general introduction to an audience that's never heard of you. The second landing page is the current campaign, and then the third landing page is the Donate Now button, and we always suggest every landing page has its own short video that explains everything in detail. And we know that placing a short video at every touch point of every donor journey can increase the likelihood that they'll move to the next page, that they will move down the line. Even one move is worth it.

So those are just a few examples.

And the thing that you have to know about practical and functional videos that is, videos that perform a function or do a job is that they're also doing marketing for you. It's not just a particular type of video that does marketing and awareness raising. If we look at the definition of marketing and just off the top of my head, it's to bring your product to bring your service to the market. And there are so many moving parts when it comes to bringing your service to market. One of them is having sort of the materials and the collateral and the ambassadors and the Champions around to move that product through, to greet people, to equip people, to educate people, to welcome people to move people through. And so even if it's just a recruiting video, it's doing some level of marketing for you.

And of course, if you've clicked on this podcast and you're interested in video, maybe you already know this. But video adds that human element that I believe nothing else really can yet. I mean, short of virtual reality, but especially if we're going virtual everything, then I can't think of a better way to bring your human self to the online audience and help them move towards your service.

I hope that was clear. I got kind of on a thing there... on a wave. Thanks for listening to this first episode, and I look forward to getting in more detail in the next one. Again my name is David. I invite you to follow me on my LinkedIn. That's the only place that I'm doing social media right now. That is You can search for me, David Phu, P-H-U. And there's a little green ring around my picture. That's how you'll know it's Me. Thanks, everyone.


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

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