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Ways to reuse your video, get seen and be helpful

David: Welcome to episode twelve of Nonprofit Video Comms. My name is David and this is the show to help nonprofits be seen, get funded and be more helpful with their video marketing.


A few days ago on LinkedIn, I posted about repurposing. In other words, reusing your video. I have no explanation for why this post was so popular, and it's kind of one of those dream situations where you keep getting notifications all day that total strangers are commenting and liking your post. But I'm not here to brag. I'm just here to say that it was a surprise and I have no explanation for it. I am not a social media expert. and that post inspired this episode. Let's talk about repurposing. It seems that it's a topic that inspired a lot of people. So let's dig into that here.

What is repurposing?

So first, let's just define repurposing. Someone posted and said that they call it up-cycling. I would say reuse. Any opportunity to take your content and give it a new spin or new angle, give it a different format or give it a fresh take or perspective and the ability to take this one piece of content and spread it out over multiple channels and platforms.

If your video that you just made, let's say it was a brand story or an introduction to your organization or some educational piece like a webinar, and you finished it and you posted it on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram, and it fizzles out... Yeah, it's frustrating that it fizzles out. But the worst part of it is how much work it took to make the video and how much hope you had that it would go somewhere. And everyone loves video. So why didn't this do anything? And then a couple of days pass and you have no more engagement. The video kind of just feels old and forgotten. That is a common place to ask yourself, “why didn't this work?and then tell yourself “that's upsetting. I guess I got to move on to something else.” But really, what you should be doing is ask yourself, “what else can I do with this video? How much more mileage can I get out of this? How much more helpful can it be to people?”

Let's talk about three ways that you can do that. I could talk about ten. But today I'm going to stick with three — baby steps. So those three things are...

Three ways to repurpose

One: Just post it again. It's okay.

And the second thing is you can take screenshots out of it and make content from that.

And the third thing is to send it to people whenever it's relevant.

So let's go through these three things.

Post it again

The first one is just post it again. Here's how that works. You post it on a Tuesday and you got some good engagement, most likely from your partners, funders, staff and volunteers. After a few days, it fades away in a couple of weeks. Post it again. Give it a different title or description in your post. The first time, you might have said, “hey, here's a great story about our volunteer and how they helped them become more connected in their community.” In a couple of weeks, when you post it again, you might go, “Did you know volunteering is a great way to get to know your community? hear from these people in our new video.” Two weeks after that, “have you ever been curious what it's like to volunteer with us? Have a little preview inside our organization.” There's always an angle. There's always something that someone out there wants to know about you. This is how you reuse your video. Post it again with a title or description describing what the viewer can get out of your video. And it's not just, “hey, look at our cool story” because really, nobody cares about more stories. people want to know How is this useful to me?

Take screenshots

The second thing is probably the easiest one of all. Take screenshots. Go through the video yourself every week or so… however often or frequent you do your posting. just look for a cool screenshot, something that jumps out at you, something that you remember, a part that you really loved about the video screenshot and post it as an image on any of your platforms and tell us two or three sentences about it. Just think about it this way: your video is just a massive chunk of a bunch of photos that you can extract screenshots out of and tell a story about it. And then at the bottom of your post, post a link leading to the video. Your video itself is not just a thing to watch. It is a source of photos, screenshots, little blips and blops of snippets of stories and interesting facts. A two minute video could supply you with screenshots and blurbs for as long as you're feeling creative.

Send to people who might find it useful in other ways

The third thing is send it to people when it's relevant. This is probably going to be unusual to you but hear me out. A volunteer emails you to ask what's the process for joining your organization or a new client asks you “what is your location and how do I get there”, or a new hire during onboarding is just doing their thing. And here are the opportunities to use the video.

The person who's curious about volunteering, you send it to them. And you don't say, “check out our volunteer stories”, because who's got time for that? What you want to say is “thank you for inquiring. here's the process to apply. We would love to have you and we invite you to take a sneak peek into the other people that volunteer here, or a sneak peek into what our building looks like or what the activities look like.” What this does is help the potential volunteer see themselves or imagine themselves in the role. What you're doing is taking them one or two steps closer to applying or deciding for themselves that this is not a good fit.

For the person who inquired about your services. Like the potential new client, you don't say, “oh, thanks for contacting us. And here's how you can become a member and join our activities. Watch this video.” What you want to say is “thanks for contacting us. We would love to help you be comfortable and the application process is quick and private and safe. And if you're curious about what things look like or what kind of things happen in our building, please look at this video for a few seconds just to get a feel.” What you're doing here is helping a potential new client imagine themselves and feeling comfortable and warm like they've already been there, and they're now ready to sign up. Or like I said before they might decide it's not a good fit for them.

Now, in the case of onboarding, volunteer stories probably have nothing to do with onboarding, but — especially now with work from home as part of onboarding — just ask them to watch the video and say, “here is a way for you to get a feel for one of the many things we do here, and that is the volunteer management, the volunteer experience.” Even if you're a staff, it's probably important for them to see all angles of the organization. This is useful in giving them a full experience, not just training by text and by Zoom and by memorizing policies, but to get a feel for the people... hear them, watch them move.


So just to recap, we have three ways to repurpose or reuse or get more mileage out of your video. The first one is just post it again. It's okay. Maybe 2% of your audience. And that's a true approximate number. Maybe 2% of people saw it the first time. Don't be afraid to post it again. Nobody cares, and nobody is watching your every move. Don't be shy. Just try it. The second thing is take screenshots of your favorite moments in the video. They might be boring, but the important thing is how you talk about it in two or three sentences. Take a screenshot, talk about it, share a memory, whatever. But your video is a supplier of photos and stories and then post a link to the video for people to watch it if they want. Number three, send it to people when it's relevant, and when I say relevant, I mean, any way to help support their need, their inquiry. It doesn't mean they necessarily want to hear volunteer stories, but there's going to be something in the video, some hint, some clue that helps them move forward in their decision to connect with you as a volunteer, as a client, as a member, as a staff or whatever it is.

Better planning

So as a final note about these three ways to repurpose a video, do this. Do your videos with all of these things in mind ahead of time. Make it part of your planning. When the video is done and you're ready to post it. That's only 5% of the process. The remaining 95 is about how useful you can make this video. So remember when your video is done, it's usefulness is not done. It's got a lot of life left in it. Good luck.

That was episode twelve. Thank you for listening. My name is David, and you can find me on LinkedIn David Phu, P-H-U. I would love to connect with you. Visit my website and browse what I have to offer, all the way from free resources to training to full video service.

Thank you and see you next time.


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

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