How to optimize video for your charity’s marketing efforts

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In today’s world, social media is considered a key strategy to reach any audience. This has moved beyond a simple post or tweet and into the realm of social videos, including anything from a moving infographic to a 30 second caption on the work a charity has done or a charity ambassador testimonial.

While traditional corporate videos and advertisements are important, a social video allows companies to increase their brand mentions, become more relevant, improve their popularity and have the chance to go “viral.”

So grab the bull by the horns and optimize your charity’s use of social video with these tips.

1. Sharability

The most important aspect of social video is the sharing factor. The more shares you have, the greater the likelihood for creating awareness and driving donations beyond your traditional demographic.

The quality of your video and its message has a direct correlation with shares, however positioning it on the right platform will also ensure that it’s viewed with the right sets of eyes. And considering 70% of companies have found video content to be the most effective tool in social marketing, this is critical. Emotive or informative videos are likely to attract attention from the 18-25 demographic if properly optimized. Snapchat, for example, reports 6 billion daily views, and there are 200 million active users on Vine. Both platforms, however, attract a younger audience who may or may not have the disposable income necessary to support your charity’s campaign endeavor. Decide which platform is best for your organization and be sure your social videos are optimized for that platform.

2. What’s popular and what’s not?

When spending time and money on creating a charity video, it’s important to first take a look at what has resonated in the past. Before work begins, spend an hour watching popular videos and identifying similarities between them. And, of course, check out what did NOT work too! What content has your audience responded positively to – whether your content or that of others? While the concept of going ‘viral’ means being passed across various demographics, know who your primary audience is, and how has this group responded to past charity appeals or videos. It may be worth testing your campaign with a small portion of the general public before making it live. This impartial audience may provide feedback/edits that hadn’t occurred to you including reducing the length of your video title, the tone of the voiceover or so forth.

3. Create dialogue

Viewers are more likely to remember and share a video if they identify with the message or have an opinion about it. Accordingly, there’s value to asking viewers a question through your video, prompting responses and generating more shares and more discussion. An example of a social video campaign that inspired mass shares and a grass roots movement was The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. People shared videos of themselves being doused with a bucket of icy water, in support of the cause. While this campaign wasn’t affiliated with a particular ALS charity, the movement raised awareness of the disease in a powerful way. The funds raised by those who took part in the challenge contributed to a research breakthrough for the disease.

4. Types of video

Creating a video doesn’t have to mean filtering through hours of video footage, especially if you don’t have the resources to start with. Other visual options include simple animation, or a voiceover with stand-still infographics and/or maps. A 20-second slideshow of still images and text (a moving photo-essay of sorts) is also a possibility. All work, but try not to confuse your messaging with the a-little-of-everything approach! What’s more, limiting a video to under a minute means more people will watch it to the end. It is also a better solution for a small budget. and budgetary controls on your small production.

5. A call to action

Raising awareness is important, but viewers generally won’t remember your content unless you get them involved. Make sure that your social video provides details showing viewers how they can make a difference by supporting your charity, donating or volunteering; this would be your call to action. The Ice Bucket Challenge invited participants to challenge friends at the end of their video – as each challenge-doer was encouraged to donate to the cause, this call to action at once added to the viral nature of the campaign and led to more funds generated. Make sure you don’t forget your call to action as it will help your charity campaign continue beyond its creation.

We hope these pointers will help you get started with your charity’s social video. If you’d like further support, the Zenergy team can help! Email or call toll free at 1.866.440.4034 for more information.

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