4 tips in online video creation for nonprofits

Although primarily thought of as a video-sharing platform, YouTube processes more than 3 billion searches in a single month, according to a recent infographic released by network solutions and broadband industry firm Mushroom Networks. 

Behind its parent company Google, it's the second-largest search engine on the planet. With more than 1 billion unique visitors a month, over 6 billion hours of video are viewed in the same time span. 

Besides providing your nonprofit organization the opportunity to drive benefactors to your online donation page, YouTube offers a wonderful creative outlet for any charity to share it's vision with a massive online community. Eighty-one percent of mainstream marketing executives are incorporating online video into their budgets, MarketingProfs says. So if your organization is behind the curve and looking to push the creative envelope, here are four tips to consider when producing video content:

1. Grab attention immediately: The same concept is applied to any marketing promotions that your nonprofit runs: Include an attention grabber so your audience doesn't ignore the message. With video, a slow build-up could lead to the user leaving the page and moving onto something else. It's hard enough to keep someone's focus online to begin with, so don't lead into a grand finale. Hit them with a bang from the beginning.

2. Tell your story: Charities primarily focus on their mission statement and stand by their values - that's what makes them great organizations. In video production, translating that sentiment onto the screen shouldn't be too difficult. Sharing your organization's unique story with the viewer is a good way to engage them in a personal level; if they demonstrate the passion you convey in the video, then they're likely to be interested in the cause.

3. The shorter, the better: Have you ever had a friend send you a YouTube clip on social media or via email? The first thing any user does prior to watching is look at how long it is. A 15 minute video is equivalent to a feature-length film in the online realm; keep it short at less than five minutes. CBS News suggests 3-4 minutes because video retention drops below 50 percent when videos are much longer than that. Concise and succinct presentations are easier for users to recall, too. Think of it as an online fundraising tool: Donors are likely to remember your brand better if they're not investing a large sum of time.

4. Include a call to action: Let the creative juices flow when making the video, but don't get over-ambitious and forget why your organization is doing this in the first place. If you're marketing online, you're likely promoting your brand and its online donation services. Wrap up the video with a recommendation to donate or visit the charity's website. Include the links to the respective pages, as well as keywords in describing your brand to help organic search engine results. According to a recent Marketing Week study, videos appeared in nearly 70 percent of the top 100 Google searches in 2012. Harness the power of video and translate it into exceptional online visibility. 

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