With the explosion of YouTube — and everyone else and their uncle jumping on the video bandwagon — the use of video can now be an inexpensive tool for nonprofits to promote their causes. Michael Hoffman, of See3 Communications, which creates media for nonprofits, offers the following advice for nonprofits looking to dip a toe into the world of online broadcast:
- Video is more important than ever and it’s here to stay. As the Web and television come together, your Web site is becoming a channel and the need to have engaging video content is becoming an organizational imperative. Imagine being given television time and using it to put up a PDF.
- There are so many ways to use video these days, that the “Dinner Video” model no longer makes sense. Instead, document what your organization does on a regular basis, and make sure to check the calendar so you don’t miss the most interesting moments. Create a library of content, which you can go back and reuse and repurpose over time. As this library grows, so do your story options.
- Not everything has to be done professionally. Depending on your organization, staffing and interest, a certain level of self-sufficiency can be brought in-house. The model now is that you still do the high-value post-production, but that organizations will be more nimble in both gathering new material and in getting certain pieces out the door quickly.
- YouTube is important. But counting views is not usually a nonprofit’s goal. Lots of views on YouTube don’t necessarily translate into clicks, emails or donations. In fact, they usually don’t. That might change with YouTube’s Nonprofit Program, but that’s yet to be seen.
- It is very early in terms of direct response Internet video. There aren’t good metrics yet on where/how this works well. So for now, the main focus is on video as engaging content that complements campaigns and works well in a social networking context.