The charity sector plays a vital role in society, providing assistance and support to those in need. Charities exist to address a range of issues, from poverty and homelessness to education, healthcare and environmental protection.
It’s incredibly important work. But to achieve their mission, charities need to reach a wide audience to engage with potential donors, supporters and volunteers.
It’s not always an easy business to capture people’s attention. Even the most giving and empathetic among us have, at some point, dodged a charity cold caller or gone out of our way to evade a fundraiser in the street.
We’re often more receptive to charitable causes when we’re absorbing visuals and messages in our own time. That’s why video marketing is such an essential tool for charities to reach a broad audience, and something we’ve really enjoyed working on with organisations over the past few years. It’s a great way to promote their work and cause, and encourage people to take action.
Video helps with:
1.Raising awareness: By creating compelling videos that highlight the impact your organisation is making, you can reach a wider audience and inspire them to support your cause.
2.Fundraising: You can create emotional and informative videos that demonstrate the impact of donations and how they can make a difference in the lives of those in need – inspiring more donors to part with their cash in the name of bringing about positive change.
3.Engaging supporters: You can create videos that showcase events, volunteer activities and other initiatives, which can help keep supporters connected and involved.
4.Storytelling: By showcasing the experiences of those who have benefited from your charity’s work, you can create emotional connections with viewers and inspire them to get involved.
5.Amplification: Video content can be easily shared across social media platforms and other digital channels, making it an excellent way to amplify your message and reach new audiences.
In other words, video not only has a part to play in attracting new donors, but also increasing gift-giving from existing supporters and improving retention.
Case study: Love Welcomes
Love Welcomes is a remarkable social enterprise empowering displaced women by providing training and development to create stunning products that are sold worldwide.
What’s unique about their creations is that they incorporate various materials, such as blankets and life jackets, that the women used during their journeys to flee their countries. Not only do the women receive fair compensation for their work, but they also gain a sense of purpose and fulfillment from their daily occupation.
We had the privilege of working on this collaboration between Love Welcomes and the renowned street artist and activist, Banksy, to create a video that showcased the exceptional work of Love Welcomes. In the video, we not only captured the creation process of their products, but also shared the inspiring stories of the women behind them. This offered viewers a glimpse into how purchasing these products directly supports the women, not only financially, but also emotionally.
By promoting Love Welcomes’ structure and products through the video, we created awareness around how the public can support displaced people who have had to flee their countries due to circumstances beyond their control. The video gave viewers a personal connection to their purchase and an opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause.
But what are the barriers to creating a compelling video?
As per the Charity Digital Skills Report 2022, the number one priority for charities is improving their website, online presence and social media. More than two thirds (68%) see this as pressing and it remains the most urgent priority since last year.
Video holds the potential to do all three. But it’s proving easier said than done to create compelling video content with skills shortages and tight budgets the main barriers.
Only 1 in 5 charities (21%) have buy-in and support for digital at trustee level. This might explain why 54% of boards either don’t have any plans to increase digital skills or don’t know what their plans are.
Meanwhile, a third of video marketers say their biggest challenge is having an inadequate budget to create video content.
What’s the solution?
Overcoming these barriers is a mix of accepting your limitations as an organisation and playing to your strengths. In other words, while you’re undoubtedly best placed to come up with the ideas for campaigns, don’t feel like you have to keep everything in-house.
With that in mind, here are four tips for getting full value from video:
Experiment with new platforms
We have TikTok in mind here, in particular. TikTok can be a great way to let people find you because of your content, not necessarily because of your cause, and then get to know you through your videos.
Between them, Shelter, Battersea, British Red Cross and The Black Country Living Museum have over 1.7 million TikTok followers. Battersea posts videos of the dogs and cats in its care, foster journeys and recipes for homemade pet treats.
Here’s what their head of digital and innovation, Lauren Rayner, says about why TikTok is so important: “We know that engaging younger audiences is crucial for driving generational change in the way that rescue is perceived and supported, so we saw an opportunity in TikTok, which has a user base that skews younger than our other social channels, to create a community of advocates for Battersea and the rescue cause, as well as future donors and supporters.
Embrace user-generated content
There’s no getting away from the fact that you need some high-quality, professionally produced videos to build your campaign around.
Getting all the equipment to produce those high-quality videos can be very expensive. You then need a team that has the experience and know-how to develop engaging, quality videos that resonate with your audience.
For this part of your video strategy, you’re probably best off leveraging the help of an agency who will be able to tap into smart efficiencies to keep the costs down.
However, not every video has to be immaculately produced. User-generated content is a cost-effective alternative to producing your own footage – not to mention that letting your supporters tell their stories is immediately more engaging and appealing to potential new supporters.
Shoot all your videos at once
With proper preparation, you can create six months’ worth of video content in just a few days of filming. The key is to plan ahead and optimise each filming session by capturing additional footage, such as behind-the-scenes content, while shooting your main charity story.
After filming and editing your videos, you can repurpose them for different platforms and channels through a process called atomisation. For instance, you can slice and reformat your long-form videos for TikTok, Instagram, Facebook etc.
At Q Content, we refer to this process as “sweating the asset”. You get the gist… the idea is to make the most of your content and reach your audience through various platforms.
Optimise your videos for SEO
Google has made changes to its algorithm recently which basically mean that video content ranks higher and websites with video should see a dramatic increase in traffic.
But it’s still on website owners to ensure that Google sees your video loud and clear. By using video schema markup, you can provide Google with additional information about your videos, such as the title, description and thumbnail. This information can help Google better understand the content of the video, which can positively impact its ranking.
But the best way of optimising your videos for SEO is to make them engaging. Google’s algorithm takes into account user engagement with video content, such as watch time, likes, shares and comments. If a video receives high engagement, it is more likely to rank favourably in search results.
Check out some more tips on how to optimise your video content.
Here at Q Content, our mix of strategists, content creators, directors and videographers means we’re well placed to help charities like yours get maximum value from your video content. Get in touch using the contact form below.