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It’s time to make video a priority in your nonprofit’s advertising strategy

In the fundraising space, emotionally connecting with donors and prospects is essential. And video provides a medium of connection that few other types of media can match.

Video captures attention. It draws the viewer into a story. It gives your audience a window into your brand in ways an image can’t. To compete in a world where nearly everyone is consuming an ever-increasing amount of content, video is vital!

Consider all the video advertisements you’ve seen in the past 24 hours. From scrolling through social media, to binging your favorite streaming service, to the various apps on your mobile, video content is everywhere.

According to a recent study, 86% of businesses used video as a marketing tool in 2021, up 41% since 2016.

This begs the question: how can you make your video stand out with so much vying for attention? Isn’t adding another video into a donor’s feed like screaming into a void?

If you’re one of the many organizations looking to prioritize video in your fundraising and marketing strategies, we have a few best practices and guidelines to help get you started:

Be realistic about your budget

When it comes to video production, both costs and expectations can be high. If you’re a large nonprofit with a big budget, production costs may be less of a driver in your decision-making. But even if your budget is limited, the cost of video shouldn’t scare you away.

First, assess—realistically—what your budget is. If you need to do something low-cost and in-house, Facebook Live, Instagram Reels, or TikTok may be your best bet, depending on the demographics of your audience. Viewers in these channels expect and respond to the DIY approach.

If you have more spend available to you, producing a spot for Connected TV can be a great option to get your brand in front of a receptive audience.

Knowing what you can spend and setting your expectations based off that number will bolster the effectiveness of your video in the long run.

Know your format

We live in a mobile-first, always-connected world. Just consider the amount of content you consume on your mobile versus your TV today compared to 5 years ago. Now consider how differently you engage with content when it’s in the palm of your hand. Create in a format that optimizes your video for where your audience will see it

Will your video be on social? Consider shooting in a vertical or square format. Is it a DRTV spot? Then a traditional landscape format is optimal.

Get to the hook—and fast

The hook, how you grab your viewer’s attention, is everything. It should be the first thing your viewer sees, and it’s the reason they will keep watching. Content consumption is at an all-time high, making brevity and clarity key to standing out among the noise.

Know your message, get to the point quickly, and you’ll see more and more people engaged and attached to your mission.

Understand KPIs look different

When it comes to video advertising, you must remember that your KPIs look different. As an upper-level funnel strategy, video ads are more focused on educating and awareness than conversions.

It’s a great tool for prospecting with new audiences or revitalizing your retargeting pool, but you won’t necessarily see the same conversion rate as you would with a display ad containing a hard ask.

While these are just a few of the basics when it comes to video, keeping these top of mind as you dip your toes into the water—or jump into the deep end—will help you produce powerful videos that create a community of support focused on your cause.

Chris Weiland

As Creative Director, Chris brings a diverse range of experience in branding, advertising, marketing, experiential and interactive.

While at The Richards Group, he created merchandising materials for Red Lobster, on-site Super Bowl activations for Bridgestone, print ads for Weight Watchers, and a Ram Trucks display at the Kentucky Derby. With The Marketing Arm, Chris told AT&T’s brand story through campaigns at AT&T Stadium, AT&T Byron Nelson, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Sochi and Rio Olympics, the Cotton Bowl, and Tribeca Film Festival, among many others. At RKD Group he develops multichannel creative ideas that drive fundraising for nonprofit clients.

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