Connect with People by Using Video
With the rise of smartphones and do-it-yourself quality video, how do you maximize your video reach for your nonprofit organization?
First, realize the promise that video offers for reaching people. Video content is immensely popular. Forty-five percent of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. Nearly one third of internet users use YouTube, which has become one of the most power search engines online.
Producing quality video can help you stock your social media accounts with interesting content. It can help you connect with people who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away, but help them understand the heart of your nonprofit’s mission.
Second, take the time needed to learn about how to produce good video content. Yes, anyone today can make a video using a phone that fits in their pocket. But can everyone make a video that touches hearts and minds? No.
One of the best (and cheapest) improvements you can make to your videos, is to buy a basic tripod or desktop stand for your phone or video camera. The tripod or stand can give your footage stability and help you avoid awkward jumps and sways.
Understand how your phone or camera works. Know what types of video files it will make, and at what resolution. Generally speaking, you want to get the best (largest) resolution possible.
And this is no time to settle for the video editing software that came on your phone. Invest in some decent video editing software. Apple iMovie and Apple FinalCut Pro are rated among the best but CyberLink PowerDirector and Adobe Premiere Pro CC also get high marks from PC Magazine. Free software includes Magix Movie Edit Touch, Movie Moments, Movie Maker and PowerDirector Mobile.
Third, organize your plans for the video. A good video tells a story. Make a clear outline and list the key points you want to make in the video. Decide what background information is really needed to understand the story. A common mistake is to try to “shoehorn” too much content into the video.
Another common mistake is “talking head syndrome.” Don’t rely on just one person to talk for the entire video. Try to have a dialogue. You might continue a voice, but try to “show” something to viewers instead of just “telling” them about it.
Editing can be tedious and time-consuming. Budget plenty of time for editing so you don’t have to rush and can focus on doing a quality job.
If you need to hire a video crew to help you, be prepared for sticker shock. Get quotes from at least 3 companies before hiring one and insist on seeing samples. You can save money sometimes by hiring a college class or an intern, but you may also get hit or miss quality.
An earlier version of this post first appeared in Instigate magazine, published by the Citygate Network. Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, an independent PR practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media engagement, writing services, and creative design for publications and websites (contact to discuss your project, review our portfolio, sign up for our e-newsletter). She blogs about media relations, social media, public relations, and work-family balance. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven