How many non-profits do you ‘like’ or ‘follow’ on social media? Have their content marketing strategies caught your attention? Do you think your strategy is effective enough move your fans?

At the heart of all successful content marketing strategies lie well-told brand stories. There are different strategies like pictures, images, text ads and more that serve their own benefits in selling an idea, product or service. However, not all these methods fair well in marketing non-profit businesses. Brands always find a way to sell as they appeal to demand and necessity. A non-profit organization on the other hand exists solely on the framework of a story that connects with human emotion. Today, video marketing is one of the best methods to succeed in selling that emotion.

It’s In The Numbers

First things first, let’s look at some numbers from the 2014 Non-profit Marketing Benchmark report produced with Blackbaud and sponsored by FusionSparkMedia.

  • 92% of non-profit organizations use content marketing
  • Only 25% of them have a documented strategy. This means the rest of them work on a trial and error basis until they find a strategy that works.
  • Again, only about 26% believe that their content marketing efforts are effective.

Common Non-Profit Strategies

The different elements used in non-profit marketing commonly include video marketing, developing a content marketing strategy with blogging and guest posts, along with visuals such as infographics and slideshares.

In the era of YouTube, Instagram and Vine, there are not many people who have the patience to read long articles (even if they are well-written), explaining a great cause and persuading people to support the initiative. Images and infographics have higher scannability, and greater chance of catching attention. On the downside, it is not possible to hook a fan with a single image, and there arises a need to continuously produce content. Furthermore, the battles against Facebook algorithm to get to a fan’s newsfeed is also a great obstacle in choose images for a content marketing strategy.

Why Video Marketing Works

Smart phones, digicams, and webcams have made video production quite inexpensive. Also, with YouTube as the third most visited sites in the world, we know that videos are more ingestible while compared to any other form of content. Furthermore, many top websites include video in their communication which has caused viewers to expect videos integrated in any brand communication mix.

Most importantly, well-created videos are immortal and always strike the right chords with the viewer regardless of the time. The following video is the winner of the 2014 DoGooder Non-Profit Video Awards. Non-profit causes are always relevant, and videos like these continue to fuel the initiative by inspiring people around the world.

Video marketing has the ability to generate an emotional and intellectual response in viewers. It can also serve to inspire action and cause ripples to form a crowd-advocated distribution channel.

Case Study: When Video Marketing Can Go Wrong

1. What’s the story?

Many non-profit marketers are not very clear about the story they are telling. When the video does not tell the story well, how do you expect the viewers to understand?

2. Too long to hold viewer\’s attention

Assume that the viewer is watching the video during his tea break. Stick to a time frame of 2-5 minutes and not more. Not many people have the patience to watch a non-profit movie.

3. Share and forget

Your job as a content marketer does not end after posting the video links once on all social media channels. If you forget, the video will be forgotten about too. You need to create virality on your own.

Developing A Strong Video Marketing Strategy

We see a lot of non-profit videos that try to tell the whole story in one video. This often blurs the end goal. An all-in-one videos ends up being unclear, too long, and frankly, quite boring. So what can you do? There are generally three types of videos you can create for your non-profit marketing strategy depending on the goal.

1. What We Do: Showing the viewer the goal of your non-profit with a call to action.

2. We Thank You: Thanking all donors and volunteers, and commemorating their contributions. This will inspire them to donate again.

3. Out Of The Box: Fun and quirky thought leadership concepts that can grab attention.

A Video Marketing Strategy Checklist

  1. Know your story.
  2. Figure out what your goal is.
  3. Jump in with a plan.
  4. Utilize your resources well.
  5. Don’t stop at one share. Keep sharing for days, weeks, months and years to come.
  6. Step away from the stereotypical methods of video marketing and be creative.