Online Engagement and Non-profit Video

Online Engagement & Non-profit Video

Video is gaining more and more popularity. The numbers of online engagement is growing fast. The need to have a video strategy is becoming more and more apparent. Any quality video production has creativity, difference, and a call to action that matters. In this post, I provide examples of leading Non-profit Video productions that do just this.

Video production should boost your online engagement and help to meet your goals. Without the proper planning and creativity videos will not get the views, shares, donations, and other responses. This is called online engagement. Here are a few more ways that online engagement happens:

  • Subscribing (channel, feed, email)
  • Feedback (comments, complaints, inquiries)
  • Rating\tagging\filtering\bookmarking
  • User submissions (UGC)
  • Inbound links
  • Video embed in the content of others
  • Shares/referrals

By these means your videos can reach a larger audience and fulfill your goals. The goal of video engagement is to get website conversions. The website conversions may include donations of subscription to an e-newsletter to name a few options.

A video strategy will become increasingly essential as I wrote about in my previous post: Is Video Engagement a Necessity? Here are some leading Non-profit video examples that are doing just this.

Right by You

This video is pretty hard hitting. I really feel the impact of the idea. I don’t like the feeling, but I know that what I felt for a short moment of time was only a small fraction of what some parents have to go through. This is the prof, the evidence for why the issue is important. Most people do believe the issue is important but crating the urgency and empathy is important for action. This is the job of video production and having a creative team.

On the Right by You website they give a full description of their goal.

“It’s one of the most pressing issues facing our teens today – the lack of support for mental illness and its tragic consequences, such as suicide. 1.2 million Canadian children and youth are affected by mental illness – yet less than one-quarter of them are getting help. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among our youth.
Let’s open the door so that we can drive more conversations regarding youth mental health, and get our children the help they need.”

Here are a few things that video can do really well:

  • Show more or just as much as you tell
  • Create urgency
  • Make a personal connection
  • Show the impact a response would make

This is a powerful sobering example. The next example is a bit lighter and extremely creative.

The Rainforest Alliance

What amazing storytelling! I love the humor and irony. As you are finishing the video, you will see an overlaid text display the reads,“Click Here to Find Rainforest Alliance Certified Products”. This is a YouTube’s Link Anywhere Card. You need to have a non-profit channel for your brand on YouTube and you can then make these. YouTube also offers tracking for the cards. You could sell a t-shirt for your cause as is one example on Link Anywhere Card description page.

Here are six functions for the YouTube’s Link Anywhere Cards:

  • Merchandise card
  • Fundraising card
  • Video or playlist card
  • Associated website card
  • Channel card
  • Fan funding card

To read full details on YouTube.

There are lots of other extras that a Non-profit Organization can apply for from YouTube. It’s worth a look.
Rainforest Alliance did an excellent job of planning how to address its audience. There were many possible directions that the video could have gone. The video could have made people sad and hopefully get the audience’s devotion. The video could have gone a number of different ways. Instead they made a tough topic light hearted. They took a complicated problem and made the answer practical for the people watching. They used wisdom and empathy in regards to the audience.

The Rainforest Alliance captured both aspects of what is needed for modern Non-profit video. This includes the creative side and having online engagement through YouTube.
Here is one more example that I thought is very smart. It is smart from the whole idea: the idea of fundraising, video/stop-motion animation, and timing of year.

Don’t Buy the Tie

Don’t Buy the Tie 2014 from The Mentoring Project on Vimeo.

The Mentoring Project is a great example of having a full content marketing strategy. They have videos, publish books, blog, have an educational conference, and more. The Mentoring Project has truly utilized key marketing tactics that move beyond paid advertising.

Non-profit Video Strategy

Non-profits can have a vast amount of resources to use in videos. Many times, there is already though leadership within an organization. These people stand out for their results. There are also people who help the non-profits to stay educated in reaching its goals. These may be the PHDs of the organization. The video content resources are probably available for your organization right now.


There should be a creative and strategic team that produces the videos. Plan each video around a goal that affects the bottom line. Make call-to-actions measurable. Remember, the video needs to be worth watching a few times and then sharing with others online.

As each new generation is more online than the following generation, it’s important to reach out to them where they are at. This includes sharing your videos on other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others. Each video should link back to your website to fulfill its call to action. It’s very important that your website is responsive as many audiences are using their smart phones and tablets to view content.

I cannot over emphasize how important video will become in a short time from now. Now, is the time to have a documented video strategy. My previous post is a must read if you don’t believe me. Take the time now to get planning and testing your video strategy.

Brady Huffman is owner of Main Mix Marketing, a brand that is devoted to providing the mix between inbound marketing and creative services. His blog focuses on current web design and content marketing. Each post series focuses on a successful brand that is an industry leader.