The Biggest Mistake (hands down) Non-Profits Make With Video
Yesterday, we started our discussion of the 3 biggest non-profit video mistakes by talking about the danger of eagerness without intentionality.
But the biggest mistake is…
2. The Program Trap
Creating engaging, sharable videos doesn’t seem to come naturally for most non-profits and I think I know why.
Instead of highlighting naturally dynamic stories, non-profits tend to follow their first instinct when creating video.
They represent their organization from their own point of view.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been approached by non-profits who tell us they want a video about a particular program. But videos about programs don’t actually tell a story.
A program is not a protagonist.
Know Your Audience
You have to step out of the day-to-day, internal view of the organization in order to think about how you can create videos which will address your audience’s emotional needs.
When developing the concept for a video, identify the difference between your perspective and your audience’s perspective (do research!). Don’t assume that they care about what you care about. In fact, assume they don’t.
Your organization’s job is to run your programs well. That’s why you care about systems, logistics and metrics. But your audience cares about you because they want to be a part of something that matters. They want to be a part of your vision.
Don’t try to convince your audience that they should see the world in the same way you do, meet them where they are at.
It’s All About People
Many non-profits seem to think the strength of video is to inform and educate. It’s not. The strength of video as a medium is that it can create emotional bonds between your supporters and the people you serve.
You cannot establish your brand by telling people the details of how things get done.
Why? It’s because supporters and followers of an organization don’t typically focus on your program’s existence; they’re interested in your program’s results.
Programs themselves don’t make people feel connected to anyone. People respond to stories about people they can relate to. People like themselves, their colleagues, their neighbors, and their families.
Your audience cares about people, stories and impact. This goes for all target audiences – from grantmakers to casual Facebook followers.
If you want to increase brand recognition you have to figure out what position you want to own in your audiences’ mind. Think: what makes you special and different? How can you illuminate that difference through an individual’s story?
Make them Act
Most importantly, craft a video that is designed to inspire your audience to action. Make something that your audience will want to share. When people share content with their networks, they are making a statement about who they are and what they care about. Create media that speaks not only to who your audience is, but also to who they want to be.