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Some Facts:

  1. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
  2. 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
  3. Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
  4. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.

And those are just four items from the never-ending list of stats and sound bites that support the use of video in marketing. Don’t think just because of the language (marketers, consumers, conversions) that this is only for the for-profit industry – because it’s not. Video is just as critical for non-profits.

Why? Fundraising has always been about human connection. Philanthropy means the love of humankind, after all. We have historically aimed for outer envelopes with photos of real people making eye contact with the donor, knowing that the connection made taps into something very meaningful, and inspires the desire to give.

But outer envelopes are only part of the charity marketing mix at this point. Direct mail is one of many channels that we need to be leveraging to reach our donors. Mail is supported by email and digital ads that drive to landing pages and beyond, and although photos and texts are still part of storytelling, the power of video is irresistible in telling our stories and connecting with our communities.

In two integrated year-end campaigns I worked on – which involved direct mail, email, display, Facebook ads (including video!), Search ads, remarketing and a landing page – video was the top-performing in terms of driving conversions.

Why? Storytelling. Anecdotally, a video producer I know told me people watch three types of videos – funny ones, ones with celebrities, and emotional videos. Non-profit storytelling is innately emotional, aimed to connect with people, what they care about, what they’re passionate about, etc.

In short, video is a tool we need to explore.

How? That’s the scary part, isn’t it? Video seems like something we need to outsource and which is expensive, and do you know what? Sometimes we do and sometimes it is. But let’s deconstruct it a bit.

What’s your objective? What are you trying to do with this video?

Are you thinking about a TV media buy to acquire new donors or create awareness around legacy giving? TV requires a high-level of production and quality, so hiring a video production team and paying extra for that level of production is worth your while.

Are you wanting to share engaging video content with mail-responsive donors? Creating a video that can be mailed to those donors with a USB key is a great idea – you can create an engaging design, but still mail it flat and not add too much in postage costs. (This may or may not require outsourcing – it depends what resources you have in-house, and the kind of quality you want.)

Do you want to use video for a digital media buy? In that case, you can get away with something less-produced (in fact, sometimes an iPhone-like video seems more authentic and catches more eyes than something highly-produced).

Video crew, iPhone, edit existing footage, or even just edit together some stills, slates, and illustrations… the options are endless.

Consider adding video to the mix in your next campaign – and reach out to us to share what you’re thinking, and let us know how we can help!