A fantastic resource that non-profits should take advantage of is YouTube, especially considering that YouTube is the second largest generator of traffic in the world behind Google. Since YouTube allows users and organizations to control their visual media, it’s the perfect avenue to tell a story and establish your brand. Viral videos such as Kony 2012 are stark reminders about the strength of social media and the positive influence that non-profits can have online. If you’re looking to dip your toe in the water and are searching for confirmation, here are three reasons why non-profits should have a presence on YouTube.
- Videos tell a story. Unlike written content, videos have the ability to quickly grab attention and expand on a topic. The visual aspects mixed with the auditory elements make video so effective at narrating a non-profit’s story, and the goal that they hope to accomplish. Also, videos are more likely to be watched than a long memo or embedded PDF.
- It’s free! Since non-profits are focused on promoting their mission rather than generating revenue, using a free platform such as YouTube is a simple yet effective way to get a message out while saving on expenses. Furthermore, non-profits have greater upload abilities than regular YouTube uploaders. YouTube makes it easy for non-profits to add a call-to-action to the video and link to Google’s Checkout “Donate” page.
- They can go viral. Videos have a greater chance of going viral and being passed from friend to friend than an article or downloadable (white paper). Non-profits seeking to build awareness and fundraise should take advantage of every opportunity available to go viral. While not every video will gain recognition similar to Kony 2012, YouTube uploads tend to receive more shares, likes, and comments than videos on other platforms. Viral may not always mean generating 2 million views. If you’re a local non-profit, for example, you may have a more subtle goal of capturing 2,000 views and generating buzz within the community.
As mentioned above, YouTube provides some extra benefits for non-profit organizations. Here’s a brief list of valuable resources which are designed just for non-profit organizations. Reference these to get the video production process started and to start telling your story to the world.
- Google for Non-Profits – this particular site is dedicated to getting Google solutions & products in the hands of non-profit organizations. The site unlocks access to apps, YouTube premium access and grants. Check out this page first and get a sense of the entire suite of services available for your organization.
- Application for Google Non-Profits – If you’re interested in Google’s program, access this site for eligibility requirements and to get the application process started.
- Playbook for Good – Aren’t sure where to get started? This ebook download provides a guide to help non-profit organizations get started with video and to start defining their story on YouTube.
- DoGooder Video Awards – These awards are a great way to get some inspiration from other organizations. I find that it’s always helpful to see what other types of videos resonate with audiences.