I've been increasingly harping in my speeches to nonprofit managers about using video on their websites to tell their story. YouTube has brought down the required quality of video (which doesn't mean that you don't have to give it any thought), and that video is a, if not the, key communications tool to get and hold people's attention.
Like any other marketing tool, you need to focus your message: Who are you appealing to? Why? Is the video for donors, or to recruit the best volunteers? Does it tell you story to the press, or inspire people to seek employment with you. Just as in the case of written materials or website pages, one size does NOT fit all. Focus, focus, focus.
Here's a good starting how-to from Third Sector New England focused on fund-raising videos.
Here's another good article from TechSoup.
GoodEye Video works solely with nonprofits on video production.
Check out what's possible at DoGooderTV.
Cautionary tale: About four weeks ago, I was in Sarasota and met a staff member of the Dattoli Cancer Treatment Center. Went to their website and was really impressed with the story telling that the opening set of videos provides. Click on each of the vertical bars (such as "About our Team") to see more of the staff and hear about the center. For something like cancer treatment, this rocks: you see the people and hear more about the process. Bottom line: I loved it.
Then, I showed it to my two techie sons. Neither were impressed. One jumped on his iPhone to show me that when he went to the site, NOTHING came up---the page has not been configured to work with hand-held devices. My other son looked at the site and asked, how do I navigate AWAY from the video for more information? It was not intuitive for him.
Lesson: Make sure your video is useful on all parts of the web, and don't get so focused on its Wow! factor that you forget to make basic navigation easy.
All that aside, video rocks....why? It tells stories. About people. In ways that get to us.
Proof? Watch this: it's from an Easter Seals/ARC in northern Indiana. Tell me that this didn't affect you.
And, if you have videos you want to share, shoot me a note and I'll post them.