How to Use Video Marketing for Social Impact Communications

Video for Social Impact Communication: What Really Works?

The consumption of video content has skyrocketed in recent years, thanks to social networks and other platforms dedicated to the distribution of this type of content. According to the Global Internet Phenomena report, it is estimated that 56% of the internet flow corresponds only to video. Business Insider data show that more than 500 million hours of video are seen on YouTube per day and approximately 4.3 million videos are viewed every minute. These data give us enough context to understand that video is the most important trend in digital media nowadays.

Some non-profit organizations think they can’t afford video production and they ruled out his asset from their communication products. But as demonstrated by the Digital Persuasion study: How social media motivates action and drives support for causes, watching an online video is one of the main drivers that has motivated people to take action to investigate more about an organization or cause. Meaning that these organizations are losing a great opportunity to communicate their mission, projects, and impact through video.

So, the question is: How can non-profit organizations effectively incorporate video into their communication strategy?

THE OIA Framework

Create good videos that deliver results. It’s not a matter of budget; instead, all depends on the type of video, the structure, the goals the organization wants to achieve and, of course, creativity. We recommend the OIA framework: Objective, Impact Story, and Action to outline the structure of the video.

Objective: It establishes what the main goal of the video will be. The three most common types of objectives are: educate clients or beneficiaries, motivate the public, or position the organization or its leaders.

Impact story: The key to any video is that it has powerful and well-executed storytelling.

Depending on the objective of the video, define the main character that is the protagonist of the impact story. The audience must be able to identify the character with their problems, aspirations, or motivations.

The type of video plays a key role in the effectiveness of the video. In order to determine what kind of videos work best for different uses, VIVA Idea – a Latin American think-action-tank based in Costa Rica in collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute students – conducted a survey and a series of a focus group of 132 people from all Latin America. The sample was composed of people of different educational levels with the common denominator that all work or have worked on a social project.

The researchers tested 3 types of videos:

  1. A narrator with people performing actions in the background
  2. A person speaking without visual aids
  3. A fully-animated video

The results obtained were the following:

According to the level of experience and education of the audience, the type of video that is most attractive to them varies. For example, business professionals or experienced entrepreneurs may prefer lecture-style videos, while the general audience without expertise and lower education levels tends to prefer more easily-digestible animation videos.

Animated videos can be a good starting point for organizations that want to incorporate video in their communication strategies. Since this type of video appeals to a wider audience, producing animated videos is within reach of all budgets since the production cost of the videos ranges from $700 to $72,000 for a 60-second video.

How to start using video?

Users of digital platforms are exposed to an incredible amount of content every day, therefore non-profit companies have to fight to break through all that noise to stand out and deliver their message effectively, videos can be an excellent vehicle to achieve this.

The best way to start is to take a cell phone or a camera and start recording the work of the volunteers, testimonies of the beneficiaries or the experiences of the members of the organization. It does not matter if at the beginning these videos do not look good with time and practice you will master the technique and each time will produce better pieces of content. The important thing is to go out, record and experiment until finding the formula that works best for the organization to spread its impact message.

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