Low-budget, high-impact: Five tips for creating 25 video assets for Dementia Australia in one sprint
As marketers, creatives, and fundraisers for not-for-profits, we’re often tasked with the challenge of creating high performing content on a tiiiight budget. Recently, we produced a series of organic videos with Dementia Australia that have been really well received from their audience — the first video has racked up 34,000 views (and counting) and is one of their top performing social posts this year! — so we wanted to share more about the project and approach.
(Big thanks to our amazing clients Sarah and the National Dementia Helpline team from Dementia Australia for their trust, collaboration and permission to share this!)
Here’s 5 tips for creating high-impact creative on a small budget…
Lesson #1: To make the most of your budget, plan for a series of videos — not a one-off deliverable.
In managing Dementia Australia’s social channels, the team had a hunch that more authentic content would outperform higher-budget content on their organic, owned channels. So they came to ntegrity with a brief to create interesting, authentic content that would resonate.
Supporting and sharing authentic content isn’t something we do once or twice a year to tick a box.
Our audience are, of course, real people who want to hear from other real people.
It is why we had a hunch they might want to hear from those on the front-line - that being the National Dementia Helpline Advisors who we decided to feature in the video series.
Our Helpline Advisors speak to people living with dementia, their families and carers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. As they say “they have heard it all before”, they genuinely care and can speak from their hearts, not a script.
If you have someone who can stand up and show a real, everyday understanding of dementia, it is hard not to connect with that.
Manager Media and Communication
We organised an all-day shoot which included a pro two-camera video shoot, multiple one-on-one iPhone filming sessions, and a photoshoot.
From the one day of filming we planned for 25 possible individual video deliverables including social content, longer-form stories, and some other department requests — like an updated post-donation ‘Thank You’ video.
Lesson #2: Choose the right on-screen talent
Every organisation has people working in it who are close to your cause, have expertise on the topic, embody the culture and values of your organisation — and who can communicate effectively with your target audience.
Dementia Australia’s National Helpline team were the perfect choice for this video series. 24/7 they take calls and give support to people living with dementia and their carers. The videos show just how passionate, thoughtful, and considered the Call Center is.
Dementia Australia also asked for volunteers, and only used people who wanted to be a part of the project. In not-for-profits, our roles are always being stretched to do more — but it’s really important to only put people on camera who want to be part of a video, and are happy to be a spokesperson.
If someone isn't keen to be on camera, it really shows!
Lesson #3: Preparation is key.
Low budget doesn't mean unconsidered or unplanned.
Before the shoot, I spoke with each person who had volunteered to get to know them, talk through their insights and opinions.I then prepared high-level direction for each video we wanted to shoot to make sure content crossed Dementia Australia’s priorities and matched what they knew would resonate with their audience.
On the day of filming, we made sure everyone we videoed felt confident on set. Unless you’re a newsreader it’s not easy to have a camera in your face! This meant we filmed people at their desk, or around the office — spaces they were comfortable in. Where the pro two-camera filming made some people nervous, we switched to a one-on-one iPhone video so they felt more relaxed and comfortable.
Lesson #4: Have an opinion
In the sea of sameness, how will you stand out? Not-for-profits generally play it very safe. But don’t be afraid to have an opinion, to make a clear point, differentiate your organisation or connect with your target audience on a personal level.
For Dementia Australia, some of the topics identified that were important to their community were:
When the right time to call the helpline is (spoiler alert: anytime!)
What to do when you or a loved one is diagnosed
How to connect (or reconnect) with someone with dementia
Dealing with shame or guilt
Kudos to the courage for using their voice to embrace these hard questions. The key is to not take a risk for the sake of it, but consider carefully what the right topics to address are.
Lesson #5: Embrace the organic vibes
Finally, your audiences are forgiving of non-professional video…to a certain point!
Our dos and don’ts for low-budget, high-impact social content are…
Deeply understand and empathise with your audience.
Ensure the audio is high quality
Add branding, but keep it non-invasive
Hop on trends (ie, the pointing video) when appropriate
Don’t pretend to be something you're not… creating high-impact social content doesn't mean you need to completely change your brand tone of voice.
Don’t start filming without a plan! Low-budget means making use of everyone’s time efficiently.