How to create compelling videos for your NFP (even while social distancing)

by Kyle Vermeulen
September 9, 2020

In the time of social distancing and lockdown measures, more than ever, video is queen.

7 million Aussies watched YouTube on their screens in March, and 21% have signed up for a new streaming services since lockdowns were first announced.

Right now, it’s important to build video that grabs attention and stops the thumb scroll. But social distancing measures have prevented traditional video shoots and events from moving forward.

Because of this, we’ve had to be extra creative with our video approach.

Video is a vital medium for not-for-profits

Unlike traditional product marketing or ecommerce, not-for-profits don’t sell a “thing”. Instead, the challenge is more complex. Not-for-profits need to show donors and supporters that they can change lives and make an impact.

Just like a picture can tell a thousand words, the emotional impact of well-produced videos is exponentially more powerful than an image.

Here are some stats that back up the power of integrating video:

So if video is so important to getting a message across, how can we ensure production doesn’t stop in the current COVID context? Here are 6 approaches to creating videos while practicing social distancing.

1. Use animation

From 6-second Facebook ads to TV commercials, animation is a highly-customisable way to get your message out.

Your animation can either be outsourced or created using simple online tools such as Canva or Adobe Spark.

Animated videos can range from super simple text overlays, to big-concept projects. Here’s a campaign example with big impact:

2. Go for socially-distanced shoots

In-person videos can still be created during social distancing measures.

In April, we worked with The Salvation Army on their annual Red Shield Appeal when Victoria was first thrown into lockdown.

To adapt, we developed a concept that embraced social distancing: actors will pass the iconic Red Shield donation bucket through a ‘video call’ screen.

The shoot was conducted in the actors’ homes, and we operated with a crew of just two.

3. Feature your supporters from home

With camera phones, everyone has an HD video camera on them at all times. Encourage your supporters to create their own content for your organisation, and build out this ‘user-generated content’ into online videos.

For Variety’s Hair with Heart campaign, a campaign where supporters are encouraged to donate their hair to be made into wigs for kids with a long-term medical condition, we used video footage provided by campaign participants in the ads. With the right brief, this tactic can be really effective:

4. Upcycle existing footage

For effective online video, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Trawl through your archives or channels to find existing footage that can be re-edited to create something new. Look for times your organisation has been featured in the media.

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A post shared by ntegrity agency (@ntegrity) on Jun 30, 2019 at 4:19pm PDT

5. Download B-roll and stock images

For channels like social media, you can make-do without a full production. At ntegrity, we often lean on b-roll, stock images and existing client collateral to build out our stories.

You can get these assets from subscription sites such as Envato Elements or Adobe Stock, or free sites like Pexels. Be cautious not to over-use stock footage, however, as you may come-off as generic.

When it became clear that COVID was going to alter the way not-for-profits fundraise, we created this ad in a single day:

By using stock b-roll and images, you can fast-track your production.

6. Go live

An effective way to create new content is to use features like Facebook Live or Instagram Live. Not only do you get the initial live video, but you can also re-edit the live video into different types of content.

ntegrity has done this ourselves with our regular broadcast on Instagram Live. This program has allowed us to keep in contact with our clients, but also ensures we have a way to bring the most up-to-date digital strategy advice to our followers on a regular basis.

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A post shared by ntegrity agency (@ntegrity) on Apr 19, 2020 at 6:10pm PDT

While COVID has changed many things about marketing, it doesn’t mean your video and storytelling needs to stop.

I hope this post has given you a few ideas for how you can continue to make content that connects and inspires your audience. If you’d like to chat about your video strategy or your next project, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to our video team here.