In a recent article from the Huff Post Business Blog, founder of WhyWhisper Collective, Alexandra Ostrow noted:
“Nonprofits have been slower to adopt video, which is unfortunate, because video is particularly valuable for this sector.”
This was stated after pointing to how YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It also helps lower bounce rates, increase SEO rankings and heighten click through rates. Since nonprofits have some of the most profound stories to tell, and a great ability to call viewers to action after an emotional video, this seems like a match made in heaven.
So why is optimized YouTube for nonprofits still so rare?
Alexandra and others point to how high quality video comes at a cost – a cost to which nonprofits’ tight budgets can’t commit. They see all of its technical functions and feel overwhelmed. However, as we’ll point to below, there are a few easy way to get started, staying well under budget.
Steps to Setting Up Optimized YouTube for Nonprofits
1. Signing up under YouTube for Nonprofits
Since its launch in April of 2003, Google Grants for nonprofits have helped nonprofits “save the world.” With YouTube as their network, they encourage optimized YouTube channels for nonprofits. Use resources found at YouTube for Nonprofits and read about setting up a Google for Nonprofits account to understand more on what they offer.
2. Establishing a YouTube Profile
Seeing as YouTube is a huge generator of search results, you’re profile could very well show up in front of a potential volunteer, user, or donor. Customize your background and colors, include your logo, link to your site and keep connecting with other YouTube users to establish a community. Everything should tie back to who you are as a nonprofit.
Once you’ve established a profile, make sure you keep active on the site. Not only by consistent uploads, but also through subscribing to other’s channels, sharing and commenting on their videos and responding to any comments on your own. You don’t want unknown activity happening – maintain a positive presence.
Oxfam GB provides a sweet example of an optimized profile:
3. Video Production Tools
Don’t have the budget for a professional video producer just yet? It’s okay – there are plenty of tools that got your back.
– If you’re limited to the camera on your phone:
Keep the background noise to a minimum, find a place with good lighting (outdoors is far easier than indoors) and capture a simple video. You can thank donors as seen in “Follow Up Ideas for Nonprofits, with just a short and authentic video or record yourself explaining what’s going on at your nonprofit as seen with the charity:water example below:
– If you want to avoid video recording in general:
– If you don’t want to include visuals:
You can also consider following the lead of an ArcStone client Meshbesher and Spence, who uses podcasts to drive traffic to their YouTube channel (and then to their website) each week. They then promote the podcast in a blog to amplify traffic.
4. Text & Tags
Using the appropriate text and tags in each video is a must if you want your channel to gain traction and show up in search results.
– Text: In each description, include a quick summary of the video’s content as well as links to your sources, your website and your social platforms. Consider including a transcript of the video if possible to both help anyone who can’t hear the video and to increase SEO.
– Tags: Tags are especially relevant to YouTube and SEO. Make sure to include a few that are consistent with your video’s content.
– For more on YouTube & SEO, check out this resource for a guide: ReelSEO
5. Calls to Action & Follow Up
Lastly, make sure each YouTube video points back to who you are as an organization and then guides the viewer to clicking through to your site. Have a clear intent and call to action with each video.
For more guidance on this tool, contact ArcStone. Our video producer will help you find the best tools, establish a strong presence, and utilize SEO. Read more on 2016 video in an interview of our video producer.