Video Marketing Best Practices for NPOs

Video Marketing Best Practices for NPOs

Businesses get all the attention when it comes to marketing. However, not all brands have a profit motive. Nonprofits and charities have every bit as vested an interest in creating awesome video marketing content as for-profit entities. The goal may be different but the approach is similar.

If you’re running an NPO in your area, you may be wondering where to get started with video marketing. You may be looking to get the word out and raise awareness. Maybe you’re looking how to create video ads for fundraising campaigns. Whatever your needs, relax, we’ve got you covered. Take note of the following video marketing best practices for NPOs and you’ll be creating awesome, compelling video content in no time.

1. Know Your Audience

Just as a business has a target customer, NPOs also have a target. Who is it you want to reach? Who is most likely to want to get involved with your organization? With these answers in mind, theming your video contact and crafting it for that audience will come into focus and guide your next steps.

2. What Is It You Want To Tell Them?

Now that you have your audience in mind, the next question to ask is “What do you want to tell them?” Are you hosting an event in the near future? A donation drive? Or, are you trying to generate awareness for your particular cause?

Knowing your goal is the first step to creating an effective strategy for reaching it. The focus of your video content, including the images, video, theme, and music you select to enhance your content will vary based on the intended goal.

For example, raising awareness of a particular cause may take on a serious tone. However, if you’re running a fundraising campaign, you may have a more enticing, light-hearted vibe to it. In the first video, you want your audience to connect with and appreciate the gravity of your cause. In the second, you want the audience to WANT to attend.

In short, different videos will have different goals so ask yourself “What is it I want people to do after viewing this video?” In marketing, the “call to action” often seen at the end of a piece of content seeks to answer this question.

3. Create The Right Kind of Video

Now that you’ve decided who your video is for and what you want to say; the next step is creating the right video. Keep your message and audience in mind and create a video which speaks to them.

There is no shortage of excellent video content put out by NPO’s over the years. What do they have which makes them stand out? Why can you still recall them today? Whether it’s a strong story, vibrant images, or powerful music.

If you’re interested in learning how to create video ads for fundraising campaigns, take note of the successful videos you’ve seen in the past. The best videos have some combination of those three elements. Craft your message cleanly and without ambiguity. Make it clear to the viewer within the first few seconds what you are here to tell them.

A strong opening message is key and it helps to ask a question such as “Looking to make a difference?” A shocking fact is also compelling. “Did you know: 16 million children struggle with hunger every year in America?”

A strong hook will increase the likelihood of your audience sticking around for the whole video which is important because you want them to see your call to action and take the next step.

Because videos are a visual medium by their very nature, they are ideally suited to eliciting an emotional response from the audience. This is where powerful imagery and music can come into play. These elements can help accent your message.

4. The Call To Action

As mentioned briefly above, the “call to action” is a marketing term that in the context of video is typically seen at the end. The “buy now,” “click here for more info,” etc. is the call to action. This entails telling your viewers what to do next after seeing your video.

The call to action may be the most important part of any video because simply put, if your audience has stuck with you this long you want them to take the next step. Your call to action clearly outlines the next step.

Your call to action will change depending on the focus of your video. It may be “sign the petition,” “volunteer today,” or “donate” depending on what your goal is. Whatever it may be, it should be clear and to the point. Your audience is ready to take the next step, make sure there’s no question as to what that step is.

This is especially useful if you are looking for how to create video ads for fundraising campaigns. Fundraising, by its nature, is an “act now” proposition. After viewing the video, you’ll want your audience to move quickly to make a donation. A strong call to action is powerful when it comes to fundraising campaigns. Consider emotional keywords such as “help out today,” or “change the world,” etc.

5. Measure Results / Make Changes

Effective video marketing is as much an art as it is a science. Great video quality and compelling copy that pulls at our heartstrings can be incredibly effective. However, not all content is created equally.

There may be times when you create a video you feel strongly will be effective, yet isn’t. Do not get discouraged. This is common. Often, a massive overhaul is not required. This is why measuring results and making changes is crucial to an effective campaign.

If your video isn’t getting the traction you’d hoped, consider these possibilities:

  1. It’s too short/long. The ideal length of a marketing video varies based on a number of factors. Where it’s being posted, what the focus is, etc. Ideally, you’d like your video to run a minimum of 15-20 seconds and no longer than 2 minutes. Too short and the message is lost. Too long and many people won’t stick around and watch the whole thing. Remember: video content is powerful. However, it’s a gateway to the next step. Spread your message, give out the information you want to share, and let people know what to do next.
  2. Your call to action is weak. Consider a stronger call to action at the end. “Get involved” is more compelling than “Donate now.” “Change the world” is more enticing than “sign up here,” etc.
  3. Your ad copy is too long. Every video will be accompanied by a brief amount of writing. If you’re running video ads on Facebook for example, this is the “text” part of the post that appears above the video. This is not the place to be long-winded. Keep it short and sweet. A single sentence will do.

If your video isn’t performing well, consider the above and don’t be afraid to make slight changes. They can have a huge impact.

Harness The Power of Video

Creating compelling video marketing content for non-profits is not fundamentally different than creating content for other businesses. The great news is that Promo by Slidely is here to help! We offer thousands of carefully curated, professional-quality video clips, music, and more to suit any fundraising campaign or non-profit marketing video.

Working on a budget? No problem. Promo offers a variety of tiered plans to suit any business or budget. With Promo, you’ll be cranking out awesome video content in no time.

Yael Miriam Klass

Yael is the Head of Content at, making marketing easier and more effective through intuitive video creation. She lives and breathes content and creative storytelling in all its forms. When not developing innovative ideas to help global businesses big and small you can find her riding her bike through the streets of Tel Aviv and sipping iced coffee while listening to the latest pop culture podcasts.