create nonprofit video

We were in one of the most beautiful mansions of the world’s famous life insurance agent in Atlanta, GA. He was a great man of personality. He was funny and open to talk about anything concerning his life. But, time was ticking. The hours of production were looking extensively long. We had to drive back to Jacksonville, FL, for 6 more hours on I-75 to I-95 S. The story that we were capturing of this humble man of wealthy standards was…definitely about him.

All excited about this project, he moved us to capture not just an interview of what each of his family members thought of him and his achievements, uncut and uncensored, but the POV of many of his colleagues, mentees, and business partners. Sadly, the 2-minute edit turned into a 9-minute video. Too much content to shrink into a smaller piece.

The $5,000 project turned out to cost about $9,000.

If there is no structure and pre-planning, video production can become pretty expensive. The company that hired us to capture the story of the life insurance agent, was a marketing company for financial and insurance agencies. We often work with non-profit organizations. They are our #1 priority in our business model. Every year, they hire us to make videos that target the heart about the organization to play at their gala and banquets.

In this blogpost, I will show you how to avoid paying hundreds (or even thousands of dollars) to make a video about your organization. Just by taking action on the following seven tips:

1.  Use a Script (and help write it)

Content is important. Both you and your video producer need to be on the same page when it comes to the message, the target audience, and the end result you are expecting the video to perform for you. Explain in details your vision to your producer. Keep the story structure in mind: beginning, middle, and end. Have two sentences prepared, one for the beginning, and the other for the end piece. The middle should be the meat in your sandwich.

2. Only Visit One Location

This will help reduce transportation time and will keep production set up to a  minimal. The time it takes to put up lights, adjusting the background by adding or taking away distracting objects, moving the cameras and crew around all add up to more cost.

3. Only Interview One Person

This is a benefit to you, the production crew and your viewers. Too many people being interviewed can confuse your audience. By interviewing one person it is easier to hone in on one particular story, which can give you better results when it comes to donations. The psychology of a donor is a tricky. Focus on one story can show people how their donation can make a dramatic difference. (There is more to come on this in another blogpost that I will be creating.)

Also, consider how much time it will take the film editor to break each story down to a smaller time length if you use multiple interviews. Now, filming more than one interview for more than one video, that’s a different story. But, start with one testimony and make it SHINE!

4. Do your Own Voice Over

Offer someone in your team, who has a great voice, to do the voice over. Save yourself the money and get someone in your team to do the voice over. I often choose the one with the most passion, because emotion is projected better in the recording. This will prevent you from hiring a professional voice person. Voice overs can run from $100 to $1,200 per minute.

Watch the Video

5. Keep your Video Length at Two Minutes – Tops!

You may want to begin teaching yourself how to keep the story brief, for the sake of your audience in the social media world. Keep in mind, that they are constantly being bombarded by so much distraction, from videos to snap-chat to memes…you need to STICK out! The smaller your video content is, the higher the likelihood for your video to be viewed.

6. Recycle Previously used Music.

This will prevent your editor from searching for new music, which for me, can take hours to do. But still be sure to pick the right music. Make sure it fits the emotion you are trying to get your audience to feel. I know it’s common sense, but we really need to keep that in our cranium.

7. Provide your Editor with Pre-recorded Visual Content for B-roll Footage

If you don’t have video, you can use photo’s. In fact, photo’s can be better because you won’t have to worry about the video’s resolution and aspect ratio. For example, if you record on high definition vs. standard definition. Find footage or photos that will add to the emotion. Perhaps, blurry pictures or darkly exposed shots are not the best selection. Use images that you know will add to the message of your heart’s compassion. Quick tip: Have pictures of people, not just smiling, but doing something joyfully and fun!

There you have it. I really hope this article has given you ideas on how to lower your video cost. Eventually, as you advance your video marketing strategy, doing the production yourself may not be possible any more. But I truly believe in the power of video marketing to help grow awareness and donations for your non-profit. This will allow you to delegate video marketing to your staff, a volunteer or a professional production.

Now, I want to hear from you. Which one of the 7 ways are you going to use to begin your video marketing campaign for your organization? Tell us about it on the comments below. 🙂

Please, share this post with your non-profit friends, who could use these tools to better their stories, by sending posting it in your email newsletter.

Continue to stand up for your cause, because only you can inspire change in your community.

Have a blessed day.

Mauricio R. Belgrano

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