HOW NONPROFITS CAN MAKE BETTER VIDEOS

How nonprofits can make better videos with Doug Scott

  • Video is such an important tool for nonprofits period. And for-profit companies as well because it's such a powerful communications medium.
  • Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.
  •  If you are looking to do a mix of creating your own organic content and then doing paid content, only ever pay for content that organically works well. Release it first, organically through your channel, and see if it starts to actually have organic engagement from it.
  • Going back to what works on social.  The most engaging videos are under a minute on every platform. 
  • With a virtual event now, pretty much anybody can attend your fundraiser from virtually anywhere in the world whenever they want to. 

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Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.

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Doug Morneau

Well, welcome back listeners another episode of Real marketing real fast. Today in the studio I've got joining me, Doug Scott. Now he is the founder and CEO of a company called tectonic video. They are a leading video agency for not for profits, and we had an amazing conversation around video, video strategy, what works, what doesn't work, what you should hire an agency for, what you should be doing in house user-generated content. And then we finished off our conversation today, talking about remote and online fundraisers for not for profits and how this is working for businesses as well. So taking these big goals and events and what happens now that we're not gathering in large groups. So Doug and his team have worked with not for profits all across the US and around the world to create award-winning videos that drive massive results for the nonprofits and charities that he works with. He's been featured in The New York Times, NPR CNN, and ad week and he is a frequent guest lecturer at Stanford University on the power of storytelling for not for profit organizations. So join me in welcoming Doug Scott to the real marketing real fast podcast today.

Doug Morneau

Well, hey, Scott, super excited to have you on the podcast today. So welcome to the real marketing real fast podcast.

Doug Scott

Hey, Doug, great to be here.

Doug Morneau

Well, you're working in an area that's got a number of things that really piqued my interest. One is video so people have finally woken up to the importance of video for marketing. And the third or second one strategy in the third is not for profits. And I like all those spaces on those topics. So do you want to share with our audience system overview of the kind of what you do and how you help people?

Doug Scott

Of course, my pleasure. tectonic video exists to help nonprofits realize the power of video to accomplish their mission. And that could be through marketing or for fundraising, but also for other things. internal communications, training, hiring, even their programmatic work. So we are a video agency for nonprofits. So we start with strategy. It could be an organization-wide or a campaign-specific video strategy. Then we implement that strategy from concept all the way through filming through post-production, then we can advise on distribution and measurements. And we're humbled to work with some of the world's most amazing nonprofits. I'm a little biased because I love our clients so much. But we make PSA's for the American Lung Association. We do fundraising videos for World Relief, branded content for Mutual Rescue, and educational videos for groups out of MIT, Harvard, and Stanford. I just have the best job in the world I get to spend my day helping amazing people doing amazing things, do more of it through video.

Doug Morneau

That's, that's really cool. Now in terms of strategy, I mean, I'm sure there's a number of different areas that the not for profits are looking for help with increased They're, you know, their impact in the world. And so you mentioned one, which is raising money. And then I'm assuming also it's helpful to recruit volunteers as well. Absolutely.

Doug Scott

Yeah, getting people to be involved in your organization's video is a great means for doing that. And it's a video I mean, taking a step back video is such an important tool for nonprofits period. And for-profit companies as well because it's such a powerful communications medium. I like to say it's extremely efficient. I mean, practically speaking, it takes 60 seconds to read 250 words, but in that same 60 seconds of video could show you dozens of images that are rich in color and detail and context. And they combine that with music and design and dialogue may never take thousands of written words to communicate what you can do in 60 seconds in a video.

Video is also highly engaging. It combines all these different learning styles and senses together into a single, shareable piece of content. But some really cool research as well why video is so powerful that it's preferred over many other forms of communication. Facebook's own RESEARCH DIVISION came out recently and said the experiments that they're running on Facebook and Instagram say that video content is looked at five times longer than static content and that it often generates more engagement. And I've seen other research that says that when both video and text are available on the same web page, 72% of people choose to watch a video rather than read the copy. And that one's preference for video increases as their age decreases. So if you want to reach younger audiences, in the nonprofit space could be prospective donors or volunteers, and video is key. So taking advantage of the power of video is essential for nonprofits, especially in these days.

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Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.

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Doug Morneau

So do you guys, you know this is a geeky question because I'm you know, I look at it A lot of analytics if you guys do any back end data analysis in terms of, you know, time on site or links to the video, people forwarding it people rewinding and re-watching it.

Doug Scott

We do. So we have a split between what we will do and then what we'll advise our clients to do. Because we're not hands-on in their admin of Facebook or Twitter. And there are some best practices there that we can of course share about Yeah, you can maximize the engagement on a video, you can look at how, how people are watching it if they're getting confused. They're like you're saying if they're backing up, or rewatching a section, it can be in a few different things, the thing that we really focus on, we find that for nonprofits, that level of sophistication rarely has enough energy in the organization to maintain, but the thing that we really look for on it, yeah. I think one more thing for volunteers to do that.

Doug Scott

Exactly. And so while we try and make it as simple as possible by choosing the most effective metric, and that is engagement, and we look at engagement as the measurable things that people will do to your video that are likes or likes or reactions, share shares, and comments. And those are things you can easily tabulate, you can easily get a baseline as to where you are right now, and then begin to measure your performance over time moving forward. But the reason why, of course, you'd want to measure those three things is that then you're really tapping into what the algorithms of each social media platform care about. They tend to. There's a lot of mystery as to exactly how they score different posts or different videos, but all of them have been on the record and said engagement trumps everything. And so, videos that do get reactions, shares, and comments, like Facebook's around the record now said comments are the most important thing For them to show whether a video is really engaging or not. And they'll promote it. Like we want people to look to maximize that and measure that. Because, you know, if a video is deemed engaging by the algorithm, then it gets sent to a whole bunch more people, you have an opportunity to really have an exponential return on your investment with a single video asset.

Doug Morneau

Well, and we've also seen on Facebook that when we've spent money promoting a video, that if the video is well done that it will also pick up some organic traffic because people will comment and share. And so it amplifies the advertising dollar.

Doug Scott

Absolutely. One trick that I learned from somebody else is if you are looking to do a mix of creating your own organic content, and then doing paid content, only ever pay for content that organically works well. So release it first, organically through your channel, and see if it starts to actually have organic engagement from it. Then you pick the winner and then put some money behind that, because then at least you're putting yourself in the best possible foot to have a video that gets engagement even with paid and then they can possibly even spread out into more organic sources from there as well.

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Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.

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Doug Morneau

Yep, absolutely comes back to testing and, you know, the idea of engagement really is, you know, the minimum threshold now across all mediums. I mean, I know in the email space as well, it really comes down to opens, replies people moving you to the inbox. And you know, and opens is the big thing than the assumption for the from for the AI guys is that if people aren't opening your email or they're not engaging with your video or that engaging with your posts on social, that it must not be relevant and not good, so they're not going to share it with everyone.

Right, exactly.

Doug Morneau

So when you start working with not for profit strategy first, which I love. The problem I often have is people come to me with tactics for Hey, I saw this new widget, this new thing I want to do this for my company. And it's like, well, that might not be a good thing for your company. What are you trying to achieve? So what are the conversations that you would typically have someone comes and says, okay, hey, I'm interested in, in, you know, a video strategy for our company? How do you start?

Doug Scott

So the first thing that we do for nonprofits and I, again, I have my experiences around nonprofits, and my research for my companies around nonprofits, but I think everything I'm going to say would broadly apply to a for-profit context as well,

Doug Morneau

although this ad there is just before we go on, is that it's people that buy your products or people who donate to your charity. So I think that these things are so interchangeable because it's not a computer. It's a person. Great point.

Doug Scott

Great point. So curious. All right. So the first conversation that we have is to tell them and talk to them about the framework by which we look at video.  We actually think that it's important to look at different types of videos that your organization can make. And that for each type of video, you need to really understand the audience, you need to understand the rules of the medium and that type of video, and then understand that there might be a different measurement ecosystem that needs to be applied to that video. So we've identified actually seven different types of videos. This is again, specifically for nonprofits.

The first one is your core brand video. And so these are for people. These videos are for people who have already raised their hand in some way and said, I want to learn more about your organization. This can be a longer we advocate that these are if you're going to put money into having the professionals come in to help you out. This is where we would come in to make a video for you because this is like the video that explains your organization. Perhaps it explains your history, the problem that you're addressing, this can be exciting. planar videos, you'll be your origin story are really well produced like donor testimonial or product testimonial video. So these core brand videos we advocate starting there first, because if you get somebody to come to your website through other types of video or other types of communications, but there is no video on your website, that's a core brand video, then they're going to be asking questions, why isn't there a video here, I want to watch a video that explains what you guys do. So by starting there, that's really important.

And the next for nonprofits, at least the next type of video, they'll often focus on our campaign and event videos. Nonprofits do need to raise money, they're always thinking about what the next campaign is or their event that they're going to have. And so these types of videos, these can be a mix of more high production and lower production value, more user-generated potentially, but that's another type of video.

And then there are other kinds of videos like we've already mentioned on so far, there are internal communications videos, you can take that weekly boring email from the CEO and ask him just or her to hold up their iPhone and record a two or three-minute video, giving an update at that way or asking other staff members throughout your organization to give an update from their area over video. So, talent acquisition, the hiring is important as well to have a video that establishes your culture talks about the vision of your organization and who your employees are. You can do training internally for different roles or onboarding volunteers, programmatic so all these different types of video understanding that these are all different and they have different rules, and the one that I am saving for last our social media videos, those are the ones who are getting so much attention and energy now especially as nonprofits continue to transition to more of a digital-first approach to communications and marketing.

So much energy and thought are being put into social media videos, but there's such a little understanding of what really works on social media. And that's where some of the most recent research that we've performed as a company has been to help nonprofits understand what really makes first of all, what, what should you care about when you make videos? What are the rules for videos for social media? And we've already addressed one, which is engagement rules, the most important thing to look at getting shares, comments, and likes. And then secondly, what are some of the tactics that you can employ to and help stack the cards in your favor, that you're going to have a video that's shared and engaged with more. And so those are the different types of videos, they all have their different rules or attributes of them. And they can be measured in different ways as well.

So your core brand videos, these are the ones that are probably hardest to measure. So a misconception is that people think, oh, whatever video we'll make, we'll put it on social media and we think it's all going to perform well. That's really not a good idea. You can put On your social media feed measure, there's questionable the tactic in general. But for nonprofits only making you sometimes a few videos a year, you're probably going to put it on your social media feed, but just don't expect it to perform in the same way as if you're making a video specifically for social media.

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Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.

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Doug Morneau

Yeah, the core brand, I'm assuming is going to be a longer video like in length and that's to, like you said to bring draw somebody deeper into the story of your company, not the first introduction you'd make by just posting it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Doug Scott

Exactly. And yet people have that people feel like they've made a bad video or they failed. If it doesn't perform as well as other types of video on social. It's just playing by a different set of rules. It's fine to put it on social but the social media videos mean and the research that we found and it correlates with a lot of other research that's out there. I mean, shorter is better. We were able to pull. We created something called “the nonprofit video index.” We think it's the most comprehensive study of nonprofits how they use video on social media that's ever been performed.  We followed 778 nonprofit organizations, taking a year of video posts from their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, and then analyzing them all. And then we're able to also identify what are the highest engaging videos by platform and then looked at the attributes that are shared amongst those videos. And so lots of interesting insights came out of that all that information is available on our website.

Doug Morneau

But it does, it's just making a note it's gonna ask, is it available? And if so, where is it available? Because, you know, I'm a big fan. The reason one of the other reasons I was excited to talk to you today is aside from my passion for the not for profit world, is that you know, often people get stuck in this mindset. Well, that's not for profit. I can't use it my business. It's like you, there's so much you can take and use from different businesses and different industries and drawn into your business. Great point.

Doug Scott

I totally agree. We're huge fans. We borrow things from Hollywood all the time for our nonprofit work, things that work well as far as doing test audiences and market research and stuff, we advocate that you would employ those in the nonprofit space as well. So the same, I completely agree it's the same idea of the best idea should win regardless of where it comes from. And this research that I'm talking about right now is all on our website. If you go to the strategy page, you'll see a link there to the nonprofit video index on our website is tectonic dot video, te EC t on IC dot video. And then the nonprofit video index is the study that we just recently published. So yeah, going back to what works on social and short, overwhelmingly, the most engaging videos are under a minute on every platform. Secondly, we identified the five main content types that are the most engaging. The first, most engaging content type is cuteness. It could be babies, it could be

Doug Morneau

I'm out I guess I'm not doing any of those videos because I don't have the cuteness factor. bringing my grandkids

Doug Scott

Bringing the grandkids bringing an animal into the studio, whatever. So that's number one. But number two our emotional reactions captured in real-time those videos kill on social media. So you know, in the nonprofit context, someone who just gets the results from, you know, an education program that they had been, you know, studying for their GED and they get the GED results in your reform, you know, recording that live on camera and seeing their reaction that's gold, or seeing if I'm assuming if they have a good reaction, I watched an Instagram video today with a guy named Grant Cardone, I don't know if you know him or not. He's a big marketing guy, real estate guy and he gave his wife this very fancy watch and she looked totally bored. And so I thought, I wonder

Doug Morneau

What I mean, it's I know the brand and is Petite. Patek Phillipe, I think is the name of that. So I thought I'll go I'll go look at the comments and see what people thought. I was like, dude, she's not impressed, dude, she didn't look happy. I'm thinking okay, so maybe you should not apply Though this is presupposing that the reaction is a good one. Yes, yeah.

I'm assuming yeah should be a good reaction is right.

Doug Scott

So that's one of the main ones. Another one, as you can imagine that's most engaging online is emotional stories of beneficiaries of your organization. Another one is topical events. And other controversial topics. As you can imagine, there's so much vitriol now online, but controversial topics perform really well they get really high engagement. So anyway, those kinds of those things, though, apply to social media videos. That's what works on social What's his own set of rules. It doesn't necessarily apply to other things. But you should look at how each one of these video types has their own set of rules, play by those rules, and then measure them in the way that makes the most sense for that style.

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Doug Morneau

Yeah, I think you would enjoy the podcast episode we just released today because the guests that I had on his work for all these major companies, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and we talked about basically the customer journey and so a deeper view into once you identify your customer, what's the journey they go through with your brand? And why in your case why they donate? Or why wouldn't they donate? And how usable is the content? You know, so they do a lot of testing where they send people to your website and say, Okay, go to XYZ company.

And the example for what you're doing is would go make a donation. And they will watch they'll watch these people trying to figure out how do I make a donation or go to the website and find out what their vision and mission statement is? And it's so enlightening and then if you apply that even to social the same thing, so you've created all the social stuff, and people are liking it, engaging it and well what's the next step you want them to take? I want them to go to my not for profit page and kind of my Gala. Well, okay, now you send this Instagram post, how do they get from that post to your gala?

I love it. That's great. And we forget

Doug Morneau

that it's like well, it's it would go to my website, of course, well, where's your website? Well, it's I put it in the I put it in my post. Well, it's not clickable

Doug Scott

That's reducing the friction that's required in order to do the thing that you want them to do. Perfect,

Doug Morneau

Make it easy for people to interact with your content, share it, make it easy for them to share your content and engage with your brand and buy what you're selling or, you know, share your you know, to be able to accomplish the goal they're trying.

Perfect, love it.

Doug Morneau

So, when the nonprofit's that you work with coming to you, how long does it typically take you to go from the starting point so okay, hey, we've met today this makes sense. We're gonna lay out a strategy to actually get the real estate out there and published and start moving forward.

Doug Scott

Great question. The strategy process can take about a month. And the reason why it takes that amount of time there's some research that we do but the biggest part and most time-consuming aspect of that is by us going and talking with your audiences. This is something that I'm sure you advocate and as easily overlooked and it takes time. Yes, man, there are so many times that we have conversations with people, or we're in the middle of a process and we come to a decision where or come to a point, we have to make a decision. And we feel one way and the CEO or the client feels another way. And it becomes a contest of like, who has the most expertise or who wants to be who owns you know, the dollar or the budgets for this project. And really, that's it's a completely wrong way of approaching it.

The one who should decide is the audience, your audience should be the ones from the very beginning that told you how to make the piece told you what they want to hear, and that we then even go back to them throughout the process. So we have one of our services is a video strategy service. It's a standalone service, it's about a month. And, you know, if if you're looking for us to also make videos for you afterward, it's a great place to start because we learn everything about your organization and we're able to really fly at that point, but we can do it as well. We're Just doing the strategy and hand it off to you. Maybe you have an internal team or other people that you work with.

But the very first thing is developing a baseline for measurement, and then talking to your audiences to find out what they really think. And then to find out what they really want to hear. And only by doing that, they get a sense of really what type of video we should be making, how we should be making those videos. And, you know, from that, that then sets the whole strategy of how we move forward. So whether or not it's a video strategy part, once we get into actually making the video, it's a tough question to answer how long it takes to actually produce the thing. It depends if there's travel, depends on how many different pieces are coming together, I'm sure fair enough. That makes sense. I mean, then I get the strategy part. And sometimes what I found too is there's conflict within the organization.

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So not only talking to the customers but talking to their team, to make sure there are no friction points inside the organization. So when you do start getting that extra attention that you're working towards, that it's a great experience for the end-user, one of my favorites made it completely. And one of my favorite meetings is when we've done the research and we bring it back to the leadership team of our client. And we present the research from the audience. It's so fun because all of a sudden, you can see up analysis, yes, you can see around the room, people who, whose heads are nodding, because you could tell that they've been saying that same thing in the meeting and haven't been listened to, you know, over the past, however, many years or months, other people who are shocked and who want to refute it, but that's not really what's their experience has been, it's so great, but when you are able to introduce data, and anecdotes from real people into the conversation, just really transforms the whole experience.

Doug Morneau

So you know, I think it totally makes sense. You're saying start with your core brand. So you've got your anchor piece. So that's your main piece that's your organization. And then once that's done, then you can, I'm assuming you can break a lot of that content out and cut it into smaller pieces. Because you're going to get some valuable snippets from that core brand piece you've built.

Doug Scott

Absolutely, we always want to approach every project that we undertake as one of those Russian dolls that Babushka dolls, where it's like you continue to break it apart into smaller and smaller little pieces. So for a single brand video, let's say we're doing an organizational video, and then in that video, we're talking about your history. we're interviewing your founder, we are interviewing some beneficiaries who, you know, have benefited from the use of your services. All those things can become individual videos for social after the fact or they can become, we incorporate like a 15 second sound bite from somebody in the main overview film, but then that 15-second soundbite becomes part of a two-minute conversation that we have separately for another video with that same person. So that's, in our opinion, the most effective way to maximize the investment in doing video because me and let's be frank it to hire an agency like ours, it does cost real money.

I mean, it takes money, it's an investment, but we have to optimize that as much as we possibly can. And that being said, you don't have to hire agencies as well, I have the seven types of videos that I mentioned, they're only a couple of them really, I think, necessitate having an agency being involved or having the professionals quote-unquote, being involved. A lot of the other ones could be user-generated or could be much lower if you know, videos lower production value that volunteers could be a part of our people that are a digital native, a young person who can come into your organization and edit some video for you. They do it all day anyways in their personal life.

So much of the video that can be created for your organization doesn't have to be done by an agency or by professional filmmakers. So it just a question of, are you able to demonstrate whether what you're doing is with the videos that you're creating or having value-adding value. What kind of value are they adding? That's a huge black hole for a lot of people that never really thought about how they can prove if what they're doing is actually having any kind of return on investment.

So that's another one of the things that we really want to help people think about. How do we know if what we're doing is better than what's been there before? How do we know if we are in alignment with our peers in the nonprofit world? We call our competitors' peers, but our competitors? And then how can we demonstrate that we've actually had a higher ROI for video than if we wouldn't have had a video at all. So there are different tactics to prove all those things that we go through in our strategy process, but everything from you knows, qualitative analysis, asking people to rate your current video on a numerical scale of a number of different types of questions and then moving forward creating additional videos that we would produce together and hopefully we'll see you know, the numbers go up.

That's how to be better videos or some you know, qualitative stuff like that, of course, was quantitative looking at views and engagement numbers on social media. For internal videos, there are lots of cool tests that you can take like multiple-choice tests, after the videos to demonstrate whether or not you understood the contents. You can have an interactive video with branching, which is really fun for internal stuff to be able to show if people are understanding the training that they're going through.

But then, you know, there's also the opportunity to measure things in a way that demonstrates ROI. And you do have to be really intentional about doing that. But it's the stuff that, you know, I'm sure you advocate all the time of being able to have two versions of your email newsletter. One has a video embedded in it and one doesn't. And then you're able to have cookies that watch the person's journey through clicking on the links and going to your website and seeing whether there's an increase in donations, same thing for services that will be able to test different versions of the exact same real web page. Life and see it's all about testing and analytics, right?

Doug Morneau

Because emotion just messes it up, we get into this arm wrestle at the boardroom table of who's right. And the end of the day, I don't care who's right, I just care that we're getting a better result. So analytics is taking the emotion out. And lots of times we've still been in the boardroom arguing with somebody, this debate. Well, I don't think that that's correct. Like, well, we're not asking if you think is correct. This is a fact we did this and this happened. Well, I don't think my customers would do that, like, Well, I didn't think so either. But right, so we can spend the whole day talking about it, or we can just get excited that we know this, and we can leverage this.

So I'm gonna shift gears a bit because I saw something when I was looking at your website and you are social that I thought was super interesting. Last night, I was on a live stream with people from New York, and California and there were several in Australians. We're talking about how the world's changed and how everything's gone online. And there was obviously a little bit of back and forth. Oh, it's all we're gonna never go back to meetings again. We're nervous, like, No, no, no, say never. That's not true. Right now we're doing lots more video. But the not for profit world, you know, the gallows in the events that I would typically go to every year and the people that are trying to raise money now are not doing those events. And I saw something that I thought was really cool. And that was your company helping the not for profits to carry on their gala but through the lens of a video camera versus sitting in a large conference or restaurant. So do you want to share you know, a study or an example of somebody that you've worked within this time where you've taken their event and put it online? Absolutely.

Doug Scott

I'm very glad that nonprofits have video during this time to be able to continue to do some of the events that they were doing before but in a different form. Matt, obviously we're not able to meet in person. And we'll probably be some time before people are comfortable to be in a big group setting to sit through what normally would be their biggest fundraiser of the year a gala event, you know, where you get all dressed up, you come to some banquet hall, have a nice meal here from a keynote speaker and a few beneficiaries from the organization that's all been moved online. Now, we've been able to work with a couple of different organizations that have already had a gala event or a fundraising event online through Zoom. Zoom is so far been the winner of how you would put on these different types of events. And some things that are are good about virtual events.

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Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.

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Number one, for anybody who's held events in the past, for a nonprofit, there are always people you'd want to come that just can never come for whatever reason, either. They're professionals who are on the road all the time and traveling so they just the schedules don't align or it's a single mom who can't bring Health, you know, childcare into the home during that time frame. Well, with a virtual event now, pretty much anybody can attend virtually anywhere in the world whenever they want to. And eventually, you'll probably put that thing online as an archive, people could experience that in the future as well, too. So more people are able to come. We also think that it's a way to reach new audiences that you wouldn't be able to afford to do if it was in person, Gala. I mean, every organization usually has a range of support. And for nonprofits, usually, the ones who overwhelmingly fund the organization are major givers. And for the most part, major givers are on the higher end of the age spectrum. So a lot of times when we do a gala, we're always thinking about people in the room who are in their late 50s 60s 70s. What's going to really connect with them, what kind of experience would they really engage with and enjoy because those are the ones who really are making sure that we have the lights on for our organization, and that's the right strategy to take in that kind. Have a context.

But what about now, if we move on online? What if we think about having an event that does as well, I mean, it still is focused on helping people in that demographic feel connected to your organization really appealing to them. But then what if you could like, take almost the exact same run of the show the same kind of content, but just twist it 90 degrees, and all of a sudden you make a version that's more for the 20s and 30s. These people aren't driving the funding for your organization right now. But they're the future. And if you can invest in them now, then perhaps it'll mean for a crass payoff for you and your organization moving forward. And so what if instead of

Doug Morneau

Saying it's not cross you got to keep the lights on so nothing crass about raising money for your not for profit is nothing crass with earning money for your business? Because you need to keep the lights on?

Doug Scott

Absolutely. Absolutely. So instead of having there be perhaps for the older version of the older audience of your gala, you have a host who's in their 50s But then for the millennial millennial version, you have a 20-year-old post almost the exact same content that they're delivering, it's just a different face. And the CEO can add a few more examples that are hipper to the kids these days in the millennial version of the event, but the same videos showing beneficiary stories could play at both events, etc. So it's really an opportunity there to leverage a virtual event to reach multiple audiences that you wouldn't be able to do or afford if you were doing an in-person event.

And then lastly, video is really helpful during this period, to do personalized stuff. This is something that we advocate for and a lot of other people are doing it as well too. We don't necessarily record them ourselves because we don't need to like this is more of a lo-fi thing. But we've seen a lot of people we advocate that you would reach out to your major givers by having beneficiaries of your program.

I mean, depending on the context and you know, ability to disclose people's identity, etc, etc, willing to be a part of it, but they would then just record a little video, you know, a personal video only for that major giver. You know, maybe it's Bill and Susan so the beneficiary, you know, has the cell phone in their hand. Hey, Bill and Susan, my name is Tom. I've been enjoying you know, the work of this organization. It's really changed my life. I just want to tell you about it and say “thank you.” And it's just a two-minute little video that goes off to bill and Susan, they really feel like they were you know that the nonprofit cares about them. They feel connected to the workflow connected to Tom, lo-fi but I've seen organizations like double down on this and start sending out dozens and dozens and dozens of these videos recorded by staff members, beneficiaries, to major givers, mid-level givers, other people in the organization's shareholder or stakeholders in your organization, just to personally thank them and reach out and have a personal connection during this time when you can't be together personally.

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Doug Morneau

Well, it's an update and it's showing the impact. I mean, that's one of the questions people often have a say give to this organization? How much money goes to the actual, you know, vision and mission of that? And does it make an impact? So you're like you said, you're getting this personal video. And it's nice to get a video or a message from whether it's a company or not for profit with an update. That's, that's not always an ask. So if every time you send me an email, or a message, it's an ass, I get tired of opening those, because I'm going to give anyhow, but like you said, to get something personally that would be would probably be hugely impactful.

Doug Scott

Good point. I completely agree.

Doug Morneau

It was really cool. I mean, the other thing is to is travel. I mean, I've traveled to you know, I've traveled to fundraisers that make the fundraiser a lot more expensive when, you know, I leave Vancouver and fly to Minneapolis for a fundraiser and my wife and I a couple of flights and then hotels. You know, it makes it's a barrier to entry if you want to call it that. So yeah, I think he reached a lot wider audience because there are obviously people worldwide Why'd that have you know, so you probably share the same passions that you do, but they're not going to show up at your event in wherever you are not going to show up in San Diego or LA if they're, you know, on the other side of the world.

Doug Scott

I completely agree. And I've heard someone say, I can't remember who it is offhand. But that COVID and the forces, the forces that are at play, are no fundamental changes. It's just an accelerant. Like we're already moving toward having things being globally accessible, having things being more it using digital to make everyone be able to access be certain things, but like, this is a kick in the pants of like, now, do it now you have to in order to keep your organization going. And so people are jumping onto this very quickly. I'm looking for ways to leverage these video communications to reach people all around the country and around the world.

Doug Morneau

And I think right now we're seeing what I'm seeing anyhow, is innovation coming to these events because you're used to going to an event and you know, I don't want to give up the event. I like meeting people face to face and sitting and having a conversation. I mean that I can't do I can't get that same connection through video. But, you know, maybe it'd be less of those events and more video, I don't know. But I'm seeing a lot of the not for not necessary not for profits, but the for-profit businesses really trying to, I'm going to use a word that I hate to use called pivot.

Just because the marketers have ruined that word. Bad in new normal that's wrecked for life as well. But you know, they're charging their people to come. And what they're seeing is, you know, a lot less risk and I know especially for them, not for profits. I mean, if the businesses make a mistake and lose money, I don't necessarily feel too bad for them. But if a not for profit, organizes a big event and puts a deposit in a hotel room and pays a keynote speaker and does all the things they need to do. I mean, they're risking their risking a lot and I know a few of them that have just barely come to the breakeven and I've seen the same thing when they've done pottery, some of them have just about lost or not for profit because they put so much into the pricing and they didn't get the uptake. So I think this lowers the risk factor.

Doug Scott

I agree. I agree. And the dirty little secret of doing events is that you almost always barely break even.

Doug Morneau

Yeah, that's right. I mean, I know, yeah. Thanks for bringing that up. You're right. I mean, I know some of these guys I go to their events and, and it says, like, How much money do you guys make? And I said no, after all your expenses. So it becomes more of you know, it's I'm not picking on that sometimes it comes more of a social Yeah. For the contributor isn't it does have an actual fundraiser, because if you pay for everything, you know, if you're paying for a $50 a plate dinner plus a hotel room, you know, think about it, they only charge you $100 a ticket. What's left,

Doug Scott

Right, right. Yeah, I mean, it is a lot of people view them more as a relationship-building event between You and a nonprofit that breaks even makes a little bit of money. But that pays off in the long term outside of the event because you've had an increased relationship now with that organization, and you might give or volunteer in other ways as well.

Doug Morneau

So what advice would you share with not for profit, or people that are our listeners that are involved in not for profits or even in business about you know, taking a hard look at, at video as a tactic?

Doug Scott

I'd say start by asking people what they want, I think that video makes, I can see where video makes sense for just about every organization, but I don't know your specific organization, and what specifically video can do to help you supercharge what you're doing. So you have to start by asking people what they want asking your audiences what messages they care about what questions they have about your product or about your organization. And then I'm like we've talked so much about testing. I'm a huge proponent of testing to a couple of levels. versions of things just to get some early feedback. This is all before you put any real money on the line, but you begin to get a sense of whether it's going to work for you. And odds are it's going to work for you in some way. It's just a matter of figuring out what's the most effective way for the video to be able to work for you.

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Facebook's research division says the experiments they've run on Facebook and Instagram show that videos are looked at 5 times longer than static content and they generate more engagement.

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