Full transparency: I want to produce videos for your organization. Not only that, I want to help with the strategy, planning and implementation. That being said, that phone of yours shoots some pretty good video and there’s a case to be made for shooting/editing your own videos.
So here are some things to consider when choosing between producing your own videos and hiring a professional.
Authentic. This is the single-best reason for shooting your own videos and should not be underestimated. Shooting your own videos gives the viewer more insight into you and your organization. A lot of personality shines through on self-produced videos.
Cheap. Can’t beat the cost of doing it yourself. You’ve already got the phone, so all you’re spending is time.
Fast. It should be safe to assume you won’t be as picky during the shooting and editing process as a professional. And it’s one of the strengths of your phone – you point and shoot. This will get you to the finish line much faster.
Perception. As a nonprofit, you’re probably concerned with spending your donor’s money conscientiously. So you may be afraid that it would appear disingenuous spending funds on a professional video.
Subject matter experts. No one knows your story better than you. Who better to capture it than the people who live it.
Perfect for social media. Because they are fast, cheap and authentic – they are perfect for social media. We aren’t as judgmental about videos on social platforms as we are on the videos you host on your website, YouTube channel or show at your events. They’re a great way to broadcast a lot of information and stay in touch with your audience.
It’s fun. There’s something fun about “filming day.” There’s an electricity in the air. Even though you may be nervous about being “on camera,” it’s energizing. And it’s always fun to have an excuse to be creative at work. (And don’t get me started about the values of stepping outside your comfort zone!)
Production values. Nothing ruins a video faster than bad audio – which is the hardest thing to do well on your phone. The quality of your video capture should be ok, but also how you frame and light your subjects, move the camera and the angles you shoot from all contribute to the overall satisfaction of the video-watching experience. Viewers are savvy nowadays: they’ll instantly know whether the video was produced professionally or not.
Enhances credibility. Your videos reflect your organization – if they look “amateur,” that can make you look bad. This is the flip-side of authentic: some rough edges add character, too many make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Compelling. Professionals are generally more skilled at crafting a good story. While we’re shooting, we’re thinking about how this is going to work in the final product and have more experience assembling the pieces of footage into a compelling story.
Strategic. Professionals tend to spend more time thinking through the objective and target audience of the video – which makes them more likely to be successful. We also match the length/format to the medium – so it’s more likely to appeal to viewers.
Attention to detail. Having a good thumbnail image can make a huge difference in getting your video played. And knowing how to properly create captions is important for the hearing impaired and platforms that may run your video without sound.
Fun, with less stress. OK…“filming day” is fun no matter what. But if you’re hiring someone else to shoot it, you can sit back and enjoy the ride. It can be stressful trying to organize everyone, manage the technology, set up the shot and monitor the content.
Video is like pizza: even when it’s bad – it’s still pretty good. The main thing is to take the plunge and start implementing video. It’s the best medium for nonprofit marketing and fundraising.
Shoot your own videos for updates for social media. There’s no sense spending the extra money on a polished video when you’re looking to make an authentic connection with your audience.
For more important videos (for use on your website, YouTube channel or at events), it might be worth spending some money to make sure you’re getting the most out of those channels.
(Shameless plug: At Filament, we have all kinds of ideas for all kinds of budgets. If you’re considering using video for your marketing/fundraising, please call Matthew Landis to have a free, no-obligation chat. If nothing else, you’ll have a clearer picture of what you want to do.)
All of our service area leaders have dozens of years of experience. These are protips they’ve picked up along the way that you can use right now to solve common issues.