6 Tips for a Successful Video and Viral Marketing Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign | Miratel Solutions

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6 Tips for a Successful Video and Viral Marketing Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign

I recently found myself with unexpected time on my hands while nursing a sprained ankle so I decided to watch the Kony 2012 video as I hadn’t seen it yet. I had intended to watch it earlier but kept putting it off because the 30 minute time investment always seemed to exceed what I had available. Although I had heard some of the controversy surrounding the administration and tactics of the Invisible Children charity and the Kony 2012 campaign, I never took the time to investigate it enough to form an educated opinion. All the hype definitely lent to the video’s must-see value for me though and overall it did not disappoint.

From a purely production standpoint, the campaign ticks a lot of boxes in terms of effectiveness that I’ll be exploring in this blog post but I’d first like to qualify that statement. This post is by no means a testament to Invisible Children or the Kony 2012 campaign. From what I have heard, legitimate arguments have been raised on both the pro and con side but given my limited knowledge that is not for me to debate.

So controversy aside, nonprofits can take tips from the conceptualization of the Kony 2012 campaign and how marketing tools can be used to incite passion, draw positive attention and bring awareness to a cause overnight. The following are 6 tips that I think they got right:nonprofit-fundraising-viral-marketing plan

  1. Powerful Story. Part of the success of a video and viral marketing campaign is to have a powerful message that sheds light on your organizations cause and will motivate and inspire action. The story should be personal, concise and honest highlighting why it’s important to support your cause. The story presented in Kony 2012 of the young Ugandan and his personal plight relating to Joseph Kony was powerful to hear and watch.
  2. Attach a Strong Tagline or Slogan. Attaching a tagline/slogan will increase the effectiveness of your campaign as it will draw added attention and make your campaign more memorable. Once you watched the Kony 2012 video, which was based on the campaign of the same name, those 2 words stuck with you and they reminded you of the who, what, where, when and why of the campaign. That’s the ultimate goal of a tagline/slogan – short, meaningful, inspirational and lasting.
  3. Pick A Date. Always associate a specific/special date or timeframe with your campaign as it lends a sense of urgency for action to be taken. Friday April 20th is Kony 2012 day and that date was reinforced throughout the video, website and other marketing tools. Selecting a date will also give your volunteers, ambassadors and supporters a timeline to rally support through their own networks which is an excellent grassroots way to increase the reach of your message. I recently wrote about the perfect example of a similar grassroots effort when Miratel participated in Purple Day in support of Epilepsy Toronto as a result of a staff member who was an ambassador for the cause.
  4. Produce A Video True to your Cause. In a recent post, I outlined steps  to overcome the intimidation factor and create a video. Videos don’t have to be Hollywood productions – they just have to tell your story in a genuine, heartfelt manner. In this case, the medium is not the message. Think of the video as merely a conduit connecting (potential) supporters to your cause and your message so speak honestly because that is what will reach viewers on a personal level and grab their attention. Don’t forget to reinforce your tagline/slogan and special date throughout your video. It is also a good idea to keep the length of the video to less than 5 minutes ideally. As I mentioned I put off watching the Kony 2012 video because of the length.nonprofit-fundraising-viral-marketing-campaign
  5. Go Viral. To attain high popularity through the internet, it’s important to post your video on YouTube and other social sites and encourage all employees, ambassadors and volunteers to do likewise. Be sure to include a prominent video link or its associate url on all marketing and promotional pieces, newsletters and on the homepage of your website and/or blog (above the fold ideally).
  6. Supporting Marketing Tools. Due to cost this is possibly the most challenging aspect of a marketing campaign for most nonprofits to consider. However, providing brochures, information sheets, posters, etc will ultimately add to the visibility of your campaign. Consider giving cause-branded products like bracelets, pins, water bottles or pens to donors who meet a certain donation amount. Try not to be excessive with paper-printed material though – you don’t want to come off as environmentally irresponsible.

Certainly the degree of success of a video and viral marketing campaign will differ from organization to organization but your nonprofit fundraising campaign will be further ahead if these tips are considered and done well.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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