Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 21 2012

YouTube Wants to Help Your Foundation

By Carolyn Clark, Vice President Marketing and Communications

You may have just secured a powerful new partner: YouTube. The online video giant released a new tool called Campaigns to help non-profit organizations track progress toward goals.

The goals are a bit different than your typical financial-based objectives. With Campaigns, you'll set goals for the number of video views or channel subscribers. Similar to a chart that tracks the progress made toward a fundraising goal, Campaigns includes a visible digital count of how many more views or people you need to reach your goal. To help you get there, it includes a prominent sharing button that encourages users to pass your video on to friends and colleagues.

"Whether you're aiming to encourage donations to your association's foundation or inspire more members and fans to register for a one-time fundraising event, online videos are a powerful vehicle for getting your message to the masses," Mary Reynolds Kane, director, online marketing, PCMA, says.

This isn't the first tool that YouTube has unveiled for non-profit organizations. The Google-owned video service has a program with other valuable features, including a Donate button that allows viewers to give money directly through a YouTube channel and the ability to live-stream conferences and events.

Making the Most of YouTube

While the tool can help inspire your foundation’s audience to click play, inspiring them to watch and share your video relies on the work you put into concepting and creating the media. Here are a few key factors to consider as you write the script for your next video.

  • How Can You Instantly Engage Your Viewers? – With so much online content, attention spans are short. As you approach your video, be sure to think about what will immediately hook a viewer's attention. You want to ensure that the first 10 seconds will give them a reason to continue watching until the end.
  • What's Your Story? – Remember you're working to get these viewers to want to take action, and a compelling story can make that happen. From using personal volunteer testimonials to capturing footage of members of your organization making a difference, you may want to highlight real-life examples of where those funds are going.
  • Can You Be a Comedian? – However, your video doesn't have to pull on everyone's heartstrings. As any online user knows, some of the most shareable videos simply fulfill one requirement: they're funny.

Launching Your YouTube Campaign

The first few hours after you release your new video are crucial to your campaign's success. The more people that link to your video, the more likely it will display higher in Google search results.

"This is your opportunity to build momentum that will drive views and shares throughout the first day and fuel continued sharing over the life of the campaign," Kane says.

When you release your video, be sure to:
  1. Craft a newsletter to your existing members.
  2. Put the video on your website's homepage.
  3. Send press releases to all relevant media outlets.
  4. Share across the entire social media spectrum including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and anywhere else where your organization has a presence.
  5. Ask for shares - - it sounds simple, but sometimes, people just need a reminder to share with their networks.

To learn how the YouTube Non-Profit Program can help your association, click here.

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