Video is often used by traditional charities to tell stories. I often think that membership organisations could use video in this way more. Gaby Jeffs from Magneto Films, a leading producer of films for non-profits, has kindly agreed to share some of the ways that video can be used.
How can you use it in your membership organisation? If you already use it, how does it work for you? Do leave a comment below.
How do we get our message to the people we want to connect with? How do we get them to listen and take action?
As video communication specialists we’ve found that working with real people is the most powerful way of getting people to engage.
Increasingly sophisticated audiences screen out bland, promotional messages, but real experiences still grab attention. An authentic human story keeps people watching, absorbing messages and ultimately changing behaviour.
Here’s how it works:
1) Peer to peer testimonial
Word of mouth or impartial peer recommendations are very powerful. This approach avoids experts but works with authentic experiences that will resonate with our target audience.
For sheer impact no one can articulate the benefits of membership better than a satisfied member. So asking your members why they joined and what specific benefits and services they’ve found useful will make your case for you. The process can often unlock new insights.
Here’s a recent film Magneto has made for the Family Friendly organisational membership scheme run by the Family and Parenting Institute – members share how membership helps them to achieve their goals.
2) Model desired behaviour
We’re social creatures and we learn from each other. So model the behaviour you want your audience to follow by finding real peer role models to feature in your video.
This worked very effectively for a direct response TV advert we produced for Macmillan for their World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event. We worked with a real family who hold a coffee morning every year, in remembrance of their dad who died of cancer.
The advert showed a family holding their coffee morning and talking about their motivation for raising money for Macmillan. The modelled behaviour worked so well that Macmillan reported supporters placing photos of loved ones amongst the cakes at their own coffee morning as the family had done in the ad!
Overall the ad helped take donations up from under £10m the year before to over £14m in 2012.
You can see the advert here
3) To create behaviour change
We always suggest choosing people to feature in your video who mirror the diversity of your target audience. We accept messages more easily if they come from people who we perceive to be like us – especially when targeting hard to reach groups. Peer role models can offer realistic and practical solutions. Find people who can share barriers they faced and coping strategies for overcoming them.
Here’s a low budget film we produced for the membership organisation CharityComms to encourage more people to become individual members – featuring a peer testimonial.
4) Demonstrate impact by digital story telling
Video is great for story telling and taking people on a journey. This is especially effective in demonstrating an organisation’s impact, such as a charity.
For example, we were asked by the Legacy Trust UK to make some films to demonstrate the impact of Cultural Olympiad arts funding. Joseph’s Story shows the difference the project has made to his life and future.
Video can tell the story of an event too, capturing the buzz, comments and feedback from people there. These can extend the life of an event so more people are able to engage online, or even be used to market the event in the future.
For more ideas on how to make real stories and video work for your organisation, have a look at our new friendly How To guides on our website or get in touch.