Ep 253 | Do's and Don'ts of Video Creation

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Creating video gets easy once you've gotten a little practice.. This happens by repetition. So if you're just getting started, this epiosde is for you. You'll get some do's and don'ts that will help you understand what to focus on and what to let go of. Remember, these are short form video elements so large production and fancy sets ups aren't required here! 

What you'll learn:

→ creating a plan.
→ build the right background.
→ create templates to make editing easier.
→ what to edit and what not to.
→ power of batching.
→ why sharing multiple faces is important.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[2:51] Do have a plan but don't over script. Craft bullets for what you want to accomplish in the video. Understand what you're going to say. Avoid writing out the full script and reading it. You'll tend to sound robotic.
[4:42] Do pay attention to your surroundings, but don't let it stop you from creating a video if the situation is perfect. Lighting can be really important for the user experience. Also pay attention to your background to make sure it's not to busy and overwhelming. Make sure there aren't people in the background that you don't have permission to show. However, if you're in a place that organically feels great to record, especially if you run into a donor or board member, still hit that record button.
[7:38] Create templates for backgrounds but don't make all the videos look the same. By having a variety of templates you can use for the backgrounds of your videos it makes it easy to get things done. That way you're minimizing the amount of work it takes to get that video from recorded to published. Try not to have them all look exactly the same.
[9:27] Do edit, but sparingly. We aren't looking for perfection. Don't feel like you ned to remove the ums and uhs. You are making a personal connection so show that you're human!
[13:15] Batch your content and don't feel like you need to post in real time. You'll want to use multiple faces in your video. Batching allows you to get in front of those key people 1-2 times per month instead of recording right when you need to post. Having content in the bank also removes the stress of feeling like you need to post in real time.
[16:58] Highlight multiple faces of your organization, but don't force people if they aren't comfortable. Have the leaders in your organization share when it is something relevant to their job. 
[18:57] Have fun and show your personality and take it slow. You don't need to start publishing a ton of videos all of the sudden. Take it slow, test, and find the flow that works for your organization, team, and budget.


EP 251 | Coming up with Content Ideas for Short Form Video

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Full Transcript

Sami Bedell-Mulhern Today we're going to talk about some do's and don'ts. When it comes to creating your video, you're getting all sorts of strategies and guidelines here as we work through these episodes on video this month. I also wanted to give you some tactical do's and don'ts when it comes to creating your short form videos specifically, but you could use some of these tactics for your video creation in general. So, do's and don'ts, we're gonna give you a handful of them. So you can get started with video right after you listen or watch this podcast episode. And so I'm excited to kind of jump in and share some of these things with you. Because these were some things that kind of got me hung up. And getting started again, with short form video is something that's on my to do list. But you know, these are some of the things that kind of continue to hang me up, so I thought I would share them with you.

But before we get into it, this episode is brought to buy our April freebie, we use video a lot when it comes to reaching out in the front end before somebody becomes a donor. But now, we want to share some ways that you can use video to steward those donors to build deeper relationships, deeper connections, and engage with them in ways that maybe you hadn't before, and ways that are going to make you stand out. So our free guide for the month of April is all about 10 ways you can use video to engage with your donors, these are pre recorded, some of these are live, there's a bunch of different things that we have included in this guide. So I want you to check it out, you can find it at thefirstclick.net/resources. There's also a lot of other freebies that are there for you to take advantage of. So take a look and see all the good stuff that's there so you can continue to increase and raise more money online. Let's get into the episode.

Intro You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern So I have a handful of do's and don'ts to share with you here. And I'm excited to just do that and jump right in short form video we know is so impactful. And it's such a great way to connect with your audience. These are 30 to 30 to 62nd videos, excuse me, typically done vertically that you can share on social media channels. But you can also use them and repurpose them in so many different ways. So the first do that I have is plan, we want to have a plan, we want to know exactly what we're creating and why. So I love and we did an episode earlier this month, it's all about creating your content themes, and kind of coming up with your ideas. You're also going to be hearing more strategies throughout this month.

But I wanted to talk about kind of really just putting your plan in place. How often are you going to be posting these short form videos? What content do you need to have in there? What are the goals that are aligned with this so that you can kind of come up with a plan. So when you're putting your videos together, you know why? And you can kind of build it into your schedule. Like that's the hardest part, I think is building it into your schedule and making sure that you have you know what you're doing, and you're not just kind of off the cuff. So we also want to plan each individual video. So like I said, What is the purpose of this video? What is the one thing that we want to have? What is it that we want to create? What is the goal for this individual video outside of our overall goal for the whole organization. So what we don't want to do is over script, I love to have a couple little bullets for the videos even for this like, I have just kind of some notes written down on my piece of paper that's sitting right here. If you're watching this on YouTube, you can see that, but I've got kind of my my notes here, but I don't have it all scripted out and I have a transcript that I'm reading. Sometimes it doesn't work as well. And the content kind of goes off the rails a little bit. But I just like to have those guidelines here. So I know these are the things that I know I want to talk about in this episode, if other things come up great. But when we do it over scripted, it sounds almost robotic. It's not as personal. It's not as engaging. It's not like I'm talking to you. One on one. It's like, Hey, this is the digital marketing therapy podcast and we are going to talk about I mean, you just can't flow as well when you have something super scripted. So it may take you a couple tries in the beginning to get it right. But remember, these are short videos, you don't have to say a lot in them anyway. So get your bullet points, maybe have somebody in front of you if you really need it, put the notes on your phone, whatever is going to make sense for you. Keep it simple, don't over script.

The second thing we want to think about with our videos, I shouldn't say these are in any particular order. This was just kind of how they came into my brain so I put them down on my paper. But we want to think about lighting. Lighting. If it's too dark. If it's too bright. It's hard for people to see when they're walking Watching on their devices, right? If you're out in the sun and the video is super bright, it's hard to see. The thing for me that's really driving me bonkers that I'm still working on with regards to lighting, if you're watching us on YouTube is the reflection of the camera on my glasses. But I can play with the lighting in my room, if I want to have my overhead light on or not, or lighting in front of me. But really to keep it easy. Just go to and stand in front of a window. Again, most of these are going to be filming on your phone. So it's easy for you to go anywhere, and kind of check it out and play with the lighting. The other thing we want to do here is think about kind of what's in the background. Now I don't get super fussy with what's in my background, it's largely okay, it's a little messy. There's a stack of papers in the back here. But I don't really think about cleaning it up too much. It doesn't need to be sparkly clean every single time. And again, I'm in a wider shot recording podcast episodes than I would be in a if I was just recording directly on my phone. But I did have in my behind me on my left side, I did have like a giant DHL package that had arrived that I sat there well that I moved, because that's bright and yellow, and would have been obvious in your face. So just think about what's in your background. And also from the standpoint of what do you have permission to show and share. So if you're in a public space, obviously, you can show anything, but that doesn't mean that you want to if you're you know, maybe you're at your facility and your adoption, and you're trying to do a video of one of the one of the puppies that's available for adoption, being aware of your surroundings? And are there volunteers in the background that maybe don't want to be on video, like what does all that look like? My don't here is not to let it hold you back. If you've got a great content idea or you're inspired, just record it doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to have the best background or the most engaging situation or the best lighting. Excuse me. Remember that these videos are meant to personally connect and so not having them be perfect. Like I'm not going to cut that coffee out. Even though it might be annoying. I don't cut out all the arms and ahhs like really it's just being real and showing up as a human talking to other humans. In video, we're craving that personal connection. So yes, in the majority of our videos, we want to plan ahead and we want obviously there you can see the DHL package, we want to plan ahead and we want to make sure that we are kind of having purpose to the videos that we're creating and making the most of them as great as possible. But they don't need to be highly professionally produced over the top and perfect in any way.

Okay, the next one in order to kind of help make things happen. And keep moving forward as I love to create templates. So you're probably going to have a variety of different types of videos that you're creating. Some might just be direct to camera, some might be like our podcasts where we pull out audio snippets and turn them into audio Graham's so you might have a variety of things. So for some of those that you know, you are going to have a background for create templates. Canva is a great way to do that, depending on the apps or tools that you're using to put the final touches on your videos, they might have templates built in. But that way you know you can go to Canva, you can pop that video in and you're good to go. Creating those templates ahead of time is really going to help you get things done faster, because you're not trying to recreate the wheel every single time. Now, if you don't want them to all look the same all the time, that's fine, create three or four templates that you can use. So you have options when you go into those final touches on your videos. But creating those templates can be really great. And again, Canva is a great opportunity as nonprofits, you can have Canva Canva Pro for free. And so having all of that preset up makes it easy to upload, it makes it easy for your team to get those elements out the door. What we don't want to do is get boring, right? We don't want to just kind of say okay, well, we're supposed to video, so we're just going to pop it up, it doesn't need to be perfect, or it's gonna pop up everything. Let's do our best to continue to uplevel and continue to work on what we're doing in the quality of what we're putting out, right, the data is going to tell us what our audience likes and doesn't like what they engage with more in what they don't. So when we create these templates, we want to continue to test we don't want to just keep using the same ones all the time, just because that's what's easy. We want to continue to test and refine as our audience lets us know what they like and what they want to engage with.

The next one is yes, we do want to edit. We want to edit for things like just now and we'll see how the Edit goes. Here with this episode. I have company staying at my house and even though I told them I was recording, the dogs had other plans so I had to pause my video for them to come running down and kind of restart and reset I'm totally fine. Normal things like this happen. Kids life we've had power go out in the middle of podcast recordings before. So there is some editing that you will want to do and just to make sure Things are good. Also, if you're including other people in your videos, they may have some things that they don't want in there or things that they want adjusted. Maybe they said something that they wished they would have said differently. Right, either rerecord or edit those out there are going to be things that happen like that. But don't overdo it again, I already said this one time. And as any imperfections, I you know, things that kind of come up, they just make you more of a human you are given. Now, if you're completely stumbling over your words, maybe reshoot, right, it's 30 to 60 seconds. So you don't really have a lot of time to get that in. And again, sometimes it takes time to practice with that, because we get in our own heads, at least I do, I only have 30 seconds to get this out. And so you're right. So just practice, learn your cadence, and you get a lot done in 30 to 60 seconds.

The next one is to create an approval process, we really want to make sure that however your organization approves things that are going out publicly on behalf of brand, that people understand kind of what that flow is, you probably have a social media approval process. But I'd love to see you have one here with video, this is something that a lot of people get nervous with. There's multiple people that might be showing up live to record these videos. And we're gonna get to that in a second. But what, what, who needs to sign off on these to make sure we feel comfortable and it might change over time. So in the beginning there, it might be a little bit more cumbersome, while everybody kind of gets used to it, you get your feet wet. And as you grow, it might become less and less and less. So to somebody need to approve the initial script or the concepts to somebody new approve the final video to somebody to approve it before it goes to edit, what are the steps that need to happen? And how can it be done with the least amount of revisions? So instead of saying, Okay, well, we're just going to create these videos, and we want somebody to review the final that might work in the future. But at the beginning, if that's your process, it might be a struggle, because then you've done all of the work to create the final product, somebody has an editor something that wants they want change, then you have to go all the way back to the beginning. So really talk with your team, see who feels comfortable with what it might be that different materials need to be edited by different departments. And maybe your development team needs to edit things that are related to the fundraising event. But your programs team need to edit things with regards to how you're talking about your after school program, right? Thinking about all of that, in the beginning is going to be really helpful, but don't let it slow you down. So whatever you decide is your approval process, make sure that you're really asking the team, okay, do we really need this? And how far in advance Are you going to need this information so that I can hit my target? As marketers, that is one of the hardest things to control is that yes, we need to create the content. But we also need to understand everybody else's workload and flow so that we can get stuff to you ahead of time, in order for us to still publish when we need to publish and hit our goals. Often, I like to give people two to three weeks, which I know sounds crazy, but we're gonna get into the batching here in a second. And I think that can really help you out. So it's not just about setting up what your plan is. But also making sure that it's not holding you back, and that you're communicating with the rest of your team. Hey, if you want to approve this, it has to be approved by this date, in order for me to do the rest and get things moving. So create your approval process. But don't let it slow you down from getting your video going.

And then like I've been saying, we want to batch do batch your content. And I love when you know exactly the content that you're going to be creating. Again, if you're doing it two months, I usually like to have core themes for the whole month. We know roughly we're going to be posting two FAQs. A month we're going to be posting to behind the scenes with volunteers. We're going to be posting one repurposed reel from the gala video that we just produced, right? All of that is going to continue to flow. Excuse me. So now we know that we can kind of say, Okay, well, our executive director is the one who is going to answer the FAQ questions. So we do two of those a month. So I am going to make sure that I have a recurring meeting on her schedule, once a month for an hour and a half. And we're just going to get those two videos done. And I can do what I need to do when I'm ready. Hold on. Y'all the spring colds, man, they just don't want to go away. Okay, so one meeting once a month with my executive director, I get it done. I'm not hounding her every other week to say, Okay, we got to create a video, we got to create a video, right? Maybe your volunteer coordinator, same thing, hey, one hour, once a month, I need you to be ready to record either with to volunteers or volunteer opportunities. And then at that same meeting, we're going to figure out exactly what we're going to be talking about next month, so that they can prep and prepare, right? So you're not just hitting them the day before. It's like okay, we've got our meetings tomorrow, we got to record some videos, what do you want to talk about? You can kind of really proactively prep for that. Now you're building your bank have content and you could maybe even create two months worth at one time if you wanted to. But you're building that Bank of content that you can utilize to create those reels as you go. Because here's the thing, things will come up Let's say you're doing a capital campaign. And you want to showcase kind of how the progress is going with the build out in, you know, show some behind the scenes stuff, you can't really batch that content, because construction is happening all the time. So you have to be able to go do those things more on an as needed bases. So getting as much batched as possible. That's part of your core themes, then it frees you up to do more of that kind of off the cuff stuff that is happening in real time that you can't pre plan for. And now here's the wind behind that as well. Let's say you're in an event period, where you are finding that you're creating more stuff off the cuff, like sponsorship highlights, and kind of information about the event, things like that, right? That content that you've batched can just be used once you're out of that promo period. So now you've gotten yourself even more ahead of schedule. So now when your post event and you're all tired, and you're exhausted, and you're like, oh, but we still have to post, you have stuff already saved up and ready to go. And you don't have to worry and think about it. So batching is really an incredible opportunity for you to not only save yourself time and effort, but really encourage the people that are on your team that are participating in these videos aren't burdened by the process as well, which I think is really beautiful. And my don't here is don't feel like you need to post in real time. Everything doesn't need to happen in real time. It's real time for us. But remember, these videos are educational, they're adding value. They're putting us out there as thought leaders or thought experts or industry experts. And so they don't need to go in real time. Some will. And stories are great for that Instagram Stories, Facebook stories and whatnot. But do not feel the pressure that I took this video, now I must post it right away. If it's not time sensitive, don't worry about it. You don't even have to post things in the same month, you can reuse things that you created months ago, even. So don't feel the pressure to post in real time.

Now, the other do that I have is use multiple people in your organization. We want to make sure we're building trust with these videos and that we're engaging with multiple people. And different people are going to engage with different things that are part of our organization. So if you're talking about programs, encourage the program director to be part of that, it doesn't mean they need to come up with a content idea. But if they're comfortable on camera, give them the content, have them talk about it. Use your executive director for certain things, board members that need or want to talk about it, people are going to see multiple faces, they're going to see themselves in those faces. This is a great way to encourage diversity and showing up how your organization shows up. And really showcasing that through video through the different people on your team. So definitely do use different people and make that part of your approval process. Don't force people to be on video, if they're not comfortable, they might come around to it. But don't make them do it. If your executive director is like this is not my jam, that's fine, that people are not going to be like, Oh, we've never seen their face. But use the people that are really comfortable in the roles that makes sense for the content of the video. And really kind of showcase your brand and your organization as a whole.

Okay, and most importantly, have fun with it. Think about your brand, think about the videos that you're seeing that are out there, the trends that are happening, no, you don't need to do them all. But if they make sense for your organization, do it. There's a dance that's out there right now. And I saw a woman do one with she's a dog trainer. And so she did the same dance with her dog. So she made it fun, but also was showcasing her training abilities, and how she works with animals. So there's lots of ways that you can be creative with these themes and still keep them on brand. So we want to have fun with our videos, get personal, get engaging. And my I don't have adult with to have fun, because we're just going to have fun.

But my final final final is take it slow. do start with kind of one or two videos at a time. Do start with really setting your foundation and your core. Don't put the pressure on yourself to do all of the videos all at once. I'm gearing myself up to do a 30 day real challenge where you post a real every single day. Just I'm excited kind of try it out and push myself. I would not recommend that if you're just getting started because you don't want to set yourself up for failure. But the point is just get started. Make a plan. Say I'm going to do one real week or I'm going to do two reels a week and get them published, get them organized. I'm going to set up my core strategy and I'm going to get my team in place and onboard right, roll it out over time, expand and grow and you'll have a great video strategy that's going to really help you engage and interact with your audience.

Okay, I hope you found these do's and don'ts helpful. It's helpful for me to remind myself to write them down as we are gearing up to create more video but I thank you so much for listening to this episode all the disruption And my cold, all of the things y'all are amazing and I'm so excited to continue to work through this month of video. Don't forget to head over to thefirstclick.net/resources to snag that video freebie for donor stewardship, and head on over to thefirstclick.net/253 to grab the link to the other episode we talked about with creating content ideas, as well as any other resources that we think might be helpful for you in this episode. Thank you so much for listening, wherever you stream, your podcasts or on YouTube. And while you're there, why don't you just hit that subscribe button for me please so that you don't miss out on a single episode. And if you wouldn't mind leaving me a review, that's even better. We're trying to get this podcast out to as many nonprofits that could use the support that we're offering here and just thank you for taking that little extra minute to help us out for now. We'll see you in the next one.

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