3 Common Mistakes Nonprofits Make When Creating Videos

Mistake 1: Making Your Video about You, Rather than About the People You Serve 

Of course it's great to give a brief background on your organisation and perhaps even a flavour of the human faces behind the names. But ultimately, the videos that really succeed are the ones that strive to tell a story about the people that your organisation helps. Even better is if you can create a video / fashion a narrative that captures the essence of how your organisation helps these people.

The key here is the demonstrate why your organisation is worthy of receiving public support - and generally speaking, the public does not get inspired by videos about organisations. Rather, the public wants to be inspired by videos about people helping other people...

Mistake 2: Forgetting to Include a Call-to-Action in Your Video 

This is a simple mistake to make and usually is the result of focusing so heavily on the short visual story you are trying to tell that, in the process you forget the practical things you should also include (typically at the end of your video).

For example, if you want viewers to take a specific action (e.g. to vote for your video in the Better Together video competition), then you will need to include a slide / on-screen message that delivers that information in a concise and clear way. Similarly, it's always a good idea to include your website address / phone number (if relevant) at the end of your video. In short, don't make it difficult for viewers to find out more!

Mistake 3: Using Pop Music As a Soundtrack without Permission

Another very tempting thing to do when finishing off your video is to add a rocking soundtrack that will make it so much more attractive and compelling. The only downside with that however is that, one day you may find that your video has been banned / removed from Youtube (or other video hosting websites) due to violating licensing laws on the use of copyrighted music. For this reason it's a risk to use unlicensed music in your video and it's something that you will have to weigh up the pros and cons of for yourself.

There are however plenty of free music sample websites out there, where you can grab some soundtrack tunes to drop into your video without having to worry about the possibility of them being removed from Youtube at a later date because of licensing issues. There's no denying the fact that these music samples are not exactly on a par with your favourite classic rock albums, but they may nevertheless be the safer choice when it comes to adding music to your videos. 

You can access a selection of license-free music sources via the following website: http://creativecommons.org/legalmusicforvideos

More Assistance

Visit the Better Together Video Making 101 webpage for lots more guidance on creating a smart and compelling video (including a free downloadable guide).