How to make a GREAT campaign video

Campaigns with videos are shown to have a higher success rate that those without. But having a stand-out video is what separates you from the campaign that’s competing for the same support from the same group of potential supporters. While there are many different ways to make a rockin’ video, there are some definitive qualities and good video should have.

Content of your video:

If you are working on making your pitch video, keep in mind it should tell your story as if you were telling a friend your story. Be sure to introduce the team behind the campaign and establish some trust between the team and the audience. Feel free to share a little bit of background and/or prior related work, how you came about this idea, and what you plan on doing with the funding.

Remember, the more details you provide, the more likely supporters are to get excited, trust you, and give you their money! Do share how the campaign works: what kind of work you do and how you go about it. However, be aware of becoming a boring video with too much information — people never watch those in full and such a video can actually hurt your campaign.

After telling the audience a bit about the background of the campaign, you can also mention how much you’ve accomplished so far. This will help supporters see that you have made progress and their contribution can and will help push you towards your end goal. This is when you can mention your schedule and tell them when you plan on reaching your campaign goal. If this is your general video, you can keep the details of the schedule brief and to the point. Just make sure you mention the big goals (ie tipping points) and when you wish to reach them. Remind your audience that their support will make a big difference; not only will they help the campaign reach its end goal, but they will also be supporting a great cause! End your video with a call-to-action. This is a direct statement that asks people to take action, to do something. You can ask them to contribute and support your campaign, or to share and spread the word, or for whatever else you would like your supporters help with.

Style of your video:

Remember to have fun while making your video! There are many ways to spice up the campaign video, from the video type/genre you choose to the music and tone you set. As for some styling tips, consider some of these ideas:

  • Adding captions, subtitles, and even links
    Captions and subtitles help people understand and retain what you have to say. It can also help them get involved more easily with your project since they can see the spelling or link to your campaign. Both seeing and hearing what you have to say will stick better than just hearing what you have to say.
  • Tone
    Choose and set the tone of your video to match that of your campaigns! This means choose a tone that resembles who you see as your supporters, or a tone that represents the campaign team. If the project is serious, use a serious tone. If it’s light hearted and funny, go with a more comical tone! You get the idea.
  • Music choices
    Background music can enhance videos. If you pick the right song, it can enhance the tone you are trying to set and make your video more enjoyable. Be aware of having the music be too loud or too sharp and intrusive (not fitting of the video).
  • Creativity
    Absolutely take on a creative approach! This can range from the genre and lens you choose to shoot your video in to the different visuals you include in your actual video. Visuals wise, you can consider including gifs, graphs, etc. As for the video genre or point of view, if you can think of a lens to shoot your video that you think is unique and fitting to your campaign, go for it! This will help your video stand out amongst other campaign videos. Remember there are many type/genres of video formats you can use!
  • Be energetic and interesting
    Your energy and passion will influence that of your audience and supporters. Find ways to be unpredictable so you can wow your viewers. If your cause is something that many other people are helping with their own campaigns, find a new light to represent your cause. By showing your audience why your campaign is more worthy of their support, you will distinguish yourself from others.

As for the video shooting itself,

  • Video and audio quality are important
    Shoot with a tripod or steady hand to ensure a stable video. Make sure audio is clear. For good lighting, try shooting outdoors during the day! You could also do some editing afterwards.
  • Have a plan
    Have a rough plan of what you want to say and when you want to say it in your video. This will save you time and energy in the long run. Don’t just wing it completely as that almost always turns out badly the first time.

6 things to keep in mind for a great video are:

  • Shoot your video in high definition
    Good quality will make the video more legitimate, trustworthy, and easier on the eyes of the viewers/supporters.
  • Center your video around your story and passion, not the “sale”.
    Show them why you care about this social issue and why they should care too. Don’t focus too much on asking for monetary donations.
  • Get to the point in the first 10 seconds
    Research shows that if videos don’t capture the viewer’s interest within the first 10 seconds, the video is not effective as people will exit out of the page or click on something else.
  • Use teasers to hook their attention!
    Your video should immediately answer the “why should I watch this” question on your audience’s mind.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
    Videos with the greatest engagement are between 2 to 2.5 (max 3) minutes. The shorter the video, the more likely people are to watch the whole thing.
  • Be real, honest, and personal.
    Supporters are more likely to contribute when they can connect with the cause or team behind the cause. Make sure to be honest and show who your team is and what you are about. Be charismatic and try to build a personal connection.

After you shoot your video, make the content easily reachable. Share it across your social media platforms. Perhaps upload it onto more than one video sharing platform as well (such as Youtube and Vimeo). Also make it easily shareable! Your audience can pass on your campaign video to their network, and their network can pass it on to even more people. Include sharing links to your campaign site and to your video in obvious places. Don’t make people have to look for links.

When it comes to video for SEO, descriptions are everything. Use many relevant keywords and tags so that Google’s search engine makes sense of your video and understands what your video is about. Have a fully explained description with unique titles.

There are a lot of ways to make your campaign or pitch video spectacular. Besides these tips, there are many other ones that you can find with a quick Google search. My advice is to take all this into consideration, and watch a lot of successful campaign videos to inspire you! Watching other videos can help you create your own so that you can share your story, passion, and social cause with the world.

Writer: Amanda Lee, a growth intern at StartSomeGood. She desires to improve her understanding and skills in marketing.