Note from Beth: Michael Hoffman recently presented a webinar filled with useful information for nonprofits about how to make the most of their YouTube presence. I'm honored to republish his post which includes his slide deck. It's packed with lots of practical information and tips.
Here's my webinar about how nonprofits can use YouTube effectively. This issue has become much more important than it once was. When YouTube first started, all of 4 years ago, the quality of the video was bad, the audience wasn’t so huge and messages about changing the world just seemed totally out of place amid the poor amateur video that was appearing on the site.
My, how the world changes quickly. YouTube has improved so much in the past few years that looking at the early version would be hardly recognizable. The changes are too numerous to mention but the quality has improved, user control has improved and what people expect to find on YouTube and how they interact with it has also changed.
I have pasted my entire 1-hour webinar below. It has both audio and the slidedeck and I was told it was quite packed with useful info.
If I had to choose a few key takeaways, this is what I would tell you:
1. Search is critical. Not only are YouTube videos showing up in Google first-page results, but YouTube itself has become a top destination for searches. So if you don’t have YouTube videos for your key search terms you are missing out. YouTube is now a CENTRAL part of an effective SEO strategy.
2. The YouTube Nonprofit Program is The Bomb. If you are a US or UK registered nonprofit, and you are not religious or political in nature, apply for the YouTube Nonprofit Program, today. Right now. It gives amazing benefits to nonprofits in terms of branding and functionality.
3. The best part of the YouTube Nonprofit Program is linkable annotations—the ability to put links, anywhere in a video, that actually go to your website. “Donate Now”, or “Sign the Petition” become links that really work. Finally, YouTube has the potential to drive engagement. (You can watch how this works here).
4. No excuses. Even if you don’t have a budget and are stressed for time you can create a channel on YouTube and put videos in it. You can use existing video assets, repurposed video assets and make simple videos using a Flip Video camera or other low-cost consumer product.
5. Spend some time browsing nonprofit videos for ideas about what you can do. Most likely you will come across something with a style or tone that you think is perfectly appropriate for your message. Flatter them and copy their approach.
6. Fill your YouTube Channel with Favorites from complimentary organizations. There are great videos already online that speak to your message. Leverage those also. With the new YouTube channel designs, you can use these as a playlist on your channel.
Michael Hoffman is the CEO of See3 Communications and an expert in online video for nonprofits. Michael is a regular guest blogger. Recently, he published a piece called "Viral to Whom? Rethinking Nonprofit Video" and "Youtube's Game Changing Annotation Feature for Nonprofits."