Animals always reign supreme on the internet. Whether it’s videos from publishers like The Dodo, ever-popular animal memes, or videos of cute critters with millions of views on YouTube, people are captivated by animals.
At Animoto, we see a lot of nonprofits using our product to share their story on Facebook with video. Many of these nonprofits are unsurprisingly animal shelters and sanctuaries. Here are some of the ways these animal protectors use video to stand out in the news feed and raise serious money.
Berkshire Humane Society is a community-supported shelter that serves Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and they hired Mary McGurn, a marketing consultant, to help expand their presence on social media.
Due to video’s popularity on Facebook, Mary started creating short video biographies for Berkshire Humane Society in Animoto. She posts them Facebook page to promote the dogs and cats the shelter has available for adoption. Her videos get an average two-to-six thousand organic views and have resulted in numerous rescue pets getting adopted.
Because she’s produces the shelter’s videos on a weekly basis, Mary relies on the quick turnaround time Animoto gives her to adapt her existing videos to new cats and dogs. Her system is so fast and effective, in fact, that we asked Mary if we could use one of her pet profiles as a storyboard in Animoto, so other animal shelters could tap into her success.
That speed also came in handy when the Berkshire Humane Society’s water heater broke in early February 2017. The animal shelter had to find a way to raise $21,000 to replace it or be unable to house the many animals living in their shelter.
To help earn what Berkshire Humane Society needed to make repairs, Mary decided to couple Facebook’s peer-to-peer fundraising functionality with an Animoto video. Peer-to-peer fundraising encourages supporters of that non-profit to share the fundraising campaign on their personal Facebook page. Some people have even used this feature on their birthday in lieu of asking for presents and virtual birthday emojis.
The campaign was a huge success, and Mary was able to raise all of the $21,000 needed to replace the water heater.
As of this date, Project Chimps has posted 91 videos on Facebook in 2017, and with good reason. Their weekly videos have generated tens of thousands of reactions and hundreds of shares on Facebook.
The organization tries to keep the content timely and focused on the chimps’ personalities, as they do in the video below, showing how the sanctuary’s chimps reacted to this year’s solar eclipse, and like Berkshire Humane Society, Project Chimps relies on Animoto’s easy-to-use interface and dexterity to get keep up their weekly schedule.
Ali Crumpacker, the Executive Director of Project Chimps, shared, “As a sanctuary, we are not open to the public the way a zoo would be, and we want to share this experience with as many people as we can. Videos posted on social media are the avenue that has provided unlimited access for the world to be able to connect with our closest cousins…”
Square takes up 78% more real estate in your audience’s newsfeed, and The Jane Goodall Institute took advantage of that extra Facebook real estate to connect with donors, testing a square video made in Animoto. In the end, the square video proved to be more successful, with 2 times more likes, and 3 times more shares than their past landscape video efforts.
If you’re looking to build a video strategy for your non-profit, here are some tips you can takeaway from Berkshire Humane Society, Project Chimps, and The Jane Goodall Institute:
1. Be consistent: Posting share-worthy videos on a regular basis allows your nonprofit to maintain a conversation with your audience.
2. Don’t obsess about image or video quality: Most of the non-profits listed above shoot their video clips shot on mobile, and you can, too. Check out a few of our video tutorials on our Facebook page, including this one for shooting video of pets to help you get started.
3. Get the message across with text: Make sure you are including text in your videos since so many videos on Facebook are viewed with sound off due to mobile viewing.
4. Optimize for mobile: Speaking of mobile, stick to square videos, since they are a mobile-friendly format and take up more screen space (without causing people to tilt their phones to view it).
But maybe the biggest lesson for animal shelters and sanctuaries is to leverage animals’ stories and personalities to build awareness. Regularly posting videos on Facebook helps grab attention, generate brand awareness, and win over hearts of potential donors.
Want to start sharing videos for your non-profit for animals? Both Berkshire Humane Society and The Jane Goodall Institute are featured as storyboards in Animoto Marketing. Give them a try as you work to develop a video strategy for your non-profit.