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Common questions to ask when making a video


Often, when we work with customers to plan an upcoming giving day, or to develop a plan for crowdfunding project success, it doesn’t take too long before the question ‘What about a video?’ is asked.

Videos are a must for any digital giving or engagement campaign. They have an emotional edge that can capture the passion and the ‘why’ behind your campaign much better than pen to paper ever could. They’re also incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes.

We’ve put together a few tips and suggestions in answer to some of the most common questions we’re asked about creating great video content.

Q: How many, is too many?

A: When it comes to video, there’s no such thing as having too many. Whether you use them to promote an upcoming giving day, encourage giving to specific projects, keep donors updated on the progress of a crowdfunding project, promote ambassador sign-ups or to thank your donors once a giving day is over,  there are so many ways to use video within your digital campaigns and appeals. Maintaining a healthy collection of media can also help to keep your content fresh and exciting.

During their first-ever Giving Day, the Royal Grammar School, Guildford used a carefully curated collection of videos to convey a variety of messages - each of which has its own impact on the day’s overall success. The videos RGS used connected their audience to the ‘why’ behind the campaign, as well as connecting former students, current and former parents, and staff to the nostalgic feelings they shared as a connected community.

Q: Do we need to worry about quality?

A: There is a time and place for videos that vary in their quality. Here are a few ways that you can use videos that may differ in their production value.

High quality: If your digital campaign includes something like a launch event or an opportunity where you have a captive audience who you want to ‘WOW’, a video that’s powerful and slick can go a long way towards conveying the exact message you want the audience to personally connect with.

Tip: Consider putting time and budget aside for creating a video that has wow-factor. Work with a professional videographer who understands your vision, and who will work with you to get the video of your dreams.

Example - QUT Giving Day 2019 Main Video - watch here

Middle of the road: When you’re running smaller digital campaigns, something like a crowdfunding project perhaps, a personal video from the project creator or project team can go a long way towards connecting a wide audience to the personal passions behind a project.

Tip: A lesser quality video still requires time to plan and create an excellent story, however, if budget isn’t on your side, consider partnering with student groups who may be interested in producing your video for a smaller cost than a professional (or maybe they’ll even help for free!). You get a great video, and they get content for their portfolio.

Example: University of Southampton Crowdfunding Project - watch here

Cheap and cheerful: Videos that are more authentic, where the content is captured in the moment are great for social media. These could be used in social posts to update supporters on the latest successes of your digital campaign or as a way of conveying shorter messages that have a clear call to action, such as making a gift on Giving Day.

How to: Always be ready to capture moments on video. If you are running something like a giving day, make space in your social media content plan for both planned and ad-hoc videos that can be used on your chosen channels throughout the day. Then, grab a selfie stick and look out for those social media moments that your followers will love, like, and share.

Example: UQ Giving Day 2019, Facebook Social Share Video - watch here

Some videos, depending on their message and purpose, will suit different channels. Professional quality videos that talk about your campaigns overarching case for support are great as a feature on your website. However, videos which are shorter and might be supporting content to a larger campaign are ideal for social media - keeping followers engaged and up to date with campaign progress.

Q: Who should we ask to be involved?

A: One of the most powerful things about video is the ability to tell one story or to share a single message, from the perspective of many different people. While on the surface, adding variety to those who help tell your story can break up the content, there is a deeper reason to add variety to the personas used in your videos - and that’s to connect with your audience.

One person that resonates with one audience, may not resonate with another. For example, having a parent, alumnus and a well-known member of staff featured throughout your video can connect a much wider audience to your campaign than a video that features only the parent, alumnus or staff member individually. If digital campaigns are a numbers game, and engagement is key, videos that help you to reach and connect with the widest possible audience can be hugely important to their success.

Tip: Bringing people together for one video involves a lot of planning. Make sure you create a storyboard for your video and that you allow more than enough time to work with everyone’s schedules to get the footage you need. Often, scheduling a video shoot for a weekend will allow you to have more dedicated time from your presenters. Rather than asking them to squeeze in an hour during an already busy day.

If you’re looking for more great examples from other institutions and organisations who have used video to increase engagement, head on over to our Youtube channel. Whether you’re after content related to giving days, crowdfunding, ambassador promotion or inspirational storytelling, you’ll find dedicated libraries comprised of our favourite giving and engagement videos. Once there, don’t forget to subscribe!

Oh - we almost forgot! Also check out the video below for more tips and ideas for creating great video content.


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