Website video – how to

Create short videos to liven up your website.  Most videos should be 6-20 seconds long.  Videos that fill a specific need can be longer (e.g. training, post-event thank you).  Consider topics such as:images-2

  • virtual tour of your site
  • client stories showing both before and after
  • interesting information about your cause
  • welcome from your Executive Director

Tips to consider before filming:

  • be honest in the videos and let the emotions show
  • keep each video short, avoid long introductions.  Say what you want to say in the first 6 seconds.
  • be memorable, avoid paying it safe
  • real people in real situations showing their uniqueness, minimize formal scripts
  • be prepared to reshoot scenes until you get it right, but not so often your subjects lose their spontaneity.  A few rough edges make the video look real.  Establish a general “points to discuss” a few days prior to filming to allow your actors to practise.
  • “actors” should relax and stay natural and speak like they would normally speak.  Focus on their head and what words they are saying, minimize arm or hand movements because it will be distracting (consider asking them to sit on their hands).
  • actors should wear non-distracting clothes, e.g. a simple shirtcollar, minimal jewellery, no logos, no labels showing, no skin, long sleeves, high neck, plain colours (no stripes or patterns), something that looks pressed and won’t show wrinkles or sweat.  Prepare them for filming head-shoulders vs all-body.
  • minimize background noise and background distractions.  Before filming, check that everything in the background is appropriate for the video.  If filming inside, consider bringing a portable light source.  If filming outside, avoid direct sunlight.
  • always add an introductory slide and a closing slide with your web address.
  • add descriptive “key words” in the title to make it easier for search engines to find your video.
  • create a Youtube account for your nonprofit.  Consider applying to join the YouTube Nonprofit Program so you can add a Donate button to your site and you can rank higher in search listings.
  • to find a volunteer videographer, see volunteer job description.  To produce a video with simple “head shot” may cost $500; a video with special effects may cost $2,000.
Suggested Reading:  The Viral Video Manifesto, Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe, available from libraries.