If you’ve decided to create and promote a video message for a cause you care about, consider taking the next step besides turning the camera on and saying, “go live.”
I participated in the Church World Service (CWS) Ration Challenge in 2019 and 2021. The Ration Challenge involves eating the same rations as a Syrian refugee at a camp in Jordan for a week, and using the experience to raise funds for CWS.
Both years, I went live on social media to do an “unboxing” of my rations.
In 2021, I got help with my video from Digimentors. What a difference it made!
Although I didn’t personally prepare as well as I could have (which is all on me), there are many features of this video that demonstrate what a great job Digimentors does for all of its clients.
Here’s the 2021 video:
This video is superior to the one I did in 2019 without help in several key ways.
It starts with an attractive, informational graphic
The entire video has branding specific to my message
It has a “lower third” with my name, pronouns and Twitter handle
It has a scrolling ticker with my fundraising link
It seamlessly incorporates a video that provides compelling detail about the cause
It adds in social media comments in (nearly) real-time
It adds in graphics that provide additional information about the impact of giving
The live video was made using the StreamYard platform (which I also recommend). I streamed to Facebook and Twitter simultaneously.
I have a few other things to say about this experience, but first I want to share the 2019 version for comparison.
What differences do you see?
Why using Digimentors made a difference
I have thought often since making this video on June 10 about what a great testimony it is to the work Digimentors does, and the potential for people who have been considering getting help with their own videos.
As I mentioned before, this was put together essentially “on the fly,” so just imagine if the presenter — in this case, me — were more prepared and had given Digimentors lead time, how the quality could have been even more stellar!
There were a few things Neil Parekh, Digimentors Vice President of Events and Communications, did behind the scenes that speak to the quality of his work (which I have personally observed in every Digimentors event) and to the approach of Digimentors, via co-founders Sree Sreenivasan and Andrew Lih, in general.
- Whereas I had said, “I just need someone to push the buttons behind the scenes,” thinking it may take maybe half an hour, Neil wisely said, “We need to schedule an hour and a half — there will be prep.” (Side note: I have seen the type of speaker prep Digimentors does time and again. Nothing is left to chance. This has spoiled me for every other virtual presentation I have seen — it is so obvious when no one, for example, told the speaker to look at the webcam and not the screen. It makes a difference. (And I know my eyes were darting all over the place — I had my notes physically taped to my screen — something I would do differently in the future … there’s always room for improvement!)
- Neil and I had not had an opportunity to work together on the graphics prior to the time we had allotted to go live. I am the kind of person who needs to set up all my graphics in advance. Neil was in Canva, creating graphics at the same time we were preparing to go live. And trust me, I didn’t give him a lot to work with.
- It was a little challenging to sign in to Facebook via StreamYard and guess who didn’t know her own Facebook password? (Sigh) Even though it was taking even more time, Neil was patient and calm — it was going to take more than a forgotten password to bring this operation down!
- Not that I knew I needed it, but I got some great advice about fundraising via social media, owing to Neil’s professional experience. I was not planning on making my ask for donations until AFTER the CWS video featuring the Syrian refugees, which occurs two minutes into my unboxing. He reminded me how easy it is to lose people, and encouraged me to make my ask multiple times, including before the CWS video.
The power of video
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text, according to Insivia (and many other sources I’ve read).
I can’t say that I raised more money in 2021 ($1,503) than in 2019 ($645) by having a better video, but it certainly can’t have hurt! (…and I can say I used essentially the same fundraising strategy both years.)
Maybe you think you can’t afford professional video…
If you are considering getting help with your event — whether it’s small or gigantic, don’t toss the idea away! I work with the Digimentors team every Sunday to help produce the #NYTReadalong, and I have been on the production team for relatively smaller happenings (book launches, etc.) and much bigger virtual productions*. Digimentors has also produced weddings and at least one bar mitzvah all the way through large corporate events.
It’s worth asking. What do you have to lose?
Get more information about Digimentors at their website or by emailing email@example.com.
*Disclosure: I am compensated for some of my Digimentors work and the bulk of it is on a volunteer basis. There is a modest referral fee if I refer a client, but I am seriously sharing this as my candid, unvarnished, enthusiastic opinion.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
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