Helpful Articles

Mary is a freelance video producer in Seattle. She creates videos for you that help your business or nonprofit grow. Visit her LinkedIn page, and see her videos on Vimeo. You can reach her at Mary@MaryJPeterson.com.

A collection of tips to help you be a great communicator. Video production, social media, marketing, and the art and science of communication.

What’s the ROI on your nonprofit’s video?

Posted by on 10:55 am in Blog | Comments Off on What’s the ROI on your nonprofit’s video?

Wow – a very helpful study by Edelman, YouTube’s Nonprofit Program and See 3. The report is filled with tips and strategies. Highlights: • Biggest discovery was how many nonprofits fail to measure effectiveness. The two most important things your organization can do when producing videos: (1) Define a clear, attainable goal. (2) Measure how and if it reaches that goal. • Your best metric might not be number of views, but how many viewers move from viewing to donating. • Although many nonprofits think the best place to post videos is...

read more

How to judge if a video works

Posted by on 12:05 pm in Blog | Comments Off on How to judge if a video works

I collected notes written by judges when CASE had their reviews online. Every year they judge videos produced for college fundraising and recruitment. There’s much to learn from their critiques. Contest winners had much in common: • Good stories, simply told. The most powerful thing you can do. Humanize with engaging stories. Connect with a narrative thread. • People talking on camera were natural, warm, open and showed passion. They were engaging and full of energy. • Focused on people who benefited from donations. • Sparse narration....

read more

Nonprofit trends for 2013

Posted by on 2:23 pm in Blog | Comments Off on Nonprofit trends for 2013

Nonprofit trends for 2013

How is your nonprofit doing as we close in on the halfway mark for 2013? The Nonprofit Marketing Guide website created a fascinating infographic about trends. How does your nonprofit compare with the results from their survey? • Social media is starting to edge out email for marketing. • For social media, nonprofits are using mostly on Facebook (94%), then Twitter (62%) and YouTube (42%). • Some 76% of nonprofits email appeals at least monthly. The average nonprofit sends direct mail quarterly. • Nonprofit communicators focus most of their...

read more

Using video in your social media campaigns

Posted by on 8:01 am in Blog | Comments Off on Using video in your social media campaigns

Using video in your social media campaigns

Some lessons from an infographic compiled by Video Explainers… Celebrities do not guarantee engagement. Videos produce the best click-through rates. What’s the best length for videos on the web? Short and sweet. You have under 15 seconds to hook your audience. For your website, consider a couple very short videos along with a longer piece with some more substance. And by longer, it’s best to stay under three minutes when on the web. You could go longer than three minutes when you have a captive audience at a meeting or...

read more

Why use stories in your videos?

Posted by on 11:22 am in Blog | Comments Off on Why use stories in your videos?

Why use stories in your videos?

• You may be tempted to just get the facts out about your cause. But it’s stories that make us care. • Our minds process information best when it’s in story form. We remember what we see and hear when it’s told as a story. No matter what you are saying, build from a beginning to a middle to an ending. • We are social beings. We mirror others. Seeing someone take an action has a much greater impact on us than having someone just talk about the action. • Use stories at all levels of your communication with donors and...

read more

Favorite books about strategic communications

Posted by on 2:19 pm in Blog | Comments Off on Favorite books about strategic communications

Favorite books about strategic communications

Some favorites I keep going back to: “Made to Stick,” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I wish everyone launching a video project would first read this book. “Presenting to Win,” by Jerry Weissman. Book recommended by Tom Ahern, the guru of writing for nonprofits. Jerry coached leaders in top companies to use the art of storytelling when making business presentations, and they had amazing results. “The Lost Art of the Great Speech,” by Richard Dowis. How to write speeches, and deliver them. Great advice you can...

read more

10 Quick Tips for the Best Videos

Posted by on 1:48 pm in Blog | Comments Off on 10 Quick Tips for the Best Videos

10 Quick Tips for the Best Videos

1. Plan! Lay a good foundation. Know your goals. 2. Know your audience. What moves them? 3. Be a good a student. Learn what works in video, and what doesn’t. 4. Video is not like print. It’s a slice of life. It should flow like a conversation with a friend. 5. Don’t judge a script by reading it. Your viewers won’t be reading it. They’ll be watching and listening. Have someone read the script aloud to you. Or you can have your computer read it to you. On my Mac, I highlight the narration text and hit the T button,...

read more