Smart, High-quality Content Leads to More Engaged Supporters

For years I’ve been preaching to audiences far and wide that “quality counts!” when producing online video. And for years, audiences have been pointing me toward videos that are grainy, hard to see, and even more difficult to comprehend …and those videos often earn tens of millions of YouTube views. Case in point, is the following viral sensation “Charlie Schmidt’s Keyboard Cat”:

Yes, quirky videos sometimes find their way to Internet stardom. But that doesn’t mean you should forego any investment in developing good online content – that includes written and photographic content, along with video. Because first of all, we are an increasingly savvy group of Internet content viewers who expect more thanks to several years worth of high definition videos on sites like Vimeo and YouTube, plus countless slide shows and photo galleries with breathtakingly beautiful imagery.

Beyond the allure of pretty or cool images, is the point that well-produced, high-quality content does an amazing job of telling the story of your organization and its culture …AND has the potential of going viral while accomplishing those goals. Case in point #2 is this wonderful piece from the Cleveland Clinic that (gently) leads viewers to associate empathy with the Cleveland Clinic. Take a few minutes and watch the video below. Be sure you grab a tissue or two first…

Consistently producing powerful, moving, funny, endearing, and high-quality content connects you on an emotional level to your biggest supporters. Your biggest supporters then share that content with their networks, enlisting new supporters and new donors for your organization. That’s not opinion, it’s a fact. Thanks to this amazing study from Georgetown University and Waggener Edstrom, we now know that social media is by far the #1 way supporters find out about and support new causes if those supporters are even remotely engaged online. And since more than half of America is on Facebook alone, people who are engaged online make up a strong majority of the public.

YouTube_LogoThe moral of the story? Invest in good content. Ideally, you’re able to hire someone who can lead the charge in managing daily online and social media conversation, in addition to producing quality, visual content. The best case scenario is that person can also build and lead an online and social media strategy for your organization. With how much we’re starting to learn about the value of a strong online and social media presence, having a good, well-rounded communicator on board who is also a content producer is one the best investments your organization can make when it comes to building for the future.

Justin Ware is a fundraising consultant who specializes in online and social media engagement at Bentz Whaley Flessner. To contact Justin, click here.

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