The shear volume of videos and views on YouTube makes it an obvious choice for posting videos as opposed to other video hosting sites that offer similar features. However, it also creates a incredibly crowded marketplace, which is often difficult to crack. Many nonprofits and foundations want to create the next "viral video," but with an oversaturated market, this may not be the best strategy?
Let's look briefly at the kind of videos that go "viral." In general, the most popular videos on YouTube contain either animals, babies, sexuality, violence, celebrities or a combination of those elements.
The top 10 YouTube videos of all time are a good indication of the trends. The top four videos are all music videos with global celebrities, each with over 300,000,000 views. The fifth most viewed video of all time? “Charlie Bit My Finger Again,” featuring a baby who bit his brother's hand.
Does this mean that everyone should hire Justin Beiber and a baby to star in their next video? Probably not. Most nonprofits and foundations would be better served with a more narrowcasting strategy.
You don't need everyone and their mother to watch your video anymore to be effective, you need your target audience to watch your material.
Video success will be better served when we stop hyper-focusing on total views and begin to look more into what we want the videos to accomplish.
Are you looking for more traffic on your site or engagement in a campaign? Videos that are targeted for a specific audience with clear, measurable goals in mind can be more effective than a million people watching and ignoring your next viral video featuring a cat riding a motorcycle on top of a dramatic chipmunk.
Infographic videos are an emerging trend online. They take a data laden subject and illustrate it using graphics, text and symbols, weaving each piece of information together into a story that can often be quite moving. In the same way that a graph makes trends and other information more apparent, infographic videos help people see the connection between different data points.
Check out our animated infographic video we created for our client, The MasterCard Foundation. This video tells the story of what the impact will be of the foundation’s $4.5 million grant to Haiti’s largest microfinance provider Fonkoze. This grant will help them to restore their destroyed headquarters and enable its poorest clients – mostly women in rural areas – to build new livelihoods after the devastating earthquake.
Video is a perfect example of a portable content – quick and interesting stories and visuals that are easily shared across social networks. The video allowed us to reach an audience of foundation partners, friends and people interested in Haiti’s recovery in a way that even your most compellingly written press release could never do. The video was shared widely on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.