10 Tips To Improve Your Nonprofits Youtube Channel

May 15, 2020 | Social Media

Olivia Warnes

by Olivia Warnes

An effective Youtube channel can help you spread your nonprofit’s message and increase donations. 

Nonprofit KPI Analytics

Connect with Youtube’s 1.5 Billion monthly users!

Youtube is a massive platform, it’s now the second largest search engine and is the fastest growing video sharing website in the world. 

Your nonprofits digital marketing efforts should definitely include Youtube as it’s potential to increase outreach and donations is huge.  Understandably, a lot of nonprofits struggle with this, as youtube seems to fall in a grey area between a search engine and a social media platform, with its own set of rules and opportunities.

This post will provide you with the key tips on what you need to do to have an effective Youtube channel that suits your nonprofit.

Instagram Image Nonprofit

10. Maximise SEO through tags and titles

Just as you would optimise articles to be found in search engines like Google, you need to optimise your videos to rank highly in youtube searches.

To do this you need to decide on relevant keywords and make sure these are included in your video file name and video title on youtube.

Use tags wisely, these are what Youtube uses to determine what your video is about and what other videos it’s related to. Include relevant tags, with the most relevant being first, and make sure not to choose too many as if it appears as though you’re using irrelevant tags just to get your video noticed, you will be penalised.

Finally, remember to categorise your video, it’s another way to link your video to related content so it shows up in playlists and ‘watch next’ suggestions.


9. Use your nonprofits logo/icon as your profile picture (and design your channel to match it)

Your channel, like your other social media accounts, should look professional and branded. To ensure people associate your channel with your nonprofit and view it as a reliable source for information, make your nonprofits icon your profile picture. This will appear underneath all your videos when they are being watched and at the top of your channel page.

Along with this, your whole channel (profile picture, banner etc.) need to seem cohesive and relate directly to your cause. Try to follow the colour scheme of your icon, you could include a picture relating to your cause in your banner but keep it simple.

Here are two nonprofits demonstrating simple and effective ways to make your Youtube channel look professional and recognisable.


8. Keep channel description short and to the point

Youtube is a video sharing platform, viewers, in general, don’t want to read a long description of your channel or videos.

Keep it short and powerful. Limit yourself to a few sentences sharing your mission statement and maybe a brief idea of when you will be posting videos. Any more information than that likely won’t be read and will just look like an unnecessary block of text.

The real intro to your channel, where you really set out what you’re all about, is your channel trailer. It gives viewers the information they need about your channel in the format they game for.


7. Have a channel trailer

A channel trailer is a video that is ‘pinned’ to the top of your channel, and will automatically play when a viewer opens your channel page.

First impressions matter. A channel trailer is the first thing a person will see when they get to your channel, and it could make the difference between them moving on or subscribing to your channel and, eventually, donating.

Put as much effort into your trailer as you would for a video campaign. Make sure it reflects your nonprofit, your values, cause, what kind of content you will be posting and how regularly you will post.

Child protection charity Thorn created a powerful trailer for their channel that perfectly captured their mission, check it out to inspire yours.

Many nonprofits don’t make an explicit ‘trailer’ to fill this role, and instead, choose one of their videos that best reflects their cause or their current campaign. WWF took this road, choosing the powerful ‘How to save our planet’ video to represent their channel.


Nonprofit KPI Analytics

6. Aim to be featured on Youtubes Social Impact channel

Youtube’s social impact channel features videos from nonprofits and individuals working for social good.  With 22,072,294 total views, this is a huge platform to increase your nonprofit’s outreach and get more donations.

To get featured, work hard on creating good quality videos that youtube would be proud to share. Then reach out to the channel and hope for the best!


5. Use ‘link anywhere’ cards wisely

Cards are unobtrusive pop-ups that appear on a video to provide a link or some extra information to the viewer.

All youtube channels are able to use certain cards, which appear on videos and when clicked on take the viewer to a certain URL. As part of the nonprofit program, youtube allows nonprofits to link these cards to any URL. This means you can create specific landing pages to link to that relate to your video.

Don’t waste these cards by linking them all to your website, or generic donation page. Create targeted landing pages that provided information on the topic of the video they came from, donation facilities and specific calls to action e.g. telling supporters how each donation amount will go to helping the video issue.

For nonprofits in the US, you can use specific donation cards that allow viewers to directly donate to your nonprofit.


4. Have professional and eye-catching thumbnails 

A thumbnail of your video will appear next to other videos, and in search results, and will be one of the main things helping people to decide whether your video is worth watching.

Make sure your thumbnail accurately represents your video, is professional and eye-catching. You want to grab people’s attention while still staying true to the nature of your nonprofit and presenting yourself as a reliable source.

RSPCA have really used their thumbnails wisely! They’re all clear and eye-catching without being over the top. What’s more is that they are colour coded to show what series of videos it fits into, and immediately give you an idea of what the video is going to be about.

3. Enable comments

One of the biggest social media mistakes nonprofits make is not making the most of the social aspect, and this happens all too often on Youtube too.

Youtube’s online community is a hub for debate and support, don’t exclude yourself from this. Enable channel and video comments so that supporters can engage with your nonprofit and with each other.

If you’re worried about negative comments or are dealing with a politically charged issue, you can still enable videos and just use the option to delete comments, and block users who regularly cause trouble.

That said if you do opt to allow comments be mindful that you’ll have to dedicate time to monitoring and replying to the comments. If someones leaves a comment on your content, they’ll be expecting a reply!


2. Post regularly

It’s tempting for nonprofits to want to throw all of their effort behind one video with the aim of going viral to gain donations. While creating this kind of one-off video is useful, it’s important you also have a base of regular posts that keep people interested.

Having people actually subscribe to your channel is key to building a loyal donor base, and no one’s going to bother to subscribe to a channel that only posts a couple of times a year. Fewer subscribers means fewer people will see your videos and, hence, they won’t be as effective.

A one-off video will drive one-off donations, consistent quality posting will help you develop loyal subscribers who are also loyal donors.

Find a format you can easily recreate so that you can produce consistent content without it taking over all your time, for example uploading an interview every week, or footage from a new project. Don’t worry about the length of the videos, shorter videos actually tend to perform better. 

Having a consistent schedule means your subscribers will know when to expect content and so they’ll be more likely to watch. Also, be sure to make your viewers aware at the end each video of when you will be posting next and give them an idea what the video will be about, to keep them coming back.


1. Really use the Creator Academy lessons

The Youtube nonprofit program gives you free access to Creator Academy courses and lessons, as well as lessons tailored specifically to creating social impact.

It’s tempting to think, I’m just making a video, how hard can it be, but just any video won’t generate the level of donations you need. These lessons are a valuable resource to help your nonprofit make videos that will really drive donations.

The courses teach general skills, such as how to establish a channel, and (importantly for nonprofits seeking donations) ways to raise money on youtube.

The more targeted resources for nonprofits focus on the five fundamentals channels need to make social impact; shareability, discoverability, consistency, community and sustainability.

If you use this information wisely, you will be creating content which will drive supporters (and donations) to your cause. 

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Improve your digital marketing

Digital marketing can be complicated. Each social media platform has its own set of rules and tricks to master to start increasing your nonprofit’s outreach and raking in those donations.

For more information on how to run your social media marketing, check out our blog, with posts like the Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits to help you.

If you want more hands-on help with your digital marketing campaign, then arrange a free consultation with Twenti and see how we can help.

Ready to reach thousands of new donors online?

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