The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This is super important to remember when marketing your nonprofit online, especially in regards to social media. Abila’s Fundraising Academy is a webinar series with lots of great tips for maximizing your resources and reaching more donors. The series covers everything from peer-to-peer to website, email and year-end fundraising strategies. We’ve broken down the most important themes from their latest video, “Using Video, Images and Social Media to Tell Your Story” by Rich Dietz. The webinar revolved around three major topics, Stories, Videos and Social Media, but don’t think of these as separate entities. While each is strong on its own, the only way to maximize your impact and build engagement is to use them together. But how?

It’s simple really, begin by finding the stories that inspire your nonprofit to do the work it does. This should be the easiest step in the process, just think about what motivates you to come to work every day. Is there someone that was particularly impacted by your organization? Maybe there was a group of people, or an organization that you helped. Whatever it is, a good story is emotional and inspiring; this is the content that will make people want to interact with your nonprofit online.

Next, tell that story with a video. A study by the Wharton School of Business found that video marketing was 60% more effective, and 12 times more likely to go viral than text-based efforts. That’s a lot more engagement! Tell individual stories, be specific and always remember to include a call to action. The ultimate goal of all of this should not be to receive the highest number of viewers or to get more “likes,” it should be to inspire action. Videos are a great way to get a powerful message across in a short period of time, making it the perfect opportunity to inform the viewer exactly how they can help to create more stories like the one they just saw.

Finally, use social media to distribute your video. Dietz mentions how social media has become the new press release, and he’s exactly right. Some organizations may be afraid to utilize social media because they have less control over what is taking place, but the fact is people will be having conversations about your nonprofit online whether you’re there to respond or not. Involving yourself and creating a relationship with your (potential) donors is the best way to keep your supporters aware of what you are doing. One of the best tips given in the webinar was to post your content at odd hours, specifically around lunchtime or after work. These are the times when people are more likely to be browsing social media, giving your content the best chance of being seen by a large number of people.

Find your nonprofit’s stories, tell them with a video, and distribute them on social media. You’ll be surprised how much more interaction you receive when these three are used concurrently. Now get out there and tell your story!

Waiting for your video to be finalized? Don’t forget that pictures are another great way to share your message on social media. Check out this earlier blog post on how to get started.

You can view all of Abila’s Fundraising Academy Webinar Series here.