6 Easy-to-Implement Instagram Video Ideas for Your Nonprofit

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Debra Askanase
Debra Askanase



play-buttonIn June 2013, Instagram added 15-second video to its highly utilized mobile app. With the addition of short-form video, Instagram combined two extremely popular trends into one platform: image-sharing and short-form video.

There are 150 million Instagram users worldwide, and 75 million use Instagram daily. In just half a year, video use has grown on the site to 6% of all Instagram posts.

Instagram video is immediate, easily shareable (9 out 10 videos are shared to Facebook), personal, and a powerful tool for creating an emotional connection to a cause. It's the storytelling platform that every organization has the budget and staffing to use.

Many nonprofit organizations have already begun experimenting with using Instagram -- and some are really rocking it. Before jumping into Instagram video, though, there are a few questions to consider:

  • What upcoming events do you want to promote?
  • How could video showcase your services, products, or events?
  • How could you use video to strengthen the connection between your stakeholders and your cause?
  • What story could a short-form video tell? What is the one message to share?

Organizations are using video to preview exhibits, showcase their brand personalities, raise funds, promote awareness, and educate.

Want to use Instagram Video as a tool in your marketing? Here are six easy-to-implement ideas for your nonprofit’s first video.

1) Fundraising Support

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids is an HIV/AIDS fundraising and grantmaking organization, founded by the Actor’s Equity Association. In December, the organization created a series of fundraising video appeals with Broadway actors through its Instagram account.

This is one of its fundraising appeal videos, featuring Broadway’s Hunter Bell:

Next time you have a fundraising campaign, snap a video of a supporter talking about why they deeply care about raising money for you.

2) A Showcase for Your Organization

The Best Friends Animal Society created an emotional, adorable Instagram video PSA, with a strong pitch at the end that "Everyone Needs a Best Friend Like Tuna. Let’s Save Them All."

Not every video has to be meticulously produced like this one, but any nonprofit organization could create an effective 15-second PSA like this one.

Think about the visual power of Instagram and how you might be able to combine photos and video into an emotional PSA for your cause.

3) Creating Excitement Around an Event

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) created an energetic Instagram video themed appropriately to kick off its Monterey Park Art+ Film Lab event opening.

LACMA describes the video: "Our #MontereyPark Art+Film Lab opens tonight on the East Los Angeles College campus! Join us until Feb 9 for free #filmmaking workshops, screenings, our oral history project, and more. #artfilmlab"

Another museum, The MFA Houston, created buzz around a time-sensitive light installation event by creating and posting this video.

This year, ahead of your annual event, an opening, or another type of celebration, create some excitement and buzz online with a short Instagram video.

4) Putting Together a Holiday Video

The San Diego Zoo pieced together clips of animals around the zoo munching on pumpkins, to create an instant Halloween classic Instagram video.

If you don’t have the budget or inclination to produce a long video for the holiday season (or any holiday), use your time to create an Instagram video like this one that showcases your organization’s personality.

5) Educating Stakeholders and Bringing Them Inside

On NASA’s Instagram account, it filmed 15-second videos of scientists talking about the NASA science projects that they presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

The agency tied it into the conference's hashtag, #AGU13, offering attendees and non-attendees alike the chance to hear about this new research.

In this video below, Allison Leidner of NASA Headquarters demonstrated how space based observations reveal Earth as a system.

If you attend a conference, you might want to consider filming a summary of some of the great content you learned -- maybe even a 15-second interview with a presenter.

6) Supporting a Campaign

In August, The Case Foundation partnered with the National Society of High School Scholars to celebrate fearless role models and life lessons for a back-to-school #BeFearless Instagram campaign.

The Foundation asked participants to take a video and share the story of who taught you to be fearless, caption the video with #BeFearless and/or #NSHSS, and share it to Instagram.

This is one such story.

Not every campaign should live on Instagram, but many campaigns would benefit from utilizing Instagram video. Think about whether there is a natural fit for participants in or affiliated with your organization to create and upload videos as part of a campaign.

How are you using Instagram video to encourage connections to your organization’s events, staff, promotions, and programs? Let us know in the comments.

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Topics: Video Marketing

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