Welcome to the second in a series of posts based on the Darim Online Learning Network for Synagogues webinar with video guru, Michael Hoffman of See3 Communications.
Think of your organization’s online presence as your channel. As such, consider how to integrate online video into your overall organizational strategy. Online video can be an effective means to strengthen connections among your community’s members. Remember, people relate best to other people, less so to institutions. As you think about this, determine where your community members – and potential members – “reside” online and meet them there.
- Be strategic when program planning. Think in terms of telling your community’s story and use your organizations program calendar as a guide. Determine: what do we need to capture? What do we need have professionally filmed and what can be documented by staff and or volunteers? What types of footage would be good for recruitment, for community building, for fundraising?
- Go deep rather than wide. Effective marketing involves repetition, creating conversation, portraying real human relationships, and providing real engagement.
- Meet the parents. And congregants. And staff. And lay leadership. Ask community members who they are, what they do, and why they care about the community – on video. This is a terrific way of creating transparency with the community at large, by showing them who are the people in your neighborhood. These types of videos also foster people-people connections which in turn create connections to your institution.
- Map your community online. Focus on places your community and potential community live online – social networks, Facebook, discussion lists, etc. Conduct a survey to see what online spaces your people inhabit. This is a great marketing exercise in general!
- Capitalize on influencers and supporters. Tap into the people who are already your constituents and empower them to share videos and other resources with their friends; be viral to the right audiences.
- Grab attention outside of your current membership. Reach out to potential members by alerting them to special activities in which your community is engaged. For example, a program on Judaism and the environment could be marketed to groups outside of your immediate membership… bring your community to them.
- Push and pull. For example, send out an email to your congregation’s discussion list that includes a note from the Rabbi with a link to a video clip on your website. Highlight special clips in your newsletter. Share “how to videos” on Jewish life on your website – and ask members for recommendations for additional resources.
- Reach your peeps. Use Groundswells social profile technology profile tool to help determine how to prioritize efforts. Who and where is your target audience and what kinds of relationships do you want to build with them?
- And… “Action.” Provide video training sessions for staff and volunteers. Invest in a good video camera with an external microphone. People are more likely to watch bad quality video with good sound, than good quality video with bad sound. A low-cost video camera, like the Flip, is good to have handy. It does not, however, take the place of a better quality camera. In general, the Flip does well at close range, with someone speaking directly to the camera in a quiet place, but it is not great for covering large events.
What are some of your strategies? Do you have a few tips to share? What is your favorite use of online video to promote your community? Post your ideas and links in the comments below!
Take a look at See3’s Guide to Online Video for more tips and techniques.
Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Torah Dedication, Baltimore, Maryland
Chizuk Amuno Congregation – Rosenbloom Religious School, Baltimore, Maryland (see YouTube links)
Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn, New York
North Shore Congregation Israel, Glencoe, Illinois (see link to Building for the Generations campaign video on home page)
Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, Chappaqua, New York (capital campaign video)
Archives of the recent webinars, “The Age of YouTube: An Introduction to Online Video for Congregations,” as well as previous webinars are available to members of the Darim Online Learning Network. Access to the archives and other webinar-related material can be found on the Darim Online website in Dirah, under “Learning Network Info.”
Not yet a member of the Darim Online Learning Network? Click here for membership information for your organization and to register.
Coming up… Developing a Media Library