10 Video Marketers to Learn from to Grow Your Nonprofit's Followers on TikTok, YouTube & Facebook

Sean Lund-Brown

Nonprofit organizations are already social by nature. Thus, the value of social media and marketing on those platforms isn’t usually lost on these companies. Still, however, some struggle to find their footing online and make a success of digital marketing. After all, like everything else, resources are limited, and they might not even know where to begin.

Fortunately, in today’s Internet, nothing is limited—you can find all kinds of resources to help you build your nonprofit following and your online presence overall. One of the best resources is found in the form of other video marketers. They come in all types and with plenty of areas of expertise, including those that specialize in nonprofit marketing specifically, as well as those with various other niches. There are even some who take a more generalized approach to marketing, but still have a lot of value to offer. 

It’ll be up to you to figure out which ones you should be following and learning from, but you’ll need to start getting to know them sooner than later. After all, it’s been estimated that by 2022, 82% or more of all Internet traffic will be sourced from video, either downloaded or streaming. 

Also, consider that:

  • Facebook has more than 8 billion views of videos every day. 
  • Mobile consumption of video increases by 100% year over year, consistently.
  • There are more than 1 billion hours of video streamed on YouTube every day. 
  • View rates for video campaigns can be as high as 50%. 

Video marketing statistics can help you understand the importance of this marketing tool, but the bottom line is that it’s time to get on board. If you’re ready to embrace the benefits that video marketing can bring, the people on the list below should be on your radar. 

These video pros have built their following(s) on various social platforms and some of them are among the biggest influencers in marketing and the nonprofit industry. They know what it takes to generate a good following, including things like engaging videos, fresh content, short video options, and more. They also understand the importance of using video correctly, and more importantly, creatively

Before we get to the list, let’s talk a little more about what that means for your organization. 


How to use video marketing for your nonprofit 

As we mentioned, there are tons of different ways that you can put video marketing to use for your brand. Part of the success in your campaigns comes in knowing how to do this. You can make traditional marketing videos, of course, but there are so many other great ways to use video. The experts below all use a variety of these styles and they all have something unique to offer. 

  • Explainer: The explainer video is where you can share your mission, explain more about your organization, or give people a glimpse of what your program has to offer. You'll also find that these can help educate people about stuff relevant to your nonprofit that they might not be familiar with. 
  • Meet the Team: These videos are a great way to introduce your audience to the people behind your organization. You will be able to share your values, showcase a “day in the life” of your organization, and more. These, along with the next type of video, provide the transparency that the audience loves. 
  • Behind the Scenes: This is about “pulling back the curtain” if you will. Show your audience what your organization does, what it looks like, and more. Think about things people may be curious about and add those to your video list. Take requests, too, because what your audience wants might surprise you. 
  • Testimonials: If you can get testimonial videos, you’ll be able to show the impact that your organization has had on the community or the group that it is geared toward helping. You can get these videos from former recipients, those involved in your various projects, and more.
  • Personal Videos via Email: This is a great way to make a one-on-one connection with your audience and inspire them to take action. Whatever your nonprofit is working for, reaching out to people personally through email is going to make it a lot easier for you to get that following than just catering to the masses on social media. 

The secret is creating a dynamic strategy with video, just as you would with any other type of marketing that you do. Now, let’s meet the people (and organizations) who can help you with yours. 


10 video marketers your nonprofit needs to know

1. Jay Frost

Although his biggest followings are on Twitter and LinkedIn, Jay Frost is a fundraising mastermind that advises and consults with others and is working to build his following on Facebook and other social sites, as well. In addition to his website and his marketing content, you can find videos on YouTube featuring his interviews and speeches. We chose this unconventional option first because while he doesn’t specialize in video marketing, per se, he has a great presence on video and in the social realm that can inspire you to build your own. 

Jay posts about different industry news, projects he’s working on, and he shares various advice and tips with his social audiences, which makes him a great inspiration for any nonprofit looking to connect with a better social marketing strategy. 

2. ASPCA

The ASPCA isn’t an individual, but they’re one of the biggest nonprofit organizations on YouTube, so they should be on your list of groups to watch when building your strategy. Their videos showcase the work they do, as well as the animals that they care for both in less desirable conditions and after they are rescued, helping to make an emotional connection with their audience. They've also got a smart ear for the best background music to generate that sense of pity and wanting to help. People have cried over some of these videos and bringing them to YouTube gives the ASPCA more room to expand on their video offerings and reach a wider audience than they do on TV. 

3. American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU is another organization that understands video marketing. Sure, they have a lot of subscribers simply because of their notoriety and support network, but they also have collected several followers and social audiences by creating the right type of video content on the right platforms and more. They also provide insight and news on current events and keep people updated on what is happening in the world as well as the cases they’re working on currently. They use emotion and the connection with “real people” to help them reach their audience and gain support, and their videos are some of the most viewed nonprofit videos online. 

4. TED

If you want to get inspired for video marketing like nothing else, TED needs to be on your list. Just look at how quickly TED Talks became popular, and how many famous guest speakers have shown up to provide insight and information on a specific topic. Their goal is to educate and entertain by providing different perspectives and ideas and they offer a lot of different types of videos and resources. Although it might not be “fun”, sometimes marketing needs to be serious to get the message across. TED is a great place to learn about nearly anything. Using their videos and social following, you can learn a lot about improving your video marketing on social media, too. 

5. John Haydon

John Haydon has been in the fundraising world for several years. He was a speaker and well-known influencer in the industry that talks about how to strategize for results in nonprofit marketing. He helped hundreds of organizations improve their nonprofit operations in his career, and although he passed away in February of 2020, his social and video content is still out there, and a lot of people have kept up on sharing his expertise. He also published books on fundraising and perhaps one of the best things about his sites is that you’ll see he always made his family a priority. Even his Instagram says “Dad first”, and he attributed much of his success to finding that balance. 

6. Neil Patel

This guy is bound to end up on almost every list that we make, regardless of industry. While Neil specializes in social media marketing and SEO primarily for organizations that operate on a for-profit basis and entrepreneurs, his advice translates well for nonprofits, too. If nothing else, check out his impressive publication rate that will keep your head spinning. It works, though, because he’s created an almost constant network of video and content sharing among his various audiences and can teach your nonprofit how to do the same. 

7. Grant Ingersoll

The CTO of the famous Wikimedia Foundation, Grant Ingersoll is responsible for operating one of the largest nonprofit websites on the web: Wikipedia. He has over two decades of experience in open-source software and tech and runs Develomentor to highlight different careers in management and technology. He has a great social following and has done well to bring nonprofit tech to the forefront. You can even find videos and podcasts featuring interviews with him, speaking engagements, and more.

8. Yesenia Sotelo

Yesenia Sotelo has dubbed herself the “nonprofit nerd” and is a well-known voice in the community. She started on Twitter to tap into social media and tech in the success of nonprofits, and now uses LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social channels to ensure that she maximizes her reach to share her views on the importance of technology in building a successful nonprofit following. She also has her own website and blog where you can learn more about her and what she does, as well as find tips to improve your own social and video marketing efforts. 

9. Gary Vaynerchuk

Although he’s an entrepreneur and businessman, Gary Vaynerchuk is also a man who understands the power of embracing the next big thing. As soon as Internet marketing came around, he was there. Social media? Done. Videos? Not only does he have carefully edited, produced, and published videos, but he’s a big fan of the selfie-style video that’s much more personable for today’s audiences. Plus, a lot of the insight and advice that he offers can translate to the nonprofit sector just as easily as it works in for-profit operations, and he’s got a style and spirit that can inspire anyone. 

10. Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson runs the marketing department at vidIQ and stars in plenty of YouTube and other videos that explain things like marketing and video trends, the evolution of the industry, and more. He has insightful and educational videos along with how-to's and other resources that can help your nonprofit. Even though he typically talks about for-profit business marketing, there’s a lot of valuable help he can provide for nonprofits, as well. He has a style that is clever and humorous, while still being educational, which is what works. 


Enlist the resources of Smith.ai to take your nonprofit budget further

Most nonprofits and charitable organizations have limited resources, which means that volunteers are a must. Unfortunately, as great as they may be, they don’t lend that professional image or guarantee that every call and chat will be answered, 24 hours a day, seven days a week

At Smith.ai, our team of virtual receptionists is ready and waiting to help. We can handle all types of administrative and customer service tasks for your organization while you’re busy building relationships and getting donations. Plus, we’ll even help you create a strategy that covers it all so that nothing slips through the cracks. From 24/7 phone answering and live chat to scheduling, lead intake, and even donation and payment collection, we’ve got you covered. 

To learn more, schedule your consultation to discuss how a partnership with Smith.ai can improve your nonprofit, whether you need help with messaging, admin tasks, or anything else. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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