YouTube for Booster Clubs

girl shoot home videoYouTube makes sharing video easy. Creating a YouTube account for your club, you can help showcase the work of participants, benefactors, and volunteers. Filming, editing, and posting videos takes time and energy but there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit — simple videos that booster clubs can make.

What’s great about YouTube is what’s great about online video in general. Ditto for what’s not  so great.

PROs

  • Easy to digest. Videos grab attention in a way that an 800 word blog post with static photos does not.
  • Easy to film. With smartphones and free uploads, it’s very easy to put raw footage on the web.
  • Low maintenance. Unlike Facebook Pages, forums, or Twitter feeds, you won’t need to spend a lot of time replying to comments or following feeds.

CONs

  • Limited as a communication tool. Unlike social media networks such as Facebook, it’s difficult to facilitate a conversation on YouTube, especially for a closed group.
  • Time-consuming. Editing footage takes time. So does mixing audio and adding music.

Save Time with Participant Videos and Playlists

How can you present your club with great videos without pouring hundreds of hours into video production? First of all, you don’t have to actually make any of the videos on your Channel. Your participants, all digital natives, can shoot great videos themselves. All you need to do is encourage them to post. You can also reach out to combine participants’ videos with a bit of editing. Another way to avoid production cost is to curate videos from outside your club on to your club’s Playlists. These could be how-to videos relevant to your club, whether it’s the Proper Way to Clean a Saxophone or Rugby’s Biggest Hits 2013. (See more on Playlists and Channels below.)

Increase Fundraising, While having Fun

Want to add options for sponsor advertising? Because YouTube tracks the number of views on each video, booster clubs can expand sponsorship possibilities. So, you could make deals with a local business whose logo or message appears in the video. For example “donate X, plus X for each 1,000 views we receive.” However, these videos will have to be snappy, well-produced, and interesting if they’re going to get a lot of hits (see tips below in the Dos and Don’t section).

Creating a video is not just a means to promotion, but also an end in itself. The process should be fun, and support your mission. A good participant or volunteer video is a keepsake, but the process of producing it is a bonding activity too. Just like a yearbook or a slideshow, making a video is fun. Also, it requires collaboration between volunteers and participants, and staff members, connecting the booster club community. The product of that labor is, in a sense, timeless. It’ll live on on the internet forever.

With sponsorships, participants, and volunteers in mind, here are a few types of YouTube videos that are great to produce for any booster club. The worst editing you can do in a video is make it too long. We’ve put a suggested length after each one.

Volunteer & participant recruitment (2 to 3 minutes)

This Sparta Booster Club video is pretty darn good. But it could be better. Compare it to the other recruitment video example at the end of this post to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Moments, highlights and milestones (30 seconds to 3 minutes)

For example, here’s a decently-edited football opener and highlight reel.

Fundraiser Videos (time varies)

This first video is short, too the point and communicates how kids benefit from donations. So why hasn’t this video received more than a dozen views as of 2/1/2014? Perhaps it’s the monotone. Perhaps it’s the lack of participant testimonials. Perhaps it’s the lack of entertainment value. In the context of fundraising, social media is most effective with content marketing: give someone content that they like, and they’ll open up to your message.

What does good content marketing look like? Check out this great video about school fundraising. For the record, we don’t condone racketeering, bad dancing, or horrible puns.

How To Video (2 minutes to 7 minutes)

 

Tips for creating a How-To video:

This  video on flip turns is really effective for a few reasons.

  1. The speaker is off camera, so there’s no need to sync the voice audio with the camera shots. Plus she/he can prepare a script and read off of it, reducing awkward silences, slow speech, and outtakes.
  2. The introduction is very clear, and the lesson comes quickly.
  3. The video is under 3 minutes long.

DOs

DO Edit your videos. On the most basic level, cut the video so that something interesting happens in the first 20 seconds, and that it’s clear what the video is about.
DO put your participants to work. Participant videos and interviews will produce the most interesting and natural footage.
DO shoot at multiple angles if possible, including both long shots and close-ups.
DO exclude sound if it’s of poor quality or unnecessary. Neutral music is great.

DON’Ts

DON’T spend tons of time on fancy transitions or sound effects. It will look tacky.
DON’T procrastinate. For a milestone celebration or a highlight reel, it’s important to put it up quickly.
DON’T shoot things from too far away. This is a big problem with sports games and theater performances. To enrich long shots, have another camera (smartphones are fine) film from the sidelines or just off stage. If you have an optical zoom on your camera, use it.
AVOID pairing your videos with pop songs, rock anthems, or the like.You might love the voice of Bret Michaels, but I promise few of your fellow volunteers and exactly zero your participants will enjoy the “musical” stylings of Poison. Plus, using hits without copyright permissions is illegal, and your video might get muted. Instead, use recordings from a local band, or one of the free songs from YouTube.

YouTube Vocabulary: Channels and Playlists

Playlist: Playlists are collections of videos. You can add videos from anyone’s Channel, so you don’t have to produce them yourself. Use Playlists to present your club with a little inspiration, and they might rally with ideas of their own. If your YouTube Channel manager can curate activity-appropriate videos, playlists will be a gateway of resources for participants trying to learn more on their own time.

Channel: Your YouTube station is like a TV station. Let’s say that sation (the username) is “St. Mary’s Athletic Booster Club.” By default, the name of the Channel will be identical to the Google account associated with it. Youtube Channels also get a Google Plus page associated with them. If you want to, you can split one Google account into multiple channels. For example, after creating an initial account, St. Mary’s Athletic Booster Club might want to add “St. Mary’s Volleyball,” and “St. Mary’s Soccer.” That would result in a total of 3 Channels, organized like this in Google:

  • St. Mary’s (Google account)
    • St. Mary’s Booster Club (YouTube Channel, etc.)
    • St. Mary’s Volleyball (YouTube Channel, etc.)
    • St. Mary’s Soccer (YouTube Channel, etc.)

Each of the indented-bullets above represent a YouTube Channel, Gmail, and Google Plus name associated with them. However, administrators can operate multiple channels under a single Google account. Switching Channels can be a bit tricky in the new interface, so use this channel switching page as a shortcut. (Looking for a YouTube Channel without a Gmail or Google Plus account? Sorry, they don’t let you.)

Subscriptions: they’re really useful. Similar to an email newsletter subscription or an RSS feed, YouTube subscriptions allow people to see when new videos are posted to a Channel. (Subscriptions require a Channel, so that’s another factor in planning the Channel name.) Once a viewer subscribes, they’ll see your new videos in the “My Subscriptions,” section. They’re also more likely to be featured in the “What to Watch section of their account as well.”

Description: be sure to include video summaries in the description section of each video. It’s also a good place to insert credits, keywords, and information about your club, such as a link to it’s webpage. A good description is short and informative. Here’s a great example from the Windham High school Boosters Club:

The Windham Boosters club isn’t just a club, it’s an organization that helps out all of the WHS sports teams in their time of need, and they need members! Check out their website and become a member today!

http://www.windhamjaguars.org/

Produced: David McInnis
Song: Payphone Instrumental

Category
Nonprofits & Activism

We’ll leave you with Windham’s video, one more good example of a fundraising/volunteer recruitment pitch. Note the engaging images, concise information, and brevity of the entire clip (only 2 minutes long).

 

 

This post is part of our social media series that covers Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Each post has tricks and tips aimed at  booster clubs. Don’t miss our introduction to social media strategy and summary of social media platforms for booster clubs.

 

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