Using video to get to the heart of your mission

Speaker from Book Aid International at Raw London's Relay event

When Emma Taylor began her role as Head of Communications at Book Aid International, the words ‘we need an about us video’ were being thrown around without a real understanding of what that meant or what it should deliver.

In her session, Using video to get to the heart of your missionEmma talked through how Book Aid are making video part of their storytelling. She described how they evolved from an ‘about us video’ to something which really embodies and strengthens their overall brand story. 

The challenge

Book Aid International are the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Their vision is a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.

Through reports, stories and research the small charity (and even smaller comms team) are able to clearly show how books change lives. But showing how books enrich lives was an equally important, but much more difficult, concept to capture.

The solution became a two-pronged attack. Book Aid would use first-hand stories of change, alongside video to bring the magic of reading to life.

How the film came about

As mentioned, the journey started with a general feeling that the organisation needed an “about us video” – without really understanding what that meant or what it would deliver.

After considering the why, Emma realised what they really needed was something that would embody how books enrich lives – while also strengthening the overall brand story and digital comms. So the “about us video” became a brand video… but what did that mean?

Emma and her team did not have a strong creative vision, but instead focused on goals and KPIs, letting Raw London take care of the rest. The goals were:

  • Increase brand awareness by creating something beautiful that people would want to watch because they love books.
  • Show (not tell!) how books enrich lives.
  • Increase engagement in target audiences, particularly non-supporters.
  • Inspire action by creating an emotional connection.

This developed into KPIs:

  • Reduced bounce rates and increased engagement on pages featuring video content.
  • CTR (video to integrate clickable content).
  • Social media engagement rates.
  • View length and numbers.
  • In-person feedback at events/increased interest.

However, when Emma saw the film for the first time, some of this changed. Some KPIs became less important, some even more so, and some brand new opportunities presented themselves. For example, the Relationships Manager saw an opportunity to preview the film to high value donors at a specially organised launch event.

The lesson here was to be flexible and let yourself by inspired by the video you create. Make a film people want to watch, and leave the ego at the door. Personal stories and case studies are great, but bringing to life the thing that you and your supporters love – that is great charity storytelling.

Using video to get to the heart of your mission from Raw London

See and download Emma’s slides above or email for a copy. The film launches in November so can’t be shared just yet – follow @Book_Aid to hear about it!

**This is a summary of a lightning talk from Raw London’s event Creative Storytelling in the Third Sector, Thursday 9 August 2018 at Bertha Dochouse, Curzon Bloomsbury. You can read more about the event here or see summaries and slides from other sessions below.**

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