7 Steps for a Successful Conservation Video Campaign

So you want to create an impactful conservation video campaign, but you're not sure where to start...
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Overall, simply filming something and posting it online won’t lead to the kind of impact you’re looking for. Rather than hoping for something to stick, it’s better to have a holistic strategy that can guide your production and ensure you reach audiences on a wider scale. Great storytelling happens with a clear understanding of what you’re sharing and who you’re sharing it with, and at Wild Agency, we offer a variety of services to maximize that approach.

If you really want to harness storytelling to change the world, here are 7 steps to a successful conservation video campaign that you should consider: 

1. Set an Impact Goal

As an organization, you need to establish a clear goal for what you want to accomplish with your campaign.  

Your goal might start with something like reducing ocean plastics, conserving wildlife in a particular region, or increasing awareness about an issue.  

Big goals are a great starting place, but more specific goals give you a better chance to have a measurable impact.   

Once you define a goal, you need to consider what metrics you can track that will help measure success.  Views, reach, and engagement are common examples of video metrics, but consider others like clickthroughs to your website, petition signatures, social sentiment shifts, online mention frequency, policy wins and even hard data from direct follow-ups. 

At Wild Agency, we can help you set realistic goals for your campaign budget and can help you harness state of the art data analytics to track metrics.  

Great impact video campaigns begin and end with your goal, so make sure you spend time defining it.   Goals lay the path for everything moving forward, but most of all, help you define a target audience. 

2. Define Your Audience(s) and Get to Know Them

Most of us have a small group of loyal followers who support our cause.  We know them well and we are comfortable communicating with them.  

It’s great to rally your base, but focusing on just one audience can limit your video’s relatability to audiences outside of your niche and limit your impact.  

Audiences today are fragmented on social media and no one piece of content will find or connect to everyone.  

Think about targeting multiple niche audiences to maximize your impact.  

For instance, research from Hubspot shows that successful marketing pros are creating content for multiple audience segments in a single campaign to land the greatest impact. 

Consider reaching across the aisle, speaking to an audience who has no understanding of your issue, or helping shift the narrative in an audience that doesn’t understand your issue fully.  Once you have a general idea of who you want to reach, you need to get to know them. 

For our team at Wild Agency, this is where social data makes a tremendous impact.

Here are some questions we ask when getting to know an audience:

  • How old is my audience and what gender?  
  • What are their interests?
  • What content do they like to watch online? 
  • Who do they trust for their news and entertainment?
  • How much they know about the cause?
  • What social platforms they use and at what times?
  • What keywords and phrases are most used when talking about your cause online? 

Learn more about how data can help your conservation video campaign with our article: 4 Ways Data is Revolutionizing Conservation Video

All of this can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help.  Wild Agency specializes in audience research and can help you get to know new audiences and create a roadmap for reaching them.  

3. Create a Digital Impact Strategy

Now that you understand your audience, its time to think about what to make, who to partner with, and when to deliver it.  At Wild Agency we call this the Digital Impact Strategy and it guides everything we do moving forward.  

Here are some key elements of our Digital Impact Strategy at Wild Agency:

Content Creation

  1. Create Audience Profiles          
  2. Define Video Limitations based on each Audience 
  3. Story Development

Distribution

  1. Map Campaign Timeline
  2. Plan Supporting Content
  3. Identify Partners
  4. Social Media Release Strategy

It may seem like a long process, but don’t let the planning stages scare you.  With the strategy laid out—powered by useful data and a clear focus—you can move onto the heart of what drives your campaign —amazing content!

4. Create High-Quality Video Content

Video production is the largest financial investment of your campaign, but if done properly, it can help you break through to audiences in a real and powerful way. 

Research shows that after people watch a video, 64% of them are more likely to buy a product online or contribute to cause. 

In addition, 65% of visual content that’s consumed can be recalled by your audience up to three days later, which means it can really land a punch!

Now, not all videos are created equal.  Please don’t just convert your PowerPoint into a video.  You need to use good storytelling techniques, have a clear message, and always think about your audience.  

Here is a quick overview of some things we consider when crafting a video:

  1. Video is experiential: harness sound, motion, colors, and images to tell your story.  
    • Don’t tell your message, let your audience discover it.  
    • Focus on emotions, not information 
    • Choose your text/statistics wisely and keep it minimal 

Check out our article on Message vs Story to learn for a deeper dive into crafting an impactful video. 

Here is an example of one of our recent films that can help show the difference between a story and a message.  

At Wild Agency, compelling video production is our specialty and we can help you craft authentic stories that get views and results.  Whether you work with us or not, investing in great storytelling is a critical component of a successful conservation video campaign.

5. Invest in Distribution

You’ve just spent months making a series of films and you are ready to launch them to the world.  This is sadly where most organizations stumble.  Assuming your content will “go viral” because you post it on your social media channels is a near impossibility. 

To put this into perspective, since 2019, Hootsuite reports that brands who post on Facebook can only expect around 5.5% of their followers to engage with their content, whereas major brands with even larger followings can expect even less engagement. 

To state this frankly, without time investment, strategy, and paid advertising, most posts will not even be seen by your own audience much less the rest of the internet.  This all stems from platforms awarding paid advertising to grow their profit margins.

Harnessing google ads, facebook ads (including instagram and messenger), twitter and linked in ads will help ensure you get the reach and desired impact of your videos. Make sure to allocate funding for this step when planning a campaign and look to companies like Wild Agency who can help facilitate and optimize your paid distribution campaigns.

That being said, given that budgets are often tight for non-profits, here are some ways to maximize distribution without paying:

  • Post content on the right days and times
  • Keep content visual and engaging 
  • Use the right hashtags and keywords according to your industry and target audience
  • Understanding social media algorithms and preparing content correctly for each platform

Arguably the most effective way to get organic reach is to develop partnerships with influencers and organizations who already have access to your target audiences.  

6. Create Partnerships

The audience data we discussed earlier can play a critical role in helping you find potential partners, so make sure to identify partners before production begins.  

Once identified, you can coordinate with them to partner on sharing your content.  This process is known as influencer marketing and channel partner marketing. 

  • Influencer Marketing: Using the loyal following of a social media personality to create and push your content in hopes to increase brand awareness among a target audience. 
  • Channel Partner Marketing: Using another organization’s reach to build awareness for your own organization and mission. 

If you have great video content to share that speaks to partner audiences, they will often want to work with you to promote it. Take advantage of this because it saves money and time in distribution and gives you access to new and exciting audiences. 

Once again, just posting something at random only does a disservice to your mission and purpose. Instead, drive your content with research and strategy that will lead to real results for your conservation video campaign. 

7. Listen, Learn, and Adapt with Impact Reporting

Once you click upload and post your content, your job has really just started.  After your content goes live, you need to watch how things are working and make adjustments to your strategy to ensure its success.   If a message sticks with a certain audience, boost it with some ad spend. If somethings flat and missing the mark, don’t be afraid to change the approach and messaging. 

Document everything you learn during your campaign and constantly tweak content to ensure maximum performance.   People are dynamic and change so social listening data can keep you on the pulse of online communities and can help ensure you are delivering the right messages during the right time.   

We harness Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Analytics, Social Listening Tools, and more to learn about our audiences and understand exactly what content is working.  

Budgeting for this stage is rare in most campaigns, so make sure to allocate funding to ensure you can monitor, tack, adjust, and report your findings.  

Lastly, remember than social data is only one type of metric for results and understanding. To understand your real impact you may need to do on the ground surveys, phone calls, or knocking on doors.  This article and our entire approach at Wild Agency is about getting results, not just reporting random numbers to funders.  

Moving the needle takes honest reflection and we need to be critical about what is working and what needs to change.  

Learning and improving from every project is a core part of our philosophy at Wild Agency and it can help you take your conservation video campaign to the next level.  

Join Wild Agency to create Effective Conservation Video Campaigns

Of course, handling all of these aspects yourself may feel like an overwhelming task, but that’s why you can work with Wild Agency to create an effective conservation video campaign.

We’ve traveled all over the world telling stories for major brands like National Geographic and BBC, and now, we’re here to share our knowledge with conservationists like you who need to be heard!  Whether your organization needs assistance refining your current approach or you want a full-service agency to champion a strategy on your behalf, Wild Agency offers a complete solution that leads to results. 

Click here to learn more about our services or contact us today to schedule an introduction call.

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