Quick: You have just a few seconds to catch your audience’s attention, inspire and educate them, then offer a call to action. Internet users are fickle, busy and they don’t have time to waste.

That’s partly why video marketing is so popular—it’s a highly effective engagement tool. According to Visually, a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. And according to Brightcove, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.

A well thought out video strategy can be an affordable yet highly useful way to communicate and engage with your audience, and you don’t need to hire a professional—you can create good quality videos with just your smartphone. If your nonprofit hasn’t dipped its toes into the world of video marketing, you’ve probably at least talked about it. And now that Google has announced it will include video ads in search results, it could be a smart time to take the plunge.

Here are eight video marketing tips to help you kick off your video strategy:

1. Use video to tell your stories. Testimonies from people who you’ve helped, as well as stories from volunteers and staff are unique to your nonprofit—they make for great original content that no other nonprofit can share. Instead of just writing about these stories, show them. Video is the perfect platform for creating an emotional hook with a story that tugs at the heart.

2. Capture people’s interest. If you know your audience well (and hopefully you do), you know what will pique their curiosity and interest. You can communicate touch points that are pertinent to your cause through video. Share the latest news, research and statistics about an issue that’s near and dear to your organization’s heart. Promote your latest fundraising event and make an ask for registrants or volunteers. Anything that’s relevant and interesting to your constituents could be a potential hot video topic.

3. Get social. More than 100 million people take some kind of action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week. Encourage interaction such as commenting and sharing, and use platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to distribute and promote your videos.

4. Get personal. Video is the perfect opportunity to give donors a behind-the-scenes look at how your nonprofit works. You can introduce staff, feature a volunteer of the month, give a quick recap of your latest event or record what it’s like to prepare for an event. Just be authentic—that’s an endearing trait.

5. Keep it brief. With online videos, less is more. Three to four minutes (or less) is considered to be pretty ideal. With longer videos, viewer retention can drop below 50%. Shorter videos also produce higher brand recall than long videos, which means donors will be more likely to remember your message if you keep it succinct.

6. Educate about your cause. You may have plenty of information about your nonprofit’s mission and cause in written form on your website, but video provides another educational tool that may prove to be even more effective. Create a quick video to educate website visitors on the importance of your cause, the need for support and what’s in it for them. This is evergreen content that you can both share on social media and host on your site.

7. Remember mobile. Mobile video usage has been exploding. Last November, Facebook claimed 8 million video views every day with more than 75% of those happening on mobile devices. As mobile video grows, so will mobile video advertising. The ability to capture a constituent’s attention with a video and then redirect them to your website is playing a key role in this growth. Did you know that consumers spent more time engaging with their smartphones than watching TV last year? Engage these smartphone users with a quick video promoting your brand, and send them to your site for more information.

8. Include a call to action. What do you want your viewers to do once they’ve watched your video? Don’t make them guess—clearly tell them. Calls to action like “learn more” or “donate now” can lead to your website and drop visitors off on landing pages created specifically for conversion. The important thing is that you end the video by prompting the viewer to take a specific action.

Take a few minutes now to brainstorm: What are the specific uses for video that could benefit both your organization and constituents?

Need a push in the right direction? Firespring offers social media services for nonprofits. Just give us a call at 877.447.8941 or send an email to hello@firespring.com.