April 15, 2014 E3

Nonprofit Video Marketing Case Study: The British Red Cross

Nonprofits often struggle when it comes to harnessing the power of video marketing. But recently, The British Red Cross launched a campaign targeted at teenagers. The purpose of their nonprofit video marketing campaign was to combat self-harm by British youth. When the Red Cross discovered that the number of British young people harming themselves had increased by 40% in ten years, they realized they had an epidemic on their hands. So they took their campaign to YouTube.

Their aim was to create a video resource that would teach teenagers life-saving skills and help them build the confidence to use those skills if necessary. They wanted to move Red-Cross first aid into the modern era. And it worked. The campaign won several awards, generated 7.5 million views and over 50,000 comments. 90% of individuals surveyed after watching the videos stated they felt more confident in their ability to help.

The Goal of the Nonprofit Video Marketing Campaign

According to The Red Cross, 1 in 12 teenagers in Great Britain engage in self-harming behaviors.  Across the country, 110,000 self-harm cases were reported at Accident and Emergency departments. And 42% of surveyed youth said they had self-harmed, or knew someone who had self-harmed.  These numbers were enough to make The Red Cross sit up and take notice. But even more interesting, 80% of those teens surveyed also indicated that they were interested learning first aid so that they could help someone in need.

And that’s the number that inspired the Red Cross into action. They decided that they wanted to make first aid relevant to these teens, and relevant in a way that would motivate them to learn enough to be helpful in an emergency situation.  And so they began the process of creating a nonprofit video marketing campaign targeted at British youth.

The Campaign

The British Red Cross worked with a company called ChannelFlip to create seven original YouTube videos, with one more on the way. Rather than reach out to “typical” celebrities to drive the message home, they instead chose to work with British YouTube stars: SprinkleofGlitter, KickthePJ, Danisnotonfire, MarcusButler, PointlessBlogTV, TomSka and AmazingPhil. Together, the Red Cross, ChanelFlip and these popular YouTubers created a set of instructional videos based on a variety of different scenarios in which first aid could be life-saving including self-harm, choking, and passing out from alcohol consumption. The campaign was supported by a dedicated Facebook page and a new section of the Red Cross website.

The Results

The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness and improve the chances teenagers would learn and administer first aid. The actual effectiveness would be difficult to determine, but The Red Cross conducted a survey of teenagers who viewed the video series.

The results of the survey indicated that the teens who saw the videos were, in fact, more confident in their abilities to administer first aid and that they would be more willing to step in when a situation required.  They also asked specific emergency-related questions, discovering that the answers teens gave where near perfect in almost every situation.

Based up on this data, The Red Cross deems this video marketing effort a success.

YouTube Celebrities: A New Marketing Tool?

This nonprofit video marketing case study should be an example for other charitable organizations looking to make an impact. By using YouTube celebrities rather than a-listers, The Red Cross was able to tap into these content creator’s own channels and their built-in audiences. Other videos would have had a much heftier promotional budget, which would have significantly increased the cost of the campaign.

In the United States, the Obama Administration used a similar tactic to promote the healthcare.gov website as the open enrollment deadline drew near.  They needed young people to sign up in order to make the model affordable across the board, and they tapped a variety of YouTube celebrities to deliver the message to Millennials.

The Videos

Here are some of the actual Red Cross clips from their nonprofit video marketing campaign:

What do you think of this nonprofit video marketing campaign and the use of YouTube celebrities? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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