Unfortunately, the old adage “if you build it, they will come” does not easily apply to digital stories. Getting viewers to watch, and share, your organization’s digital story requires more than just good production.

Fortunately, TechSoup’s recent Digital Storytelling Challenge tweet chat gathered nonprofit video experts and other experienced storytellers to share what works, what channels are best and more.

Where to Promote Your Video

As the second largest search engine and the number one video sharing site, YouTube is a good place to begin sharing your digital story. YouTube was also a favorite because it offers a range of tools for social benefit organizations through its Nonprofit Program.

Vimeo, another popular video sharing site, was recommended because its pro account does not impose a time limit on videos. Facebook, which many organizations already have an audience on, is also recommended for story uploading.

One pro tip was to use Blip.TV, a video-uploading site that gives users the added option to syndicate their content to other channels. It is also worth noting not to overlook the obvious – post your digital story to your organization’s website. Posting digital stories on your organization’s fundraising page is a good way to visually connect to why donations matter.

Ask Supporters to Share It!

A good video will get shared but with so much information vying for our attention online it is still worthwhile to make an effort to share. Never underestimate the power of a direct ask – reach out to people and organizations in your network. Ask others to share personally, one-on-one, or socially, through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. 


Blog, Annotate, and Let Your Supporters Help

An organization’s blog is another overlooked platform – a digital story can be embedded in a post with an appeal to share. It’s also worthwhile to partner with influential bloggers and online community leaders to get your video shared across networks.

If you’re using YouTube to share your video, the call to share can be made through video annotations. Finally, and most importantly, make your video easy to share and give your supporters wide latitude to “speak in their words about your cause.”


Don't Underestimate the Power of Tagging and Keywords

On the technical side, guaranteeing the widest distribution of your digital story requires understanding optimizing your video for search engines through tagging. Adding descriptive tags to your digital story increases its chances of appearing prominently in search engine results. When deciding on keywords it helps to not only consider the content of the video but terms your intended audience might use to describe and look for your video.

Experts on the chat also advised using keywords that tapped into topics that are popular and relevant. Keywords should be employed in a story’s description and its title. There are multiple places to use keywords for digital stories, in metadata, descriptions, and titles.

Creativity in employing keywords to make strong, relevant descriptions and catchy titles can go a long way towards helping your video climb to the top of search results.

If you’re still in need of digital storytelling advice be sure to refer to past TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge educational tweet chat and webinar recap archives and join the online Google group for updates.

Susan Chavez
Online Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global