Here’s the latest story from Union Rescue Mission

YouTube annotation features have been around for a while but I’ve yet to see a nonprofit use them as a form of engagement. Starting at 3:38 URM gives 2 options for activity, watch more videos or make a donation. The part I love the most about their short films is that they look to connect emotionally but without the use of guilt.

They’ve been creating these vids for over 2 years and every time I watch I know I’m going to see a story from someone in their own words. It’s going to be messy, with rough edges but it’s reality – and I appreciate that and based on the numbers, so does their audience.

If you’re creating YouTube Videos and not thinking through the activity you’d like your viewers to make next – then you’re not thinking through a full story arc.  Especially when you’re videos or short films are incredible! (I think URM’s definitely fit under that moniker)

The launch in using the annotations happened in mid September with URM’s Chef David video from the Stories from Skid Row series. Since the launch the channel views are trending 30% higher than a standard month with each released video having several hundred more views than prior to the annotations.

Are the videos better than they were before?I think they get better every month but I’d say it’s negligible

Has the audience grown? Yes, steady growth but nothing to match the 30% increase.

How do you get it? Sign up your nonprofit with Google and take advantage of a lot of the products and services they have to offer.

So why did the views go up? URM has focused on greater video integration across social media and with the use of annotations allowing for easy viewing of more than one video in a row.

Quality content + Ease of use = greater connectivity, satisfaction and warm and fuzzies around your brand.

Update: After several month of monitoring the process, working with Chronicle Project, we edited the final frames for annotations to encompass even more options. Adding xtra pieces like email sign up and easy sharing on twitter and facebook as well as watching more videos and making a donation.

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