Social media | Top Tips

Which video service is right for your charity?

*Stay tuned for a 2020 update with TikTok, IGTV and more!* Forget hyperdrives, hoverboards and holodecks, online video is the future. We now spend on average 3 hours 41 minutes every day consuming media on the internet, and that number is only set to increase.

By Reason Digital · July 28, 2014

With so much interest in video, it only seems right that we start using it for social good. We’ve looked before at how established YouTubers are doing it, but how about for you who are just starting out? Well here’s our quick start guide to choosing your platform for video stardom.


screenshot of vine

When you think of videos you might be thinking of elaborated well-polished mini-films or epic multipart series, but sometimes that’s not what you need. In the right circumstances, all you need is six seconds and a bit of sound. If all you want to do is make yourself a little more accessible, or share a quick few seconds of information, then the perfect video service for you may well be Vine.

If Vine was a social media network it would be Twitter, if it was a breakfast it’d be toast. It’s quick, simple and very accessible. All you need is a smartphone and an idea, and you can be creating mini-masterpieces in minutes. Can’t think how you’d get your message across in six seconds? Well fortunately we’ve already looked at some great examples of charities using the service to give you some ideas.

Instagram Video

instagram website

If you think six seconds is not enough time but still want to make something quick, then Instagram Video may be more suitable. Beating Vine’s time limit by 250%, Instagram Video allows you a mammoth 15 seconds to craft a story. Instagram Video also uses other functions that have become well known due to their photo service. You can use hashtags such as #charity, #nonprofit or #theherothatGothamdeservesbutnottheoneitneeds to define your video and make it easier to be found. It also has a many more users than Vine.

At it’s heart though, Instagram is still a photo service. Videos, while often well received, aren’t the focus of the site and may be ignored by a lot of the users. Choosing between Vine and Instagram can be difficult and it often depends entirely on your content and your supporters.


screenshot of YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video service in the world and is known even by the most technologically naive. It’s to video what Google is to search engines, which makes sense considering that Google owns the online video giant. If you want to hit the biggest audience it’s hard to argue for any service other than YouTube.

But before you go running off to hit that upload button remember that as well as a large audience, there’s also a lot of competition. Getting your video seen on YouTube can be really difficult. To do so successfully requires a strong social media presence directing people to your videos, a few great videos and a fair amount of luck.


vimeo screenshot

While YouTube is that really popular kid who gets on well with everyone, Vimeo is the cool guy who only a few feel worthy enough to hang out with. What Vimeo lacks in popularity compared to YouTube, it more than makes up in terms of style.

The general focus of the site is to emphasise higher-quality and more artistic videos. Audiences who visit the site go looking for more niche market and are more likely to respect brand image and your charity’s particular focus. Vimeo is perfect for those of you who have invested a lot into your video and who have a very focused and strong marketing plan surrounding it.

Choosing the right video service can be a difficult and important decision, but there’s no reason that you can’t use more than one. Sometimes there is no one perfect service for your goals. Experiment and test how well your videos do on each site, and you’ll be sure to find something perfect for you.