It’s hard to feed the content beast. It’s a hungry beast that is best fed now and fed well. For nonprofits, content production can be even harder as you have to compete with big budgets. Yet if you are a thrifty content producer, not all your projects have to start from scratch. There are many opportunities for a content production partnership where both parties get what they want at a low cost.
Here are two ways to get content on a budget: 1) Find content generating tools that you can customize 2) Get content from the people (a.k.a user-generated content).
When I search for good content generating tools, my first stop is Google. For example, I knew I wanted new video content for this here blog post. Google’s Search Story Tool is not new, but it’s new to me and Ad Council has never used it to tell a story of a PSA campaign. Here Google has done a very smart thing by perfectly balancing the mutual benefits. I get good customized content, they get a customized video that shows the power of Google’s Search Engine. We both come out on top. Here’s a Search Story I put together on our beloved Smokey Bear.
A new documentary Life in A Day presented by YouTube and National Geographic is a great example of user-generated content at its best. One year ago YouTubers were asked to upload a video reflecting a day in their lives. People from all over the world uploaded 80,000 videos with 4500 hours of footage. It’s been described as “a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth.”
Filmmakers get to save a bundle on production costs and time. Also, the buzz about the documentary and the public’s excitement was big before the movie was even released. This is way more than a simple trailer could do. As for the people who provided the content, they get the opportunity to be in a really cool movie.
These two examples are very different but the same in their offering and results. Both parties get to customize, both parties get the content they want — a beautiful partnership indeed. Let’s face it — it’s hard and costly to produce truly original content these days. At times, all we can hope for is to take something and do it better, mash it up, or find creativity in how we collaborate.