Two-Minute Video Content

Two-Minute Video Content


By David Allen, Development for Conservation


One feature of the blog world that I have found academically interesting over the years is the “hits per page.” This is the metric that tells the writer which pages or posts attract the most readers, whether it’s because they were searching for that particular content or whether they stumbled upon it in some other way.

One post that stands out for me, as I go back through the stats, is one I wrote about video. It seems to be one that folks still find relevant: How’s that YouTube Channel Coming?

In the post, I made the point that YouTube was the second largest search engine in the world, and that not having a YouTube Channel is getting to be like not having a website was twenty years ago. If that’s where people go to learn about you, that’s where you need to be.

Actually, there are significant parallels in the two experiences. Having a website was a serious challenge for those of us brand new to the idea back then. It changed the way we had to think, because we had to keep its content fresh.

Say what?

It’s hard to imagine now, but the transition was difficult for many (including me!), because we weren’t wired that way – wired to always be thinking about opportunities to put whatever was happening in the moment onto the web.

And now it’s like that with video.

Everything you do could be videoed.

Every person you meet could be videoed.

And someone in your land trust needs to get really good at editing.

It seems like the way to get started is just by making videotaping what’s happening a standard practice. Like taking a selfie everywhere you go as an organization. You can always decide to post something or not later. At least you’ll have it.

Here are some examples of what I’m suggesting:

  • Interview Board members when they first join the Board as part of their on-boarding experience. Interview them again as they begin to take positions of leadership in the organization. And again when they leave Board service.
  • Same with staff.
  • Interview the organizational founders about their earliest experiences.
  • Notice when volunteers cross certain milestones – like years served, or hours donated, or some other recognition bestowed – and interview them about their experience.
  • Interview conservation easement landowners – conservation partners – about their decisions to protect their land.
  • Interview project or campaign donors about their decisions to make large gifts or what inspired them to participate in this important way. Interview planned giving donors about their decisions to give.
  • Interview land stewards about what they are looking for, or managing for, or restoring on the land.
  • Take (and index so you can find it later!) lots of B-roll including B-roll from a drone that shows the properties from the air.
  • Tape official organizational positions the Board has approved – for example on climate change, community conservation projects, or water-use issues.
  • Record progress over time by revisiting sites where things have changed: restoration projects five years later, trees planted, trails built, or even new nests or dens with activity.
  • Edit some “official” tapes recording your anniversaries: reflect on where you’ve come from and look to the challenges that lie ahead.
  • And record thank you messages of all kinds.


I looked for tips on making great organizational videos. Here are several that are worth sharing:

  • Cell phone quality is plenty good enough for YouTube channel video, but invest in a good tripod!
  • Also invest in a good “bud” microphone. Use it to record audio when walking around a property with a landowner. Landowners often will open up about what they love about the land as they are showing it to you as opposed to standing stiffly in front of a camera.
  • Prepare, and refine over time, a standard set of questions for each type of interview. Don’t rely on just winging it.
  • A four-minute video is a  L—O—N—G  video. Try to keep the edited versions down around two minutes. It’s better to have two shorter videos than one longer video. That said, you don’t need to limit your recording time at all. It might take you 30 minutes of taping to get that two-minute nugget.
  • This means that you will need someone in your land trust to get good at editing. Know any 14-year-olds?
  • Just like with photos, you will need to create some indexing standards so that you can find what you are looking for quickly and easily.
  • There is no rush to publication. Take the time to edit it down to something really useful. Take the time to show it to the folks you interviewed to get their approval. Take the time to separate uploads in time so that your content is changing often (so people will come back).
  • Advertise the content by linking to it in emails, tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, and on your website.


If this sounds like a lot of work, let me say this clearly: IT IS A LOT OF WORK. And it’s even more work now, because we’re not wired this way yet.

But then so was managing a website twenty years ago.


Cheers, and Have a great week.




PS: Three people offered their examples of YouTube channels in the comments of that earlier post. They were Colorado Open Lands, Groundswell, and Delaware Highlands Conservancy.

If you have a YouTube Channel that I can share, please use the comment section below to send me the link.


Photo courtesy of Pixabay


Share this!
  • David Allen
    Posted at 15:38h, 22 April

    From my InBox this morning – I love the work they’ve done here to build a brand identity that ties the videos together – Bravo!

    Just getting back from vacation and catching up on your latest blog post. You’re welcome to share our YouTube channel.

    Sharon White, River Alliance of Wisconsin

  • Rob
    Posted at 12:44h, 16 April

    If folks haven’t tried it, definitely check out the new Adobe Rush software. It makes editing video simple and takes 5 minutes to learn. Big fan. Saves hours over editing with Premiere with comparable results.

    • David Allen
      Posted at 13:54h, 16 April

      Thanks Rob!

  • Pauline Heyne
    Posted at 11:19h, 16 April

    Would love to know more about what types of video editing programs people like to use?

  • Patricia Meglio
    Posted at 08:03h, 16 April

    Here’s a video that the North Branford Land Conservation Trust made to attract young people to becoming involved in saving the open space, and to volunteer.

    • David Allen
      Posted at 08:42h, 16 April

      Love it! What are you doing to keep this “fresh” for your audience – to keep them coming back to your channel?