Running a successful marketing campaign and building brand awareness is no small feat for any business but finding new ways to attract volunteers and increase donor support can be particularly challenging for nonprofit organizations, especially considering the way marketing trends and technology are constantly changing. When it comes to nonprofit marketing, the success of your marketing strategy lies in your ability to harness the power of your community. This can be achieved by focusing your efforts on four major areas:
– Recruiting volunteers
– Increasing brand awareness
– Program engagement
– Donor support and fundraising
In turn, here are four budget-friendly marketing channels and tactics which generally make the most sense for businesses and organizations within the nonprofit sector.
Thanks to social media, nonprofits can now reach hundreds, if not thousands, of potential volunteers and donors. Here are a few techniques every nonprofit can use to engage enthusiastic supporters and build brand awareness.
- Use Visuals – According to BuzzSumo, articles featuring an image once every 75 to 100 words garner double the social media shares that those without images ultimately generate. Videos have also become an extremely popular way to reach followers. On Facebook, for example, videos which have been uploaded directly to the website, rather than shared from a third party, attract more views than any other type of content. Plus, they have the power to provide the most important information in the shortest amount of time.
- Add a Donate Button – Featuring a “call-to-action” (CTA) button on your website is a quick and easy way to bring in new, prospective donors for your brand and encourage fundraising incentive amongst supporters of your organization.
- Curate and Share Content – Social media platforms have made content curation an integral part of today’s marketing strategies. This simply entails selecting and sharing relevant resources which will help raise your organization’s visibility and bolster your reputation. Put together a Round-Up post or share exciting developments made by your peers! Be sure to properly credit all of your sources in order to build strong business relationships with other members of your community.
It can be very difficult to create new content every day, even when it comes to marketing strategies within the digital realm. A great way to really utilize the content you already have is by finding different ways to repurpose it in order to develop new material. When it comes to social media, remember that not every single one of your followers will see all of your posts, so you have a good deal of wiggle room when it comes to promoting content across a wide variety of channels.
Here are some ways you can strategically repurpose your content to strengthen program engagement:
- Transform blog posts into a fun, visual PowerPoint presentation and upload it to SlideShare.
- Create an e-book drawing from various blog posts around the same topic.
- Create a podcast to share existing content in audio form.
- Promote blog posts in scheduled email newsletters.
- Update existing content to be relevant today with new data or findings within the nonprofit sector.
- Turn existing content into an email series or campaign.
- Create case studies using existing content.
Direct mail is not dead! In fact, in its latest response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) discovered that the household response rate for direct mail campaigns are actually at the highest they’ve ever been (5.1%). That’s significantly higher than email (0.6%), paid search (0.6%), online display ads (0.2%), or social media (0.4%)! So while you’ll want to utilize a series of digital communications in conjunction with your direct mail campaigns for optimal results, direct mail has definitely proven it’s staying power and can undoubtedly help bolster brand awareness and maximize your nonprofit’s fundraising campaigns.
Email marketing has continued to grow, introducing new ways to reach potential donors and members to encourage program engagement. A recent study by GetResponse found that nonprofit organizations have a 34% open rate for emails, putting them at number five among the 18 industry types studied.
Be sure to consider the following tactics when planning your next email campaign for better conversion rates:
- Segment + Personalize – In order to maximize the impact of your outreach, segmenting your lists is an excellent way to speak to each group’s specific connection to your organization, which in turn makes your content feel more personalized. Whether you choose to group subscribers according to donor level or a particular area of interest, segmenting has been proven to improve click-through rates. Additionally, it’s always useful to make the effort to include personal touches such as addressing your recipients by name or including a “thank you” to emphasize a sense of involvement.
- Stand Out + Simplify – Don’t skimp out on high-quality content, but keep it simple! Your subject lines should be about five words. Concise is key. Within the email, incorporate visuals and personal touches to really engage the reader. Share stories connected to the work you’re doing or any exciting news from the community.
- Send a Survey – This is a great way to get valuable feedback from your members. It also demonstrates to potential donors and volunteers that their input is welcome and appreciated. This allows for more personalization and reinforces that feeling of community which is so vital.
- Include CTAs – Including call-to-action prompts in your email communications further helps foster a sense of engagement amongst members of your nonprofit. You will also be able to monitor your click-through rate through analytics to track conversion rates which will provide invaluable insight into the progress of your marketing strategy.
In order to maximize the impact of any outreach, crafting an integrated marketing strategy is important for your nonprofit and will encourage continued engagement throughout all of your campaigns.
Which marketing channels will work best for your nonprofit and how will you ensure you’re getting the highest return on investment?
Nikki Richard is the creator of nikkirichard.com and a Marketing Consultant. Nikki helps small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs with innovative marketing solutions to be more efficient, effective and thus successful. For more awesome content you can subscribe to her blog or follow her on Twitter for a plethora of savvy marketing tips and of course the occasional burger and brew review (she’s also a huge foodie).