Marketing your nonprofit can seem like a never ending maze of pitfalls and dead ends. Having a well rounded plan of action that starts with the broader organizational goals—and ends with generating revenue for your given cause—will help set you on the right path.
The challenge for many nonprofit organizations is in keeping up with the ever evolving marketing world that has now come to include much more than traditional print advertising and word of mouth. Nonprofits must now also be social media masters, content creators, storytellers and sales experts. Just getting started can be overwhelming, much less diving into the deep end.
For nonprofits unsure of the first steps, or those already lost in the labyrinth, consider the Your Business Marketer team Theseus’ thread. We can help you navigate the twists and turns of marketing and assist in your overall growth strategy, as we have for many other nonprofits.
Where Purpose-Driven Marketing Begins
Every ending has a beginning, and all nonprofit stories start with a cause. Understanding your beginning is essential to properly marketing your nonprofit organization. Not only will a solid foundation help you more clearly articulate your message, but it will also help you engage with prospective donors further down the road.
Nonprofit Messaging: Mission/Values
Chances are, you have a clear understanding of your organization’s mission or values. Over time, it is common for a mission to evolve or grow as the organization takes on more related causes. Where many struggle is in transforming that mission into a compelling story that will resonate with the public at large.
Start with going back to the roots of your organization. Not so much the founding of the nonprofit, but the idea that sparked inspiration. People do business with people they like, and donors are looking for a way to connect with the cause. Conveying that life story in your mission will trickle down to every other aspect within your digital marketing strategy and is critical to your value proposition.
Without something to connect to, donors are less likely to open their hearts and wallets. Fundraising is a stressful aspect of operating a nonprofit because it quite literally keeps the lights on. When your mission and value proposition are intertwined, donors will be more compelled to give.
3 Nonprofit Content Tools
Consider for a moment that digital marketing is like archery. Your mission is the bow, beautifully crafted with the ability to connect with a target at greater lengths. But a bow without arrows in the quiver is just a blunt instrument that is far less effective. The arrows are your marketing tools. When the two are combined, and placed in the hands of an expert, they work in unison to target prospects efficiently and effectively.
Storytelling has been around since the dawn of time but is perhaps the most powerful arrow in a nonprofit’s quiver. More than catch tagline, great storytelling creates a visceral experience for the audience. It has the ability to set your organization apart.
Storytelling should infiltrate every aspect of your marketing strategy. In truth, storytelling knows no boundaries. It can just as easily be implemented across multiple platforms and mediums and produce a similar result. Whether you are handing out flyers for a grassroots campaign, or jumping into social media to approach a wider audience, your story should be front and center.
While storytelling might focus on specific examples of the impact your organization has made, it is not without flaws. The best story being told by the company’s founder will pale in comparison to that of someone that has been touched by your organization. Testimonials allow you to peel back the curtain and show patrons the impact that their donations are making.
Most nonprofits will only deploy this arrow at events. You know the scene, you bring up a family that you have helped, or someone that will share a heartwarming story to get the donors feeling gratified. There is no denying the impact, but those pieces can be injected into other areas of your marketing like social media posts, email campaigns or direct mail campaigns.
Nonprofit Video Content
If there is an arrow that is underutilized by the majority of nonprofits, it is video content. Video has quickly come to dominate social media, and for good reason. Beyond being easily digestible, it provides the audience the ability to connect with a cause in a very short amount of time. We all remember the ASPCA commercials with Sara McLachlan. Chances are, you can still see the faces of all of those abandoned animals. That is the power of video.
Where things have changed is that video has never been easier to create. It can be done from any smartphone. The familiar, attractive medium creates a moment of instant connection with potential donors. Don’t overthink the production: the message is much more important. Once the video is done, include a call to action to direct viewers to your website, making it easier for them to give.
Create a Nonprofit Digital Marketing Strategy
Building a well organized digital marketing funnel will help lead prospects through the labyrinth, but it is not without its pitfalls. Time and resources are frequently the biggest roadblocks that prevent a well rounded strategy from being implemented, much less fully executed. That is why many nonprofits choose to partner with a digital marketing agency to help craft their messaging and streamline the process.
The Your Business Marketer team has a team of marketing experts that can help your organization carefully craft everything from the message to the content needed to get it in front of your audience. Connect with our team and schedule a consultation to see if our team can help yours move forward.