It must be lovely marketing a charity: doing good with every tweet, connecting with genuinely interested people, raising awareness without necessarily needing to raise a profit. However, marketing for a non-profit organisation can also come with its difficulties.
From ensuring your messaging is sensitive, charity-focused and engaging right through to working with a smaller budget and with a smaller marketing team, it can be much harder to stand out in the busy social media landscape when marketing for a nonprofit organisation.
How to overcome those challenges by knowing your goals, your audience… and keeping your messaging consistent
Are you using marketing to increase following, boost awareness, recruiting volunteers or to help raise funds?
Once goals have been established, you can work out your priorities and stick to them across your marketing strategy.
Develop audience personas to ensure your marketing to your ideal supporters. What are their values? Why would they support your charity? Use insight tools on social media to find out who your online audience is - does this match up with your idea audience persona? If not… why?
Create a marketing strategy centred around the audience you now know so well, posting the kind of information you think they would care about and, most importantly, remember and share.
It’s all about the people
As well as putting the focus on the people behind the organisation through the businesses own social channels, create engagement with user-generated content, too. If a user shares a touching story with you, make sure you use it and credit them.
People will always connect with and empathise with people, not necessarily the brand’s airbrushed version of the people they think their audience will want to see. Reach out, dig deep and find real stories that will generate real engagement.
Tell a story
Everyone loves a good story. Take as much time as you need on Facebook and Instagram - find the heart of your story and shape the post around it. On Twitter, create an image containing the full story and save your 140 characters for a quick summary or to tag relevant accounts.
Never feel rushed or limited, particularly when it comes to marketing for nonprofits. The people who will care about your organisation will care about what you have to say.
Use data effectively
Stats are a quick, visual way to share an impactful snippet of information. Be creative with your data - use infographics to make a whole bunch of stats stand out by collating them and putting them all in one place for your followers to consume quickly and aesthetically.
You can use data effectively another way too… by tracking your success. How many people have viewed your blog… and how far down the page have they scrolled? What was your most successful social post, and why do you think that is? Can you do more of it? Bridgett Colling, director of content marketing at See3 Communications, says: “if you put goal tracking in your Google Analytics, you can see how many referrals actually led to someone completing a donation.”
Use offline and online marketing collaboratively
This one works both ways. At an event and want your digital audience to get involved? Share your live videos online. Wanting your event attendees to connect with you digitally? Use a hashtag to encourage participation on social media.
Similarly, you can reach out to regular advocates/donors and ask them to connect with you online. If there’s a particularly important link or campaign you’d like people to share, circulate this amongst key members of the organisation so they’re aware of your hard work, and they may even engage online themselves.
Consider your CTAs
Creating an impactful call to action is key. Not only does your message have to stand out and appeal to your following, you must make it as easy as possible for your followers. Be upfront and don’t beat around the bush. Want people to give up their hard earned cash? Tell them directly why it’s so important.
Finally, make sure you reward those who help your cause by thanking them and interacting with them. This way, people are far more likely to promote your charity’s cause more often as they feel rewarded and noticed.
And finally… it’s all about the positivity
Even if the cause is far from cheery, it’s up to marketers to find some hope and positivity to celebrate.
Celebrate the difference the non-profit organisation has made, to demonstrate the outcome of your supporters’ efforts. If followers connect with you to share stories, thoughts or photographs, make sure to share them with your wider circles.
It doesn’t always have to be results-driven (though of course share positive results when you have them) - positive, human-based stories and blogs that show your organisation’s impact work brilliantly to raise awareness and engagement. Experiment with live video, live tweeting from events and always remember to tag relevant accounts in social posts you put out to encourage them to share news, too.
By Sophie Joelle, digital content executive at Extreme Creations
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