With the rapid advances in technology and the increasing clutter on social media networks, nonprofits need to develop ways to break through the noise with a clear voice. Basically, nonprofit marketing trends have shifted. Technology has advanced, fundraising online has grown, and the donor-to-nonprofit interaction has evolved. More than ever, it has become imperative that organizations be mindful of how their audience wants to be engaged.
The Reigning Champ—Content
It’s no surprise that content marketing will be the number one factor to monitor. Content marketing is number one for a reason—it costs about 62 percent less than traditional marketing and produces about three times as many leads. But these results don’t happen on their own. Successful marketing isn’t simply about putting content out there; it’s about having a strategy.
With the breadth of tools including social media platforms, blogging, e-mail, video, and paid methods such as Google AdWords, there is no shortage of ways to deliver content, and having a content marketing strategy is what separates those who are more effective from those who are less effective with their marketing.
Nonprofits need a strategic plan for creating, distributing, and measuring material. Creating a workflow that guides delivery, analyzes the results, identifies donor personas, and measures content engagement on different platforms are some of the ways that—done right—can result in a well-crafted plan.
Ultimately, there is no one right way to create an effective content strategy. Developing such a strategy requires determining what content channels work best for your organization to break through the noise. Read on for helpful advice that will point you in the right direction.
Effective Use of Social Media Is Declining
Now that we are well into 2017, numbers are available from last year, and they are indicating some interesting trends. One of those trends is the declining engagement on social media. Many experts are guessing this is partly due to a more saturated market as more and more brands and nonprofits join in the social media boom. The use of social media for fundraising will have to become more targeted to stay effective. Free-form advertising isn’t going to bring in the same results as it has in the past; the truth is, you get what you pay for. To stay effective and at the forefront of social media, nonprofits will need to make financial investments in the paid advertising and premium tools the online platforms offer.
Good News for Email Marketing
One good thing that has come out of the declining engagement on social media is that nonprofits can refocus on old but reliable email communications and fundraising. New data from Litmus says that 56 percent of emails are now opened on mobile devices, and the number one thing people do on their phones is open and read email. This is great news when you combine that information with the information from last year’s Benchmarks Study that says email revenue grew by 25 percent, and 13 percent of online gifts to nonprofits were made from mobile devices. Email now results in more online donations than ever, and those donations are far surpassing those from social media. The belief is that, with the next generations being even more active online and on their phones, email hasn’t yet hit its peak.
Humanize Your Marketing
Consumer behavior is changing in dramatic ways. Average consumers expect organizations—with nonprofits being no exception—to engage with them on a totally different level. Consumers want quicker, more mobile personalized experiences.
Storytelling will become one of the most important marketing tools because it provides a way to connect with the emotions that help drive donor engagement and ongoing support. Audiences want to feel how they are assisting those who come to nonprofits for help; feeling is what will drive them to continue providing financial support and time.
There are a number of assets you can use to get your message across, but the most effective medium in your storytelling content arsenal is video; it is the number one tool. And it makes sense, right? Video is compelling because it can quickly demonstrate what you do, and it can connect emotionally to motivate supporters.
For the coming year, plan on refocusing marketing content into a strategy that best fits your audience and donors.
Here at Ocreative, our team is ready to help. We specialize in creating successful content-marketing campaigns by using our experience and a diverse set of tools that includes marketing automation, analytics, and research to customize a plan that can dramatically improve engagement and more effectively accomplish your mission.
Ready to talk about your next move? We can help you here.
Ocreative is an award-winning, fully integrated marketing agency whose work features some of the best forward-thinking organizations and B2B companies. Since the integrated marketing agency began in 2003, they’ve carved out a specialization for themselves with nonprofits and business-to-business companies. Their portfolio expertly includes marketing and strategy, design, web and digital and multimedia.