As marketers, we share a common experience.
We get the urge to step outside of the endless loop of go-to marketing strategies and tactics in search of fresh, unconventional ideas. Sometimes even successful campaigns and thriving marketing programs can start to border on humdrum when you get into a cycle of rinse and repeat.
Now that’s not to say you should throw out the baby with the bath water (so to speak) when your existing marketing programs are generating positive results. It just signals that it's time to honor both your creative spirit and your nonprofit’s well-being with a shot of imagination.
The next time you find yourself in a creative rut, break out with these 6 out of the box tips to boost your nonprofit marketing.
1. Look for ways to inspire user-generated content (UGC).
User-generated content is a great way to acquire free, authentic, brand-building content from your community. Have you ever thought about running a campaign or a contest that requires community members to upload and comment on photos or videos of themselves while interacting with your nonprofit? Give it a try—the resulting content can be leveraged for future use in numerous ways.
2. Engage with social media cause influencers.
Find your cause influencers and build relationships with them. Cause influencers are the thought leaders everyone listens to when they speak out about your cause on social media. Don’t be shy about formally asking them to help promote a fundraising campaign or an event by sharing your content, guest blogging, or tweeting your hashtags. You might find this guide from Attentive.ly helpful with getting started.
3. Launch a referral program.
Referral marketing can be an effective way to grow your nonprofit community with the help of your most loyal donors. Set up a campaign to ask your top 1% donors to provide email addresses for at least 3 friends to receive your email newsletter. Be sure to incentivize these donors with rewards for their referrals (e.g., extra tickets to special events, free event parking, public name recognitions, or small token gifts).
4. Experiment with a trial podcast.
Podcasting allows nonprofits to deliver their messages to a targeted community of loyal supporters or to brand new audiences. Consider interviewing one of your top cause influencers and sharing it with your community via podcast. Use your trial podcast to tell a powerful success story. Or repurpose some valuable content that didn’t achieved the broad reach you’d originally hoped for. Before getting started, check out this post from CauseVox to decide if podcasting is right for your nonprofit.
5. Create a DIY infographic.
We all know that research is essential to nonprofits and causes, but let’s face it—the reports are often less than exciting to read and visually uninspiring to look at. With the right tools, you can spark new life into your complex research by repackaging the data in easily digestible infographics. A custom infographic from a professional designer can be cost prohibitive, but thankfully there are DIY infographic tools on the market with free service levels like Piktochart.
6. Find new and inspiring ways to say “Thanks.”
Get creative with showing your appreciation. Make a short “thank you” video that calls out the names of donors. Send donors small tokens of branded swag (e.g., coffee mugs, pens, paper weights, calendars, etc). Or simply give social media shout outs on Twitter and Facebook. For more unique ways to thank your donors, take a look at Claire Axelrad’s (of Clairification) Pinterest board, Gratitude-Nonprofits Say Thanks.
Feel free to share some of your own out of the box ideas in the comments below.
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