In the spirit of the holiday season, we decided to ask our clients and nonprofit marketing peers to share what’s on their marketing wish list for 2016. Here are the top responses we received.
1. A Clear Strategy
Can we all agree the word “strategy” gets tossed around so loosely and with such frequency nowadays that it’s almost at risk for becoming one of those overused buzz terms that loses significance over time? Yet when designed well and executed properly, a strategy is paramount to helping nonprofit marketers focus on their core challenges and providing them with a framework to prioritize limited resources. For those who haven’t yet developed a strategy for 2016, it’s still not too late. Be sure to draft your plan by January so you have a roadmap to follow for the remainder of the year.
2. Increased Brand Awareness & Engagement
Without brand awareness, it is impossible for a nonprofit to build an informed and engaged community. A clear understanding of your nonprofit’s cause, mission, and constituency is key to motivating your audience to engage in some way, whether it’s to donate, volunteer, or join. Social media is ripe for community engagement. Sure, likes and shares are important, but conversations drive real engagement. When creating content for your social media platforms, choose compelling topics and write engaging posts to spark conversations with your clients, donors, and stakeholders.
3. Better Storytelling
Powerful and authentic storytelling can draw an emotional connection between prospective donors and your cause. As nonprofit marketers, you’re in the business of changing lives and you’ve got the inspirational stories to prove it. Why not put those stories to work for you? Effective storytelling starts with understanding your audience—knowing their goals, what motivates them, and what drives them to take action. When creating nonprofit stories don’t forget to include the five fundamentals: character, challenge, connection, call-to-action, and change.
4. Improved Success Metrics
Determining the right metrics to show marketing effectiveness can be a mind-boggling experience. In general, nonprofit marketers should focus on consumption, engagement, and conversion metrics to gauge impact across all marketing channels. Consumption metrics show how much of your content your audience is consuming—e.g., page and video views, email opens, downloads. Engagement metrics demonstrate how often your audience engages with your content—e.g., social media and blog shares, likes, mentions, comments, and inbound links. And conversion metrics indicate how many opportunities you’re generating from your leads—e.g., donations, event registrations, volunteer commitments, blog and email subscriptions.
5. Bigger Budgets
It’s probably safe to say this item appears on every marketer’s wish list regardless of industry and current budget size. But with shrinking budgets becoming a constant reality in the nonprofit sector, nonprofit marketers may be particularly sensitive with regard to spending. If this wish isn’t granted, consider shifting a portion of your direct mail budget to your content marketing budget to get more bang for your buck. Why? Because content marketing on average costs 13 percent less than traditional marketing. And because 44 percent of direct mail never gets opened. And mainly because content marketing has the potential to reach a bigger and more targeted audience than direct mail.
Please add to our “Ultimate 2016 Nonprofit Marketing Wish List” by sharing a few items from your own wish list.
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