Are you wondering if you are missing something in your social media strategy? May be you have a good website, you are posting regularly on social media, you are sending out emails, you are engaging with your audience by replying and liking all their comments. But still something seems to be missing. May be you are not seeing your posts go viral or create a big impact in the donation numbers or supporter subscription list. And you wonder why.
As a digital agency that works with various nonprofits around the world, we are used to seeing our clients reach out to us when they face this challenge and we have noticed some common missing pieces of this puzzle across different locations. Here is the list.
5 Missing Pieces of Your Digital Marketing Puzzle
Missing Piece 1: Involving Other Departments
If you are the marketing or management team in a nonprofit, most of the time you are in the head office in discussions and meetings strategising or coordinating content creation for campaigns (which is an important thing to do). But you may not have much time to connect and communicate with your team on the ground. Many times marketers underestimate the ability of departments like field-officers, project-implementation team, advocacy team, fund-raising team, finance, HR and admin to give inputs to marketing campaigns. I am not saying it should always be a collective decision, but it would be great if there is a way for them to have visibility of the marketing activities and give their inputs. Grass-root level information could be the missing piece of your digital marketing puzzle. That one input from your team could make all the difference.
If you can come up with a schedule where you regularly spend time with the various teams in the organization, may be over Skype or Whatsapp, they might give you practical and ground-level insights for marketing campaigns.
Questions you could ask the team during these interactions:
- What are your thoughts on the current marketing campaigns?
- Are we using the right medium to reach our audience? For example, we may be using Facebook a lot, but are the audience on Facebook or are they using another channel?
- Are there any channels that you would recommend we start using?
- Is there any support you need at a grass-root level, that we can include in the campaign and help you achieve?
- Do you think we are missing any important organizational messages/statements from the campaigns?
In my 10+ years of experience as a marketing consultant (both traditional and digital) for non-profits, I have seen amazing inputs come out of such meetings, specially from teams that deal with day-to-day issues on the ground level.
Missing Piece 2: Tracking Results Regularly
As a nonprofit, resources like time, money and team are not in abundance. So one of the activities that usually takes a backseat is ‘measurement and analysis’. The ones that are given priority are posting, content creation and strategy, etc. because it seems much more important to keep the action going and it is more visible to everyone.
This approach could prove costly in the long run, because you may be focussing your effort and resources on something that may not be working, while ignoring something that is actually producing results. Measurement and analysis on a regular basis will help you keep a tab on this.
- Create key metrics for each digital marketing activity – website, social media campaigns, ad campaigns, etc.
- Have a scheduled weekly review of key metrics
- List down 3 to 5 action items for the week based on the review
- Set dates and ownership among team to implement them
- Before starting the next weekly review, quickly go through previous week’s action items and see how the implementation is progressing.
If you like to learn more about measurement, you can download our free eBook on social media measurement techniques.
Missing Piece #3: Cleaning Up Nonperforming Channels
Be a result-driven digital strategist. Sometimes as marketers, we become emotionally attached to one channel or a campaign simply because we like it or simply because it has worked for us earlier. But in your measurement process, if you find that something is not working, take steps to stop that campaign. Removing non-performing campaigns is crucial for long term success and you may have to do it without any emotional attachment.
I usually have a specific grace-period for any non-performing campaign. I wait for 15 days or a month depending on the channel to see if things turn around. But after that, even if it is my favourite campaign, I make sure it is off the calendar. As a marketer, specially for nonprofits with limited budgets, it is important to be result-driven and number-driven.
Missing Piece 4: Communicating Visually, With Videos
We all understand the power of visual communication and visual content. Many nonprofits are good in creating image-based content. But what about video? As explained in our earlier blog on Social media trends for 2015, video is the next big thing. The speed at which video tools like Blab, Periscope and Meerkat are growing is proof enough that your audience are starting to consume live video content much more than they did even a few months ago.
Some action points:
- Include video driven campaigns in your calendar using Blab, Periscope or Meerkat
- Empower your ground-level team with smartphones and connectivity so that they can report daily news via personal live streaming channels which can later be embedded in your website for public viewing on Blab.
- You could involve your top management in video chats to talk about the vision and purpose.
You can think of creative ways of using live video & recorded video. Do not miss the great-video-movement that is happening right now!
Missing Piece 5: Initiating Partnerships
We often find that nonprofits do not use the power of partnership as mush as the businesses do. Social media and the Internet have made partnering possible around the world. It is easier to find the right partner and connect with them than it was a few years ago.
- List down the areas that you are not currently focussing on, but are related to your cause and your non-profit. Google will give you most of the names. For example, you may be a non-profit working in the area of serving HIV positive people, but focussing only on medical supplies. But there could be other nonprofits that work in advocacy or life-skills training for HIV positive people. You can plan to partner with them for greater impact or at least to share ideas with them online.
- Plan to partner with businesses that are willing to work with nonprofits for social good. Recent research by Nielsen says that 67% of employees prefer to work with companies that are socially responsible. 55% of consumers are ready to pay extra for products and services from companies that are committed to do good and give back to society. Businesses are well aware of these statistics and they want to get their CSR campaigns off ground. But they simply do not know how and who to partner with. You can list down organizations you could partner with and reach out to them on social media or email asking them to partner with you.
- Creating a partner page on your website and social media channels explaining the various partnerships options is a good place to start your online partnering activity.
Working on these 5 pieces should help you in your nonprofit digital marketing campaigns and help you create greater impact for your cause.
Keep changing the world, one step at a time. Cheers!