Nonprofits around the world have seen encouraging results in the last few years using digital and social media strategies to amplify their message, raise funds and stay in touch with their community. Digital marketing is well suited for the needs of a nonprofit owing to its ease of use, potential to influence millions, low budget requirements and good measurability of effort. But as a nonprofit, what are the factors that will influence your digital marketing journey?
We looked at 2 recent reports that offer interesting insights. These insights can help you make key digital marketing decisions for your nonprofit in 2016. The first report is the 2016 Nonprofit communications trends report, which is the 6th edition of the annual report by Nonprofit Marketing Guide. The second report is the Digital Outlook Report 2015 for Nonprofits by NTen.
2016 Top Digital Marketing Trends for Nonprofits
Trend #1: Facebook continues to be the top social media channel for nonprofits
Facebook seems to be the No.1 choice for nonprofit communications, followed by Twitter and YouTube. But with the recent increase in Facebook’s native video views (8 billion video views per day!), it looks like YouTube will face tough competition in 2016. Instagram and Google Plus are gaining good momentum.
Trend #2: Email marketing is an important channel of communication
In terms of communication channels, we see that Email marketing combined with Facebook marketing seems to be the trend. It is interesting to see how Email Marketing is getting well ahead of Direct Mail in terms of being a preferred channel. The traditional Telemarketing is still in the race, but I would suggest you start looking at your telephone as a medium of support and not as a marketing channel for the future.
Trend #3: Video content and Visual content are the key
The reports show that since the effectiveness of communication increases with video and visual content (something that we are experiencing across industries) 68% of nonprofits focus on video content, 63% on high-quality images and 58% on infographics.
Trend #4: Testimonials are important
Next to videos and visual content (images and infographics), the content type that nonprofits focus on is ‘Testimonials’. 49% of them say that they will increase showcasing of testimonials in the days to come. Creating ‘social proof’ is the right way to gain credibility and trust in the online space.
Trend #5: There is a growing need for Digital Marketing training
When asked about the top challenges faced by Nonprofits, 40% of them say that lack of training on new digital strategies and tactics is a big challenge. This is followed by the challenge of coming up with new engaging content and proving ROI internally.
Trend #6: Content Marketing and Blogging are the top lead generation strategies
Nonprofits see content marketing strategy and blogging as the top 2 activities that can help them get qualified leads. Inbound marketing techniques driven by good-quality, fresh content continues to be the most effective lead generation strategy.
Trend #7: Posting Frequency varies based on Social Media channel
We see variation in the posting frequency based on the social media channel that is chosen. The most popular option on Facebook is posting ‘a few times a week’ while it is ‘multiple times a day’ for Twitter. The figure below gives you an idea of the trends in posting frequency.
Trend #8: There is a shortage of trained and talented staff
Only 43% of nonprofits say that they have dedicated staff for digital strategy. This is also due to the fact that across the Nonprofit industry ‘Staff shortage’ seems to be a big challenge – 74% say that they have staff shortage and list that as a top challenge.
Trend #9: Emerging new content types – Case Studies, Twitter chats, Podcasts, How-to Guides
Nonprofits are experimenting with new inbound ‘lead magnet’ content types like case studies, memes and how-to guides. They are also adapting themselves to upcoming trends like Twitter Chats and Podcasting that can help them connect to their audience.
Trend #10: Digital advertising spend is starting to increase
Nonprofits are starting to open up their digital wallet and are spending $100 to $500 on Facebook Ads. This is a trend that could eventually lead to ad spend in other social media channels in the days to come (if they see good returns with Facebook).
Hope these trends help you in creating a digital marketing plan for your nonprofit. Are there any marketing activities that work for you other than the ones mentioned in this post? Do let us know using the comments section below. Appreciate it.
(Click on the infographic image to enlarge)