6 Essential Marketing Channels for Nonprofits
Shared by Emma from Buzzly Media
Marketing in the digital age gets more and more complex every day. There are new platforms to consider, old platforms to throw out, and overall way too many things for one person to think about. If you’re wondering what marketing channels you shouldn’t be ignoring, you’re in the right place! We’ve elaborated on “The Big Six Channels” put forth in the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.
- Websites. Please please please have a search engine optimized, easy to navigate and mobile-friendly website. If search engines cannot find your website, users may not be able to get to it in the first place! If your website is hard to look through, users will get frustrated and leave. And if your site is not mobile-friendly, you could be losing more than half your traffic. (Yes, according to SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report, an average of 55.67% of site traffic now comes from mobile devices.)
- Email. If you think email sounds old school and have shifted your focus away from it you are doing your organization a huge disservice. A recent survey by Adobe showed that even millennials are addicted to email, checking it more frequently than any other age group and even checking it while using the bathroom! (Gross, but true!) Email is a great way to directly reach your followers, but beware of fatiguing them with too much of it.
- Traditional social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram… They’re all still extremely valuable to an organization looking to increase brand awareness. These channels will help make your organization become an authority in its industry and keep up engagement with followers. A Blackbaud study on the next generation of American giving recently found that “Nearly 60 percent of Gen Y identified the ability to directly see the impact of their donation as a critical part of the decision process – this tails off with the older generations.” More and more, people want to really see where their money is going. Social media is a great way to show people that. (And be sure to start focusing on visual social media, Instagram and videos are the ways of the future!)
- In-person events. There’s nothing like humans telling other humans about causes they care about. Nonprofits cannot afford to eliminate events from their marketing strategy. Get on the mailing lists of local convention centers and check events on sites like EventBrite to stay up to date on relevant happenings your organization can attend!
- Print marketing. That’s right, it’s still worth your time to print things onto pieces of paper. From printing beautifully designed event tickets to putting together newsletters, don’t write off print marketing just yet. Though many will claim that things like direct mailers are dying off, we know that mailings have grown modestly year over year and that people are indicating they do still read their physical mail. While your response from these efforts may skew towards an older demographic (55+) you certainly don’t want to ignore it as a channel.
- Media Relations and Public Relations. According to Everything-PR, “Media relations can be described as a company’s interactions with editors, reporters and journalists.” You need someone in your organization to be connected to the news world and constantly be looking for opportunities to get your organization out there. Similarly, you’ll need some public relations people to effectively handle that communication and choose the message you want to send to the public. Without these two things no one will ever know what a great job your nonprofit is doing in the community!
If this seems like a daunting list then think about what is most important to your organization’s goals and try to prioritize from there. Also remember that you can outsource a lot of this to professionals–we’ve previously talked about some reasons to outsource social media! You don’t have to go it alone. Happy marketing!