Understand the power behind reach and frequency
The marketing goal of any brand is to reach as many people as possible, knowing that of that audience, there is a percentage of people who are ready to engage with them. For most businesses and not-for-profit organisations especially, the goal is to reach as many people as possible, for as little cost as possible.
Editorial and news coverage is naturally a huge benefit to a brand (providing the content is complementary), but cannot be guaranteed when you need it. Developing social media channels and engaged audiences is important, but only part of the process – as your brand will need more than just ‘likes’ in order to continue your work.
It was often told that put your brand out there as many times as you can, as often as possible (and as cheaply as possible), but this school of thought has more recently swayed towards being more selective. Where we find the best results are marketing to demographics (society filters) that allow us to hone in on an audience that is more inclined to support our brand.
Leverage social media with influencers
Social media will continue to drive conversations (what we still call word of mouth), these conversations grow exposure to new networks and allow you an opportunity to expand your range of influence. Bringing onboard influencers (celebrities, athletes and the like) as ambassadors help to rapidly increase your exposure to new networks.
Ensure your brand tells a story
The goal of many not-for-profit organisations is to benefit society in some way, with a view of improving the world (or a portion of it). Telling people purely about your organisation unfortunately falls well short of this goal and often lands on deaf ears (regardless of how beneficial your organisation may be).
Content is such an important part of communicating benefits and the marketing role of a not-for-profit should be to maximise ways of telling your story to as many people as possible and central to your marketing strategy.
Storytelling is an effective choice, due to the fact it can be accomplished without great expense and appeals to the interest. It comes back to the fundamental human need “What’s in it for me?” Developing content that talks about the journey, the founders’ stories and how the organisation came to be, as well as the milestones that have been achieved along the way. Remember to keep the content interesting to engage your audience.
Continue to develop information about future plans, people on the ground within the organisation and the people’s lives that you touch. Distribute the content through social media, your media channels, branded merchandise, website and through your printed collateral.
No cost marketing
Developed (and developing) not-for-profit brands find unique ways for their followers to engage with their brand and merchandise is a huge component of this. It allows for a tangible way for a person to show they care about a cause and they’re a wonderful branding tool that generally have a long life and opportunity to be seen by others.
Where the true benefit comes is from the fact that they can be at nil cost to your organisation (and in most cases, can generate funds that continue the work that you do).
Branded merchandise can help deliver 3 goals – grow your brand awareness, give your audience ways to support your cause/getting something tangible in return and lastly, the financial benefit from selling merchandise. The way to be truly successful with this type of marketing is to understand your audience, select product that is tailored to this audience and then a design that tells your story and appeals to your audience.
Take advantage of smart production
Red Energy Promotions have developed systems through their work in growing not-for-profit organisations in Australia called smart production. Smart production allows for a brand to market a merchandise product through a bespoke online portal, gather sales over a set period of time and then manufacture at the end of the campaign. This protects your brand from the usual shortfalls (is the design going to be well received, what sizes should I order, how many should I order). We call it smart production, you’ll call it a way to mitigate risk and get your brand to market. Talk to us for more information.
At the end of the day, the one thing that a not-for-profit organisation cannot lose sight of, is their reason for being. Most importantly, they must continue to remind their supporters (and prospective supporters) of this fact and paint a picture for what to expect in the near future.