Nonprofit organizations have some of the most unique and heartfelt stories, from communities they have helped to lives they have changed. There are thousands of nonprofit organizations at work around the world working to promote their cause; however, very few have large-scale recognition and the financial support necessary to conduct work at the level in which they desire. Social media has given nonprofits the ability to advertise via virtual crowd sourcing with little to no budget, and has demonstrated its value by helping campaigns such as the infamous ‘Kony 2012,’ which received over 99 million views on YouTube, and many others previously unheard of organizations to grow from small public service campaigns to the international stories.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, approximately 92% of nonprofit employ some use of social media in their day-to-day operations, but of these 92%, only 26% believe that their social media presence has proven effective. Perhaps these numbers have something to do with that fact that an astonishingly low 25% of all nonprofits surveyed have a marketing strategy in place to promote their social media outlets.
The important fact is that nonprofits are attempting to use social media, but overwhelmingly, they continue rely on traditional forms of marketing to maintain growth instead of looking for ways to expand their cause outreach. Social media and content marketing is incredibly effective if you develop a marketing strategy that will compliment your traditional methods, and actively work to implement it. If you put the same amount of work in developing a social media strategy as you do in managing your nonprofit, here are just some of the many ways content marketing can make your nonprofit stand out from the rest and put your nonprofit on the map.
Content Marketing Creates a Buzz
You may be working for one of the greatest causes in the history of mankind, but no one can support your organization if no one knows who you are. The average nonprofit has an account on 4 different types of social media platforms. Of the social media services currently offered online, Facebook is one of the most popular and debatably the most effective services used by marketing teams to promote their product or service; following Facebook in nonprofit usage is Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Each program differs in its approach to social connections but ultimately the intended purpose is to allow users to make connections with one another in some way.
The best way to promote a cause and to build support is to create visuals of the work you do and what exactly your organization supports. Think back to a story or moment when your organization made an impact in the world and turn it into a public relations story that people can see and share. Share photos of events, create and promote short videos through sites such as YouTube, or create a Facebook post telling this fantastic story to the world. Generating buzz surrounding a particular story creates awareness of the cause that you are working toward and will help you to build a fan base among other social media users. The more your story is shared and talked about, the more chances there will be available for your nonprofit to gain support and for your nonprofit and stand out.
Content Marketing Promotes Loyalty
Creating stories, generating leads, and gaining supporters through social media will eventually lead to an increase in social media followers, volunteerism, and an influx of donations; the more followers that you have, the bigger you audience will be when you promoting campaigns or setting up special events.
Make sure that each story that you post has a call to action that asks your followers to do something related to your cause, whether that be donating, volunteering, or just simply learning more about your organization. All of the pictures and videos that you generate will keep your supporters updated about the work you are doing and build loyalty; the age old saying ‘seeing is believing’ holds true here. This help to ensure that donations keep coming your way and that more and more people will want to jump on board and get involved. Use this opportunity to get ahold of contact information from volunteers and donators so that you have a group of dedicated individuals that you can call on again when the need arises. Build an email list from these individuals or lead your supporters over to your website to register for newsletters or future events.
Social Marketing Generates Web Traffic
Asking supports of your brand to register for your website through social media content helps your nonprofit to guide those volunteers and donators outside of the social media site, and back to your website where they will be immersed with additional information, facts, and resources about your organization; at this point, they will be no longer distracted by other Facebook posts that could get them off message, and the entire browsing experience will be centered around your nonprofit.
Social media content creates a filter that allows you to build an audience that is attentive toward your organizations operations, curious to find out more about your cause, and most importantly, interested in spreading the word to their family and friends. From your website you can direct visitors to links that you deem relevant, increase the success of your other marketing techniques such as mailers and email newsletters, and control the overall experience of the visitors. Prior to social media, generating new leads to your website would have required extensive SEO application and much greater costs in order to develop advertisements.
In addition to being able to disperse information on a much larger scale, an increased number of visitors to your website will result in higher search results on Google. As your Google PageRank grows and the number of users searching for your website increases, search results will begin to deliver your website in their queries making your nonprofit more visible to uninformed users.
Anyone who is using a search engine to look up information similar to your cause may come across your website through these results which will result in more publicity and a greater potential for additional volunteers or donors.
Content Media Make You The Go-To Source
Your organization should be the primary source for any headlines, public relations stories, or cause specific facts, where users can turn to find out more information. Social media helps to disseminate information to your followers and supporters in real time and keep them up to date on the cause and the happenings of your organization without having to go to third-party resources. If your nonprofit is focused around cancer research, and a breaking news story involving cancers begins to circulate, you want supporters to rely on your organization to find out the information they need, as it should be your area of expertise.
When individuals who are not familiar with your cause want to learn more about your organization, your social media should highlight the problems that you are diligently working to assist and provide additional resources on your website or directing them to reputable sources to find out more. If social media users begin to see a trend in reputable information every time a major new story breaks, they will continue to come back to you as a viable source of information for their research
Content Marketing Distinguishable Your Brand
Last but not least, consistent keeping up with regular social media posts and new content creates brand awareness and recognition through repetitive exposure. It’s hard to forget about the importance of a cause or the existence of your organization if they hear from you several times a week and get updates about your work. Producing your own content and blog articles is a great way to stay relevant and in the minds and hearts of many of your supporters. Some of the best and most recognizable nonprofits out there promote their brand and keep readers informed about the changes they are working toward on a daily basis. Don’t just post links back to your website every once and a while and consider that successful marketing.
That same study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute implies that 42% of those surveyed are still unsure whether or not social media is effective. However, after reading some of these compelling facts, its hard to deny that social media, if implemented with commitment and a solid strategy, is an incredibly useful tool at differentiating your nonprofit and making your organization stand out from the rest. In a recent article with Business Day, Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin, credits social media as being essential to the success of his company.
There are so many nonprofits out there that do fantastic work, but unfortunately their work continues to be limited because they don’t have the resources to expand; this could be easily built upon if these organizations had a solid grasp on the use of social media. Education surrounding these tools continues to improve and the amount of content nonprofits is producing through these social media platforms is up 65% from last year. Taking the first steps and introducing a social media strategy to your cause can help grow your organization, thereby letting you focus more on the great work you provide while helping you to ultimately stand out from the rest. If you want the experts to help you get your social media strategy rolling, get in touch with Wheel Media today!
Image Credit: [Flickr/Daniel Weber]