[Editor's note: This is part 2 of a two-part series on the webinar, Ten Marketing Communications Activities You Must Do. View part 1 here.]
In a recent webinar, Ten Marketing Communications Activities You Must Do, nonprofit brand consultant Michele Levy provided 11 marketing communications best practices that fundraisers should utilize in their communications strategies.
Last week, we shared the first five activities. Here are the final six tips Levy shared.
6. Layer a social-media plan on top
"You want to plan social media for three reasons," Levy said.
- You don't want people within your organization to be tripping over each other. For instance, you don't want two people posting the same thing at the same time, and you don't want staffers to post things that aren't appropriate. "Make sure that everyone in your organization responsible for social media is working together," she said.
- You don't want to miss an opportunity, and social media is a channel that provides incredible opportunity to reach supporters instantaneously. "For both the Web and social-media planning, strive for 75 percent planning, 25 percent opportunistic," Levy said.
- You don't want things to get stale.
Ask yourself where the opportunities are to use social media to drive your audiences to events on your calendar, your website to learn more, etc.
7. Be easy to find
"If people can't find you easily, they're going to go find something else," Levy said.
Online, you really should focus on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Levy suggested looking at who's paying for links on the top right-hand side in Google, and pay attention to who also shows up when you Google your own organization. Where will you land on Google, and what will you pay to increase/control your presence?
"Search engine marketing is not that expensive or complicated to make sure you land where you want to land," she said. "Set a budget, and track that. It can be very reasonable and very helpful."
8. Build your audience, then stay connected
Everywhere you go, you should be collecting people, Levy said, and tracking them. For instance:
- Always collect e-mail addresses, Twitter followers, people who like you on Facebook and YouTube viewers.
- Think about how you can partner with other organizations to build your exposure and audience. Can you do a joint venue?
- Segment and prioritize your audience — a casual YouTube viewer may not merit the same level of effort as a significant donor.
- Stay in touch in whatever way makes sense to your audience (e-newsletter, postcard mailings, print or online magazine, annual report, etc.). Use your communications plan to monitor cadence. Don't communicate too much or too little. "Know who you're communicating with and what they really care about," Levy said.
- Be perceptive, responsive, relevant and compelling.
9. Remember to say thank you
Look for every opportunity to recognize your supporters for their contributions to your success. Mail printed notes, invites to events, shout outs and send quick e-mails.
"Unfortunately, when you thank people they are surprised because they don't get thanked enough," Levy said. "The more you thank them, the more they feel relevant and that they matter … and the more they will do for you."
10. Measure, measure, measure
Ask yourself how you will measure results and how you will know you've succeeded for every tactic you consider. Then report, report, report, Levy said. "The thing not enough people are doing — and it's really easy — is reporting. Here's what we set out to do. Here's what was done. And here are our results and what we learned.
"Make sure your staff and board are aware of what you're doing in terms of marketing communication and where you've been successful. Not enough people get enough credit for the work they're doing," she added. "You've got to toot your own horn to get people to understand why marketing matters."
"Everything you create can be used more than once," Levy said. "Every time you do something, think about … how else can I do this?"
Think about how to wring every last piece of value out of everything you do, making sure it stays on mission, on brand, relevant and compelling.