To the Point: Spread the Word!
A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The ask was simple: Please click here or on the image above, watch the video and then click on “Share” to add the video to your Facebook, MySpace and other networking sites! Adding this video is quick and easy. Thank you for helping to spread the word!
This type of “distributed marketing” is more and more common. It’s a great way to increase your Web presence and gain an exponential lift in your marketing efforts. What exactly is distributed marketing, you ask? Read on.
Distributed marketing is a strategy to spread out, scatter about or divide up content about your organization so others can share it on your behalf. Unlike traditional marketing, where your goal is to pull people to a destination Web site (your homepage), distributed marketing’s goal is to share content in hopes that others will pass it along.
The potential win with distributed marketing is huge. Here’s why:
1. Distributed marketing enables you to reach a much larger audience than you could reach on your own. Technorati, the leading blog search engine, indexes 1.5 million new blog posts a day. Facebook boasts 175 million users and, according to Alexa.com, is the fourth most trafficked site on the Web. YouTube claims 71 million unique viewers each month and is the third most trafficked site.
How much traffic did you get on your organization’s Web site last month? I don’t know about you, but in my book, these numbers are too big to ignore.
2. Distributed marketing can help you reduce your marketing spend. This is the corollary to the point above. Let’s face it — you don’t and won’t ever have enough marketing dollars to reach all of the people you’d like to reach. By pursuing a distributed marketing strategy, you can stretch your marketing dollars by ensuring that your content reaches as many folks as possible.
3. Distributed marketing makes your cause more credible. As my colleague Katya Andresen noted in her April column in this space, your supporters are much more likely to listen to one another than to you. Distributing your content and asking your stakeholders to share it where they “live” online is peer-to-peer fundraising at its best.
4. Distributed marketing will help you get found by search engines. Having your content appear on many different Web sites will increase your ranking with Google, among other engines.
5. Finally, a distributed marketing strategy will force you to create better content. Why? People don’t share boring stuff on the Web.
Please note: I’m not telling you to get rid of your Web site (although that might not be such a bad idea for nonprofits without the financial or human capital to properly manage a Web site). You still need a home base on the Web where you can share vital information about your organization, including your IRS 990, annual reports and basic contact information — none of which, by the way, is “share-worthy” content. You also need a place to accept donations.
However, it is increasingly important to distribute your content via the Web in order to connect with your donors, members and advocates where they already live online. If you’re lucky, this will give you an exponential increase in the number of folks engaged with your cause. FS
Jocelyn Harmon is director of business development at Triplex Interactive and keeper of the Marketing for Nonprofits blog (marketingfornonprofits.org). Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org