There’s more than a little misinformation out there about marketing these days. This month, we’re here to call out myths and give you the real facts – based on our firsthand experience and other trustworthy sources – about nonprofit marketing.
Myth: All nonprofits can achieve the same results with the same marketing plan.
Fact: There is overlap in how best to communicate to your audience, but each nonprofit is different – what works for one nonprofit might not work for you.
Not only should you take in mind geographic and demographic factors, your nonprofit’s goals also have to be considered. All of these pieces come together to make up your unique marketing plan, helping you decide whether to focus on your time on TikTok or Facebook, email newsletters or print mailers.
Myth: Videos are too expensive to make, especially on a nonprofit budget.
Fact: While you want to produce and share quality videos, you can often record a video yourself at no-cost while still telling your story well.
For example, you don’t need a full camera crew to make a video for social media; all you need is a good-quality camera or smartphone, a steady surface or tripod, a good mic, and something to show or tell.
Whether a big event or just a regular day, you have the chance to draw people in with simple, inexpensive video clips and photos of your organization doing what it does best. So don’t get overwhelmed; just start – you’ll be glad you did!
Myth: The best way to gain supporters is to send out our messaging to anyone and everyone.
Fact: Using a “throw it and see what sticks” method will NOT get you far.
With the amount of noise on social media and number of messages in people’s inboxes and mailboxes today, you can’t afford to waste any time – or money – on anyone and everyone. The better way to communicate your story is to stick to your niche, find your target audience within it, and lean into what resonates with them.
Myth: Mailers are no longer effective marketing tools in today’s digital age.
Fact: Mailers can still serve as an effective marketing tool.
In fact, according to fundera.com, 70% of consumers say that direct mail is more personal than online reactions AND 54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them.
But you shouldn’t rely on just mailers – or social media, email blasts, blog posts, press releases, billboards, etc. – as the “silver bullet” to all your communication woes. Instead, you should focus your attention on several channels that best meet your target audience’s needs.
Myth: Branding isn’t that important for nonprofits.
Fact: A clear, consistent and recognizable brand identity is vital for nonprofits and for-profits alike.
Without establishing the voice and personality of your organization, supporters and potential supporters will find themselves puzzled and possibly even frustrated at the mixed messages they receive (we have another blog post that talks about the resulting dissonance).
While a total rebrand is sometimes necessary, a new name, logo, color scheme, website, etc. all at once might be too much. One solution? Phasing in new elements while phasing out old ones – but this must be done carefully.
Giving out an old business card only for the recipient to visit your brand-new website is sure to make them scratch their head. Or updating your logo in your newsletter but keeping the same profile images on social media is sure to create confusion. Whether you rebrand all at once or step by step, be sure to communicate both internally and externally about the changes that are occurring.