When social media was on the rise to becoming a force in billions of people’s lives, savvy non-profit organisations were quick to realise its potential benefits, and there are many of them today that use it as well, if not better than some corporations.
Social media literally offer unending opportunities for a typically resource-strapped NPO to make its mission known and promote its purpose; report news of its activities and tell its stories; share its expertise and educate; fund-raise and campaign; attract and retain donors, volunteers, champions and other supporters – all at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing avenues.
But, as founder of cause marketing agency Bigger Than Me, Greg Viljoen points out, NPOs still face a significant challenge in getting this vital component of their inbound marketing right. Inbound marketing is all about quality content in a blend of social media, content marketing, CRM and search engine optimisation that uses ‘pull’ techniques to draw people into an engaged brand community whether that’s a corporate, NPO, institutional or personal brand. In line with Seth Godin’s concept of permission marketing, inbound marketing is a way for brands to receive people’s attention as opposed to the way that advertising assaults it.
“For inbound marketing to work well, it needs certain steps in place that once implemented properly can provide NPOs with a huge advantage compared to traditional marketing,” Greg says “By taking a strategic approach, NPOs can attract, convert, close and delight - which are the steps they need to take to bring people into their world to support their mission, and tell others all about it.”
As far as Greg, an advocate for the power of story-telling, is concerned NPOs have a distinct advantage over most other organisations striving to build brand communities across social media. “NPOs are inherently rich in stories that touch others; and to be moved is what most people on social media want and appreciate. NPOs are also usually abundant in expertise related to their cause, whether that’s about the environment or animals, children or education or health, the elderly or marginalised groups. They are repositories of information, learning and advice that can add value to people’s lives through content marketing efforts. In other words, they have plenty of great, authentic content at their fingertips for inbound marketing.”
What’s important, Greg insists, is that NPOs take a strategic approach in creating this content in a compelling way and sharing it through targeted social media and digital channels so that the organisation does earn the attention of people who would give their money, time, effort, goods and other support, essentially becoming advocates for the NPO.
Authentic, quality content is not all that it takes. It helps to have a plan that properly considers the digital journey people take to becoming part of a NPOs world, and the touch-points that they need along the way that brings them fully into the brand community and keeps them happy being there.
There are also many subtleties, especially in social media engagement that NPOs need to be take into consideration. It is essential to also understand people’s drivers – their needs for sharing; for feeling good, relevant and purposeful; their needs for justice or betterment in the world. “People on social media are not interested in being talked at,” Greg points out, “They also don’t want to be fatigued by bad news all the time. They won’t want to be asked for their money, skills or time on an ongoing basis. NPOs need to give proper thought and planning as to how they build rapport and maintain a constant bond which is positive and valuable to the people in their brand community.”
This article was submitted by liquidlingo Communications - NGO Portal User.
Photo Courtesy: Next Level Marketing