Staying top-of-mind with donors and volunteers is critical to your long-term success. But it can be a struggle to reach those audiences in a way that helps establish you as a priority in their busy daily lives.
This is why communicating with your audience where, how and when they want to be communicated with is key. For instance, 55% of consumers still list email as their favorite way to hear from businesses, and now list SMS text messaging as their second favorite. By utilizing four key areas of digital marketing, you can ensure you’re present where and when people are most likely to hear from you:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- SMS text messaging
Constant Contact’s full suite of digital marketing tools is purpose-built to help organizations manage these channels all in one platform that integrates with the other tools and technologies you already use so you can attract subscribers, engage them with content, and grow your nonprofit.
The key to utilizing social media to reach your audience is to understand where they are, and what kind of content they are most likely to engage with. Here are some “at a glance” facts about the various platforms:
- Facebook – With nearly 3 billion users (more than half aged 35+), this platform supports written content, photos, video and event invitations.
- Instagram – Nearly 70% of Instagram’s approximately 2 billion users are aged 34 and blow. This platform supports photo and video content with brief written captions.
- Twitter – While this platform has experienced declining numbers in the past year, many nonprofits use it to share short written content and shareable images.
- TikTok – This fledgling platform skews to a younger audience and has 1.7 billion users. It supports short-form, “viral” type video content.
While your platform mix will largely depend on the audience you want to reach and your content creation capabilities, there are some easy content ideas you can put into action for your nonprofit organization, including:
- Mission – Recaps, images and video of your nonprofit’s events and work within the community
- Supporter spotlights – Interviews, images and videos highlighting your volunteers and donors
- Educational – Infographics, trivia and statistics related to your nonprofit’s mission
- Call to action – Donation requests, fundraising updates, event invitations, volunteer sign-ups and other goal-oriented content
No matter what social network or type of content is right for you, social media is the perfect place to have a conversation with your audience, encouraging them to comment, share and get engaged. Constant Contact’s social tools can then help you connect that successful engagement with your other digital marketing channels.
Despite the proliferation of digital platforms, email marketing is still a highly effective tool, especially for nonprofits. Email newsletters are a great way to keep your audience engaged and updated on your mission, the impact of your work and your needs, and email can also serve as the backbone for campaign-based fundraising drives.
But in order to be as effective as possible, it’s critical for you to be able to gather information about your contacts, and customize communications based on what you know about them. A few common ways to identify and segment your audience are:
- Prospects – Contacts who have not yet donated or volunteered but who have shown interest in your mission
- Donors – Contacts who are active, recent donors
- Volunteers – Contacts who have given time to your organization
- Lapsed supporters – Donors or volunteers who have not been active recently
- Community/business partners – Other organizations that support your mission through sponsorships, promotion or other means
Additionally, integrating donation software with your email marketing program can help to keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date and your campaign communications on-track.
Events are a backbone of the nonprofit world, but it’s critical to know how to make the most of all the time and work you put into them.
The two key types of nonprofit events are awareness events, meant to drive awareness and engagement among your community, and fundraising events, with a stated goal of driving donations and sponsorships.
Regardless of the type of event you plan, strive to include these key things:
- Online registration (and ticket sales, if relevant) – This helps you to build an online list of contacts to follow up with post-event.
- An opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter or other regular communications.
- Content across all channels, like taking photos for social, gathering attendee quotes for your website, etc.
These steps can help you to extend the success of your event well after the moment has passed.
SMS text messaging
Text messaging has quickly become one of the most preferred ways for people to hear from your nonprofit – in fact, it’s now second only to email! Nonprofits in particular have a unique opportunity to use this channel for timely, urgent communications, like:
- Event reminders – From “last chance to register” texts to prospects and “We’ll see you soon” reminders for registrants, SMS can help drive event success.
- Volunteer communications – Fill last-minute volunteer gaps and provide updates and direction for volunteers on-the-go.
- Pledge and donation reminders – Stay top-of-mind with your supporters and keep them updated about your organization’s immediate needs.
- Donation confirmation – Text messaging can be a nice way to send a quick “Thanks for your support” text to donors who are opted into your messaging.
- Emergency updates – Many nonprofits are most needed in times of crisis. Text messaging can provide a channel for emergency communications, volunteer deployment, operational updates and more.
While each of these channels has its own unique benefits for your organization, they work best when used in conjunction with one another for a full, constant stream of information that attracts prospects, engages donors, and grows loyalty.
Constant Contact helps nonprofits to harness the power of digital marketing while integrating with the tools you already use to drive your mission. Get creative with design integration tools like Vimeo, Canva and more, plus sync your contact and donation information with tools like DonorPerfect or other fundraising & CRM tools.
For more information, visit www.constantcontact.com to see how our tools can help support and grow your mission. Plus, nonprofits can save big through our partnership with Constant Contact – more details on Nonprofit Discounts.