Here’s a real stumper for you: what sort of marketing will convince people to voluntarily GIVE their money away?
I have huge loads of respect for people who work for nonprofits. I really do. I mean, it’s hard enough to convince people these days to buy things, but most nonprofits are actually trying to get people to simply give away money. That’s a seriously hard sell, even in the best of times.
With more and more things out there trying to separate people from their cash, nonprofit marketing is becoming increasingly difficult. Pledge drives and similar concepts – at least in the offline world – are rapidly going away. Nonprofit groups, however, are responding by moving towards social media as a method of outreach.
Why Go Social With Nonprofit Marketing?
Recommended for YouWebcast: Growth at a Scale Up: How to Grow When You're No Longer a Startup
Social media makes a lot of sense for folks working for a nonprofit organization. Just to list a few of the advantages:
- It’s extremely cheap. It generally only costs two or three dollars to gain a new social media follower.
- Your social followers can do much of your marketing for you, pushing out messages for good causes that need support.
- Social media can be extremely effective in fundraising: Over $22 Billion dollars were donated through social sites in 2010 alone.
- People are more likely to give through social media if they can do so directly through the site, rather than clicking away.
In short: people on social media have money and they’re willing to donate it, if only you can reach out to them and convince them that your cause is worthy.
But we want to take that to the next step, right?
Social Videos In Nonprofit Marketing
Social media marketing is good, but it lacks a certain oomph. It can be dry, and it definitely feels distancing to be engaged in “conversations” that are generally only a paragraph long and often even shorter. You can’t make people care about a tragedy with a single Tweet or Status update.
To inspire people to donate, you need to tell them a story. And there are few storytelling mediums that are better than video, after all.
If you can get your message into a short film and get it posted to your social channels, you can make real engagement happen. This is your chance to really tell your story: what cause you’re backing, why it’s worthy of support, and why people should care.
Then, if you bring it together with editing and a bit of music, you’ve got yourself all the emotional appeal of an 80s Sally Struthers infomercial, brought into the Internet age.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when bringing video into your nonprofit marketing:
- Keep it short and to the point. As has been so frequently observed, Internet users have very short attention spans. Consider five minutes to be the maximum for any given video, and it’s better if you can keep it in the two minute range. This both keeps people watching, and encourages social sharing.
- Make it clickable. Use interactive applications to enhance the content in your videos. You can pack a lot of “extra” information into interactive elements like maps, links to outside sources, and up-to-date data such as stock quotes. This helps balance out what’s lost when you’re cutting material to keep the video short.
- Be sparing with the emotional hammer. A lot of internet users, especially the younger demographics, tend to get cynical in the face of open emotional manipulation. Try to keep your video to the point. Sell the tragedy, but don’t oversell it or make it into melodrama. Hit people over the head with emotional appeals, and they’ll just tune out.
- And if all else fails, see what you can learn from cat videos.
Do you know any success stories involving social media and nonprofit fundraising? We’d love to hear tips and tricks you’ve picked up!