Including Volunteers in Your Nonprofit’s Marketing Efforts

Guest post by Kristen Gramigna

Nonprofit Marketing StrategyYour volunteers have unique sets of skills and talents — and they’re passionate about your cause. So who better to go to for insights into the minds of your supporters? Asking for their opinions and ideas on the best way to present your cause could prove invaluable.

Here are some other tips for ramping up your marketing efforts, and including volunteers along the way.

Measure what works best for your audience.
Any effective marketing effort starts with understanding your audience, what they care about, and how they want to receive messages. Chances are, your supporters are increasingly reliant on mobile devices, email, online communications and social media interactions. Successful nonprofits adjust their strategies appropriately to meet their audiences in the channels they are using.

With that said, remember that not all messages are functional on all kinds of mobile devices. A skilled volunteer can measure your site traffic and social media interactions with analytics tools that provide insights about your audience and the kinds of devices they use. The more you know about the lives of your supporters, the more likely you’ll craft a marketing message that fits into it.

Use videos to get views.
Mobile devices, apps and social media have made it possible for organizations of all sizes to capture compelling images and produce videos that are easily downloaded to social media channels. Despite the power of your copywriting and campaign ideas, the emotional level with which you’re able to connect with audiences is paramount to your nonprofit success. Videos allow you to set the appropriate mood and tone that can do just that.

Videos are also increasingly popular among a range of audiences. According to FameBit, YouTube reaches more 18 to 34 year olds than any other cable network. A study by Forbes Insights also revealed that more than 50 percent of executives watch at least one video on YouTube weekly.

Are these demographics included in your nonprofit’s audience? Film your volunteers talking about why they love your organization, and create a YouTube channel if you don’t already have one. You may even find that a volunteer steps up to manage the project!

Leverage social media supporters.
Establishing an online presence for your organization to be found through online search is challenging. Though producing consistent and quality written and visual content can help boost your website’s page rank, leveraging the reach of your supporters can boost your efforts even further. Identify who among your both your current volunteers and social media followers are especially active and connected in various social media channels. Reach out to them and ask if they’re willing to help spread the word about your cause with their own social media networks in exchange for a token of appreciation, like VIP seating at an event, or similar type of recognition.

Your volunteers’ insights are key to developing marketing efforts that are sincere and meaningful among the people who are truly the face of your organization. Though your volunteers don’t expect monetary compensation, your appreciation and invitations to their involvement goes a long way.

Nonprofits may have the challenge of limited budgets and resources, but with a little creativity and support from others, you can build a marketing effort that rivals that of major corporations.

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm that provides its services to nonprofits among other businesses. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.

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