6 quick tips to build a nonprofit marketing campaign

HookPR_Nonprofit_marketing_campaign_01As a nonprofit organization, you maintain a presence in the public eye. You constantly reach out to potential donors and those that need to hear your message or use your services. But are you seeing results from your efforts?

A new marketing campaign may help carry your message farther and wider. These tips will help you stay focused.

1. Know the exact audience you want to reach with your nonprofit marketing campaign.
As you plan a new awareness campaign, start by clarifying a few key messaging components. Narrow and define your audience to those who need to hear your message. Are they teens or seniors, men or women or immigrants of a particular type? Don’t try to cast your net to a broad audience; you’ll get more results if you tailor your message for those you want to reach.

The psychology behind speaking directly to those that need to hear you is that you make it easier for people to feel a personal connection to you. It also makes you stand out among the other one million or so organizations that may not be focusing on one demographic.

If your target group includes immigrants who speak a language other than English, consider partnering with a translation agency to help you craft multilingual marketing messages.

2. Understand the media habits of your target audience.
Say you’re targeting teens. Television and print are probably not the channels you want to use. You’ll want to focus on social media, specifically on Instagram. For instance, Get Schooled, a nonprofit that focuses on improving high school graduation and college success rates, partnered with Taco Bell to encourage teens to graduate from high school. As part of a campaign, teens made a pledge and uploaded their own Instagram photos. A few participants’ photos even made it to Times Square as part of a huge yearbook. This nonprofit marketing campaign may not have been as successful using Facebook.

3. Ask yourself, “What do I want my audience to do in response to my message?”
Know exactly what you want to happen as a result of your campaign message. Do you want people to show up somewhere, to stop or start a certain behavior or to seek out more information? Having clearly outlined a call to action makes a huge difference.

4. Old news is . . . old news. Use new information to get your audience’s attention.
In knowing your audience, also be aware of what the recipients already know. Don’t waste precious seconds on old news. You could lose your audience in the first few words if your message isn’t fresh and new.

5. Know the roadblocks and how to get around them.
Determine the obstacles that are between you and your message and your audience. Social pressure, addiction, shame, pride, lack of education, popular opinion, etc., can all be obstacles to eliciting behavior modification that answers your call to action. Addressing these in your messaging is important because you identify them for what they are and strike them down as negative influences.

Perhaps a good example of addressing an obstacle in an awareness campaign is the “Real Men Wear Gowns” hospital campaign, in which local male celebrities don hospital gowns to publicize the importance of a prostate exam. The message addresses head-on the embarrassment men feel during such an exam, helping them face it and get past it for the sake of their health.

6. Establish your credibility and gain your audience’s trust.
Finally, why should your audience believe you? Establish yourself as an expert in your particular issue. For the prostate exam campaign, the hospital is undeniably an expert in this issue. You may have a track record that speaks for itself or you have staff members that have decades of experience. Make sure your audience can trust you to know what you’re talking about.

Need help with your nonprofit marketing campaign? Hook PR Group has helped Delaware nonprofits tell their stories since 2007. We can help you as well. Send us an email or call 302.858.5055.