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Integrating Your Print and Digital Marketing: 4 Tips

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Marketing has always been essential to the success of nonprofits, but this is especially true now. We are emerging from a year when in-person events and outreach have been shut down, making it fundamental that your organization returns with a strong marketing strategy. 

One effective approach is to integrate your print and digital marketing. Just as people’s work-play schedules are now split between physical and online activity, your marketing techniques should adjust to better connect with audiences. 

If you’re new to integrated marketing strategies, this switch might seem a little intimidating. Have no fear! In this post, we’ll discuss the following tips to successfully integrate your marketing methods:

  1. Set specific goals. 
  2. Use consistent branding.
  3. Create an effective narrative for each medium.
  4. Connect your marketing channels.

For the best results, many organizations choose to work with professional marketing and fundraising consultants. This is often the most reliable way to build out a strong integrated marketing strategy, but there are still steps that smaller teams can take on their own. The most important thing is to be adaptive, engaging, and open to change. 

1. Set specific goals.
SMART goals are powerful project management devices. The SMART acronym stands for objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

A few examples of these kinds of concrete, actionable goals include recruiting a specific number of volunteers in X months, or generating a specific number of social media impressions on different platforms in the week leading up to Giving Tuesday. 

Further, data tracking is a fundamental part of setting and measuring your progress towards these goals. Donor data provides a more tangible understanding of how viewers respond to your content and in what specific areas you can improve. 

These data points are known as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Collaborate with your team to establish which KPIs will be most helpful to build your goals around, such as: 

  • Social media follows
  • Search engines or social media impressions
  • Clickthroughs from emails
  • Email open rates 
  • Email subscriptions
  • Donations attributed to specific marketing sources

Anchor your goals with these types of KPIs to create a healthy cycle of progress across ongoing and future marketing campaigns. 

Understanding your audience’s activity metrics will help you establish actionable goals, launch more successful campaigns, and break into the post-pandemic market on a high note. 

2. Use consistent branding.
Branding refers to any materials that help a supporter identify a nonprofit and what the organization does, such as logos, slogans, or imagery. 

In order to appear as professional and organized as possible, your organization’s branding should be consistent across all marketing channels. 

For example, GoodUnited’s article about online fundraising suggests that you create a Facebook fundraising page. In conjunction with an integrated approach and consistent branding practices, this could mean sending out fundraising appeals which share the same imagery used in your Facebook group. 

While all mediums present content in unique ways, establishing a throughline of branding allows supporters to more easily recognize and trust your nonprofit. This association between your brand and mission is critical for securing multichannel support, so it pays to emphasize consistency.

3. Create an effective narrative for each medium. 
As mentioned, each medium is unique, with its own best practices for displaying content. An Instagram post is distinct from a fundraising letter, and respecting the medium allows you to maximize its use. Some guidelines for creating effective narratives include:

Using striking images. Powerful images are one of the most effective ways to captivate a viewer, particularly over visual mediums like Instagram. Faces are especially effective in drawing people’s attention.

Identifying the human element in your story. Your audience is far more likely to identify with an individual than an organization. Find a protagonist who can testify to the importance of your mission. If you feature the stories of actual constituents, get permission in advance.

Tapping into emotions. While people may feel a general sense of responsibility to support charitable missions, their emotional connection to your cause could be the tipping point to secure donations.

Picking your words carefully. Choose words that evoke powerful visuals or carry emotional weight. Use “warm” details that lend themselves to viewers’ sense of wonder and empathy. 

Meyer Partners’ direct mail fundraising guide outlines how direct mail can be an especially effective medium for intimate, human storytelling. In keeping with the medium’s best practices, a mail campaign seeking donations for disadvantaged communities might include photos and testimonials of a family who your organization has helped.

Again, each medium has its own special capabilities and best practices. Respect the medium and the performance of every channel’s content should improve. 

4. Connect your marketing channels. 
From digital flyers to direct mail, all marketing content should include a path back to your website, fundraising page, or event microsite.

For example, a fundraising postcard might have a QR code leading to your donation page. You might also include buttons or a sign-up form on your website to get people on your emailing list.

This gives you the chance to connect with your supporters. Now more than ever it’s critical to deepen these relationships with donors. Your audience is searching for genuine human connections in the aftermath of the pandemic—be the one to address this demand. 

By effectively connecting your marketing channels, you’re able to address what supporters need from you. Not only that, but you can also share how they can effectively engage with your cause. 

Take the time at the start of new campaigns to define the central location where you’ll direct your audience. This landing page should be optimized for conversion optimization, offering an engaging, seamless user experience with easy-to-use forms.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of nonprofit marketing. It drives revenue, attracts new audiences, and maintains donor relationships. Luckily, the pandemic hasn’t broken the marketing model. 

We simply have to adapt to the new hybrid social landscape with our own integrated marketing approach, enabling you to streamline your public image, tell a cohesive narrative, engage with new audiences, and increase incoming revenue. 

Bonnie brings to her role at Meyer Partners more than 30 years of fundraising experience, with a special emphasis in multimedia approaches to new donor acquisition and development. Her expertise encompasses several facets of direct response fundraising, including copy writing and creative direction, market research, strategic planning, and comprehensive results analysis.

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19 Sep 2022 President's Perspective Blog
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