Non-profit Organizations' Marketing Mistakes



With the growth in social activism, more non-profit organizations are created and developed now than ever. Although each has its own unique mission and goal, non-profit organizations often makes themselves undistinguishable with an ineffective marketing plan. Especially in the era of technology, many non-profit organizations found themselves missing out on incredible marketing opportunities. So what are the problems?

1. Promoting events more than your mission:

A lot of non-profits only reach out to their audience and donors when there is an event coming up, especially an annual event. This means on their website and social media, these organizations are either rarely active or post about a specific event only. This eventually tires out the audience and leads to a drop in the organizations' digital media platform. As content marketing is becoming more and more relevant, one needs to offer informative content rather than just a product promotion (in this case, charity events, etc.) in order to gain loyalty from subscribers and donors. To “sell” your “product," you need to prove to your consumers your brand is worth it. Before spamming your donors and subscribers with event flyers and pictures, you need to create a distinctive and useful content which can help promote your mission, the reason why the organization was created.

2. Choosing the wrong social media platform to be active on:

With so many choices of social media platforms, organizations have flexibility in where they want to reach their consumers. However, just like other for-profit organizations, certain consumers choose to be active on certain platforms. That said, not all environmental-interested donors are active on Instagram, not all for-children activists and donors prefer Facebook as their daily platform. The population of interest of each social movement category spreads widely on different digital media channels. Why waste your time posting on Facebook if your audience engagements on that platform are low? Instead, you can focus on researching and testing on which channel your targeted consumers are most active and utilize it.

3. Delivering the wrong content on the wrong marketing channel:

Just like choosing the wrong place, having the wrong content also can bring inefficiency to your marketing plan. For instance, not many people will be ready to read a 500-word essay on your Instagram's caption. Most users are attracted to an Instagram post due to its visual element (photo and video) rather than wordy text in the caption. On the other hand, when a user decides to click on your website, he/she is interested in learning more information about your organization. That is the time when your 500-word essay becomes handy and valuable. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are best only for either sharing an article or displaying visual materials. Choose your content wisely!

4. Lacking in innovation and stuck in the past:

Last but not least, grow with your donors and update your targeted audience! Although before, most donors were from older generations, younger generations have become interested in non-profits in recent years. With most campaigns utilizing old methods and delivering out-of-date information, many organizations miss their opportunity to gain new donors and audiences. Printing out flyers and posting them everywhere on the street might have worked 10 years ago, but it is not as effective as it was anymore. The same annual event format that you created 5 years ago might not attract attendees as much anymore because people's interests have changed. Therefore, be bold, be young, refresh your marketing plan every two years, if not EVERY YEAR!

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