In my recent interview with Jay Baer on his book Youtility, we explored how companies and nonprofits can use social concepts to make their marketing focused more on helping people, and less about hyping a product or cause.
Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:
AM: One of my favorite parts of the book is when you describe the relationship between the youtility concept and social media. “If [your brand is] interesting and useful and helpful, your supporters and prospects will do more of your marketing for you, helping your organization work less arduously and expensively on interruption marketing in its various guises.” What are some baby steps to help those well versed in push marketing move to more of a listening role?
JB: Thank you. Indeed, content (youtility) is fire, and social media is gasoline. The best first step in that process is to make sure that your employees/volunteers/donors fully understand and appreciate your useful content. Almost every organization has their target audiences for content upside down. You should be marketing from the inside out. If your existing volunteers don’t know about and love your useful content, why should brand new people?
Why this is relevant for nonprofits:
1) Marketing from within can inform your donor retention strategy.
2) This type of marketing will give your audience the tools to communicate your message.
3) Ultimately, this will further your mission by helping you raise more money online.
How to do “inside out” marketing:
- Survey those who support your cause.
Do they consume the information you provide? Are they subscribing to your newsletter or reading your nonprofit’s blog? Are they engaged with your social media updates? Why or why not?
- Understand your core supporters.
Each audience is different. Once you can identify your cause’s most ardent supporters, you can work on passing them the microphone once in a while. Learn how they got involved with your cause in the first place. Do they have a personal connection? What is that connection? Do a little digging to find out.
- Pinpoint which stories are most compelling to your current audience.
Note any trends or parallels in your current collection of messages. Do one-off appeals work best? Uplifting stories? Harrowing tales?
- After completing the steps above, take a look at all of your fundraising and marketing messages.
Turn the most effective pieces into outward-facing communications aimed at gaining new supporters. Voila! You have vetted material that you know is helpful and worthwhile to those who care.
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