Learning from the best in marketing

I ran into several YNPN Detroit members at NEW‘s recent Get Connected event: Best Practices in Nonprofit Marketing and Communications, but I know the bulk of our members couldn’t make it out, so I thought I would take this week’s blog to share some of the amazing takeaways from the session!

Strengthening your organization’s brand

The easiest way to strengthen your brand is to ensure consistency. This applies to all aspects of your brand, including:

Your logo: How consistent is your logo? Resist the urge to adopt new and different colors as you develop materials. Provide a style guide to ensure consistency within your organization, and share this with partner organizations as you do collaborative marketing.

Your marketing materials: If you throw all your materials across a table, do they look as though they all originated from the same place? Is your logo prominent on the page, and in a similar location each time?

Your pitch: Can someone talk to everyone in your organization and hear a common summary of what your agency does? How consistent are your pitch points?  Write these down and disseminate them throughout your organization.  Practice your pitch with each other so that you can refine the delivery.

Know your target audience: There are a number of people who access your organization for very specific reasons.  In segmenting your audience, you’ll want to consider clients who access your services, donors, partner organizations, etc.  While you want to have some language that is universal regardless of who is coming to you (such as a tagline), you want to make sure you are providing information that is relevant to each audience segment who is looking at that particular publication or page of your website.  Think about each material in terms of the audience for whom it is being produced, and make sure you’re getting across what you need them to know and nothing more.  Keep it simple – folks do not want to spend a lot of time figuring out your flyer or your website.

The experts suggested a few things to help make achieving a strong brand easy for your organization:

  1. Make it easy for people in your organization to find the correct logo, the style guide, organizational talking points, etc.  If you don’t, people are bound to make up their own, and that variety can quickly diminish your brand value.
  2. Use technology to your advantage.  Make it easy for different audiences to find their “home” on your website, and ensure no one needs to click more than 3 times to access the information they want.
  3. Make sure your including your website address within your print publications.  You should always seek opportunities to integrate these platforms.

The speakers were able to offer a few suggestions for increasing awareness of your organization as well:

  1. Consider Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) as you construct your website.  Decide which key words or phrases you want to be associated with, and make sure that they appear throughout your website.  Also, it easy for folks in your organization to regularly update the website (consider using a platform like WordPress).  The more recent your content, the more often you will come up in online searches engines.
  2. In doing your media outreach, don’t limit yourself to the more established papers.  The local rags are often more willing to publish your story, and they tend to have a good grassroots reach.
  3. As you are partnering with other organizations, make sure you all have a clear understanding of how you plan to communicate this collaboration.  Consider developing a common paragraph for use in publications that helps to explain the partnership so that you both maintain your own identity but benefit from each other’s marketing efforts.

If you missed out on this fantastic session, worry not.  There will continue to be opportunities to hear from expert panels like this in the future.  Just check out NEW’s special events page.  Of course, we will continue to share  information about sessions with NEW and our other partners on our own events page as well as through our e-newsletter.

For those who were able to join us, what else would you add???

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