This article was originally published in Nonprofit Hub Magazine.
A mantra is a thought or expression that encompasses your basic beliefs. Similar to a mission or brand positioning statement, mantras help capture and bring focus to your goals.
Aligning your marketing goals and tasks with your brand can sometimes be a chore, so having a couple marketing mantras to look back on is always helpful!
1. Tell a story
What steals your attention more, a list of steps to participate in a fundraising campaign, or a story about how a brand has impacted its consumers? If you’re like most, the story probably takes the cake.
The idea of telling a story as a marketing strategy isn’t a new concept. Since the growth of social media and digital marketing, it’s become crucial to find ways to best reach and connect with your audience. Consumers not only crave brands telling them stories, but they value them so much that it even impacts their consumer behavior.
2. Don’t ever stop learning
If you’re a nonprofit professional, you’ve gotten yourself into one of the most ever-changing industries in the world. It’s absolutely crucial for marketers to keep pursuing industry knowledge. Trends and technology are constantly evolving alongside transforming consumer preferences and behaviors. Our jobs get harder yet when we’re constantly trying to combat staff turnover. Come back to this mantra when you’re feeling overwhelmed about being behind in the industry.
Google’s search optimization algorithm, your email marketing platform and your RSS feed are just a few things to pay attention to and learn from. Take advantage of marketing publications, industry influencers and networking events to help you stay in the loop.
3. Keep fighting to be heard
This mantra is for when you feel as though you’re bothering or boring your constituents. In either case, engagement might be low. Don’t let this get you into a funk. Impressions and continuing to promote your mission are still important. Fighting to be heard goes hand in hand with earning the right to be heard. So, while you continue to push your message, you want to make sure your message has value, that your content is relevant and, most importantly, that you’re behind your message.
4. Do more with less
With all of the advancements in technology and social media, it sometimes feels like marketing efforts need to increase as well. This isn’t exactly true. The pressure to deliver a substantial return on investment is real, and there are several strategies you can adopt to be more productive while exerting less time and effort.
Whether you’re initiating a social media campaign or composing your weekly email newsletter, not everything has to be so complicated. Start by revisiting your core objectives for the task at hand.
Try to recognize patterns in where you’re spending the most time and implement processes to increase productivity. Try developing templates to use when curating email campaigns instead of building them from scratch every time, or find a social media scheduling software that works for you and your organization.
5. Am I on brand?
While keeping the focus on giving consumers a captivating reason to engage with your content, it’s important to stay on brand. Okay, this one isn’t quite a mantra in its purest form, but a question you should always be asking yourself.
It’s become so simple and quick to publish content online that vetting for brand consistency often gets overlooked. This step is pivotal in distinguishing yourself and your content among others. Stick to style guidelines, use consistent design elements and develop and maintain a brand voice.
Brand consistency isn’t limited to your content or marketing efforts, either—it includes your customer service practices as well.
There will always be an organizational story to tell, industry knowledge to learn and more to do. Having core objectives and mantras to return to can help keep you sane when things aren’t going right, and confident when they are.