Having an effective branding strategy for your nonprofit is important, but it’s not easy. If you’re doing everything you can to effectively brand and market your organization but aren’t seeing positive results, these could be the reasons why.
1. Lack of personal connection
If you’re having trouble connecting with your audience, it could be because you haven’t gotten to know them as well as you should. Use Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram insights to keep track of the demographics of people who engage with your content. To find your analytics on Facebook, go to your business profile and click the “Insights” tab. On Twitter, click on your profile icon in the upper right corner, select “Analytics” and find the “Audience” tab. For Instagram, simply tap the button that looks like a bar graph at the top of your profile.
From there, you can find out who you’re reaching based on gender, location, age, career, interests and more and use it to your benefit.
For example, roughly three times more women follow Nonprofit Hub on Twitter than men, which informs the content we share in our tweets. Take advantage of knowing exactly which types of people engage with your nonprofit and adjust your tone accordingly. Once you’ve decided on a voice that would best resonate with your audience, build loyalty with them through immersive, personal storytelling. Effectively communicating your organization’s story can be tricky at first, so here are some tips to get you started. You’d be surprised at how little resources you need to give your audience a deeper connection to your organization through stories.
2. Brand confusion
It’s important for your donors to have a solid understanding of who you are, what you stand for and why you do what you do. Choose a mission that clearly and specifically states your organization’s end goal, and don’t over-expand just to appeal to more people. And when you’re communicating that mission, be consistent! Donors will easily be able to detect a shift in tone or voice if different people are running your communication platforms, so make sure your entire staff is trained to stick to a certain writing style.
The same goes for visuals. Choose something simple and eye-catching for your logo and limit your color scheme to a couple primary shades and three or four secondary ones. It’s okay to occasionally tweak some elements of your brand, but the overall goal is to make your constituents feel like your organization is familiar and well-established. That can’t be achieved if you’re throwing a diluted mission at your supporters and constantly switching your style while communicating it. At Nonprofit Hub, we like to follow the K.I.S.S. method: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
3. Refusing to evolve
Now, I’m not suggesting that shouldn’t update your brand when it becomes outdated, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. You’ll probably know when it’s time for a rebrand, but if you don’t, this quiz will help. When the time comes, make sure you clearly communicate the reason for your rebrand to your supporters and get them on board. The unveiling of your new logo, website, mission, etc. should be a big deal to your followers—they shouldn’t just all of a sudden click on your profile to find an unrecognizable brand. Make them a part of the rebranding process!
You should also be experimenting with new campaigns and fundraising tactics each year. It’s still good to have those annual events that become traditions for donors to look forward to, but make sure you’re throwing in some fresh, creative ideas, too!
In general, you’ll have to take note of when certain aspects of your organization are falling behind the times. Millennials are the largest generation in America, so having an outdated brand is even more harmful yet.
It can be hard to strike a balance between too much change and not enough. Your brand should be adaptable, but not all over the place. Flexible, yet straightforward. It may take some trial and error, but these tips will help you establish yourself as an organization and give your donors a sense of loyalty to your brand.