Most of the time, people want to help out. But, you may sometimes find out that is it one thing for them to make a promise to you, and quite another when you hit the ground. The first question usually is, “what went wrong?” How about asking another one, which is, how you can actually get them excited and interested enough. Let them see your campaign not as something they are doing for you, but as a wonderful activity in which they, and their friends would quickly participate.
At Maison Interactive, we know you can hold people’s attention by building a stand-out brand with the ability to spark resonant emotions.
Branding does not apply just to how the overall non-profit looks. In this case it means you give each individual campaign a face that will draw people, and excite them enough to participate. Let the team leading your campaigns take the time to look for ways in which it could speak to your donors. What is the best possible promise you could offer them? Think about it. This will be the touch point from which all material will come. All concepts, content and promises will revolve around this.
Good campaigns have a strategic brand— a big organizing principle that lives within every single aspect of the campaign.
Most people make the mistake of treating all these elements as separate. You may get the execution right but without a single cohesive presence, the effect and expected impact will not be felt. People want to see a constant uniform theme moving them from one aspect of the campaign to the other. If it is not there, they are put off, or begin to have doubts and step back.
Campaigns are typically one of the largest undertakings of any nonprofit. Seek to get the best out of it and ensure that donors do not experience any breaks or gaps during the process.
Look for the promise that anchors the whole campaign before you take any steps on the ground, and flesh out how this will be expressed. Be as creative as possible; if the campaign promise touches your donors, they will be drawn in, and participate actively.
Any campaign your nonprofit undertakes is really a focused, deliberate action with a specified goal in mind. Anchoring it around a single promise is therefore the most effective way to keep all working elements unified; they are able to work independently and when brought together, showcase impact and strength. Always remind the donors the goal or change that will be realized through their participation. Inject a sense of purpose and remind the audience of the time period during which the campaign will be active.
So how can your company go about branding a campaign successfully? Check out a few key tips below.
- Do the homework- Research first.
Most people tend to put much of their focus on simply rolling out the campaign, with good reason; the logistics of how different activities will be carried out is important. However, without identifying and building in the promise to your donors earlier on, you may end up with a strategy that works, but does not deliver.
Your research should include an understanding of your audience. Discover the content, topics, stories and issues that capture their attention. Part of the research should also include user profiles for each of your most important audiences. What makes this person tick? What will make her fall in love with the idea of giving to this campaign? Get to know her so you can create a brand, messages and case that will be irresistible to your character
2.What’s the big idea? -Refine the Campaign Promise.
Your campaign may seek to raise funds to support a school feeding program. This however, is not the promise. The promise is how you describe this goal, so your donors are interested enough to get involved. This understanding is also the basis for the single big idea on which you will run your campaign. You need a written or visual statement (or a combination) that will be the face of the campaign. Don’t forget that it should be external, that is it should be developed from their point of view. A school feeding program for instance, could be defined as “Healthy Children, A Great Foundation for the Future”.
3. Develop your Messaging
Part of building a campaign involves working on the message. This is the content that will be communicated to audiences throughout the period. Focus on creating a single message that will be made available on all channels. Identify all the spaces where your message will be shown, and then ensure that it is suitably displayed. And that your message is consistent throughout all channels. Your audience is made up of different people with varied cultures and interests. Your campaign should therefore connect with them accurately, wherever they are.
Showcase your mission often, and in creative ways. This sustains an awareness of your campaign which leads to a better understanding, and increases chances for engagement. As you do this, ensure your messages remains the same.
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!- Consistent Branding makes you Memorable.
The messaging, layout, tone of voice, etc should be consistent all throughout your campaign and on all the different channels you use. This means, for example, that all your visual identifiers look the same wherever people encounter them. Your digital marketing channels should be similar to products that people encounter and handle in real life, such as newsletters.
- Use the power of visuals to your advantage
Images tell powerful stories. To get the best out of them, always let them define, focus and capture the most impactful part of your work.
Use images to showcase a narrative of the positive change that your non profit has brought about. This communicates to audiences that their involvement can make them part of this. Use expressive photographs or short videos and embed them in all your digital spaces where they can be seen.
For your campaign, choose images that describe your goal, and characterize different activities. Ensure that these visual representations are relevant and impactful. Be careful to make choices based on the meaning that images convey, or represent; you don’t want to send mixed messages. This meaning should also relate to your non profit and its work as much as possible.
- Optimize Different Media
Today’s audience base is spread out through different digital and real life environments. Nonprofits always want to optimize their reach, more so during deliberate, action oriented activities such as campaigns. Develop content that will run on all possible channels, because the key to having people connect with you is that they see you as often as possible. Ensure that identifiers such as logos and slogans look the same throughout; consistent branding builds trust, which people always want before they can engage. Look into all possible spaces and media where you can run your campaign. Use shock tactics where you can, and to a degree appropriate for your campaign. Involve any active networks you have in creative ways. They can run concurrent campaigns of their own, but keep all messaging uniform.
Your campaign should deepen and strengthen its reach without losing the energy that attracts new interest and support. Different channels, tools and strategies should be maintained throughout to keep it fresh and interesting.
- Develop shorter campaigns, for bigger impact.
Campaigns should be short, but make a whole lot of noise. Couple this with a restricted time period, and a powerful message that you repeat over and over, and you will succeed. Your audiences can also be spurred to share your campaign with others if you manage to create a sense of urgency. When you generate more attention, it means that even more people will get the chance to check out your campaign, based on what they’ve heard.
You can add incentives such as matching funds, or any other creative addition, to make the stakes even higher. Today, companies are willing to contribute by matching donations made. Make this clear to individual and potential donors throughout the campaign period. Most will be inspired to share and act, to help make this happen.
Look at the example below.
- Call to Action: Keep it Short and Powerful
Your campaign messaging should state simply but clearly, the goal, and how the audience can help achieve it (Example: Give $2, Build A New School).
- Do Something Unique.
Your campaign can be structured around a captivating concept. Invisible Children was successful with the Free Timmy campaign. “Timmy” volunteered to live in a giant cage at the organization’s office until Invisible Children reached its fundraising target.
His ‘story’ was streamed on the internet as it occurred. Contributors could “buy” Timmy different survival tools like food, pillows and blankets by donating to the campaign. This is a concept that made good use of the sense of urgency, to great success.
- Work with Your Supporters
Another strategy you can use, is to make your audience part of the campaign. If your campaign allows them a role that empowers them, your message will spread more. An example of this is
Flemish League Against Cancer Stick Out Your Tongue campaign in Belgium.
People showed their support for cancer awareness by role playing (sticking out their tongues to signify defiance of cancer). Participants were allowed to express their involvement cleverly, through social media, which is popular today.
- Facilitate the Audience’s Actions
Maintain a fluid process that takes engaged donors from mission to where they contribute. Ensure the Donations button is visible on all digital sites. When they click on it, it should take them to the page itself.
Ensure that donors can contribute as fast and as easily as possible. This also drives campaign messages and testimonials; imagine people on your social media saying how easy it is to contribute? It drives others to make that final decision to donate. Structure the donation process for brevity; a few clicks should complete the process.
Don’t forget that innovation creates new environments and preferences; most people spend time on their phone, and would like to donate directly. Customize your page so that it displays properly, and also allows them to contribute. Take advantage of programs such as YouTube for Non Profits. People can go directly to your donations page from here.
Let the donation process be as fluid as possible. All survey or data collection tools should come after. Finally, always make sure you run several tests on your site.
- Thank Your Donors
The campaign is through, and it was successful. What next? Don’t immediately go quiet. Remember that you developed a relationship with your donors. It was strong enough that they got involved. You should outline clearly how the campaign will end. Tell them how it went; you can integrate creative ways of thanking and communicating with them here that will serve your brand well. Let them know whether or not you met or surpassed the target. Keep it positive and emphasize the collective impact of each individual contribution. Thank everyone.
Review the campaign to see what you did best and where to improve. Overall, you should continue to utilize the new relationships formed during this time; don’t forget that recurrent donors make a larger audience. It is also advisable to provide the option for people to continue donating whenever they can.
Nonprofits always want to remain memorable; a campaign that has led to renewed interest or attention contributes to this. Consider rewarding your donors. Think of a unique gift or experience you can offer them. They will remember you.