As the new year approaches is a good idea to start thinking about how you’re going to be handling your marketing for 2012. One thing we think should be on every causes radar is making sure you have a one-stop place for pictures and graphics to be used with your organization. Our best recommendation for this is Flickr and now they’ve teamed up with Tech Soup to create Flickr for Good, offering 10,000 1-year Flickr Pro accounts. Pretty Awesome if you ask us!
Not sure what you can do with a Flickr account? Well check out our client Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Flickr. They do a terrific job of updating it regularly with new pictures of their animals, supporters, and staff. By doing this they provide a personal side to whom they are as an organization and make them very approachable for donations and support in the future.
To apply just click on the corresponding link of the country your cause is in:
For organizations based in the United States or Canada, apply directly to TechSoup.
DonorTec DonorTec provides technology information services to NGOs throughout Australia and is operated by Community Information Strategies Australia.
TechDonation TechDonation provides social welfare services in Hong Kong and is operated by The Hong Kong Council of Social Services (HKCSS), an umbrella organization for 340+ agency members.
Charity Technology Exchange CTX is a program of the Charity Technology Trust (CTT), an NGO that empowers British charities through the effective use of technology services and consulting.
Our clients are busy folks and constantly on the go. Hey, we’re New Yorkers, we understand the importance of time! So one thing we’ve been doing a lot lately is guiding clients to a better process of keeping their websites updated with fresh content. For some folks they need to keep a blog actively updated, for others its about getting press releases shown on time for new event announcements or campaign launches, but everybody, its definitely a matter of making their time the most useful when they have it to give.
Blog From Your Mobile Phone – Many clients we work with already have smart phones and didn’t even know that major blogging apps can run natively on their phone. With this capability they can log in to their WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr blog on their iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or PC phone and write a new post from virtually anywhere. This is a great time saver because finding an internet connection to post a press release is a thing of the past. Its also great because all of these apps will also let you work on drafts you’ve already created in the blogging system, so you can literally edit a little bit at a time if you want to. But don’t blame us for the pain it might put on your thumb and index finger when trying to write a 500 hundred word diatribe!
Hire a Blogger – Several companies in the pastfewyears have gotten some heat for not being translucent with who is behind the writing of their blogs. Perhaps their marketing campaigns would have gone much smoother if they had hired a professional blogger to write for them for the campaign and spelled up front what the exact relationship was between the blogger and the company. Specifically, we’re not condoning something like Ghost Writing, but we do think that having a blogger or net celebrity endorse your blog will make it easier to fight that content rot! Overall, getting someone to write on your behalf is fine, as long as the tone, the content, and the overall point of view remain intact to your brand’s true nature.
Post to the Future – We’re still amazed by this one, and we’re not trying to make anyone feel bad, but most folks don’t realize that every blogging application on the market can save posts to be published at a later date. Taking this into consideration, one of the best things you could do is to take one day a week to work on the posts for your blog and post date them to be published throughout the week. This way, all of your marketing needs are done in one day and you can enjoy the extra time during the week to sip on a tasty Mojito or whatever it is that they do in your parts.
Incite Public Participation – With the explosion of Wikis in the past few years, its only natural that maybe there could be some influence from them for online marketing as well. After all, these days when doing a search on Google you’re usually bound to find something cited from the most famous wiki of them all, Wikipedia. Here is a great slideshare presentation about nonprofits using Wikis – a nice basic overview with some more advanced info at the end.
Make Impromptu Podcasts – Podcasts were all the rage about three years ago and they’ve recently died down in participation but we don’t believe they’ve died down in need. Supporters want to know and see everything they can about your organization, now more than ever before. So why not make a podcast and show them? if you make a regular podcast that is heartfelt and sincere, then your listeners will most likely appreciate it more than one that has been fine tuned and cleverly crafted in the confines of a production studio. Our client Catskill Animal Sanctuary has some great videos that do this well. Think about it this way, which would the average person want to see on TV, a reality show or a sitcom? They’d probably say a sitcom. Now, if we dropped in on their viewing habits, we’re willing to bet that they will actually watch the reality show. We’re human and we are voyueristic at heart, so why not use it to your advantage when it comes to marketing? It doesn’t have to be polished, it just has to be genuine!
Use Visual Content – Humans are also extremely visual. Our brains react to the texture, color, shading, tone, and text used in an image. Couple this with the mobile phone capabilities we mentioned above and Voila! Now you’ve got yourself a marketing tool that can use imagery and be updated extremely quickly all by pressing the send button. Meatless Monday, First Book, and Robin Hood NYC do a great job at this.
Create an Advisory Team – In the sports world we’d classify an Advisory Team as the Athletes that endorse the clients product, but in the world of online marketing we can think of it as a team of industry professionals that want to share what they love. A very good example of this is Razoo’s Blog, a smathering of information on social media and fundraising tips for non-profits with well known non-profit authors John Haydon, Geoff Livingston, and Alexandra Bornkessel. Their authors aren’t only well known figures in the nonprofit world, but they also offer up articles, suggest contributing authors that Razoo should tap, and generally set the tone of the blog.
Make it Informal – We’ve already hinted at it above, but sometimes it looks like the only thing getting in the way of many a causes online marketing initiative is their own need to craft and refine their message. Maybe if we took a more informal approach and got it out there in the first place, then we’d know what to refine to keep the message moving in the direction we want it to go. Without getting too far off topic, what we mean is that if you spent less time in the board room and more time on the web, then maybe fighting content rot wouldn’t be so difficult. After all, the web is about content, and if you aren’t creating then you’re lurking.
Subscribe to Other RSS Feeds – What better way to give your websites viewers the content they want than showing them posts and news from other websites that they also probably enjoy. We haven’t seen anyone with the cajones to try this on yet (let us know if you’ve found an example) but we’re willing to bet that if you displayed relevant info from other sites with your supporters interests as little callouts on your site, that you visitors would appreciate it. We do that here on our site with the Google Reader box on the side bar.
Use Your Other Social Media Profiles – With a little bit of muscle from your companies web developer/designer, you can usually integrate the profiles you use for the company on other social networks into your own website. If you are using something like Drupal or WordPress this is a relatively small task. For instance, on our blog we automagically bring in our del.icio.us feed to show links we’re interested in sharing with our visitors and on we also bring in our twitter feed to let folks know about small bits of news regarding our company.