3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit Digital Storytelling TODAY

3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Nonprofit Digital Storytelling TODAY

Julia Claire Campbell Marketing, Nonprofits, Social Media, Storytelling Leave a Comment

Storytelling That Sticks is open for enrollmentWelcome to the third episode of Nonprofit Social Media Nerds, where we discuss and demo social media tools, tech, tips, and tricks.

(Most) Fridays at noon we will come to you live and discuss a topic designed to help you use your limited time and resources for social media more effectively and efficiently.

My fellow Nonprofit Social Media Nerd is certified Social Media Strategist Josh Hirsch, the Director of Mission and Communication for Susan G. Komen South Florida.

Together we co-administer the Facebook Group Nonprofit Social Media Storytelling.

Our group is a place for nonprofit marketers, fundraisers, and social media nerds to share challenges, ask questions, and give advice.

Today’s topic – Digital storytelling!

Are you struggling with creating effective digital storytelling campaigns at your nonprofit?

Not getting the results you want from your storytelling efforts? 

Maybe you are a stuck in a rut, or have some specific questions and challenges. 

Then this session is for you!

Be sure to download your free copy of my HOT off the presses Storytelling in the Digital Age Workbook! If you already have my book, it’s a great way to put those ideas into action!  

Watch the video to get the full scoop on improving your digital storytelling – ideas that you can put into action TODAY! 

I am giving three digital storytelling presentations in the next 2 weeks, ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

I have a lot to say on this topic, but today I just want to boil it down for you a bit.

We know we need to share stories in order to best communicate with our donors and our stakeholders.

Not only do supporters want effective communication, but also their decision to give again hinges greatly on the organization’s ability to show what it can accomplish.

Donors want to know how their money is being applied toward results that are lasting and effective.

Let’s talk about some common barriers to great digital storytelling.

We care deeply, and we want the world to care just as much as we do.

We don’t understand why they don’t!

So we give them more and more information, thinking that the more data, information, and statistics we throw at people, the better.

Humans are not rational beings.

Our analytical side isn’t usually in charge.

Often, giving someone more information is detrimental to getting them to take an action.   

To truly connect with our donors and our supporters, and to drive change on the issues that we care deeply about, we have to make the shift to becoming intentional storytellers, and we have to use digital channels to disseminate our stories far and wide.

We need to think of storytelling less as a megaphone for our ideas and messages, and more as a gift to our audience.

So here we go, 3 things that you can start doing today to improve your digital storytelling.\

1. Start with a hook.

Attention is the scarcest resource available today.

So if you actually show up in someone’s News Feed, if they click on your blog post, if you get past the Promotions tab in Gmail and your donor opens your email – you better hook them from the start.

Your story must be designed to draw people in from the very first word.

Example: Denver Rescue Mission

“Being pregnant on the street was terrifying,” Donna says as she begins to share her story. “I wondered every day if I would lose the baby. I was constantly stressed. I even slept in my car for a few weeks before I was humbled enough to ask for help from anyone.”

Example: How much is your arm worth? Depends on where you work

2. Change up the story structure.

We all know and use the familiar story structure the hero’s journey.

We all know this – an unexpected protagonist who isn’t looking for adventure, a decisive crisis, winning a victory, coming home changed. Think Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, etc.

The main problem with the hero’s journey is that too often the nonprofit ends up playing the hero – client is in trouble, client comes to us, we solve all the problems, client is transformed.

The problem is that reality is rarely that simple.

In my opinion, the hero’s journey is played out. We expect it.

We need something different, start in the middle, use interesting angles, feature not the usual suspects.

A great example of an unexpected story is Faith’s Story, brought to us from Susan G. Komen South Florida.

Maybe it’s not all wrapped up in a bow at the end. Maybe it’s messy. That’s real, and that’s what your audience wants to see.

3. Revamp that CTA. Please. 

Let’s face it – our calls to action are pretty terrible. How many times have I watched a nonprofit video and I didn’t understand how I was supposed to take action?

If you manage to get that attention, keep it, draw people in, and get them interested, you better make sure you are asking them to DO something.

Effective digital storytelling calls to action need to be laser-focused and specific and incredibly easy to accomplish, even from a phone.

Don’t ask me to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, donate, join your email list, become a brand ambassador, etc.

Ask me to do ONE thing.

This is why Facebook Fundraising works so well. There is no ambiguity or confusion. There is a donate button. You can donate, or you don’t.

So there you have it, 3 action items you can start using today to improve your digital storytelling work!

I’ll be away the next two weeks, but we will be back at the end of October with the next episode so stay tuned.  

So there you have it, tips and tools to make your next event one that everyone will be talking about.

Thanks for reading and watching! Nonprofit Social Media Nerds will be going live on Friday at noon for the next few weeks – we will post the full schedule in the Facebook Group so stay tuned.

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