A consistent branding strategy can be key to growing awareness, recognition, and support for your nonprofit. Allison Manley, Director of Marketing and Communications at the nonprofit web design firm, Kanopi, has a few tips for how to make your organization’s branding work for you.
You see an ad for something on social media that catches your eye. You click on it to visit the product’s website.
From there, you might sign up for a newsletter or text alerts to notify them of sales.
Later that week you receive a text and you end up purchasing the item.
No matter what, modern marketing thrives through multiple channels. Even nonprofit organizations leverage innovative marketing via various vehicles to raise funds and serve their community in a meaningful way.
One way to strengthen your nonprofit’s online marketing efforts? Take the time to align your different marketing channel strategies together. Specifically, as popular places where new supporters are likely to learn about your organization, your web design and social media strategy are worth focusing on.
Focus on maintaining consistent messaging, staying on trend, and making sure your outflow content matches your social sharing needs. However, this can be hard to coordinate, especially if your content calendar isn’t consistently updated and as your organization grows. If you’re struggling to align your web content marketing and social media together, use these six tips:
- Keep branding consistent through all content
- Make use of specific hashtags in site copy
- Embed social media connections directly into website
- Promote your website on social channels
- Repurpose content
- Measure KPIs to maximize efforts
The best nonprofit websites work in conjunction with your other digital marketing channels, especially your social media content. We’ll dive into how with these tips below.
1. Keep branding consistent through all content
Your nonprofit brand is just one component of your digital marketing strategy. A well-defined nonprofit brand ensures that supporters, whether long-standing or new, on your social media page, site blog, or email content immediately recognize your organization and know what to expect.
If you want to bring your website content and social media marketing together, the first step is to create a consistent brand.
To do so, you’ll need to define your brand voice and brand aesthetic, which need to work in support of each other:
- Brand voice refers to your writing style, tone, and specific words you use within your marketing copy. This includes social media posts, your website mission statement, and even fundraising event descriptions. To ensure consistency within your brand voice, you’ll likely need to meet with the marketing team to establish guidelines that everyone is required to use in all communications.
- Brand aesthetic is the other side of the coin, describing the look and feel of your marketing content. Having a cohesive aesthetic across all digital channels is critical so that users can recognize your brand at every digital touchpoint. A consistent brand aesthetic builds important relationships that donors have with your brand and increases your nonprofit’s brand recognition. Brand aesthetics can refer to color choices, website layout, graphic style, and more.
If you’re unsure of how to define your brand voice and aesthetic, consider your nonprofit organization’s current audience and what kind of work you do. For instance, if your nonprofit focuses on helping children, you might have a more exuberant and friendly tone throughout your marketing content. This might also prompt you to use bright and fun colors as opposed to more neutral ones.
2. Make use of specific hashtags in site copy
When you think of social media, you’ll likely also think of hashtags (#). Though this symbol has been around way longer than Twitter and Instagram, it has now accumulated special significance to categorize or otherwise brand digital content.
A fun way to align your web design and social media strategy is to use hashtag language within your website copy.
For instance, let’s say that a popular hashtag that your organization uses is #FoodForAll. This perfectly encapsulates your mission to provide equal access to food within your community. You use this hashtag whenever you post on Instagram, send a Tweet, or tag a supporter in a status. Your supporters use it within their content when talking about your organization. You might even have nonprofit merchandise sporting the hashtag.
If it makes sense for your brand, incorporating this hashtag language into your website copy can be compelling. Not only does it connect your social media supporters to another platform, but displaying key hashtags can:
- Re-emphasize the mission of your organization
- Provide new supporters with an easy way to look up your other online content
- Show current supporters a convenient way to refer to your nonprofit on social media
You can also align your brand with existing hashtags. For example, if there’s a holiday coming up that’s applicable to your brand — such as #Thanksgiving or even #NationalPetDay — it can become an opportunity for your brand to join the conversation.
Regardless of what hashtags you use, make sure that your content is still relevant to your audience. Don’t try to force your organization to capitalize on #DonutDay if it isn’t applicable to your brand.
3. Embed social media connections directly into website
An easy way to connect your nonprofit website visitors to your social media content is to provide those connections.
For instance, you might embed social media links and content directly into your nonprofit website. This can look like:
- Button icons within your website menu, header, or footer. As soon as a user clicks on an icon, they’ll be taken to the appropriate web page. If they do this on their mobile device, make sure the link opens up the relevant app.
- Social media feeds displaying real-time content from your nonprofit’s accounts. You might embed your Twitter feed into your nonprofit’s homepage, showcasing real-time posts and tweets directly to your site visitors. This design should also be interactive, so as the user scrolls through, the Twitter feed does so. If they click on a particular tweet to engage with it, it’ll send them to the right web page or app.
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) in high engagement website areas can be extremely effective in connecting site visitors to your social media profiles. CTAs can come in the form of buttons or links. You should use CTAs in areas where you think that users are most motivated to click through. As an example, you might include a CTA to share a donation on Facebook right after a donor makes a gift.
Kanopi describes the second step of the donor journey as “research,” which usually occurs on the nonprofit website. Including these social media connections on your site is a key way to open up multiple engagement opportunities and connect with supporters in a whole new way.
4. Promote your website on social channels
To ensure coherence between your website content and social media marketing, it’s critical that you make it easy for both site visitors and social media followers to find links to each other’s platform. This simply means promoting links to your website within social media posts (and vice versa).
We already discussed how you might embed social media connections within your nonprofit site. Let’s now go over how you can find the right balance between promoting your organization on social media versus other content you post. After all, an Instagram account that constantly posts ads is one that not many people will enjoy.
It’s recommended to follow the 80/20 rule, with 80% of your social content being informative and useful with 20% being promotional.
This doesn’t mean just outright post a story asking people to visit your site for no reason. To subtly promote your website within your social media, simply:
- Include your website within your account bio.
- Post informational content and include a link back to your website with additional information.
- Ask social media followers to perform actions on your website like filling out a survey.
If you want to convert your social media followers into lifelong donors, you need to provide all of the resources possible. With this in mind, be sure to promote your website whenever and wherever you can.
5. Repurpose content
Buzzsumo recently reported that the average visitor only reads 25 percent of an article online. If you often write blog posts or other similar content for your nonprofit site, you likely worry that you spend a lot of time strategizing, planning, and creating content for it just not to be consumed!
One way to gain more value from the work you’ve put in is to repurpose your website content on social media (and vice versa). But this doesn’t mean posting entire articles on your Facebook status or Instagram accounts.
Re:charity’s multi-channel marketing guide says, “Be sure to consider each social media platform as individual entities. You can optimize your organization’s strategy for the specific platforms you choose. For instance, Instagram is best used for images, Twitter for quick updates, Facebook for long-form content, and more.”
Here are some tips you can use to repurpose website and social media content:
- Turn actionable content and graphs from blog posts into text-based social media posts.
- Use a particularly powerful statistic or quote from a blog post and make it into a branded graphic to share on social media.
- Create a meme to post on social media related to your content and links back to your site. (Make sure this medium is appropriate with your brand voice and audience)
- Create an infographic to visually outline content from a blogpost.
- Repurpose a blogpost into a branded digital resource and promote this link within your social media posts.
- Turn a popular blog post series into a video series that you post on your feed or stories, or share via live video.
If you want to successfully reach your nonprofit online donors, you already know to use multiple marketing channels. To save some time and better align your different channel’s strategies, consider repurposing content but still keeping in mind each outlet’s specific medium nuances.
6. Measure KPIs to maximize efforts
Last, but certainly not least, if you want to align your web design and social media marketing content consistently, you need to use data.
Data from your website and social media analytics can help measure effectiveness, optimize future content, and create a more cohesive digital strategy. To capture and organize your data and gain insight from it, set key performance indicators (KPIs). These are metrics that you can use to determine the success of a marketing campaign.
If you notice that KPI is lapsing, it’s a good indicator that the strategy used isn’t garnering the expected results and needs improving.
Here are some KPIs you might set to track your website and social media marketing success:
- Website total sessions
- Average site session duration
- Website page views
- Website organic views.
- Social media follower count
- Social media total engagements
- New social media leads
Keeping track of data is especially valuable if you’re focused on aligning your web and social media marketing efforts. This is because it’s impossible to ensure that your content will be engaging on every platform.
Your Twitter audience might be interested in topics that your website audience doesn’t care about. With concrete data, you can better determine how your nonprofit content is consumed on different platforms and pivot or continue strategies accordingly.
Your nonprofit’s marketing strategy has multiple moving components that can be difficult to juggle the larger your engagements become. Aligning your digital strategy across platforms and channels can help you better target key audiences and create engaging content. Use the tips above to create a cohesive brand and content strategy for your nonprofit website and social media accounts. Good luck!