The first round of trends I shared with you came from big-name marketing experts, were strategic in nature, and all centered the single most important must-do for 2013. The second round featured predictions on activities, challenges and hopes from nonprofit marketers like you.
Next I’ll synthesize all trends in one place, and recommend three significant but doable changes you must make to boost relationships and responses this year. Subscribe here to get that email!
1) Social media continues to gain influence. Your use of social media is officially a must in 2013, no longer an option. It’s where most of your prospects and supporters spend their digital time, so you have to be there too.
That means your leadership needs to overcome their fears and find ways to actively engage on relevant platforms. If the various branches of the US military can participate, so can your charity.
To do: Create an integrated social media strategy as part of your overall marketing plan. Get beyond your Facebook presence. For most of you, adding is the right next step.
2) Content marketing sits at the head of the marketing table. Quality content (that’s relevant) fuels your relationship building across platforms and devices. It’s vital for lead generation, and for motivating action.
Although old-school, one-way outreach has its place in terms of raising awareness and sending prospects to your content on your website and social media sites, the bottom line is that customers trust content most! 2013 should see a rise in content creation service firms and consultants.
To do: Provide relevant information that your audiences’ want, and is the highest-quality possible.
3) Mobile is mandatory. You can’t ignore mobile without hurting your org. Smartphones and tablets are how people communicate, consume content and research, so ensure your content is present wherever and whenever.
To do: Test your website and emails to make sure they’re easily read, searched and interacted with by users on tablets and smartphones. If they’re not, get there asap, beginning with the content most accessed and readers most used.
Going forward, design all channels to work on all devices.
4) Search still navigates the web. Navigational searches still dominate the top search results according to recent research by Experian Hitwise. Interestingly, they’re using less words to do so as a result of search engines prompts based on the participant’s past behavior. Don’t get complacent and think that just because you’ve got a marketing plan for social media and content marketing, you don’t need search.
To do: Integrate your top keywords in all of your high-quality, original content—on every platform—that is hungrily consumed and shared.
5) Email remains a core way to connect with your base. Email remains the workhorse for connecting, communicating and driving action. Unlike social media options that require participants to go there to receive your message, your opt-in email lists give you permission and the conduit for out-going communication.
To do: Leverage your social media outposts to support the growth of your email list.
6) Measurement is a must whenever possible. It’s no longer acceptable to dedicate an ever-growing proportion of your marketing budget to social media, content marketing and mobile without being able to measure a return on your marketing investment.
2013 is likely to bring new ways of analyzing, measuring, and qualifying current and future marketing strategies, enabling us to more quickly and easily gauge ROI and the effectiveness of specific marketing strategies, plus measure what has been difficult to measure till now!
To do: Incorporate a call to action with a unique tracking code and means to capture the results. It’s powerful.
The Nature Conservancy used Web analytics to redesign its Web site and increased online donations by 15 percent from April to September. Or Nurse-Family Partnerships, which arranges visiting nurses for low-income first-time mothers, tracks indicators to respond quickly to trends and offer new services.
7) Integrate your data, as well as your marketing. By assessing results across all channels, you’ll be able to combine your findings for deeper insights and for even more integrated marketing that blends all channels and strategies—from social media to search optimization to e-newsletters—together for a more unified message. That will lead to smarter and more effective campaigns.
To do: If you’re not already looking at your data as a whole, start developing a process to do so. Because as valuable as your data is broken out in different silos (social media, SEO, email, direct mail), its much more valuable when combined and looked at as one entity.
What marketing habits, activities or perspectives are you revising for 2013? Please share your thoughts here.
P.S. Get my recommendations for the 3 big but doable changes you should make this year (to respond to these trends). Just sign up here.
And please, get in touch if I can help you with any of these actions to build relationships and response.