Value-based messages delivered with consistency and persistency over time essential to develop fruitful relationships with would-be donors, volunteers, and influencers. These relationships need to be in place well before the ask. Integrated marketing communications (IMC) synchronize all your marketing tactics together, accelerating their performance and expanding their effectiveness.
Here are some tips you can use to start implementing IMC in your nonprofit communications:
1. An integrated strategy statement (ISS) is the foundation of every nonprofit brand message. Every nonprofit should have one. An ISS aligns your message consistently across all communication platforms (ad, direct marketing, social media, e-mail) but allows you some flexibility in translation so it can be made appropriate for a specific platform or channel. For example, the Sierra Club’s foundational message is, “Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.” This message is adaptable across all platforms because it is concise and flexible, yet easily interpreted.
2. Using one voice is imperative. Creating visuals and messages that translate across platforms and using them consistently can help turn your nonprofit into a household name. This can be done simply, for example creating a unique hashtag that draws consistent and repeated recognition to your brand.
3. Use the results from a recent marketing tactic as a baseline, then try linking in another tactic to see if your results improve. For example, measure the open rate of the e-newsletter you are currently sending. Before the next issue goes out, post notices on social media a couple days in advance and suggest your followers sign up to receive it. Then measure the new subscribers, as well as the open rate, and look for increases.
4. Create landing pages for all campaigns that are not part of your site’s navigation system and are not donation pages but still provide value to your audience. This could be a curated set of resources, a survey or anything else they might find useful or interesting. On these landing pages, link back to your latest donation drive, to your e-newsletter sign-up or to wherever your site houses information about the role you hope they will fulfill (member, donor, student or volunteer).
Implementing effective IMC tactics requires patience. Without an integrated message, you risk going for the ask too early, losing out on establishing relationships with key constituents.