It is the 2020s and CONTENT is KING. Whether you are a business, a nonprofit, or a ministry, you are in the business of building a brand and attracting customers, donors, or parishioners using CONTENT. Creating content doesn’t just mean making Facebook posts or sending an email. Content encompasses anything that sends a message from your brand to your audience. This includes customer service scripts, text reminders, e-blasts, website blog posts, videos, and so much more. When you are creating content for any of the above channels, it is important to keep these 5 best practices in mind:
- Standardize for consistency – Consistency in messaging and information is core to building trust. If a prospective client or donor asks three different people at your organization the same question, try to ensure they are getting approximately the same answer all three times. You’d be surprised how many people know very little about the organizations they work for! Consistent messaging helps build confidence in your brand whenever a question or challenge arises.
- Pro tip: Put together a 1-page fact sheet for your entire team to print out or have on hand with your organization’s mission, vision, and main products or services with brief descriptions.
- Contextualize for relevance – A prospective client or donor is in a continual conversation with your brand. Contextualizing means using the information from all previous interactions to provide the most relevant information as quickly as possible.
- Pro tip: Segment your clients and donors in your email system so that you aren’t sending new donor cultivation messages to committed partners, or partnership upsells to brand new donors.
- Optimize for clarity – Be conscious of the strengths and weaknesses of each communication channel. This can help you determine the best types of marketing, sales, and services interactions to deliver across each one.
- Pro tip: Every so often, review your social media engagement statistics, email open and click rates, and evaluate your website traffic. These analytics will provide insight regarding what people connect with, respond to, and are looking for.
- Personalize for impact – Use the shared knowledge inside your contact database to tailor each conversation you have to the person you’re having it with. Rather than canned responses or content, adapt your messaging to speak directly to the person you’re interacting with.
- Pro tip: Use your data! First name merge fields in emails and letters instantly personalize the letter. If you capture data like city or state, you can also use that data to personalize appeals. For example: <First name>, did you know there are hundreds of people near <city> who will be homeless this winter? Much more compelling than a general statement.
- Empathize for perspective – Don’t be robotic in your communication. Acknowledge that your clients and donors are people, with human emotions, concerns, and desires. Be sure that you are speaking to their human needs to compel them to take action for your cause or buy your product.
- Pro tip: Try writing with a first-person voice occasionally in your emails, appeals, and social media. Use inclusive statements such as “we” and “together.” Create a sense of solidarity in your messaging that makes people feel a human connection.
Keep these best practices in mind when you write your next e-blast, appeal letter, blog, or social media post! Let us know if you see any differences or improvements in engagement and response!
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