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It would come as no surprise that marketing is essential for any organization’s survival. However, for many nonprofits’ marketing strategies often take a backseat to program activities. Understandably, nonprofits are driven by their mission, not marketing, but effectively communicating with the public about your organization will ultimately advance your mission. When it comes to nonprofit organizations, effective marketing is an absolute must. It is how you will get people to become a member, attend your events, and join committees to volunteer. This can present quite a challenge for association professionals who are working in a world where the marketing landscape is continually changing. In order to stand out and get the word out, nonprofit association professionals should take advantage of these top marketing trends.

Engage with Your Audience

In today’s society, people are driven by emotion. We all want to be a part of something that makes us “feel good.” With the boom in social media, our interest in photographs, videos, and live streaming has skyrocketed. What does this mean for association marketing trends? If you want to reach your audience, you have to find a way to engage them. Storytelling has become one of the most powerful marketing tools in 2017 because it provides a way to tug on the emotional heartstrings of your audience. Rather than just telling your organization’s mission statement, use a real life story to explain your mission. When an audience emotionally connects with an organization, they are more inclined to take action and get involved. Live streaming video and use of photography or infographics will help tell your story and drive your audience to jump in and get engaged.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

In a world where advertisements are everywhere (emails, social media, TV, billboards), we have learned to tune out much of what we see. This makes the job of marketing all the more difficult. If you want to be remembered, you have to keep pushing out strategically planned tweets, Facebook posts, website updates, and eblasts over and over. The more often someone is exposed to your message, the more likely it will stick with them. The key to making this truly effective is presenting your message (even if it’s a message you use constantly) in a different way. Using multiple channels to push your message and creating original, relevant content will vastly improve your chances of being remembered by your audience.

Make the Most of Testimonials

If people want to know if a product or business is worth their time or money, the first thing they do is Google it and check for online reviews. We have the ability to find out everything we ever wanted to know about a business right at our fingertips. Use this to your advantage by encouraging board members, volunteers, attendees, and members to give positive testimonials. The more people you have out there telling your story, the more people it will impact.

Use Mobile Technology

The fastest and most effective way to communicate with people is through mobile technology, so why not use this same technology to your advantage? Integrate a “Register Now” or “Join Today” button directly into emails and social media platforms, allow users to go directly to your site to sign up for your next event or become a member of the organization regardless of what device they are using. The ease of mobile technology will increase engagement and stimulate an audience’s willingness to get involved.

Smart marketing techniques have never been more important and this holds true for nonprofits as well as for-profit organizations. After all, nonprofits are still a business and they, too, have customers. If you are an association professional, take note of these marketing trends and the powerful impact they can have on your organization.

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