The new year is nearly upon us! At ArcStone, we're ready to say goodbye to 2021 and are hoping for a bright future in 2022.
As with any new beginning, this time of year is an opportunity to reflect on what has or hasn't been working and to strategize for the year ahead. If you haven't already started, now is the perfect time to look at your nonprofit's marketing strategy and begin to plan for 2022.
The past year hasn't quite worked out the way most of us hoped. It appears that virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. Digital and content marketing are still the best ways to reach your audience and connect to prospective donors.
What changes should you plan for in 2022? What is the hot new thing, and what is best left behind in 2021?
Social Media Marketing is Still Essential
As we look back at 2021 and recognize the exponential growth of social media, it's easy to realize that it is likely only to continue to grow in 2022. The big players like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will remain significant for businesses and nonprofits alike. And up and coming platforms like TikTok are gaining followers quickly.
One of the issues with social media marketing is that while the possibility for reach is real, it can also be tedious and time-consuming to craft new content daily. Cross-channel posting, such as publishing simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram, is possible, as is sharing TikTok videos on other platforms. However, this doesn't allow you to optimize posts with each platform's hashtags and other data.
One content marketing strategy that refuses to go out of style is email marketing. As social media platforms change their algorithms and ask for ad dollars to reach their own followers, the simple email address becomes more and more valuable.
Email marketing gives you direct (and affordable!) access to your community's inboxes. So, stay top of mind with weekly email newsletters, fundraising promotions, and other news and updates from your nonprofit. While there is a fine line to walk between maintaining awareness and spamming, leveraging your email list is the best way to stay in touch with your audience.
As we at ArcStone look to the future, we see this area of content marketing leaning more and more toward personalization, segmentation, and, of course, automation.
Video Marketing is No Longer Optional
As 5G rolls out and high-speed internet access becomes the norm across the U.S. and beyond, the consumption of video-based content is on the rise. Even platforms like Instagram that got their start with carefully curated and filtered images are now filled with bite-sized videos. And TikTok is nearly entirely video-based!
While it can be intimidating, creating video content doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Many free software tools are available, and most smartphones have more video capabilities than any computer had in the 1990s.
For larger organizations, it can make sense to put a chunk of the budget toward polished video storytelling to present to the board along with an annual report. However, most video content can be much more casual.
Blogs Do Double-duty: Search Engine Optimization and Thought Leadership
Like email marketing, blogging has been around for decades. It's easy to shrug off blog writing as not worth the time and energy. However, blogs are still a good way to illustrate the experience and knowledge that make your nonprofit a thought leader.
Blog posts also double as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools. Selecting topics and crafting headlines that feature SEO keywords can help your nonprofit's website rank higher in search results.
With the most recent Google Algorithm update focused on providing a quality user experience, it pays to create long-form content on your website. For a page to score highly with the new algorithm, it must not only load quickly and accurately, but it must also contain more than 1000 words and have headlines that reflect the content. Blogs fit the bill perfectly!
At ArcStone, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve in SEO strategies. We bring that knowledge and expertise to everything we do.
Mobile is King for Content Consumption and Fundraising
Today and going into the new year, people are using their mobile phones for...everything! Smartphones are used to keep in touch, check social media, play games, search the web and do online banking. Basically, everything we've become accustomed to doing online, we're now doing with our phones most of the time.
For 2022, not only does your nonprofit's website need to be mobile-optimized, it, and all your marketing efforts, need to be mobile-first.
People are consuming more content on their mobile phones than ever before. This also means that they will be interacting primarily with your nonprofit from the palm of their hand.
And that goes for fundraising as well. Not only is fundraising on social media more effortless than ever, but fundraising that is easy and accessible for mobile devices is also on the rise. Accepting payment types such as Paypal, Venmo, and Apple Pay will become accepted as more fundraising is done on mobile devices.
Another way to add more interaction to your social media campaigns is by adding geofencing. Geofencing uses the GPS location services of mobile devices to trigger specific interactions such as push notifications or text messages.
Is Your Nonprofit Prepared for Marketing in 2022?
The basics of an effective content marketing strategy haven't changed too much over the course of the past year. We're still reliant on social media and email marketing to stay in touch. And we're still using blogs to showcase our expertise and to keep us ranking highly on search engine results pages.
However, staying ahead of the curve helps to keep your nonprofit in mind while others fade into the background. As you start to integrate some of the new trends, such as video creation and mobile-first campaigns, know that if you begin to feel overwhelmed, ArcStone is here to help.