My experience looking for a new church got me thinking about the opportunity for nonprofit marketing teams to attract new members in the post-pandemic world.
I went to church in-person for the first time since last spring on Sunday. When I moved to Edwardsville, Illinois in June 2020, I decided to go to church through Zoom until the pandemic ended. With two vaccines protecting me, I was eager to get back to one of the staples of my life – being in a church community.
Using my digital tools, I researched churches near me and decided on one based on my past experience. Our Lord’s Lutheran Church in Maryville, Illinois, celebrated Pentecost outdoors in its Chapel in the Pines. A nice breeze blew across the shady spot, I liked Pastor Darla Ann Kratzer’s enthusiasm, and I met a woman with whom I have some things in common. I will be back.
I was able to check out the church because of its digital marketing, including an up-to-date website, Google listing, and Facebook page. Our Lord’s Lutheran Church’s digital tools include video online, an excellent way for prospective church members to see what they offer, and that impressed me.
Apply this story to your mission and you will see how opportunities abound in the post-pandemic world. People are excited about getting out of the house and engaging with others. They want to get back to their hobbies, learn something new, and take better care of themselves.
Who is ready to join (or rejoin) a gym? I am! The Gateway Region YMCA is taking full advantage of digital marketing. They ran TV ads with a membership special a couple months ago and now they are running Google ads. The ads prompted me to look into joining, and I learned the Edwardsville Y is not part of the regional organization. I haven’t heard about any specials in Edwardsville. There is a new executive director so I imagine he is just getting up-to-speed. I’m a big fan of YMCAs and hope to get over there soon. I need it.
Nonprofit Marketing Needs Extra Resources During a Time of Uncertainty
With COVID guidelines for children in flux, communicating with families in a post-pandemic world can be a challenge. The more you communicate the better. If you need to change course next week, use your digital tools to deliver another message.
Case in point – my daughter, Valerie Love, and her little Girl Scout, Elissa. I have asked Valerie twice about whether Elissa will be going to Girl Scout day camp. Valerie says she hasn’t heard anything about it. We wondered if it is because the Girl Scout council didn’t know if they were having day camp because of the pandemic. How many moms have the same question?
Elissa, six years old, is a Daisy, a first-year Girl Scout, so Valerie has more questions than answers. Do troop members go to day camp together, like when she was a Girl Scout? Or do the girls go solo? When is it? How does she sign her daughter up?
I looked on the Girl Scout council website and see their camp guide that includes how to sign up for day camp. I wonder if they have used digital tools to drive to the guide. Have they posted on social media that it’s available? That’s where Valerie would see it. Have they emailed a link to all parents? Communicated directly with volunteers to inform them about day camp registration and how to engage their girls?
There is no such thing as over-communicating when attracting participants or donors. There are barriers, however.
Is your organization staffed to take advantage of the many digital tools available when communicating with families? Do you have an adequate digital marketing budget?
Social Media Leads List of Preferred Digital Tools
As a nonprofit marketing professional, you need to meet their audiences where they are. A recent survey by Sprout Social found
“90% of executives agree social will soon become the primary communications channel for companies to connect with existing and prospective customers.”Sprout Social
I have gotten some excellent results with digital marketing and am happy to help you with yours. I will create your ads, target the audience online, and monitor the ads. The beauty of digital marketing is that you can do A/B testing, a process in which you run two ads on the same topic and see which one performs better for a week. Then, you drop the second-place ad and run the first-place one for the duratin of the campaign. I will do this for you. Soon, you will see the results you want in the post-pandemic world.
My Mother’s Day post lays out how to create a marketing and communications plan. While the post is geared to entrpeneurs, nonprofit marketing pros will benefit from following the process I shared.
I’m wishing you great success with your nonprofit marketing in the months and year ahead. Again, I am happy to help you. Your initial consultation is complimentary.