Nailing your marketing campaigns is crucial for professional bodies – but how do you manage when budgets are tight? The Institute of Chartered Foresters‘ (ICF)
Marketing and Communications Officer, Hester McQueen, is here with some top tips for multimedia campaigns.
Working for a small professional body, you are required to be effective with a small (or non-existent) marketing budget, and it’s not uncommon for you to be the only one in marketing. The whole point of marketing in a membership organisation is to generate new members and the best way to do so is to illustrate the value of membership to your members through case studies. Your members’ stories are your best asset for creating the desire to join.
92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands or businesses. (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2017)
To be a successful marketeer you need to tell your stories through engaging content marketing in digital formats. If you create a great story that is of interest and relevance to your audience they will become more willing to share your campaigns.
How to be a success?
- Produce engaging valuable content consistently
- Build and develop lasting relationships with your target audience
- Promote the possibilities – ‘the dream’
- Share the content through the right channels/platforms to reach your desired market segment
- Illustrate your campaign through great visuals (especially if you are using photographs; make sure they are produced at a professional level)
Content drives engagement, behaviour and loyalty, which leads to the audience sharing it. Understanding your organisation’s strategy will help you to determine how you share your story with your target audience.
Which platform to share your content?
This will depend on your market segment – age, gender, location, etc. There are a lot of people on different social media platforms but what’s important is finding out which ones are best for reaching your desired audience. For example, to reach predominately women aged 18-49, Facebook is seen to be the best platform. It reaches millennials and Generation X.
Generation X spends almost 7 hours per week on this platform (Andrew Hutchinson, 2017).
Techniques for sharing
“Brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to a mixture of professional marketing content and user-generated content” (Ana Gotter, 2016).
Ask a member for a winning quote and use engaging multimedia – this could be in the form of an image or video. Create snappy social media snippets for your content to be shared.
“More than 50% of consumers want you to tell them what type of content to create and share” (Ana Gotter, 2016).
Contact your members and ask them to recommend your membership. For example, ask them to share and post their best moments – this could be from your events. Contact them and make it personal by picking up the phone.
What tools should I use?
The tricky part is being able to produce appropriate and engaging content within budget; it is important to execute sharable content. Using free trials or free programmes to produce infographics, images, videos and more will help you achieve this within a limited budget.
A hashtag (#) is important for a campaign, especially if you want to capture these moments through an online feed to illustrate this story. Storify is a great free social media tool for highlighting the posts you would like to showcase – this can be through your website or a link to your storyboard on Storify. Marketeers are expected to have a wide gamut of creative skills today – for example, creating your own images, gifs, videos, infographics (and more) is becoming more critical when you’re on a tight budget. This can be for pull-ups, online banners, email graphics and so on. I would recommend using Adobe Creative Cloud (you can bargain with them through their online chat system for an agreed price). Learning how to use Adobe’s creative apps will enable you to make graphics that will be visually more appealing and look professional, as the tool can provide high standards. You will save a lot of money by not going to agencies and you can then use this budget somewhere else. I would recommend either using Adobe’s online learning resources or going on a course. You can work with IT providers/departments as they can help you embed graphics correctly.
Some tools that I would recommend:
- Piktochart– free version, this tool creates infographics
- pixabay– free images without contributions
- Yatter– this is a new social media sharing platform and free for charities
Making new marketing connections and attending free events helps you keep up to date with the latest software especially as there are constantly new platforms on the market.
- Influencer Marketing Hub,.Everything You Need to Know About B2B Influencer Marketing This Year and Beyond [online] [viewed 6 September 2017]. Available from: https://influencermarketinghub.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-b2b-influencer-marketing-this-year-and-beyond/
- Ana Gotter,.38 Mind-Blowing Stats About User Generated Content [online] [viewed 6 September 2017]. Available from: https://www.tintup.com/blog/38-mind-blowing-stats-effectiveness-user-generated-content/
- Andrew Hutchinson,.Top Social Network Demographics 2017 [Infographic] [online] [viewed 6 September 2017]. Available from: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/top-social-network-demographics-2017-infographic