Messaging to Build your Nonprofit Brand |
by c ( group

Building brand awareness can be a challenge for many but, if you’ve read Part 1 – The Secret to Building Brand Awareness and done your homework, you’re already running smoothly and ready to advance your brand by developing your messaging strategy.

Branding can be even more effective in the non-profit sector than the for-profit sector since nonprofits can more actively showcase their beliefs and values apparent in their mission statement. Your mission statement is the main driving force behind the organization and your brand can exhibit how your organization is acting on achieving their mission. Developing a messaging strategy will allow your mission statement to shine!

A well-developed messaging strategy is key to effectively accomplishing what your organization is looking to achieve. My advice here is to campaign on something specific unless you are putting out an organizational manifesto. Develop your messaging around your objective during a particular timeframe, be it donations, volunteers, support for a specific campaign.

So, put your creative hat on and let’s start with the keys to messaging.

Step One: Tell a compelling story. Answer the question: What’s the problem?

In order to engage your audience with persuasion, you will need to develop an understanding of the problem for both your team and eventually your audience. Keep your mission in mind when defining the problem and use specific facts and figures as an effective way to both prove this problem is real and make your audience completely aware of it.

Picking the correct target audience is critical to your messaging strategy. Narrow in on what you would specifically like to achieve with this campaign, remember that focusing on small and concentrated goals is the key to succeed in getting results from your outreach. Develop an audience profile to know who you are going to target, who they are, what they like and what they care about.

Once you know your audience and the way to address them, it is time to tell them what the problem is. It goes without saying that it is always better if it is a compelling story.

Step Two: Relay a compelling message. Answer the question: Why should the audience care?

Paint a vivid picture that will resonate specifically with your target audience. Make sure to clearly detail how the problem affects this audience and highlight the negative implications that it has for them. Success in this step lays in researching your audience and finding the most effective and impactful way to demonstrate the consequences that this problem could have for them.

Then you can begin to lead into the benefits that solving the problem could have for your audience. By looking at it from their perspective, you can define a “what’s in it for you” statement and give them a reason to stay tuned for your solution. This is your opportunity to build brand awareness through revealing the characteristics that are woven together to build your brand. Help your audience envision your solution.

Step Three: Make a specific call to action. Answer the question: What specifically do you want the audience to do?

Now it is time to restate your solution in the form of a call to action. Always remain specific to the campaign you are focusing on because it will provide you a concise call to action to present. Make your call to action straight-forward as your audience will not appreciate ambiguity. However, don’t forget to provide them with all the information they need to make a decision and what is involved if they act. This will enable your audience to feel empowered to act and prevent the common feeling that they may be in for more than they have bargained for. Providing an informed and comfortable place for your audience to act from results in a stronger commitment for your prospect to follow through.

It is crucial to find a quick way to close your call to action by linking back to your mission statement or brand identity since it will give your audience the idea that they are part of a larger plan, without minimizing your current campaign message.
Developing your messaging strategy in this way will dramatically improve the relevance of your campaign and help you succeed with your overall mission.

Geordie Allen
Principal
c ( group
gallen@cgroupdesign.com
416.504.7887 ext. 222

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