4 Tips Non-profits Can Learn at an Interactive Conference

January 7, 2016

What’s an interactive conference, you ask?

It’s a two-day event bringing people together to discuss how online technology, creativity and emerging trends are being used to drive marketing campaigns, collect data and frame stories for clients – just to name a few. Attendees range from entrepreneurs to designers and developers, to online business professionals to marketers and more.

Generally speaking, the talks are hardwired to attract people from the private sector. Yet, the information remains relevant to the not-for-profit world. And these tidbits on market trends and know-hows can be implemented into any messaging campaign.

So, let’s break it down.

  1. More visuals, less text. No surprise here, but it’s an important reminder. The folks from Killer Infographics reminded us that users read only about 20 percent of content on a web page with more than 600 words of text. And, that visual information gets to a person’s brain 60,000 times faster than words.So what does that mean for your campaign? Pull out your fun facts, make memes and get to visualizing your campaign by creating informative, yet visually stimulating sharable materials. For inspiration, check out this informative and clever infographic by The Girl Effect.
  2. Localize your campaigns to tap into pride of place. The folks from Nextdoor – a free private social network for your neighborhood – and Buy Nothing Ballard – a sub-group from the Buy Nothing Project focused on why it’s important to not overlook micro-networks and hyper local communities. Their research found that when people become committed to a place, at the end of the day, they want to preserve it.So, what does that mean for non-profits looking for an entry point into a hyper local community? Facebook. The speakers emphasized that the majority of people know how to use it – young and old. And for that reason alone, folks are more likely to engage and participate with your messaging campaign via Facebook than any other social media platform. Try distributing your campaign through locally targeted ads or by tapping into locals already engaged with your issue on Facebook. The bottom line is: people are in touch with their community and genuinely want to share their opinions about its future.
  3. Vertical reimagined. First of all, take this into consideration – there are 7.4 billion mobile devices worldwide – that’s more than there are people on earth. And roughly, 30% of people spend their screen time with hand-held devices. If you’re thinking about making a new video for your next campaign – think about how an average person holds their phone. Vertically, right? Millennial Media suggests marketers flip their approach. So the next time you are thinking about creating a video campaign – consider having it tailored made to be viewed upright, versus the old fashion, horizontal way.
  4. Find your story, visualize your story and tell your story. This message came from Saul Spady the grandson of Seattle’s famous Dick’s Burgers. Working solo, he’s been building social media campaigns for Dick’s Burgers and Malaria Free Uganda. For him, the story is at the core of every campaign and must be both creative and empowered by the digital mechanism. For his Malaria Free Uganda campaign via Facebook, he shared one image at a time, paid for ads (started small) and frequently generated powerful content. Picture2In general, he leans heavily on Facebook – since nowadays it drives 25 percent of all Internet referral traffic. Although, when I later asked about the success of SMS campaigns across several African countries (like the Ebola SMS campaign in Senegal), he admitted that using text messages would have been beneficial to his Facebook campaign, since most Ugandans have not only one mobile, but several.Overall though, he acknowledges that it’s a learning process and that diversifying your techniques is essential. He’s certainly done so by generating content through music videos with local artists to creating shareable infographics. In the end, it’s about not missing an opportunity to tell your story while at the same time, spotlighting the community at hand.

Marcela Gara