7 More Excuses for Postponing Inbound Marketing

There are always a lot more reasons put forward for not doing something than for getting on with it. It may be an urban myth but the people who came up with the idea of organising climbs over the Harbour Bridge at Sydney, New South Wales were faced with one excuse after another from the City of Sydney and North Sydney Councils till they asked for all the reasons they could possibly think of for not allowing the climbs. They gradually knocked them away one-by-one till there was no good reason left for not going ahead. The Bridge Climb is now a major tourist attraction that pays for the routine maintenance of the Harbour Bridge.

Is Inbound Marketing your Harbour Bridge Climb? In our last blog we looked at seven typical excuses that hold up inbound marketing in not-for-profit.

 “Our Trustees Won’t Spend Money on Technology”

The web long since stopped being about technology. It is really about content and information underpinning promotion and awareness raising. However the same instinct remains with many trustees and board members – we should only spend on the mission, rather than the overheads. However that didn’t stop organisation printing leaflets, or brochures or appeal envelopes or producing tins to shake. The web is now the come of many other things. Marketing software and web integration is certainly an investment and needs a business case – and in an ideal world that case would be funded entirely from purpose developed grant aid. Consider using an external resource to help you build the case and the funding appeal so that 100% of donations ARE spent on the mission.

“People Won’t Fill in Forms”

They certainly won’t if they want information that they believe is more valuable to you than to them – like you Annual Report or Case Studies that tell the story of how you help. All sorts of people willingly provide information in return for something of value that you can provide. You demonstrate that value by providing useful information within your online content. Sharing the right information is important. Adding forms and landing pages to your site quickly proves this thinking wrong.

“We’ll end up asking too often by email”

It’s true that if you only bombard your contacts with donation appeals they will get tired and unsubscribe quickly – and that would be a shame. So don’t! You need the right combination of content and useful information that educates, enlightens and enthuses your audience mixed with a ‘soft-sell’ of information on how to donate and what it will enable you to do. The donate button might always be present somewhere – but readers will forgive that if it isn’t always the main purpose of the mailing.

“We concentrate on one or two annual appeals”

It really isn’t a question of one or the other. As not-for-profit moves toward events that are ‘moments’ in the virtual world, such as Movember, the importance of social networks, content strategies and inbound marketing to support appeals makes more and more sense. Try thinking about how content and inbound activity can support and enhance the build up to an annual event.

“We don’t have time to create new content”

Perhaps not. Activity expands to fill the time available and those of us who have worked in not-for-profit know that staff don’t spend their time sitting round with nothing to do. There’s even pressure on our time to think. But take a step back for a moment. Think about the content that you already have – on your current site, in newsletters, in magazines, in reports and studies, in the output of government departments or of the European Union. The fact is there is more content out there than you realise. The think a little about the news agenda – anniversaries are always a good start. Pretty soon you have the outline of an editorial plan just based on re-using what is there already.

“Our audience is not on Facebook”

Perhaps not – but maybe it is on Instagram, or LinkedIn or Twitter or watching YouTube. The fact is it is out there somewhere and only by asking your supporters and a little worthwhile trial and error will you know what’s best. Focus on the social networks that produce the most traction. Remember that social networks grow and change constantly. Ruling these channels out would be a big mistake.

“We’re Just Not Ready”

Nobody is ever ready but everyone kind of is! This is the most common excuse of the lot. You almost certainly have some of the essentials and in a technical sense being ready is easy – you have a website, a social network account and you know how to send an email. You have people too, so you are more ready than you think and you can get going but to do it well you do need to prepare a little then commit. You’ll need to optimise your website, you’ll need quality content, you’ll need to mug up on how emails can work and you need to understand the value of blogging in not-for-profit, easy ways to write better not-for-profit blogs and plan an editorial schedule. Most of all you need to know what you want to achieve and how you are going to execute you goals – an inbound marketing strategy. Assessing the readiness of your organisation is another key use for the skills of an external consultant who can set out a road map toward a fully functioning inbound strategy.

Leave a Reply