Are you leveraging marketing materials, social media and a website to effectively promote who you are as an organization? Is your mission clear to your target market? Does your branding speak to your organization’s goals and efforts? Are you prepared to make a statement that aligns with your brand in the event of a crisis?
Your organization’s brand may not be your largest concern. But in a digital world, potential donors, consumers, future board members, partners and philanthropic business leaders will visit your website to learn more about you and your mission. An outdated homepage or inconsistent color usage can mean the difference between someone funding your cause and someone quickly losing interest.
A product of the time, donors and consumers (especially millennials and Gen Zs) are more likely to learn about your organization and your cause from the comfort of their smartphones and social media news feeds. Gone are the days of dropping a five-dollar-bill in your bucket outside the local grocery store. And donors who mail checks around the holidays are few and far between. This isn’t because people don’t care about your organization’s mission. It’s because they don’t carry cash or write checks anymore. An organization with a strong website, clear mission statement and strategic social media presence exponentially increase their chances of gaining support.
Fortunately, a strong digital presence can be obtained with a little elbow grease. And it all starts and ends with a consistent brand. Below, we highlight our top three steps to improve your brand consistency and reach your target audience.
1. Consistency across platforms makes your brand recognizable.
To ensure that visitors of your Facebook page will also recognize your organization on your website, your branding (logo, color usage, font style and messaging) should be consistent across platforms. A brand guide can save you a lot of time here. Once you’ve established what colors you want to use, what your tagline is and so on, document all of these unique features in a guide. When you go to post an update, you can refer back to this document to check that you’re using consistent imagery and messaging.
Don’t forget that you’ll reach different audiences on different platforms, so it’s still important to customize your content for various audiences. For example, if you’re trying to reach younger donors, you should use social channels that reach a young demographic, such as Instagram and TikTok. This doesn’t mean that consistency can just fall to the wayside, though. In most cases, an organization can tailor a single message across a range of channels by tweaking imagery and copy to amplify the message on each channel.
2. Your brand should reflect your core values.
Your brand should clearly demonstrate who your organization is and what it stands for. It should avoid confusing messaging or misleading imagery, meaning, if you’re an organization that fights hunger, your logo might incorporate agriculture or food-related concepts (inspiration: Feeding America). And if your organization’s name doesn’t outwardly describe your mission, leverage your tagline to entice audiences (for example, The Trevor Project).
3. On-brand content keeps you top of mind.
When it comes to your brand, language and tone of voice are just as important as colors and logos. By creating key messages, your organization can ensure that all content – from social media posts to website copy to email messages – is cohesive and working to drive your mission forward. Recognizable key messages can also help your organization make an impact during a crisis. For example, a food pantry that regularly shares key messages about how it helps people in need can emphasize this same message during a time of high unemployment. To maintain credibility and make sure your communication is genuine in the event of a crisis, your messaging, actions and donation-asks must reflect your key messages and the brand you have built.
Among all the pressing responsibilities you maintain as an organization leader, marketing and communications are probably not top priorities for you. But they are for us – and that’s where The Agency at Sikich comes in. We’re a creative agency unlike any other, bringing you full-service, end-to-end marketing and communications solutions, backed by 360 degrees of business acumen. We provide fresh ideas and growth-oriented solutions, alongside a leading team of industry professionals, to address your needs. With deep roots in business operations, we arm you with technology-enabled marketing and communications solutions that focus on building and enhancing brand equity. Our solutions include:
- Defining your mission with a compelling story and developing unique messages to further support your “why.”
- Telling your story through video, web design, graphics and photography.
- Reaching your key donors and stakeholders through tailored digital campaigns.
- Inspiring your audience to take action using strategies like influencer marketing and media relations.
To learn more about our digital services, click here.