Is Your Biomedical Nonprofit’s Website Market-Smart?

December 16, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.03.29 PM
Leadership Marketing Tips for Creating an Emotional Connection

Successful Biomedical Nonprofits foster emotional connections with their audience. And although the interface between your website and a potential donor is a computer screen, it is still possible to make the interaction personal.

So, how do you know if your Institution’s website is market-smart?
Ask yourself these simple questions:
1) Does our site immediately define our purpose from a donor’s perspective?
2) Does it distinguish us from our competitors?
3) Does it reflect our values as a brand?
4) Does it provide the appropriate usability for our audience?
5) Does it do all of the above quickly?

Create Messaging for Every User
Who are your primary users? Researchers? Donors? Patients? Each one of these audiences searches the web with a different agenda and at a different pace. Consider their age, education level, technical savvy and lifestyle – all of these things can help you determine the mindset of the visitors coming to your site. Once you’ve done this, it’s your challenge to create a site that offers the information and user experience they are seeking.

What Are They Hoping to Find?
What are the top three reasons users go to your site? Again, a market-smart site is one that speaks to your audience(s) quickly.
Are they:

  • Scientists looking for information?
  • Supporters wanting to make a donation?
  • Volunteers looking to get involved?

Your website may need to be relevant to all of the above, which can be a challenge. The key is to make those connections right away on your homepage, and quickly direct users to the appropriate sections of your site to learn more. Remember, if they can’t immediately identify with the information on your homepage, they may not spend the time to go deeper.

A market-smart website defines your Biomedical Nonprofit’s brand from your audience’s perspective as quickly as possible, and it provides the appropriate usability that is instinctive for each specific audience. If you have questions or need help making your Institution’s website market-smart, contact me by calling 866-960-9220 or emailing karan@cushmancreative.com.


Is Your Biomedical Nonprofit Building a Long-Term Relationship With Donors?

December 8, 2014

shutterstock_231183547
4 Leadership Marketing Tactics for Retaining Supporters

As a Biomedical Nonprofit, attracting new donors is always a major goal. But what about retaining the donors you have? The length and quality of your relationship with donors can influence them to include your institution in an endowment or even their will.

Here are 4 Leadership Marketing tactics that can help ensure you are building trust and earning lifetime support:

Be accountable
If you’ve outlined how your Biomedical Nonprofit will use funds, follow through by demonstrating how those dollars were spent. For instance, if you raised funds for an improvement to your facilities, remember to share the results and communicate the positive impact your donors’ contributions had. Doing this on a regular basis will maintain a positive dialogue and give donors the confidence of knowing you respect their giving intentions.

Communicate on their terms
The Internet provides new options for keeping in touch with donors, but it’s not everyone’s preferred method of communication. Understand how donors like to receive information, solicitations and acknowledgements. If you began the donor relationship by mail, don’t assume you can automatically move that conversation/giving behavior online. Give your donors choices, and respect their comfort level.

Involve donors
Avoid including a direct ask in every communication. It is nice to occasionally send updates about how and what your Biomedical Nonprofit is doing without including a little envelope or “donate now” button. This lets donors know that you value their participation as much as their contributions. Of course, you can always direct them online for more information where they will certainly have the opportunity to give, but the real goal is to invite an emotional investment as well as a monetary one.

Show gratitude
This is a simple but critical step in keeping donors on your side for the long-term. Thank them at every opportunity. Let donors know you value their participation in making your institution the scientific leader it is!

Do you have a great story about a long-term relationship with one donor? Whether they are giving large or small amounts, we’d love to hear about it. You can contact me by calling 866-960-9220 or write to me at karan@cushmancreative.com.


Measuring Your Biomedical Nonprofit’s Social Media Health

November 17, 2014


Measuring_Beaker
Key performance indicators for measuring and optimizing your social media efforts

I am revisiting a great article by Jacqueline Zenn from Social Logic about how to evaluate your brand’s social media health. This is a summary of the article along with some of my own Leadership Marketing tips for effectively using social media for networking and greater consumer engagement.

For many Biomedical Nonprofits, social media is an everyday priority for networking and building consumer engagement. With the endless amount of data available, it’s tough to determine what metrics really matter. How do you measure whether your social media presence is making a difference? Here are a couple of quick and simple tips for monitoring your Institution’s social media health.

Is Your Network Growing?
This is a lead indicator of the consumer awareness of your Biomedical Nonprofit’s brand. How many people are actually talking about your latest research and its impact? Is your social media network growing? A week-by-week or month-by-month tracking system is a good way to measure the overall social media health of your brand.

Monitor Your Share of Voice
Review the total number of mentions of your brand versus competing brands with tools like Social Mention. Monitoring your brand’s share of voice can help determine whether you need to work harder to earn more of the conversation and really own your brand’s USP.

Review Engagements
Social media is a conversation. Every reply or comment you receive on a tweet or blog post can help you understand how people are feeling about your institution and its work. The more you engage, the more likely your audience is to respond, connect with your institution, and ultimately offer their support.

Brand Ambassador Mentions
Track mentions by those you feel are “key influencers” for your brand. Due to their substantial and loyal social media following, influencers can become valuable ambassadors of your brand. As they follow and discuss your latest research, fundraisers or other events, your targeted social communities grow.

Check Referring Traffic
Many social campaigns have the goal of driving traffic to specific places, such as a product page of your website, in hopes of creating greater awareness and inspiring donor gifts. Hopefully if your brand’s media communication is increasing, so will hits to your website or blog. Google Analytics is a great tool for finding out how much traffic is being referred to your Biomedical Nonprofit’s site via other social channels.

Beyond The Numbers
Measuring your social media efforts is not just a numbers game. It’s critical that you also evaluate what people are saying about your Institution. How do they feel about your Biomedical Nonprofit and its work? Are you listening and continuing the conversation effectively?

Have questions about your social media strategy? Contact me by calling 866-960-9220 or emailing karan@cushmancreative.com. To read the full article: 9 Ways to Measure your Brand’s Social Media Health

 


Knowing Your Biomedical Nonprofit’s Weaknesses Shows Strength

October 29, 2014

shutterstock_189422693
How to use the principles of Leadership Marketing to keep your brand on course

When was the last time you thought about your Biomedical Nonprofit’s weaknesses? Marketing Leaders who acknowledge the challenges and negative perceptions their brands face are much more likely to overcome those challenges.

If you want to grow your Biomedical Nonprofit’s brand from the inside out, here are 3 areas worth exploring with tactics to turn challenges around:

Know Where You’re Not Connecting
Many Biomedical Nonprofits find it challenging to communicate the value of their work to the public. This is not a weakness unless your institution retreats and becomes increasingly silent. A large part of successful Leadership Marketing is learning to listen to your audience, understanding their perception of your institution and responding in a way that builds trust. Remember, the view the public has of your institution may be very different from the view you wish they had. Not understanding or acknowledging the difference can create a communication gap that will diminish the power of your brand. You can avoid this disconnect by proactively engaging the public at events like Open Houses or through online forums, encouraging dialogue, and continually striving to be a partner to the community.

Understand Objections to Giving
Another challenge for Biomedical Nonprofits is responding to past donors who have new objections to giving. Before countering, listen for the truth behind their objections. As an example, when Institutions need open-ended funds for more exploratory research, they turn to donors, but some donors object to giving when they don’t know where those funds are going. Understanding the source of this resistance can help you overcome it. Often donors think of science as having a specific path, and they want to support it with targeted gifts, like funds for new lab equipment. Your job is to help them see how unrestricted funds give scientists the freedom they need to do cutting-edge work. Sharing success stories from open-ended research projects can capture their imaginations and inspire them to be partners in innovation.

Look for Internal Blind Spots
Your Communications or Development Team could be so close to the work that you no longer see certain weaknesses. Are there company-wide issues that are regularly cited as hurdles to success? You can find out by conducting an up-to-date SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. The SWOT analysis is designed to empower your team by uncovering weaknesses that you can turn into strengths. Once you have done a SWOT, gather your Biomedical Nonprofit’s decision-makers and address any issues head on. That may mean having a frank, open discussion about possible solutions or seeking an investment to turn things around. Not only will the effort raise spirits internally, you may hit on something your external audience has been aware of all along.

Thought-leading Biomedical Nonprofits are forward-thinking Institutions. Being honest about your challenges can help ensure that your brand reflects that. If you’d like more tips on how to conduct a SWOT to empower your Development Team, send me an email at karan@cushmancreative.com. I’ll send you a copy of my latest Whitepaper.

 


Designing More Effective Email Appeals for Your Biomedical Nonprofit

October 15, 2014

shutterstock_223092481 [Converted]
Leadership Marketing strategies for generating more gifts

I recently ran across a must-read post by Mike Snusz of Nonprofit-Fundraising. In the post, Mike offers tips for improving email fundraising efforts. Many of his suggestions are especially relevant for Biomedical Nonprofits that are attempting to share their mission in addition to requesting gifts.

Send Multiple Emails with Connected Messages
Mike believes that follow-up emails often outperform the initial appeal, and I agree. In today’s fast-moving world, it has never been easier for recipients to overlook emails. Biomedical Nonprofits face the added challenge of translating the science behind their research into benefits that improve human health. This can lead to sharing too much information in one email appeal.

Streamline your ask with an email campaign that builds interest over time. Use the principles of Leadership Marketing—sharing valuable information, becoming a trusted resource—to help potential donors understand and connect with your mission before you overtly ask for financial support. Keeping your brand top-of-mind will inspire your audience to get more involved on their own.

Here’s an example of an effective email strategy:

Email 1: WHY
Explain why your institution’s research is important by sharing statistics or stories that demonstrate a need for it. For instance, share compelling statistics about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s or the national impact of childhood diseases. It is still important to put the email in context (i.e. connect it back to your institution) so it can stand alone, but try to stay focused on WHY you do what you do.

Email 2: HOW
How does your Biomedical Nonprofit make a difference? Share news or events that highlight specific solutions your institution provides that address the issues raised in Email 1. Again, this email should be able to stand alone, so frame it as news and drive readers to your website to learn more.

Email 3: WHO
Finally, why not invite those who support your work to your institution to meet with those scientists who are doing the work? Connecting the “whos” behind your brand can humanize your institution and personalize its mission. Some research institutions create this connection by offering tours of their facilities. For bigger donors, these may even offer private tours. But you can also create a more personal connection with planned events that allow donors to meet with scientists one-on-one.

Design Your Email Appeal for Every Device
In addition to the kind of email content you send, think about how you are sending it, because the majority of email appeals are never opened. Reasons include subject lines that are vague or cryptic on small screens and images that are too large for devices other than computers.

Making sure your campaign works across all channels will help raise more money. To improve your response, keep emails simple in both content and design. Use more white space around text to improve clarity of your message, keep donation forms as straightforward as possible, and include compelling images that tell your story quickly. Remember, smaller image files download faster on mobile devices.

Do you have questions about managing your Email Appeal Campaign? Feel free to contact me by calling 866-960-9220 or by emailing karan@cushmancreative.com.

In case you are interested, here is the link to Mike’s original post: http://npengage.com/nonprofit-fundraising/design-fundraising-appeal-that-raises-more-this-december/


Top Tweets from Agents Of Change Conference 2014

October 8, 2014

AOC
Agents of Change, or AOC (as it’s affectionately called) is an in-person and online conference dedicated to helping you leverage the three most important channels in digital marketing today: search, social & mobile.

By understanding how your business or non-profit can utilize search (to be found), social (to engage), and mobile (to be right where your customer needs you to be), you can level the playing field and build your business regardless of the competition.

If you missed this year’s Agents of Change Conference in Portland, we’ve pulled together the top tweets that stirred up a buzz on Twitter:

@AgentConference
Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, & Google+ COMBINED. #AOC14

@StephSammons
“The fortune is in the follow-up” via @NickUnsworth #AOC14

@KaranCushman
Listening to @johnleedumas @agentconference Podcasting key to #digitalmarketing especially for #entrepreneur

@BizBookWriter
“Say your keywords out loud in your YouTube video.” – @therichbrooks #AOC14

@DRemmes
If your brand is the hamburger, give away the ketchup, not the burger #AOC14

@KaranCushman
@johnleedumas “Always Deliver Value” “Follow one course until success” “Practice the 80/20″

@FlyteNewMedia
Identify who your ideal customers are. @RickMulready #AOC14

@KaranCushman
Building the Biz of You: Share your value. Be an agent of change. #AOC14

@ElisaDoucette
Do not take for granted that people know what you want them to do. Write it out. ‘Click Here To Get That’ @RickMulready #AOC14

@FlyteNewMedia
Get their attention – offer benefits – get to the point – tell them what to click. @RickMulready #AOC14

@AgentConference
You’ve got to pull people off Facebook & into your email list #AOC14

@MEweddingChick
Know your audience, know their problems, give them the content you need…Podcasts, webinars, blogging…Oh MY!!

@DaveGold
After a weekend to digest I’ll say #AOC14 was informative, thought-provoking. Left my head swimming. Nicely done @therichbrooks and team.

@DirigoDuke
Dunno what #AOC14 is, but getting enough push notifications about it, certain it must be most awesome thing in the history of ever…

 

 


Building a Sustainable Brand for Your Biomedical Nonprofit

October 7, 2014

photo-2
Your brand relays your institution’s image to the world.
If you want to ensure the effectiveness of your brand and sustain your reputation as an industry leader, here are some things to consider:

How Interactive And Engaging is Your Biomedical Nonprofit?
Marketing like a leader is less about shouting what your institution has to offer and more about participating in conversations with those who share its mission. True brand engagement strengthens the investor and consumer experience. Smart brands are mastering engagement by becoming more interactive, and yes, social. A two-way conversation with potential investors, researchers or others offers an inside track for others to learn about your work in more meaningful and personal ways. For your Biomedical Nonprofit’s brand, this level of engagement can lead to longer-term relationships, market sustainability, and greater brand value overall.

How Contagious Is Your Institution’s Brand?
Your brand message should be valuable enough to your audience that, not only are they interested, they want to share it with others. Sure there is an innate level of brand value for Biomedical Nonprofits that are working to improve our health and the health of our planet. Beyond this greater purpose, your brand must focus on and communicate the one thing that makes a difference for your investors and researchers – and make it viral.

Paying It Forward for a Greater Purpose
Today, Biomedical Nonprofits look at the marketplace with a global vision. And hopefully, as a leader in the industry, you’ve positioned yourself and your institution as a valuable resource. What if you used that global vision to share more of what you believe is of value? In other words, pay it forward by sharing what and who you know. What resources do your researchers find valuable? Are they sharing their insights and ideas? In this day and age of content marketing, brands that provide added value are staying top of mind. Your generosity with resources and information will ensure your institution is seen as a thought leader.

Can Your Biomedical Nonprofit Afford Not to Be Social?
The power of the consumer is stronger than ever. Newsletters, blogs, Facebook, Twitter—almost any platform for sharing opinions enables your audience to be brand stewards. By engaging with them and taking an active, social role in building consumer confidence, you demonstrate that you care. Today, basic marketing must also be social marketing. Being a marketing leader means engaging your audience and continuing to respond to their specific needs as they evolve. If you’re continually striving to serve your brand purpose and audience well, sharing that emerging story with the world should be exhilarating, not frightening.

3 Quick Ways to Monitor Feedback:

  • Conduct a random satisfaction survey via phone or email by asking donors or potential donors about how they view your brand.
    • Review comments and monitor online networking sites to see what customers are saying about your Biomedical Nonprofit.
    • Trackur.com is an online monitoring tool to help track what is being said about your company online. It scans millions of websites, news, blogs, video, forums etc., allowing you to monitor content about your institution if it matches the keywords you place in.

This post was inspired by Michael Hyatt, author of the book  Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, who also wrote an insightful article about how to monitor your brand’s effectiveness.

Click here to read the complete article: 5 Ways to Monitor your Brand’s Effectiveness. 

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers