What are the most underrated marketing skills in successfully scaling social impact?

Jun25

Before I quit the 9-5 to launch my business, I interviewed 22 entrepreneurs from either the marketing or social enterprise space. My goal was to gain insight into the attributes, strategies, and skills I’d need to succeed.

There were a handful of pieces of advice I heard on multiple occasions, but only one that was brought up time and time again.

“Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.”

While I understood, at the time it was just theoretical for me. Now, I see it in practice. Many of the social entrepreneurs I speak with are pound foolish – from a marketing standpoint – every single day.

This means underrating skills that are critical to their growth and not investing in them as needed, whether that’s a financial investment (personnel or external support) or a time investment (personal development and training).

social impact scale
There are three marketing skills that I consistently see a lack of awareness for among social entrepreneurs. Or worse, I see them dismissed.

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3 wildly success nonprofit marketing campaigns that drove massive impact with no budget

May24

In our small – but growing (join us!) – private Facebook group for socially-good marketers, we often discuss successful nonprofit marketing campaigns.

Particularly, those with a little-to-no budget.

Seeing how others drive massive impact with minimal resources is something we can all learn from, and take back to our own organizations and marketing campaigns.

We’ve had a few pretty incredible examples referenced recently, worth highlighting outside of our private group. Laid out below are three wildly successful nonprofit marketing campaigns that drove massive impact with no (media or advertising) budget – and what we can learn from them.

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Five insanely powerful – yet simple – Facebook advertising audiences

May02

Facebook’s advertising platform offers insane targeting, with thousands of possible ad targeting parameters. In order to properly test a particular audience you need a certain level of ad spend, though, and the average advertiser simply doesn’t have the budget to test a huge number of audiences right off the bat.

Fortunately, retargeting and remarketing tactics mean that there’s almost always low-hanging fruit, allowing you to generate ROI from day one. Once you get this solid foundation and consistent traction, it’s a lot easier to avoid wasted budget as you scale.

Just one glance at the Facebook ad audience dashboard can be overwhelming for new advertisers…

Facebook ad targeting

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve experienced a lot of failed targeting. We all have. I’ve also identified, however, a few core audiences that I know are HIGHLY likely to provide ROI from day one.These audiences tap into retargeting (displaying ads to users who have visited your website) and remarketing (displaying ads to users whose email address you already have), which means that you’ll need an audience already – customers, email subscribers, Facebook fans, and/or website traffic – to make use of the methods below.

The following five audiences are ones I set up at the start of every advertising campaign I run, without fail. Data from these allow me to then scale the campaigns in an effective and affordable way.

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Automate your impact with this simple inbound growth funnel

Apr19

Inbound growth refers to the use of content and paid campaigns to grow a user base, and driving the users to take action. Part of the same family as growth hacking and inbound marketing, this process uses a couple of specific marketing strategies to push users through a funnel to reach a particular goal.

Once advanced, this process can take place in an almost entirely automated system. You can automate, and therefore scale, your impact. That’s why all brands – nonprofit, for-profit, or somewhere in between – should consider how it can play a role in their marketing efforts.

Here’s the standard marketing process on which inbound growth is built:

Inbound Growth Process

In inbound growth, we prioritize email marketing and retargeting/remarketing (advertising served to people who have already visited your website or are a contact in your database) to build, segment, and message our target audience(s).

Essentially, the goal is to build a community of website visitors and email subscribers, and use email and retargeting/remarketing to convert these prospects. Let’s take a look at a basic funnel:

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No budget? Here’s how to accelerate word-of-mouth marketing for your social enterprise

Mar12

According to a study by Nielson, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from their friends and family over all forms of advertising. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, and lucky for those with limited budgets, it can also be free.

Nielson Piechart
In a crowded space this is a huge opportunity, and you ought to be taking advantage of it. Here’s how. Continue reading “No budget? Here’s how to accelerate word-of-mouth marketing for your social enterprise” »