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    Marketing Trends for NGOs

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    Non-government organizations often find themselves having a harder time when it comes to building out and implementing effective marketing strategies due to their unique situations. This, compounded with an over saturation of social agencies can make it quite difficult to stand out in a crowd and formulate an effective plan.

    Furthermore, the world is changing, demographics are shifting, and the ever growing technological advancements are having profound effects on every industry across the board, transforming the ways in which we view traditional forms of marketing.

    However, one thing remains certain — there is a consistent and ever-growing, overarching sentiment for a “back-to-basics” mentality when it comes to Non profit communications. Long gone are the days where self-promotional press releases and monthly email newsletters will suffice.

    Cultivating relationships through organic communications and organizational transparency are now more than ever the key to long-term sustainability. As a result, we’ve brought to you 5 marketing trends that Non profits should consider in 2018 that will absolutely dominate the industry. The successful implementation of these following trends are the key to longevity and sustainability.

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    Authenticity

    Authentic, organic connections are what every NGO should be striving for when it comes to their marketing agenda.  It’s not just the millennial demographic that is tired of traditional in-your face, self-promotional marketing tactics and strategies and boring press releases — it’s the public in general.

    According to a recent Forbes article, storytelling was considered to be one of the “most important marketing tools” for NGOs in 2017. Ever since the beginning of communications, humans have been telling each other stories. It’s practically embedded within our psychology as a comforting act that breeds emotional connections.

    Improving identity through authentic and organic connections is absolutely vital to sustainability in today’s market. You have to become relatable, to humanize your organization and strive to improve engagement with the public, donors and potential investors in both the digital and offline spheres.

    So remember that transparency is key when it comes to

    all forms of communications, especially those of the marketing form. So give a face to your organization and show them that you are invested in the social sphere.

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     Social Media & Livestreaming

    According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of adults (56%) with internet  use “more than one of the five social media networks”. If you’re not already aware of how essential the social networking realm is to society in general, let alone your organization, then you have a good deal of catching up to do.

    In fact, an insane “92% of NGOs worldwide have a Facebook Page” as of this year. Furthermore, a recent 2017 Tech Report found that “72% have a Twitter profile, and 39% are active on Instagram”.

    Again this all goes back to authenticity and the desire for transparency and unadulterated communications. Platforms such as Periscope, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are essential for making an impact with your livestreaming efforts. While Snapchat is currently the most popular among tween and teenager demographics,  data shows a steady and consistent growth in their daily active users, especially among millennials and Gen Xers.

    In fact, the platform Snapchat has “150 million active users; 86% of those users are between the ages of 13 and 34”. Even the White House is taking notice and actively uses the platform for strategic communications. The platform Ironpaper suggests “repackaging the live stream content for further use in blogging, email, and social media content” as an essential step.
    Furthermore with digital payments making their mark on the social media sphere, the ROI of social network investment is going to be practically revolutionized.

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    Influencers

    If you’re in the school of thought that influencer marketing is limited to makeup brands and personal trainers then you’re sorely mistaken. In fact, influencer marketing, including micro influencer marketing is a key marketing trend across all industries — and it’s only continuing to catch on and spread like wildfire.

    According to InfluencerMarketingHub, micro influencers in fact “perform…at least 90%” of influencer marketing as just average every day individuals who have built up a social media following. Influencers are extremely useful in providing assistance through blogs and websites, guest posts and can help in spreading the word via their vast social networks.

    Meltwater Influencer Contact Database is an excellent resource for NGOs looking to do research on influencers in various industries. The platform not only contains a large list of influencers available for contact, but it also conveniently allows you to customize your searches and delve into deeper details on the activities of various influencers. The platform also offers insanely convenient ROI and analytics tools so that you’re able to keep track of certain engagement KPIs.

    Organizations can choose to implement various influencers as brand evangelists or advocates who can help rally their social circles around a cause. According to recent statistics, organizations are making a whopping “$6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing” — that’s a pretty solid ROI.       

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    Content Marketing

    Content marketing should be a foundational piece to any NGO marketing strategy — and for most — it absolutely is. In fact, 92% of NGOs currently use content marketing and consider it a vital part of their overall marketing strategy. Content marketing is a powerful tactic and recent statistics have found that it can harness as much as 6x more the power than other forms of traditional marketing, according to the CMI.

    A large part of this reason is because it’s so versatile. Content is the basis for blogging, website development, social media presence, email marketing  and just about every other form of strategic communications in the digital sphere.

    When it comes to content marketing, developing and properly implementing a solid strategy that is measureable and can be analyzed and tweaked for maximum effectiveness is key to success. Multiplatform publishing is also a trend for 2018, however, it’s important not to widen your focus so much that your efforts become diluted.

    Keep them concise and targeted for maximum effectiveness. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Medium and even Google, which is currently in the process of preparing to launch a podium, are great options for organizations, regardless of industry or size.

    Fresh Perspectives

    With the ever increasing demographic shifts going on (most notably being number of active internet users), it’s important that NGOs imbue a fresh perspective when it comes to the face of their organizations and strive to become sustainable social enterprises.

    Devex is a media platform which caters to the “global development community” and also boasts as the “largest provider of recruiting and business development services for global development”. In a recent article authored by Chris Meyer zu Natrup, founder and director of MzN International, the author discusses the importance of revamping perspective to meet contemporary society.

    Many leaders he speaks with are now more than ever “considering moving the business model from that of a donor-funded, traditional non governmental organization, toward a sustainable social enterprise”. All too often NGOs find themselves heavily dependent on a small handful of large donors and as a result they are in a perpetual state of vulnerability.

    The change from a traditional NGO that “secures and implements government development and aid projects “ to an organization that is able to embrace creativity and independence and be able to “account for its actions openly” should be embraced wholeheartedly.

    When you’re able to diversify your funding bases, you’re able to breathe, spread your wings and enjoy greater levels of both security and simultaneously independence. This is an immensely beneficial state to be in now that authenticity and organizational transparency are so valuable.

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    Conclusion

    If one thing is for certain, it’s that most traditional NGOs find the prospect of implementing successful marketing strategies to be particularly daunting given their unique situation.

    However staying on top of current trends is absolutely essential to success and getting the highest ROI. Through marketing NGOs are able to mold and define their public image, spread their message, attract donors and volunteers and catalyze change.

    However, traditional techniques simply will no longer cut it. Contemporary society yearns for a more authentic connection from organizations and transparency is a vital necessity. With the vast spread of social media and its profound effects on our society, now more than ever is the time for organizations to hone their strategies and invest in ventures such as livestreaming, influencers and multi-channel content marketing.

    Most importantly of these however is the need for a fresh perspective — a fundamental shift from the traditional purpose and identities of NGOs to one that seamlessly melds with contemporary needs and desires.

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    7 Top Business Trends for 2018

    Did you know that 51% of the world population will attain smartphones by 2018? We are advancing at a rapid phase. The same is why not staying on top of trending strategies for business growth can easily set your business back and drastically affect your bottom line.

    According to statistics, online advertising will become the largest medium for marketers by 2018 as it will escalate global spending to 13%!

    So if you’re looking to stay on top of the trends, take a look at this seven top business trends for 2018 to stay one step ahead of your competitors in the coming new year.

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    1. Influencer marketing with social media

    Did you know that 92% people believe an advertisement or information when endorsed by influencers? With more people now than ever tweeting, chatting and sharing their lives online, influencer marketing has become one of the most affordable marketing strategy to grow your business in 2018.

    What is influencer marketing (IM)

    Today, bloggers and active social media members with a high following are believed as genuine and accurate by online communities.IM is a clever way of convincing your customers to buy your products using industry experts to vouch for your company and brand.

    By striking a mutually beneficial deal, you can reach and convert the target audience by using an influencer in your marketing strategy. Scientists believe brands will to create AI Influencers akin to mascots to digitally represent their mission and emerge as key influencer by 2018.

     Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Influencer Marketing

    General Motors

    GM used influencers such as Guy Kawasaki, Jason Falls, Joseph Jaffe, Robert Scoble and Dom Sagolla to boost the impressions of Chevy Volt.  General Motors also created an exclusive website for the creamy-layer of their customer base to target car troubleshooting.

    Redwood Creek Wine

    Blaze the Trail was a mission created by Redwood Creek Wine to voice sustainable lifestyle intertwined with nature. They offer simplified ways of DIY winemaking to FAQ from prominent winemakers to emerge as a unanimous and authoritative voice as a winemaker.

    How to Use Influencer Marketing for Your Business

     Setting Goals

    To tap into the social media and create a hype, your influencer campaign must focus on information more than conversions.

    • Create an estimate of the budget.
    • Write an action plan for your goals.
    • Identify Relevant Influencers
    • Conduct an in-depth research on key influencers in your niche.
    • Go to Google, Facebook or other social media platforms.
    • Type your niche in quotes along with the keyword “blogger” or “influencer” such as, “SEO Blogger” or “Hair Styling Influencer”.

    Assess the Influencer Hotspots

    In order to reach the target audience as well as the influencer, you must determine where the majority of the audience hangs out such as popular blogs, forums or websites in both your industry and the influencer industry.

    •  Define the total number of influencers you want to use.
    • Connect informally via social media with the influencer.

    Test the Success or Failure

    It is important to review the success or failure of your goals every few months to assess the impact of your campaign.

    • Eliminate the influencers who do not add value to your brand.
    • Revamp the contract of influencers who helped to make online impressions.

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    2. Beacon technology in marketing

    An advanced technology that lets the customer and vendor know each other’s location, beacon technology when used tactically can make huge impacts for locking your target audience.

    What is Beacon Technology?

    Akin to a lighthouse, beacon is a tiny radio transmitter often with Bluetooth. It sends out a signal which can be seen or picked up by others in the same vicinity. Beacon does not track the customer but helps to connect with the broadcasted signal.

    Referred to as proximity technology, small businesses can use the broadcast signal to target the specific needs of customers or their shopping experience or to find items offline.

    Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Beacons

    Macy’s

    The retail store installed the biggest beacon of the era at its stores in San Francisco and New York with up to 4000 devices throughout the department. With the assistance of Shopkick, Macy’s tracks the movements of customers within the store to recommend personalized products.

     Coachella

    The music festival app introduced beacon help as early as 2014.  Today, if you own an American Express Card and are at Coachella, you can win prizes depending on your location at the festival. Moreover, you can also navigate around the festival with accuracy and planning, using a beacon app.

    How to Use Beacon Technology for Boosting Your Marketing Impact

     Enhanced Mobile Shopping Experience

    As mobile shoppers will expand up to 30% of global retail by 2018, it is natural for your customers to verify your business and products online before walking into the store.

    •  Send out deals and promotional offers depending on where the customer is.
    • Alert the customer with offers based on their past shopping history.

    Connect Directly

    Beacon helps you connect with the customer directly as statistics show 84% people use smartphones during shopping. From personalized welcome messages to punctual discounts, a beacon can target your customers with promotional ads too.

    • Ask to link the social media accounts of your customers while they are in the store.
    • Actively seek feedback from customers.

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    3. Blockchain

    As blockchain nullifies the middlemen often seen in centralized transactions such as notaries and brokers, 2018 will see many companies decentralizing their transactional modules.

    What is Blockchain

    Expected to revamp the business architecture with dimension data in 2018, Blockchain works by decentralizing transactions. It does so by recording the cryptocurrency transactions in a chronological order. Perhaps the most prominent digital currency using blockchain is known as Bitcoin.

    Success Stories of Businesses That Have Used Blockchain

    Slock

    A smart renting company lets users into blockchain technology using escrow and smart funding. Paid via blockchain contracts, Slock lets the customer and seller approve transactions via their smartphones using a Smart Lock.

    MasterCard

    Employed to reduce overhead costs in international transactions, MasterCard provided transparent ledgers of the transaction to the parties involved in the transactions. Having over 35 patents for the new technology, MasterCard uses cryptocurrency Ethereum for global contracts.

    How to Use Blockchain to Grow Your Business

     Track Items

    As a blockchain is infamous for storing accurate information for every transaction, citing a problem is effortless and quick. Tracking supply has helped vendors such as Walmart to track food movements within 2.2 seconds while it took 7 days sans the blockchain technology.

    Smart Contract

    Also referred to as Escrow protection, smart contract lets both parties in a contract carry out transactions automatically minus downtime that disrupts the ongoing contract. The unbendable rules of blockchain override financial regulations.

    Cost Saver

    From reducing the total time to cite an error to completing cross-border transactions without a hassle, blockchain can also open you to the advanced cryptocurrency. Bitwage is such a company that uses Bitcoin to roll salaries to employees.

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    4. Automation

    The most awaited business evolution in 2018 will be automation of business processes.

    What is Automation

    Also referred to as business Automation, BPA or business process automation is a technique of creating an automatic series of actions to run a business. For marketing, automation eases customer data integration to advertising and lead generation while business automation speeds up tasks by bringing down capital costs.

     Success Stories of Businesses that Have Used Automation

    Lowes

    The first retail robot of the nation now works as a shopping assistant at Orchard Supply Hardware in San Jose. Lowes’ robots are called oshbots that help customers and managers locate items in the store.

    Buzzfeed

    One of the most popular websites right now, Buzzfeed has a diverse variety of automated emails according to the user’s choice such as Health, Beauty, Animals, and Entertainment and so on.

    How to Use Automation for Your Business

    Combine and Track Data

    As automation processes can be used to track leads in addition to generating them, it will help your business grow. When specific software for BPA are used, it helps to filter the research and grow the business quicker than while using manual processes.

    Email Marketing

    You can use MailChimp, Aweber or Mad Mimi to send thousands of emails at once to your subscribers. As the same can be scheduled to fit with a routine sans micromanagement, automated email services are a must-have for any e-commerce today.

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    5. Video

    With up to 96% B2B marketers using videos to promote and boost reach and engagement, 2018 is expected to bring video ads to search engines too.

    What is Video Marketing?

    Using video or motion picture content to create promotional ads about your product is called video marketing. From answering questions to creating trailers for events and even 3600-view of the products, there are many ways to use video marketing to grow your customers exponentially.

    Success Stories of Businesses That Have Effectively Used Video Marketing

    Benefit Cosmetics

    All you need to begin live video to engage quick viewers is the social media platform Facebook and a good webcam. With live streaming via Facebook Benefit Cosmetics added over 25000 views to their shows!

    Canva

    By providing onboarding videos to proactively use the services, a prominent graphic design service named Canva used tutorial videos. Until then, users shied away from using the design platform, which changed drastically after introducing the video content.

    How to Use Video Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

    Customer Questions

    Most people find it easy watch a video for speedy comprehension than reading or listening to audio. You can create videos after asking questions on your official business forum with customers or conducting polls to find trending questions.

    Demonstration of Products

    Short videos can be created to provide a demo of your product and how it works in reality. It can show the functionality of the product, benefits and how it should be used for optimum performance.

    Testimonials

    The current trend in video marketing involves featuring your best fans to give a video testimonial as 51% marketers vouch for video as the best tool for ROI. With 65% visual learners, video testimonials boost the emotional engagement with the content.

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    6. Mobile Optimization

    Statistics show that 69% engagement of users with online media occurs via mobile phones. With statistics expected to peak by 2018, it is wise to begin optimizing your website for mobiles right away.

    What is Mobile Optimization?

    Modifying the design, content, font and resolution of your webpage to adapt to mobile screens is known as mobile optimization. You can also use mobile optimization with high-end tools such as WordPress to automatically alter the website content to match with the user’s device.

    Success Stories of Businesses that Have Used Mobile Optimization 

    Skyscanner

    A travel website, Skyscanner optimized their website to mobile and furthermore to the world of apps to receive a huge response from the customers. It grew 12 times more users than the usual rate with 10 times better loyalty and engagement.

    Rappi

    A Latin American home delivery services for commodities to cash, Rappi engaged 50% more users 2.8 times better results after optimizing the service for mobile users.

    How to Optimize your Business for Mobile Technology 2018

    Responsive Web Design (RWD)

    Using an appealing font style and size that is easily readable on multiple smartphones is the best cue for an RWD. Your loading speed to landing page strategies, many factors come together to create an RWD.

     Using Mobile SEO Strategies

    With half the traffic online accounting to mobile users it is easier to convert your traffic with mobile optimization. Moreover, Google favors websites with mobile optimization if your page is SEO rich and uniquely valuable.

    Tools to Automatically Adapt Webpage for Mobiles

    You can also use CRM tools that can automatically modify your page to fit the width and specs of the mobile viewed from. You can also use sales funnel techniques to other professional services to improve the engagement and conversion rate of your content.

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    7.  Augmented Reality

    With Apple and Google set to bring ARKit and ARCore, Augmented Reality will be the biggest trend of 2018, thanks to the mushroom growth of mobile users in the past decade.

    What is Augmented Reality (AR)

    Distinct from Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality refers to the enhancement of one’s physical world while AR displaces the reality with a simulation.

    Success Stories of Business that used AR

    IKEA

    The official IKEA AR app offers the experience of digitally trying-out furniture for your home using the internet and a smartphone.

    Pokemon Go

    As Pokemon Go received $600 million in mobile AR technology, there are no limits to how you can implement the same for a business today.

    How to use Augmented Reality in Your Business

    Interactive Branding

    For employees and customers, AR can bring varied goodies. While employees from remote destinations can be trained using AR, customer feedback and engagement spikes with AR apps. It is expected that in the future, users can repair things via a smartphone by pointing the camera at it.

    Better Demonstration

    You can use the technology to offer your customers to do a trial run of your product with AR. For example, if you own a jewelry shop, create an AR app for customers to try the jewelry before purchase.

    In a Nutshell

    With critics discussing digital revolution to augmented reality and robot assistants, 2018 is expected to change the face of advertising as we know it. Statistics predict 47% businesses will develop official apps for their business by the end of 2018!

    Are you ready for the challenging trends of business growth for 2018?

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