7 tips to better your marketing today!

Recently, Wes Gay joined Trent Dunham on the Cause+Effect podcast and shared marketing insight we hope will empower and encourage you in important decisions.

When you hear the word ‘marketing,’ what do you think about?

Chances are, you envisioned a commercial, a billboard, a digital ad, or maybe a website. But there’s so much more to it.

It all comes down to your story.

Take the recent Olympic games, for instance. What held us captive? Stories of individual athletes and their journeys. Before we knew it, we were sucked in to a sport we knew nothing about with a new favorite athlete simply because we heard a moving story.

So how do we take principles of what makes a great story and apply them to our marketing and communications strategies in order to better engage people?

Here are seven ways to clarify your message and tell your story effectively:

1. Ask the question: What problem am I trying to solve?

Stories are centered around problems. If your organization doesn’t solve a clear problem, then it’s going to be hard to tell a story. We see this exemplified in any good movie or TV show.

2. Ask the question: Why is my organization the one to help people solve this problem?

Organizations often struggle because they put themselves at the center of the story. They basically say, “Hey, come look at us. Look how great we are!”

Instead, you need to discover the story your audience is living. Then you step into that and say, “We know your problem, and we can help.”

3. Ask the question: Where are we going to take people?

What are your possibilities and what is your ultimate destination? What is the path you will take?

A great practice is to have your team members each write down exactly what your organization does in two or three sentences. If you have 10 people around a table, it could very well sound like there are 10 organizations represented.

That’s when you know you have a problem.

4. Get perspective.

What does your audience care about? What is the story they are living? Some organizations place an empty chair in the room during strategic meetings as a visual reminder of their customer.

It’s easy to forget that the people you’re talking to are not in your meetings all day long. So it’s crucial you think about their life, their perspective, and their day-to-day schedule.

Simply position the person you’re trying to reach as the object or ‘hero’ of the story.

5. Come alongside your audience.

Articulate the struggle or problem they’re trying to solve. Take an event for example. Don’t just say, “Sign up and come hear this speaker!”

Instead, find out exactly what the speaker will talk about and frame it as a problem that your audience is struggling with. That speaker is going to help them solve that problem.

6. Give a clear plan to move forward.

Your audience is looking at the problem. You’re simply building a bridge showing them the path to the solution.

Many nonprofits treat their marketing like an atlas. It’s up to their audience to figure out where they’re going.

Instead, your marketing needs to feel like a GPS, literally giving people step-by-step directions of where to go and what to do.

 And here’s the thing: Someone is going to have to work hard to engage the organization, either you or your customer.

Are you putting that burden on your audience, your potential donors, or your followers to actually engage, or are you going to do the hard work internally to make that happen?

(*Spoiler alert: If you ask them to do it, they won’t.)

7. Give them the language.

Arm your people by giving them your language and use those phrases over and over. Then make sure they have a clear call to action. Do you want them to follow you on social, sign up for an email list, or give? What is that clear next step?

And when it comes to creating content, it all comes down to engaging your audience. They say people have short attention spans. They actually don’t. They’re just allergic to boring.

If your content is boring, they’ll have a short attention span. But if it’s interesting, they’ll sit in a movie theater and watch Avengers: End Game, all 182 minutes, and never get up.

At the end of the day, marketing is about building a relationship. If you see through that lens and use story elements to build relationships and show people what role they play in the story, the result will be…

You guessed it.

More Kingdom impact.

For more insight into how you can best share your message through effective marketing, check out the Cause+Effect Podcast episode, Marketing the Gospel without Losing Your Faith with Wes Gay.

+ More Insights from Dunham+Company: “If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to Ask for Money?

Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters.