Your business has its own unique story. Your adventure from humble beginnings to your current success may resonate with your donors, and building donor relationships extends well beyond the products or services you provide. People connect to stories, much more so than a series of facts or company figures. Your donors are attracted to your company and remain loyal because of your journey — and their part in it. So, how are you sharing your story?
Emotion can create an energetic current that binds all those who share it. This phenomenon can be summed up with one word: passion. Do you feel passionate about the journey of your business? You’ve seen where your company began, and you’ve lovingly attended it though growing pains. You know the sweat, tears, anxiety, and elation of your progress. Share this. Through your storytelling, your donors connect to the passion that continues to build your business. Your interest becomes their interest, when emotion is conveyed. Once shared, there is no end to where your story can go. It may grip those it crosses and become a wave of individuals carrying your cause forward. Share your fears, as well as your triumphs. Include client stories, donor testimonials, and "behind the scenes" work at your non-profit. Watch as your business adventure connects with those compelled by your journey, those in awe of your continued progress. People support what they believe in. Illustrate your passion through storytelling, so they can believe in your business and support your cause.
Share Your Story One Chapter at a Time
Multi-channel storytelling is a recent concept aimed at delivering your story through a variety of channels and mediums. But how can you provide consistent high-quality material at the fast pace demanded by current media trends? With a game plan. Focus on sharing one section of your story each month — and share it in many different ways. Tease out the information through different mediums. Marketing experts found that most people don’t finish reading the articles they click. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how to get your message across.
People fit media into their day-to-day lives through a multitude of channels: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn… the list is endless. They may not read your entire blog article, but they might catch the headline of your Linked-In post, see your Tweet, or play your YouTube video. When you spread one section of your story over multiple channels, you increase the chances of your message being seen.
By doing this, you also build interest in your content. A viewer may see part of your story on LinkedIn, then check out your YouTube video for more information. Piece by piece, they follow the breadcrumbs of your story. When next month arrives, dive into the next chapter to continue the story with more and more followers.
Ways to Deliver Your Message
Depending on the time of day, the optimal medium to deliver your message varies. According to media research, individuals scan headlines throughout the day and read full stories at night. At-a-glance updates, such as tweets and pictures with punchy captions, fit the "headline" bill. Short video clips, gifs, and memes also go over well. Keep in mind that content without sound is incredibly popular during this time. When at work or in a noisy environment, people rely on quiet content such as silent videos or pictures. Late afternoons and evenings are opportune times for viewers to read long articles and watch videos with audio.
Choosing the correct medium also depends on your target audience. Current email subscribers are more inclined to read a lengthy article. Think of your email and newsletter subscribers as a fan base. They already indicated direct interest in your company and your story. Bulk information can be delivered to them safely — stuff such as long articles, webinars, and tutorials. Lean on lighter snippets to attract new fans.
You can transfer information from a lengthy email or blog post into a video (or several short videos) to cover additional ground. Post article subheaders into a Facebook note. Share article content as bullet points in an infographic. Visual elements are quite compelling — for example, check out kinetic typography. You can create webinars and tutorials by entering article content into slides and invite a guest speaker to expand on the information. Re-purpose your content through multiple mediums to ensure you gain the most traction with every concept you share.
Appeal to Your Specific Donor Audience
Who has already expressed an interest in your cause? Once you understand the basic demographics and preferences of your current donor base, you can tailor your storytelling methods to appeal to new donors. Take a look at your current data to get a sense of your target audience. Are your newsletter subscribers mainly millennials or baby boomers? These two demographics respond differently to marketing strategies. Research the specific marketing preferences of your current donor audience, then create content in the mediums they find most appealing to attract like-minded donors. Keep an eye on your marketing analytics to see which mediums provide the best returns.
Multi-channel storytelling gives you the opportunity to reach the right audience in the right way. The options are virtually endless. When you engage in multi-channel storytelling, you’ll discover the best ways to share your story and appeal to future donors.