From the desk of Madeline Rauma:
Your mission is core to your organization or company – but is it core to your marketing strategy? From being likeable and trustworthy to creating authentic content, marketing your mission is not just for nonprofits. A for-profit entity can do this and advance both the common good in society and their own industry.
Whether you’re a nonprofit organization or a corporate company, here are a few things you can do to align your marketing with your mission and tell an authentic, values-driven story about your organization.
Make Sure You Have a Brand
A mission is imperative to a brand – it drives the purpose of your organization, provides a roadmap for employees and helps you plan for the future. Many companies may have a mission, but their brand can fall short (or it may not exist at all!). A brand is more than a logo or color palette – it’s the essence of your organization, and it should be central to everything you do, say and work toward. Without a strong, distinctive and consistent brand, it’s challenging to market your mission.
It’s About Loyalty
An effective brand builds loyalty beyond reason. How do you do this? By creating likeability and trust.
Be Likeable & Human
Putting a face to your organization is a great way to not only introduce your staff, but it makes your customers, friends and partners feel more connected to you. Staff spotlights offer a way to learn more about your team. Office culture photography can even give job-seekers a glimpse of what it’s like to work at your organization. If your staff engages in volunteer work or community involvement, showcase that on social media, your blog and newsletters.
“People want to do business with people they like, people they know and people they trust.”
– Dave Neuger, President & CEO of Neuger
Genuine marketing efforts start with your people. Your “on-stage” and “off-stage” personality should be the same to authentically market your organization. Essentially, the people a prospective customer meets during the sales process should be the same ones they work with throughout the project.
Now more than ever, consumers want to trust who they are doing business with. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 report, the COVID-19 pandemic has put trust to the test. When compared to the government, media and NGOs, their report found that business is the only institution seen as both competent and ethical. Further, the report also finds that people expect more from the CEOs of businesses – with 68% percent of those surveyed agreeing that CEOs should step in when the government does not fix societal problems.
How can you build trust through marketing?
- Be a thought leader. Blog content focused on industry trends, news and other topics can position you as an expert and establish credibility with key audiences.
- Stay true to your mission and values. Authentic storytelling and marketing becomes simple when your staff actively lives out the missions and values of your organization.
- Use testimonials. Whether your company prides itself on customer service, innovation or responsiveness, there is not a more authentic way to tell your story than through the lived experiences of happy customers. Take it a step further with a campaign where your team gives testimonials of why they enjoy working for your company. A potential donor, employee, client or customer is already halfway to getting to know you – and trust you.
Host Meaningful Events
Ahh, events. A pre-pandemic thing of wonder. Ideas to ponder in the meantime … If your organization is all about connecting people, consider hosting a networking series focused on a different topic each session. If one of your values surrounds eco-friendly notions, host regular employee community involvement events focused on the environment or donate proceeds from events to an environmentally focused cause. Pro tip: passion-focused events are a great way to meet potential customers, partners and others who share your interests.
Cater Your Content
Lift up your mission
An effective content strategy is one that is informed by and lifts up your mission and purpose. Focus on a few key points to ensure authentic content:
- The tone of your marketing content should align with the mission and culture of your organization. If you take pride in being down to earth, your content should stay away from being technical or overly complicated and instead take on a more conversational, casual tone.
- Write about topics your organization is passionate about.
- Share your values, mission and purpose in your marketing materials – brochures, website and social media are all great places for this.
- Choose channels and platforms that fit your purpose and values. Just because there are myriad marketing options doesn’t mean they’re all a good fit for your organization. Picking the right channels means that the content you produce will be more purposeful and powerful.
About the Author
Madeline leads content strategy services at Neuger. A natural storyteller, content creator and Neuger’s resident wordsmith, she works with clients on content audits and plans, keyword research, technical SEO and more to ensure that content strategy is always at the top of clients’ marketing plans. When she’s not busy creating content calendars, you can find her collecting beach glass at Lake Superior.