How YOUR nonprofit can master visual storytelling

According to ISPO News, we make approximately 10,000 decisions a day and “products that evoke emotion always win.” Humans base 90 percent of their decisions on emotion, which, when you think about it, is a staggering statistic. Nonprofits have a distinct advantage over for-profits in giving their donors much of what they need for their decisions: emotion.

Fortunately, today we live in a world of digital marketing and social media. It seems that everyone wants to immerse themselves in images and videos that help convey stories. It’s especially true for nonprofits because it’s never been easier to help your community visually understand what you’re doing and the impact it’s having.

There are several easy tools and strategies to master at employing tactics to unleash the emotions of your champions so they can support nonprofits by spreading the word, raising awareness, and donating:

  • Image without copy – When you’re looking at a picture you want to post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, take a moment to think about it without any caption or story. Ask yourself if the image alone conveys what you want to tell. If no text accompanies it, does the image tell the story on its own? If so, this is an image you must share in digital marketing. If you don’t feel something when you see the image, you might want to reconsider for something stronger.
  • Facebook – This social media platform is by far the largest on the planet with over 2 billion users, and counting. As you probably know in recent years, Facebook has made strategic decisions to limit the organic reach of nonprofits to around 1 percent. Although the social network does not publish its algorithms, there is a clear preference for images and, increasingly, for video. Many nonprofit organizations have a Facebook page and should use it as an opportunity to market their brands every day. When posting to your Page, keep in mind that you want to be known for your images, which increases the chances that your followers will share them with others.
  • design tools – If you want to share attractive images, but you are not a designer, do not be afraid. Tools like Pablo by Buffer or Canva allow almost anyone to become an artist. Each one allows you to search your image library or upload your own photos. Place an interesting quote or fact on your image and easily share it on your social media accounts. In minutes, you can create thought-provoking visuals to share like a pro with your followers.
  • Remember your followers – To engage donors and supporters in your work and help build excitement, it’s always important to display photos of those who represent who and what you serve. But did you know that some of your images should also include your donors and supporters participating in your events or volunteering? These images, along with compelling captions, quotes, or stories, go a long way to communicating what you do. They also help prospective donors and volunteers see themselves as supporters of your organization.

By being consistent with the above “how to’s” by posting to social media every day and reviewing your analytics, you will strategically increase your brand awareness and even revenue base. All you have to do is take inspiring images and videos that capture people’s emotions about your organization.

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