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21 Statistics That Nonprofit Communicators Should Pay Attention To and Why

Latest trends and statistics in digital marketing show that people are becoming digitally savvier and are demanding stronger online experiences. For digital marketers, this means staying on top of latest tools, algorithm updates, and best practices. So how does all this apply to nonprofit communicators?

I recently attended the 2018 Digital Summit here in Washington, DC. #DSDC is a yearly event I always look forward to because I am guaranteed to walk away with a lot of great ideas about valuable marketing tactics that support the important work of our mission-driven clients. 

A special treat I always enjoy is reading the fascinating statistics that DSDC displays on the big screen between sessions. And I guess I’m not the only one, because they now share their stats deck with everyone. Hurray! 

Since I (and now you by extension) have access to all 113 of these marketing statistics (!), I thought I’d cherry pick a few that I think are especially relevant to the nonprofit sector and give some context as to why.

Provide a Good Online Experience

  • 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience (source)
  • The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69% (source)
  • 48% state a website’s design is the most important factor in deciding business credibility (source)

Just as I look forward to the consistent experience that the DSDC conference provides me every year, nonprofits need to create an online experience that is clean, clear and consistent for their users and visitors. If your visitors are bouncing or leaving after only visiting one page, or leaving a donation form halfway through, it likely means you have some work to do. Optimize content and touch points so that engaging with your online platform is as easy and as valuable as possible.

Take Social Media Seriously

  • 83% of brands found Facebook Live effective for reaching new audiences (source)
  • Customer conversion is 129% higher when social media is part of the buyer’s journey (source)
  • 72% of consumers are more likely to purchase after seeing Instagram photos of a product (source)

Social media can no longer be an afterthought. It needs to be integral to your nonprofit’s digital strategy. Social touch points are where many of your users will find you, be reminded of your work, and be able to engage with your calls to action (CTA) directly. Here are some easy ways to improve your approach.

Be a Smarter Emailer

  • Personalized CTAs lead to 42% more conversions (source)
  • Segmented email campaigns yield a 760% increase in revenue (source)
  • 78% of email opt-outs result from brands sending too many emails (source)

While it’s been around for decades, email remains one of the strongest tools for audience engagement. That being said, it can’t be taken for granted. Make sure you are segmenting your lists, providing valuable content to those who support your mission, and ensuring that you are doing it a timely fashion. Don’t send email for the sake of sending email or else your outreach may have the opposite effect.

Remember That Content is King

  • On average, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing (and generates 3x leads) (source)
  • 55% of bloggers update old posts (source)
  • 37s is the average time reading an article or blog post (source)

Content works! Especially in the nonprofit sector, people want to connect with your mission, not just read the numbers (as I ironically present you with statistics!). Work on creating content that inspires your audience, update existing content that’s doing well, and pay attention to the data that shows visitors reading a page 5 seconds or more. 37 seconds is actually enough time to read an article and submit a conversion form. 

Get On the Video Bandwagon

  • 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days (source)
  • 80% of all digital traffic will be video in 2020 (source)
  • Customer testimonials, how-to, and demo are the most effective types of video content (source)

The idea of investing in or working with video can be daunting. It is, however, playing a larger and larger role in digital communications both in popularity and in how algorithms work. Before getting too anxious, know that video doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Videos from smartphones or Facebook Live on your desktop are great and inexpensive options to get started. If you aren’t doing it already, give it a shot this fall.

Embrace the Value of SEO

  • The top 4 search results yield 96% of clicks (source)
  • By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches (source)
  • 15% of Google searches have never been previously searched (source)

Often dropped into the “if I can find the time” bucket, SEO gets a bad rap. But SEO is very real, and very important to how your nonprofit is found (or not!) online. You can have the most beautifully structured website, but if your SEO isn’t optimized, no one will find you. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our SEO checklist and go down the list one item at a time. 

Create Crisp Mobile Experiences

  • 80% stop engaging with content that does not display well on their device (source)
  • Users are 5x more likely to leave a site that is not mobile designed (source)
  • 80% of email users access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile device (source)

More and more people are not only opening emails on their mobiles, but engaging in real CTAs on their devices — from donating to their favorite cause, to reading articles and downloading white papers. In addition to being mobile responsive, make sure your platform’s end-to-end mobile experience is a strong one as it can affect your goals directly.

Marketing trends and best practices in the consumer sector are fascinating and provide a lot of great inspiration and ideas that can apply to the nonprofit sector. See how they might affect your own organization’s goals and consider what tactics you might want to take to strengthen your existing communications approaches.

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