The Challenge: The Chanje Movement needed help promoting their first ever golf classic and gala. Previously, their big fundraising event had been a charity run which required very different promotional materials. They came to us with a vague idea of what they wanted, but didn’t know the details. Specifically, they needed guidance on their invitations, programs and signage.
The Solution: At One Step, we’ve created and printed marketing materials for several charity galas, including American Heart Association, so we had several different ideas for Chanje. We pulled out our stack of samples and discussed content ideas, design ideas, paper types and budget. Once we narrowed down the details, we brought in a designer who created a look for the event by expanding on the logo they had already created.
The Surprise: Two weeks before the event, we were discussing signage and the founder, Dave, expressed a desire for a sign that encouraged people to participate in child sponsorships. Their One Step account rep, Brianna, suggested printing on a white board sign so that the team could use markers to track progress.
The Result: The whiteboard sign was a huge hit. One Step printed a simple thermometer design on white board material, and the Chanje team wrote their goal and tracked their progress with erasable marker. They’ll be able to reuse this sign to future events. In addition, One Step created elegant invitations, event programs, sponsorship banners and signs for each golf hole. The Chanje Movement was incredibly pleased with the result.
The Testimonial: “Working with Brianna at One Step Services makes it easy for our small organization to increase our impact. When we need help with graphics & design or fresh ideas for our content or marketing, she is available – and they’re affordable and fast! We planned our first ever golf & gala fundraiser and their support made it possible to focus on sharing our vision and connecting with people. Knowing they are there for us gives me a confidence we have the support we need.” – Dave Brodksy
If you are promoting a business, you are a content creator. Whether you write blog posts, send weekly emails, mail postcards, or post to social media, you are having to come up with content to share with your audience. The better the content, the more likely you are to
Step #1 – Make a list of types of content
This list will vary depending on what industry you are in and what type of business you are promoting. However, there are some general types of content that work well across the board. Testimonials and case studies make great content as do the answers to frequently asked questions. (Not sure what your FAQs are? Ask your customer service reps!) Other great content ideas include product promotions, event invitations, how to’s, top ten lists, and employee spotlights.
Step #2 – Create a list of content sources
Not all of your content has to be original. Your audience will appreciate you curated relevant content from trusted sources. Keep a list of sources that routinely publish good information on your industry. The easiest way to do this is with an RSS Reader <—- Go ahead and click that if you don’t know what an RSS Reader is. One of your primary sources should be us, One Step Services! Not only do we provide great content on our blog, monthly newsletter and social sites, but every month we release new content ready postcards that can be used for real estate agents, small businesses and nonprofits. Want to get the scoop when we release new designs? Sign up here
Step #3 – Give each day a theme
At One Step, Mondays are for motivational quotes, Tuesdays are for tips, Fridays are for fun. Giving each day a general theme or category makes it easier to decide what specific content needs to be published that day. I also give the months different themes. For example, in doing my planning for first quarter 2018 (ah, how are we already at the point of planning for 2018?) I decided that the theme for February will be the importance and relevance of Direct Mail. About 75% of the things I post that month will be related to that theme.
Step #4 – Create a content calendar
Once you have your list of content ideas and your themes set, it’s time to map it out. There are literally hundreds of different ways to do this. TBH, although I have been planning content for years, 2018 will be the first time I have to get every single thing down on a calendar to show the bosses. So my typical system of sticky notes and dreams isn’t really going to cut it. The first thing that I’m going to try is a color coordinated Google Spreadsheet. At first I was worried it would be a little to linear for my scattered creative brain, so far it’s working quite nicely. Want to see a sample? Email me email@example.com and I’ll be happy to share.
Step #5 – Write /create / find your content
I know what your thinking…why do I have to do so much work BEFORE I start creating content? The reality is that creating content isn’t that hard, but creating effective, consistent, purposeful content is. And in order to create that kind of content, you definitely need to plan ahead and do steps 1-4. The good news is, that those first steps get easier and easier the more you do them and it becomes quicker to finish them every month. So don’t get discouraged! The hard work at the beginning is worth it.
When you create your content, refer back to the list you made in step one. Find a specific testimonial to post, answer a specific FAQ, write out a case study. Something to keep in mind…don’t be afraid to be a little personal. You don’t need to share your martial issues or what you had for breakfast, but your experiences with other business, your opinions on relevant industry news, and your solutions to problems you’ve experienced in business can be extremely valuable to your recipients. This entire blog post, for example, is based on my personal experience of creating a content calendar for One Step.
Step #6 – Distribute your content
Once you’ve written your content, its time to publish it! Where you publish is an entirely new topic for another day, but whether it’s on social media, through a direct mail campaign, or a post to social media, you need to share that ish! And yes, you absolutely can share the same content over multiple channels. You worked hard to create that content gold, use it and reuse it in different ways to get the most out of it.
We have added 5″x7″ foldover greeting cards to our Thanksgiving card collection. These unique designs are perfect for real estate agents, small business owners or nonprofit organizations. Each comes with suggested messaging, but you are free to submit your own if you prefer. Be sure to check out our 2017 Thanksgiving Postcards as well.
Looking for a fun way to connect with donors and potential donors? Looking to touch base with your database and warm them up for the holiday giving season? These Halloween postcards are a great way to kick off your holiday fundraising and marketing campaigns.
These postcards are content ready, meaning all design and messaging has been created and set. However, if you have your own messaging, we are happy to replace our messaging with yours at no additional cost.
To order, simply fill out a Nonprofit Halloween postcards order form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions? Shoot us an email or call 949-587-5301.
Nonprofits always receive 20% off list prices at One Step Services
#GivingTuesday is a social media movement intended to kick off the holiday giving season by raising awareness of charities, their specific missions and needs. We’ve created a series of pre designed printed and digital products you can use to participate in #GivingTuesday and increase awareness, engagement and fundraising for your organization.
Check out products. You can see bigger version of each one by viewing the order form. To place an order, simply fill out the form and email to email@example.com. You can also call 949-587-5301 with any questions.
This 3 postcard mailing campaign educates recipients about #GivingTuesday and drives them to your specific website where they can donate or learn more about your organization.
Choose from 3 different designs, but the messaging is the same. These handouts invite recipients to participate in #GivingTuesday by donating to your organization or volunteering. The piece drives people to your website and social media channels.
Download the Giving Tuesday Handouts order form
#GivingTuesday is a social media campaign, so to take full advantage of the movement you need to have a presence on social media! Purchase these images and use them in emails and across social media channels to increase engagement.
Download the GivingTuesday digital images order form
Contests are a great way to engage your audience. Whether you are trying make connections with current clientele, or you are trying to build a list of potentials, a contest is a fun way to get people to notice your brand and take action. Of course, there are hundreds of different types of contests. Below I’ve detailed the four most popular contests you can easily run through direct mail.
Audience: Typically families. Usually kids will want to do the coloring but you need the parents to give permission and fill out the entry form.
Execution: You mail a coloring page with an attached submission form that asks for basic contact information. Participants can make the form back or drop it off at a predetermined location. You pick the winner on a designated date. Typically, there are a few different winners, one for each age group. You can mail the prize or drop it off. Do not make the recipients claim the prize. The idea is to make entering and redeeming as easy as possible.
Your Benefit: You can collect contact information for leads and follow up with emails and/or phone calls.
Execution: This is a very popular one with our real estate clients. They mail out a flyer that details the prize, which is large and relevant to motivate participation. $500 gift cards to theme parks, grocery stores, and home improvement stores are common. The flyer also has a tear off portion that asks for contact information and also asks for a bit more information about the participant (are they interested in selling, do they want a free market update, etc). Participants can mail the tear off portion back, or drop it off at a local office
Your Benefit: You get more information about people on your mailing list, which you can use for follow up emails and phone calls.
Execution: My son subscribes to a children’s magazine. On one edition, he received a postcard with three spaces to scratch off. He did so, and won a small prize which he claimed by mailing the postcard back to the magazine company. This contest works well if you have a lot of small prizes to give away. If you have many winners, you’ll get lots of great response but you have to be sure you’ve got enough prizes and an inexpensive way to get them to the participants.
Your Benefit: You can take the opportunity to gather more information, or keep it simple and just engage your audience in a positive way that builds brand trust and recognition.
Audience: People that live near your brick and mortar business.
Execution: I’ve seen this one done at restaurants a lot, but it could work for any brick and mortar business. Send participants a scratcher or sealed envelope. Assure them that there is a prize voucher inside but that they have to open or scratch it off in the store in order to redeem. Make sure the prize is something they can use while in the store that day, like a discount or free product.
Your Benefit: Brings people into your store and motivates them to purchase that day. You don’t have to pay for return postage.
One Step can help facilitate any of these contests for you by designing, printing and mailing the entry forms. Just give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Not every marketing piece has to be a sales pitch. Sometimes its nice to simply connect with your customer base and wish them a happy holiday. This helps build brand recognition and trust. Our 4th of July postcards do just that. Use our greeting or create your own. Choose from a rustic flag postcard or one that celebrates the nostalgia of childhood summers.
Download the order form and email it to email@example.com 4th of July Order Form
I think Instagram is the best social media channel for nonprofits. It’s simple photo + story format make it very easy to operate and manage. Using hashtags can easily get your content in front of more eyeballs. And the feed isn’t cluttered with fake news links and obnoxious ads like Facebook.
Over the next couple week’s we’ll be doing a series of posts about how nonprofits can use Instagram. Today we are starting with the basics…what to post! Have more ideas? Share them with us in the comments below. Don’t forget to include your Instagram handle so we can follow you.
Snap a photo of a staff member and write a little blurb about them. Doesn’t have to be extravagant or detailed, just a little something to help followers get to know the organization better. Include things like their job description, how many years they’ve worked/volunteered, their most memorable moment with the organization, hobbies, pets, family, etc. Keep it light, informal and funny.
PROTIP: Warn your staff a day or two before you plan to take the pictures otherwise you’ll hear a bunch of “I’m not camera ready” excuses.
It stands for Throw Back Thursday and it’s a great way to educate followers about the history of your organization. Go way back into the archives and dig up some old photos of the founders, early days working out of a garage, old events, etc.
PROTIP: #TBT posts are perfect for advanced scheduling. Find a stack of 10-20 photos, write up the captions, and schedule them to publish throughout the year.
Was there a particularly powerful quote shared at the last team meeting? Do you have a certain song on repeat during your work day? Share your inspiration with your followers. Include a personal note about specific ways that inspiration is helping you get through the day.
PROTIP: Sites like Recite.com allow you to turn those quotes and lyrics into graphics perfect for Instagram.
The most important things to share with your followers are the various ways your organization impacts individuals and the community. You should be constantly gathering these stories so that you have a bank of them to share. Did you just build a house for an Army Veteran? Post a picture of the house and the story of why your organization built that specific house for the specific person. Are you making blankets for premature babies? Take a picture of volunteers sewing together and tell your followers where the blankets are going.
PROTIP: Always make sure you have someone’s permission before posting their picture and sharing their story. Let them see all content before posting to ensure they are 100% comfortable with what is being shared. Their well being is more important than any marketing strategy.
Repost what people are posting about you. It’s super easy and helps build a relationships with your followers.
PROTIP You can’t repost within the Instagram app, you need a third party app called RepostApp.
We can help you create a content calendar and create the actual posts. Give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org