How YOUR nonprofit can master visual storytelling

According to ISPO News, we make approximately 10,000 decisions a day, and “products that evoke emotions 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-profit companies in offering 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 be immersed 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 you’re making.

There are several simple tools and strategies to become a 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 see an image that you want to post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, take a moment to think about it without any title 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 by itself? If so, this is a must-share image in digital marketing. If you don’t feel something when you see the image, you may 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 it’s still growing. As you probably know in recent years, Facebook has made strategic decisions to limit the organic reach of nonprofits to about 1 percent. Although the social network does not publish its algorithms, there is a clear preference for images and, increasingly, video. Many nonprofits have a Facebook page and should use it as an opportunity to market their brands on a daily basis. When you post 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, fear not. Tools like Pablo by Buffer or Canva allow almost anyone to become an artist. Each allows you to search your image library or upload your own photos. Put a quote or an interesting fact on your image and easily share it on your social media accounts. In a few minutes, you can create thought-provoking images to share like a pro with your followers.
  • Remember your supporters – To engage donors and supporters in your work and help build excitement, it is always important to show photos of who represents whom 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 as volunteers? These images, along with compelling captions, quotes, or stories go a long way in communicating what you do. They also help potential donors and volunteers to see themselves as supporters of your organization.

By being consistent with the above “how-tos” by posting to social media on a daily basis and reviewing your analytics, you will strategically increase your brand awareness and even your 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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