Friday, February 27, 2009

Distributed Marketing - The Key to Your Fundraising Success?

I received the email above from my boss this week and it got me thinking again about the power of distributed marketing. What is distributed marketing, you ask? Read on.

Distributed marketing is a strategy to "spread out, scatter about or divide up" content about your organization so that others can share it on your behalf. Unlike traditional marketing, where your goal is to PULL people to a destination website (your home page), in distributed marketing you SHARE your content in the hope that others will pass it along.

In the example above, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids sent this email with a link to a video to highlight Big Tobacco's marketing abuses. Then they asked their readers to share this information with peers, colleagues, friends and neighbors where they "live" online. (Many email clients will now let you do this.)
Please click here or on the image above, watch the video and then click on "Share" to add the video to your Facebook, MySpace and other networking sites! Adding this video is quick and easy. Thank you for helping to spread the word!
The potential win with distributed marketing is huge because now you have an opportunity to reach 100s, maybe 1000s of new advocates - many more folks than you will ever be able to reach on your own. In addition, having your content in many more places online may increase your ranking, i.e. help you "get found," in Search.

Here's the rub. A distributed marketing strategy only works if you have GREAT content. Why? People don't tell their friends and neighbors about BORING stuff.

Spend time analyzing your current site and talking to your program officers about new and interesting stuff you're doing that you can share with your constituents. Hint: I'm not talking about press releases.
  • Got new research about your cause? Cut it up into 3 separate sound bites and forward on.
  • Got photos which highlight your success? Show them off and ask others to upload theirs as well.
  • Of course, video is great to share if you have it and the good news is that it's not expensive to create.

In short, package up some of your INTERESTING content in easy to digest morsels and ask people to share it where they "live" online and see what happens.

Good luck!