If your nonprofit doesn’t feel a sense of urgency to adapt to mobile communications, then you’ll quickly find yourself completely ignored by the people who want to support you the most.
You don’t be ignored because you don’t have something good to say or that I don’t want to support you. You’ll be ignored because you’ll make it too difficult for me to engage with you using the device in my pocket.
I’m not suggesting that direct mail or long-form copy is dead. I’m not a doomsday communications prophet. I am, however, an advocate for the people on the receiving end of nonprofit communications.
The people you want to reach have already gone mobile.
In a recent post from SearchEngineLand, they write:
Google’s Matt Cutts said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile search exceeded desktop queries this year.
CNN Money reported earlier this year:
Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet last month – the first time that has ever happened.
And Pew Research noted that:
- 58% of American adults have a smartphone
- 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
If this is true, then doesn’t it make sense to adjust our nonprofit communications strategy to account for increased engagement via mobile devices?
The answer is yes.
But nonprofits have been slow to adapt, and I have an idea why. It’s easy to get lost in “production mode” and forget to look around and see how the world has changed. The irony is the nonprofit communicators who are the most resistant to mobile engagement for their organizations are also the ones who demand intuitive apps from the brands they engage with regularly.
Here are 5 recommendations for every nonprofit communicator:
- Buy a smartphone AND a tablet. Use those devices personally and professionally for the next 30 days. Your insights will prove to be invaluable.
- Don’t send any piece of digital communication out until you test it on a mobile device. What looks good on a laptop can be frustrating on a mobile device.
- Make every digital message shareable. Stop thinking about mobile or digital channels as one dimensional. Take advantage of the unique characteristics of the platforms upon which you choose to publish.
- Invest a growing percentage of your communications budget in mobile communications development and deployment. Keep your habits in line with the habits of the people you want to reach. No matter how much they like you, most supporters won’t channel shift on your behalf.
- Stop making mobile giving painfully difficult and awkward. We’re all busy. If your email makes me want to give but your giving page is impossible to navigate, I’ll bail and will likely forget to return later when I’m in front of my laptop.
The most important shifts in nonprofit communications in the next 10 years will center around segmentation of delivery channels and optimization of mobile devices. This is already taking place. Just because you don’t “see it” [sic] doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
How are you adapting your nonprofit to trends in mobile engagement?
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