How Edgy Should Your Marketing be?

  • by Christine Batta
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The rising importance of social media marketing has had a strange side effect on the kinds of messaging organizations use. Namely, lots of nonprofits are deciding to opt for marketing that’s “edgy,” in an effort to draw more viewers and attention to their cause.

But, there’s always a fine line to consider. So just how edgy should your marketing be? Here are a few thoughts to help you answer that question:

A little grit isn’t always a bad thing

Traditionally, too many nonprofits have been afraid of any kind of edge in their communications, with the result being materials and press releases that come off as bland. Today’s donors and supporters are used to having their attention grabbed. Don’t be afraid to go off script if it’s going to help you reach your communications goals.

Be careful of going too far

The flip side to that point, of course, is that going too far in an attempt to be “edgy” can easily backfire. If it seems like you’re adopting a certain tone or message just to get attention – and if that message seems contrary to your personality as an organization – you might even risk the support of current donors and volunteers.

You have to know your audience

You probably already know, based on your organization’s history, what you can and can’t get away with. If you aren’t sure, though, tread lightly until you’ve gotten some feedback on some of your more interesting campaigns and marketing pieces. Over time, you’ll develop a better sense of what your audience wants, and how your nonprofit’s marketing persona fits into that.

The bottom line, as always, is that some marketing approaches will work for some organizations, and in some settings, but not as well for others. It’s okay to be a little edgy in your online and off-line campaigns if it helps you raise awareness and start a new public conversation. Take things too far, though, and you’ll risk losing your message in the process.

Looking to take your nonprofit marketing in a new direction… and get some new results? Contact SW Creatives in Washington DC today at 301.891.0111 to see how we can use our experience to help.