Category Archives: Nonprofit

How Getting Involved in the Community Helps Your Company

Corporate charitable giving and volunteer opportunities offer numerous benefits for your organization. While getting involved in your community presents obvious ups for the people or causes you serve or financially support, your actions are also extremely beneficial for your organization. Here are three ways your company giving or volunteering can have lasting, positive impacts:

Your employees will respect their leaders more

No one wants to work for a stingy boss, right? When your company gets involved in its community, your employees will notice. A part of encouraging workplace happiness centers around corporate social responsibility (CSR) opportunities. After all, employees want their free coffee and flexible work-from​-home schedules, but they also want to know that their employer cares about the community they live and work in.

 

 

Your community reputation will skyrocket

Nothing could be better for your business’s community reputation than to give back to those in need. You could partner with a local nonprofit, support small businesses or host community volunteer events. The possibilities are endless – and so are the rewards. Your charitable actions will likely draw the attention of your local press for some much-appreciated positive media coverage.

Your customers will appreciate your philanthropy

According to a 2013 Cone Communications and Echo Research study, 82 percent of American consumers pay attention to CSR factors when deciding to purchase a product or service. Not only will your existing customers appreciate your philanthropic actions, but your charitable giving or volunteerism may also motivate prospective consumers to choose you over your competitors.  

Include Webinars as Part of Your Content Strategy

Have you ever considered spicing up your content strategy with webinars? Maybe your blogs are performing well, along with your videos and whitepapers. However, if you are hoping to promote your business or services to a wider audience, webinars might be the right option for your company.

You can make them into videos, adding to your website and social media content. You can slice up videos. You can grab screen shots and quotes. The possibilities are endless!

webinars as part of content strategyResearch from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.com revealed that 62 percent of surveyed marketers use webinars in their B2B content marketing strategies. Additionally, 63 percent of respondents believe that this specific strategy is effective. So why should your company in particular use webinars in your content marketing efforts? Here are three reasons why webinars are particularly ideal when integrated with a content strategy:

1. Adds authority as well as authenticity

Like whitepapers, webinars project a sense of authority that you can’t achieve as easily over a normal blog or short video. As current marketing efforts focus around creating thought leadership content, webinars give you the platform to attain this goal.

Best of all, webinars are authentic. They take on the life of your speaker.

2. Reaches a wide and diverse audience

Whenever you post an article, you might see some spikes in engagement levels. You may see the same phenomenon when you post videos or other content on your website. However, with webinars, you can see exactly how many people are tuning in at the same time. Webinars allow you to reach a wider and more diverse audience than ever before.

3. Adds content

Doing more with less — that’s the name of the game for most marketing people. You want new content for your website, your social media accounts and more. Webinars are a great place to start. Because they have video components, you have lots of options for how you display them. They also, of course, add leads to your funnel.

4. Enables better measurement of content

With webinars, you can tell where people are engaged or disengaged. You know the questions they’re asking. You know whether they’ve signed up for your content … or not. In this way, you can create a better content strategy and use highly successful parts of your webinars — where your audience is super engaged — more.

5. Is engaging and interactive

People want to interactive with the company they choose to do business with. They don’t want to be silent observers or listeners, they want to have a say in what products they are buying or the message you deliver. Webinars allow for polling, social engagement and other forms of real-time interactive measures.

Webinars rely on a community to be successful.

6. Leads to revenue

All marketing people care about leads. This is some of the only content that generates leads even before it’s completed. People who register are in the pipeline and ready to be contacted about products. If they’re not, they’re ready to be nurtured for future contact about products. Regarless, your webinar content strategy ensures marketing-sourced revenue.

 

Learn About Webinars

What Is Little Data and Why Is This a Thing?

The tech industry is obsessed with creating, using and understanding the next big, complex and exciting devices and solutions. Whether they are focused on the internet of things (IoT), advanced machine learning or big data, it is easy to assume that bigger is certainly better. Despite the obvious benefits of big data, Forbes explains that big data on its own is essentially useless without little data.

What’s little data?

little data is a thingBy most definitions, little data are the small pieces of information, such as traditional performance metrics, that illuminate a broader topic. Essentially, little data makes big data more digestible and accessible. For example, an organization may wish to create advertising and marketing strategies based on customer data. However, without having access to the small pieces, such as customer satisfaction, profit margins, social media engagement and more, the company will never be able to truly know if its efforts are paying off.

It’s always been a thing

Your company is collecting little data now. In fact, most companies have been collecting little data for a wile and doing it well. Your web traffic, sales information, number of leads — this is all little data. It’s just that little data is a new buzzword describing it.

Big data depends on little data and vice versa – you simply cannot have one without the other. While big data will paint a broad picture about a specific situation or business pattern, the little data will fill in the gaps and blanks in the form of key performance indicators. These key performance indicators (KPIs) can make gathering data more personal, moving beyond the big picture and targeting specific individuals or groups.

The crucial element of being successful when analyzing your little data is ensuring that you establish the best KPIs for your business. After all, if you are focused on gathering and examining the wrong sets of data – big or small – it is not likely you will achieve the results you want. And seeing things from the micro and macro level are both helpful. If your revenue is down, but leads are up then you know something’s wrong with your leads or the sales process. If customer satisfaction scores are up, but customer retention is down, it may mean you want to take a closer look at the numbers. Or it could be pricing.

When little and big data are in concert, you can find out a lot about your business.

Your CSR Should Match Your Brand

Your corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than a piece of paper or an annual holiday drive – it’s an extension of your brand. These efforts can range from giving small donations to a charity to implementing environmentally friendly practices organization-wide.

Therefore, what cause you choose to support or work toward will have a direct effect on your brand presence and respectability.

Why is CSR so important?

A solid CSR strategy allows companies to improve their public image, increase their media coverage, boost employee engagement levels and retain and attract key investors. It also enables businesses to attract and retain employees. After all, Millennials are known to care about community involvement efforts and Gen X are the most likely to become involved.

The community benefits, too. Nonprofits can receive increased funding, in-kind donations (equipment, swag, etc.), more volunteers, a strong corporate partnership and varied sources of revenue.

How can your CSR match your brand?

Choosing the right CSR program is crucial for its success. Instead of randomly picking an organization or cause, or many organizations and causes, pick the ones that clearly align with your organization’s goals, vision and future.

CSROne way to ensure that the CSR matches your brand is making sure it has a logical tie to your business operations. For example, a software company may choose to support education, including girls in STEM programs. A legal firm could align with free or low-cost law services provided by nonprofits.

Another way to match your CSR with your brand is to get your employees involved. Hold Q&As and issue company-wide surveys to discover what charities and causes your employees believe are important. This way, you’ll be matching your CSR not only with your brand, but the employees your brand represents.

Matching brands improves giving

With one-off donations and drives, there’s less of a relationship between company and nonprofit. To the nonprofit, employees there are worried about whether its a one-time gift or recurring one. Because they may not be prepared for the gift again the next year, it’s less successful.

Partnerships where brands match (nonprofit and business) mean there’s already more common ground and a higher likelihood that giving will repeat. That repeat donation (time and/or money) creates a bigger impact because the nonprofit is more apt to serve more people with their mission.

Improve your social responsibility

Time magazine called companies that ignore their social responsibility “suicidal.”

You could argue community involvement makes a company more successful through all of the items above — recruiting, retention, PR and visibility, tax deductions, etc. It could lead to even more business; people want to purchase from companies who believe what they believe. This includes the company’s CSR.

And at its core, businesses should give back because it’s the right thing to do.

Appeal to Different Learning Styles

Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two learners in your training sessions will be the same either. They’ll enter your classroom, webinar or webcast possessing differing levels and varieties of work experience, personal outlooks and job enthusiasm. Not only this, but they’ll also approach the material through the lens of their various learning styles.

Which learning styles

Generally speaking, trainers try to appeal to three kinds of learning:

  • Kinesthetic
  • Auditory
  • Visual

So why should you care about your students’ different learning styles? Will it really make a difference in their ability to soak up the information? Yes! Most experts agree that gearing your lessons toward these diverse learning styles will certainly help your students.

Here are a few ways how you can appeal to each of these unique learners in your training sessions.

Visual learners

You can never have too many photos, graphics, charts and other visually stimulating images for these learners. Essentially, the more videos you show, the more slides you have, and the more attachments or in-room documents you provide, the better these students will be. While they may be great note takers and engaged learners when presented with highly visual or descriptive examples, they may find it difficult to listen for long periods of time. So keep the images coming to keep them engaged.

Auditory learners

training to different learning typesThese students are the best traditional learners who benefit from simply listening to the content presented to them. While this is great for those in a normal employee training session in the workplace, if you will be training through webcasts or webinars, make sure there is plenty of audio content to keep them interested. Otherwise, they may mentally check out during your session.

Don’t forget to ask questions. Auditory learners don’t just benefit from your voice or the presenter’s, they can listen to anyone with good ideas.

Kinesthetic learners

These participants are your hands-on, fully involved learners. As such, they present the biggest challenge. Try to incorporate sections within your courses that allow learners to perform concrete tasks as they are learning the material. This way, they can solidify what they are learning.

What are some concrete things they can do? Type! Ask for questions during webinars and webcasts. In the traditional classroom, ask them to complete an exercise. Other ideas online include polls, asking people to share stories or ideas that reinforce the information presented, or submit their own examples.

The perfect training: a combination of all three

By including graphics, some parts where you’re just talking, and active exercises — asking for ideas, providing polls, or requesting they share information — your training will appeal to everyone. That means attendees will walk away with something.

Bear in mind, too, that attention spans are dwindling. People are only really paying attention every 23 seconds or less. These days, trainers have to compete with not just laptop email, but buzzing mobile devices. Many trainers these days inject those polls and information more often to get people focused. Otherwise, your kinesthetic learners are most likely to check out.

More than that, ensuring you’re meeting all three learning types ensures your course or session is meeting its objective with your audience learning the information needed.