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Leveraging TikTok for Nonprofit Success: 4 Innovative Marketing Strategies


    It’s no secret that TikTok has rapidly become one of the most successful marketing platforms in the digital age. Here are 4 different ways to harness the power of this social media behemoth for good:

    1) Storytelling Campaigns

    Your most powerful asset as a nonprofit is your organization’s mission, and TikTok is a revolutionary platform for people to tell their stories about your org. The visual and auditory aspect of short-form videos is much more engaging than reading someone’s story. Spending time to create the right media can inject a lot of pathos into your marketing.

    TikTok also has incredible features allowing for community interaction, like duets and stitches. If your story strikes someone in the right way it’s incredibly easy for them to share it with their own thoughts or story. This can both provide even more reach for your story, and give you direct contact to new supporters of your nonprofit.

    Storytelling with TikTok is also very useful because with the concise format, you can share stories literally as they are happening. You can put together a short content piece on a great moment that happened at your banquet dinner the night before within a few hours. 

    Here is a great example from Rescue One showing the story of a rescued dog having a transformation at the groomer. This type of story is really powerful pulling at the heartstrings of supporters and creating a feelgood piece of content.

    2) Influencer Partnerships

    One of the most common social media marketing strategies in 2023 is to utilize sponsored posts by influencers to reach a large audience easily. If you can find individuals with a large following that identify with your mission, they can spread the word to an impressionable audience.

    With this strategy it’s very important to make sure the influencer identifies with your mission. The content you collaborate on needs to feel like they genuinely care about your organization, and they aren’t just doing it for a paycheck. Finding someone who really cares will likely lead to a mutually beneficial long-term partnership with that influencer.

    A good example of this type of TikTok is this piece from Ayesha Curry supporting No Kid Hungry.

    3) Hashtag Challenges

    Creating a challenge surrounding your campaign can add to your voice as a brand, and let supporters share their stories to an audience. This method is difficult to implement, but can be incredibly effective as demonstrated by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge I’m sure we all remember (this challenge raised over $115 million for the ALS Association). 

    When coming up with your trend or challenge, be sure to come up with something people have a desire to try. Ideally, the challenge should relate to your cause but the first priority is doing something people will engage with. The best message in the world means nothing if nobody is sharing it. 

    After you have a good challenge, you need to get buy-in from your team and existing supporters - share the challenge post via marketing emails or other mediums of communication you use. You can also utilize the influencer relationships you’ve created, or look for new ones to take part in your challenge and get it off the ground.

    This is how TikTok set up the #PetBFF campaign, where they donated $1 to the ASPCA for every TikTok posted using this hashtag.

    4) Educational Content Series

    TikTok can be a perfect place to educate people about your mission and why it’s important. Despite beginning as a largely entertainment-focused app, 1 in 4 TikTok users said they have used the app for educational purposes.

    You can create educational content for 2 different audiences, you can keep your existing supporters up to date with events and history of the org, or try to reach new audiences talking about who you are and why you do what you do. You can use these educational videos to prompt users to follow you to learn more about the cause, and even split videos into multiple parts so people have to click your profile to finish a topic.

    One key thing to do in your educational content is to provide captions, this makes the content re-usable in other platforms where the audience may not have audio turned on. 

    Your educational content doesn't even need to be obviously related to the nonprofit. Lifestyle tips are common surrounding nonprofits regarding healthcare, like this morning habits content from the American Heart Association.

    Utilizing TikTok for your Nonprofit

    Utilizing TikTok can expand your support for your organization, and help you reach a massive new audience. The biggest thing to focus on is remaining authentic, and getting your messaging out in the way that supports your brand.

    You can create storytelling pieces, educational pieces, and engage with users through influencer campaigns or hashtag challenges to create a great deal of marketing for a very low cost. Selecting the right strategy for your TikTok marketing can be tough, but trying these 4 strategies can help you figure out what your audience engages with most.

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