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Why Mobile Matters for Nonprofits & Small Businesses

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Oct 23, 2013 12:09:00 PM

Remember when the term, “communication” only meant exchanging ideas with another human face-to-face? Me either. “Communication” now refers broadly to the process of idea exchange via text message, phone call, email, status update, tweet, and more. What took the Internet 10 years to establish in terms of websites, mobile has done in 2 years with apps. And the growth is only continuing to escalate. At the end of 2012, 1.2 billion people worldwide were mobile app users, and that is projected to grow to 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017 (Source: Portio Research).

“The only constant is change,” Greek philosopher Heraclitus said quite awhile ago. While Heraclitus had no idea the changes that would overtake human communication in 2013, his words nonetheless ring true for mobile technology in the 21st century. Knowing the changes and trends in the mobile marketing sector is essential in planning for the future, especially in a world where information is outdated practically the moment it is released.

What’s currently trending in mobile tech?

  1. People crave immediacy and convenience. With a world of information just a fingertip away, people expect their needs to be met via their mobile device, and fast. According to Google, 58% of mobile users expect mobile sites to load as quickly as, or faster, than desktop sites, and 38% of mobile users are willing to wait 30 seconds or less for a transaction. If a mobile site has a significant lag time in loading or does not provide the user a satisfactory experience, 61% of visitors will go elsewhere for information. Ouch.
  2. Smartphones have gone social. With social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram seeing more visitors through mobile than desktop, smartphones are connecting people to their networks constantly. According to Buffer, 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’, and YouTube has a wider reach of U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network. People are tapping into mobile social networking sites to better engage with the world in real-time.
  3. Smartphones have gone social. With social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram seeing more visitors through mobile than desktop, smartphones are connecting people to their networks constantly. According to Buffer, 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’, and YouTube has a wider reach of U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network. People are tapping into mobile social networking sites to better engage with the world in real-time.

What are the implications for non-profits and small businesses?

  1. If 30% of visitors are mobile, and if good marketing is meeting consumers where they are, then it follows that at least 30% of your digital budget should go toward mobile-friendly or responsive version of your site. Mobile matters to your customers, so budget for it.
  2. Make sure tweets and Facebook posts translate well to mobile. What “looks good” on a desktop doesn’t always have the same visual appeal on a mobile screen. Be sure to shorten links and integrate strong calls to action to encourage your audience to interact.
  3. Evaluate your options. Mobile sites are best for quick information transfer. Your web developer or marketing agency will be a good first person to contact if considering a mobile site. If your marketing agency or web provider doesn’t offer mobile web solutions, you may want to explore other vendor options. On the opposite end, mobile apps are ideal for repeated engagement with your consumers, not single-use information. Think about connecting with a mobile app developer (I just so happen to know of an attractive option) for a conversation about how a mobile app could impact your business. 

Author: Santiago Jaramillo, CEO & Founder of BlueBridge Digital and upcoming speaker at ISAE’s October Technology Tools & Trends lunch.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

About Santiago Jaramillo

Santiago Jaramillo is the CEO & Founder of BlueBridge Digital a mobile-apps-as-a-service company that helps colleges, tourism destinations, churches, and others communicate to their customers through visually compelling, full featured mobile apps. Apart from leading BlueBridge team, Santiago is an avid world traveler, having lived in several continents, most recently in Sydney, Australia working for ExactTarget before starting BlueBridge. He also delivers his personal and professional expertise in sales, productivity and mobile strategy to audiences around the world. He was recently named as the 2013 TechPoint Mira Award “Young Professional of the Year”, invited to the White House to attend a ceremony for “Champions of Change” – for immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs – and was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine in their 2013 “30 Under 30: World’s Coolest Entrepreneurs” feature.
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Topics: Mobile, Communication

Your Association Doesn’t Use Video? Five Reasons You Should

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Aug 14, 2013 12:41:00 PM

Making connections likely tops the list when most people think about the purpose of an association, whether it’s connecting members to other members, connecting members to a cause, or connecting members to knowledge and wisdom. Luckily, there is a ton of ways for associations to facilitate that connecting, but there are some media that work in ways that others can’t. Video is a way for you to do more than share; it gives you a way to initiate a connection. Sure, making videos take time and resources, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Here are five ways your association is missing out if you’re not using video to connect with your audience:


Get People to Your Events: Videos are shareable: post a video to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and urge already-interested parties to share that video with friends, spreading the word. A promotional video for an event also sets the tone. If you’re hosting a formal gala, your video can reflect that with the colors, font, and script. If you’re hosting a casual after-hours networking event, the video’s feel can match the informality and make people comfortable attending. Prepare your attendees and spread the word about events with video.


Demonstrate Benefits: Videos allow you to demonstrate the benefits of membership. Yes, a print ad could accomplish the same thing, but at times it’s more engaging to see a person onscreen than to read words flat on a page. Videos allow you to share personality and to reach the viewers with sight and sound. Does your association offer resources that members don’t seem to be taking advantage of? Include clips from those members that are involved. Show people what they gain when they’re active members of your association.


Educate: We take in so much new information so fast these days and with the Internet readily available through multiple devices, we can access information and learn about anything we want, anytime we want, anywhere we want. So, why not take advantage of these channels to help educate your members? Record presentations, interview though-leaders and experts, share video snippets on your association website or blog, or even host entire training sessions on video.


Membership Testimonials: Let the Internet meet some of your members face-to-face, maybe they can even answer some frequently asked questions people have about your association. Members can discuss why they’ve joined your association and what they’ve done, thereby increasing your association’s presence.


Give Your Association a Face: Videos not only spread information to share, but they, most importantly, put a face and personality to your association. Remember, it’s really all about connecting, right? This is probably the most important thing you are missing out on if you aren’t using video.

When it comes down to showing the world your association on the web, very little will produce the same connectivity like video. Producing video content may be intimidating or seem out of the question, but it doesn’t have to be.

Using videos for your association will help you reach more people and increase your presence online and off. Stay tuned for more posts about how your association can produce video easily and affordably.

About Rocky Walls

Rocky is the man behind the wheel on the 12 Stars Media bus. When he’s not working alongside fellow 12 Stars team members, he's consulting one-on-one with companies about using video in their marketing and communication plans or engaging rooms full of communicators by speaking in places like Microsoft HQ or the Big Apple.
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Topics: Communication, Association

Crisis planning in a changing communications landscape

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Jun 12, 2013 11:22:00 AM

Like you, I am still struggling to come to terms with the tragic events that happened in Boston just a few short weeks ago.

Not every crisis plays out on a national stage or with the senseless and tragic impact of the events in Boston. But with more information available at people’s finger tips than ever before, all organizations should be prepared with a crisis communications plan that addresses this changing communications landscape.

Once upon a time, an organization affected by a crisis could issue one concise statement or hold a single press conference to address reporter questions, and then resume normal operations. Today, information spreads second-by-second, 140 characters at a time, to anyone within reach of a smartphone.

The worst time to find out you don’t have a crisis communications plan is during a crisis. Every crisis situation is different and requires a unique and tailored approach; however, it is essential to have a basic plan in place to ensure strategies are implemented in a timely and effective manner. Below is an infographic showing eight essential steps to any crisis communications plan.

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Topics: Communication, Association

Announcing Your Existence with a Clearly Defined Value Proposition

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on May 29, 2013 11:15:00 AM

I had the good fortune last month to attend the ASVMAE ThinkWorks meeting in Denver.  In case you wondering, ASVMAE stands for American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (a mouthful!).  This is a great group of association management professionals from veterinary medical associations around the country.  What I learned at this engaging presentation has shaped how we communicate with the various segments of our membership.  Not only does our association have generational differences, but we have various practice types as well – i.e. small animal practitioners, equine veterinarians, food animal veterinarians – you get the picture!

So what did we do?  Here is a brief snapshot of the takeaways:

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Topics: Communication, Association

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