Like traditional brands, nonprofits have to market themselves to stay top of mind of donors, volunteers, corporate sponsors, potential talents, targeted communities, and other stakeholders.
More than Marketing
Online marketing can help nonprofits ramp up their donations, improve their online presence, and build buzz for their organizations. After all, how can nonprofits stay afloat without a steady stream of donations?
Nonetheless, digital marketing for nonprofits is a bit different. How so?
Most charities have enthusiastic and passionate employees, and compassionate audience to boot. And thanks to the nature of their work, it’s easy to craft compelling, action-inspiring content.
However, most nonprofit marketers have limited resources and they usually have to operate on a lean budget, which can be a little daunting. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a few budget-friendly digital marketing tips for nonprofits.
1. Content is your BFF
Content marketing is where nonprofits can bring their A-game. After all, content is still king in the world of digital marketing. It’s low cost, organic and delivers long-term value, a perfect combo for any charitable organization.
The good news is that content for nonprofits pretty much writes itself. You have a ton of photos and stories of how you are changing lives, transforming societies, and whatnot. Turn it all into blog posts, articles, and other pieces of content that’ll inspire action.
A few content marketing hacks for nonprofits:
Share far and wide. Make it go viral. Leverage email, social media, offline platforms, webinars, and so on.
Keep it emotional. Use your content to evoke the right emotions, from passion to empathy and everything in between.
Don’t be afraid to promote. Take advantage of micro-influencers, social media ads, and other avenues to get the content in front of your target audience.
Visual is better. Make sure your content is heavy on thought-provoking videos, pictures, and other multimedia. Considering that humans process visuals 60k times faster than text or audio, you’ll make much more impact this way.
Focus on real conversations and relationships. People don’t dole out their hard-earned cash anyhow. Use your content to build relationships and trigger conversations about what your charity and its cause. By doing so, you’ll not only build buzz but also establish an emotional connection between potential donors and your cause.
Include Call to Action (CTA). This is a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at the number of NGOs that forget this. CTA is the bread and butter of your content marketing. It’s the ultimate goal, so keep it sweet, inspiring and down to the point. It can be as simple as adding a “Make a Donation” button or a whole paragraph on how their donations will help.
Document your content marketing strategy. It makes it easy to review, refine and improve your strategy. In fact, 60 percent of successful marketers document their content strategies. Also, create an editorial calendar to keep track of your content production and posting.
2. Take advantage of Google Ad Grants
Google and Microsoft give nonprofits billions worth of free ads every year. So, why not do PPC marketing to take advantage of them?
Google’s Ad Grants is a godsend program for nonprofits. It gives every eligible and registered charity up to $10,000 worth of ad spent per month. It’s easy to set up and run Google Grants.
It’s worth noting that Google Grants are limited to text ads, keyword-targeted campaigns, and advertisements will only appear on Google’s local version. The maximum cost per click bid is restricted to $2, which means you have to focus on less competitive keywords if you want to get the most value out of your ad campaigns.
3. Email marketing is still a goldmine
You might have heard that email has lost its luster. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to nonprofit marketing.
Given that email engagement is still fairly high, with a 22.86 percent open rate and 3.71 click-through rate (CTR), it’s still the number one communication tool for charities.
It doesn’t matter if you want to update your audience on recent happenings, boost your newsletter subscribers, or kick start a donation drive, email is still the most effective and inexpensive way to do it.
4. Optimize your donation page
This is the most crucial landing page for any nonprofit, so ensure to do a bang-up job on it.
While you need to beef up your donation page with useful, keyword-optimized content, don’t go overboard. Your key message shouldn’t be buried in paragraphs of meaningless instructions and information. As such, keep your content to the point, brief, and clear.
Give donors an option to make recurring donations. This will take the pressure off of everyone. More importantly, ask page visitors to share it with their social networks. Make it easy for them to do so with social media integration.
5. Your marketing strategy should be driven by data and insights
With limited budgets, it pays for nonprofit marketers to put their marketing dollars to best use. You can’t do that if you decide to go on gut instinct.
That’s where data-driven marketing comes into play.
Because no two nonprofits are the same, you have to experiment a lot. But it’s important to think data first. From top to bottom, your content, email and other marketing strategies should be driven by actionable data insights.
Data analytics allows you to know more about your target audience – donors, supports, volunteers, etc. Good thing you can install Google Analytics on your site for free, helping you really understand how users are interacting with your content.
With insights from data on hand, you can customize your communications and tailor your content. For instance, use first names in email subjects and body text to create a more personalized experience.
And there’s plenty of incentives to embrace a data-driven marketing approach. First and foremost, a data-first approach provides nonprofits with longevity and consistency in their marketing strategy. Finally, it helps with strategic decision-making and creating real-time interactions.
This article was contributed by Codrin Arsene @ Digital Authority Partners