Building a digital marketing strategy for a nonprofit can be complicated. After all, nonprofit organizations must be careful about how they spend their money. It may not be possible to set aside large budgets for analog media. That means print and electronic avenues may be out of their reach.
The good news is that digital platforms can help in creating brand awareness. There are tons of cost-effective avenues available.
A website, for example, is a fantastic place to showcase products and services. Social media platforms also give organizations access to a broad audience base.
Our article explores digital marketing strategies for nonprofits. Let’s look at some critical components to consider.
Start With the Basics
A strategy for digital marketing for nonprofits begins with the basics. Start by addressing the following.
- What are your marketing goals? Is it to increase awareness of the nonprofit? Do you want to attract more donors?
- Who is the target audience, and do you understand them well?
- What key messages do you want to share?
- Decide on the plan of action, including the marketing strategies and timelines
- Have a budget for the implementation of the plan
- Decide on the metrics you will use to analyze the performance of the campaigns. Metrics can include the email open rate, video views, comments, shares, and page views.
Getting clarity on the above is critical for an effective digital marketing campaign. Now, let’s dive into some strategies nonprofits can use.
1. Websites and Content Marketing
A nonprofit organization should, as a priority, have a website. It is a fantastic place to showcase the work of the organization. Further, there is no limit to what or how much you can put up.
And, the nonprofit can use content marketing to increase brand awareness. There are some advantages to content marketing.
- It is a way to educate or update audiences on the activities of the nonprofit
- Implementing best SEO practices will help bring more people to the website. The organization gets to build organic audiences who will support its activities
- Content marketing is a fantastic way to generate some free PR. High engagement will lead to more shares, comments, and likes.
- Marketers can tweak or repurpose content for use in different areas. Take the example of a project update to stakeholders. The PR team can then translate it into a press release. It saves on time while fulfilling the different needs.
- Nonprofits can increase brand awareness with guest posting to high authority sites. Additionally, it provides an excellent way to get backlinks, resulting in higher visibility.
2. Google for Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations can use Google for nonprofits for so many processes. The platform has a wide range of tools that can help streamline activities.
Marketers will find helpful features for awareness creation and raising funds. They can also use them to engage supporters and stakeholders.
Google for nonprofits is free. But, the nonprofit must meet specific eligibility criteria. Once you sign up, the market has access to tools like:
- G-Suite for nonprofits will help with the administrative part of running the organization. Such include document preparation and file storage on Google Drive. They can also centralize work with Google Workspace, and so much more.
- Google Ad Grants that avail up to $10,000′ worth of advertising value to nonprofits
- YouTube for nonprofits that allows for the use of video content to reach audiences. The organization can also process donations on the platform
There is a lot to gain from Google for a nonprofit platform. The organization gets to save money while generating publicity for the organization.
3. Video Marketing
Video marketing is also a fantastic way to share content. The advantage of such a medium is higher engagement levels.
The truth is not very many people like to read a lot of content. It is much easier to consume visuals than text.
Let’s take a look at some interesting statistics around media marketing. Social videos can result in 1,200% more shares than when you use images and text.
The retention rate when reading text is a paltry 10%, compared to 95% for video content. 68% would rather watch videos, than reading when looking for product information.
A solid nonprofit digital marketing strategy must incorporate the use of videos. Ensure high-resolution footage and sound for better engagement. Also, focus on inspiring emotion with the help of strong imagery.
4. Social Media Marketing
There are some notable advantages of using social media as a marketing platform. They include:
- The nonprofit can reach/target a broad audience base
- There are many platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and Twitter. The nonprofit has no limitation on where it can open accounts
- The social platforms allow for audience targeting. The result is better reached with the messaging
- Marketers get access to analytics tools. such help them know whether their campaigns are working.
There are so many strategies nonprofits can use to generate interest. User-generated content works well on platforms like Instagram. Encourage audiences to send in photos or videos the organization can use as part of its social campaigns.
Increase interest in social media competitions. Greenpeace, for instance, holds annual photo competitions around different environmental issues. They showcase the entries, and winners get small rewards like T-shirts.
The idea is to get people involved in the nonprofit’s activities. You achieve this without spending much money to engage with them.
Another strategy would be interactive campaigns. Such include trivia, opinion surveys, quizzes, and so much more.
Marketers can also put aside a small budget for boosting posts. It increases the likelihood of your target audiences seeing your messages.
With the right strategies, the nonprofit can build an organic community. Such audiences believe in the work of the organization. Thus, they are more likely to donate to or support the organization in some way.
5. Email Marketing
Email Marketing continues to be popular with digital marketers. It is inexpensive and, with the correct targeting, very effective. Once you have a list, it is crucial to segment it. The advantage of doing this is you can send messages that are specific to the different groups.
One mistake some marketers make is sending blanket emails to everyone on the list. Such emails end up in the spam or junk folders because they’re not relevant to the recipients. Instead, keep the email short and straight to the point.
Include a powerful Call to Action to elicit a specific action you want the target audience to take. Craft compelling headlines to spark curiosity so that they open the email.
But, you mustn’t bombard the target audiences with emails. You do not want them to feel like you are becoming a bother.
6. Public Relations
Third-party endorsement is the best kind of publicity. When advertising, the nonprofit has complete control over the messaging. On the other hand, with PR, you depend on other people to talk about your organization in a positive way.
There are different ways nonprofit organizations can take advantage of PR. Such include:
- Showcase testimonials on your website and social media platforms. Let’s take the example of an organization that cleans up a beach. Capturing videos of happy people praising the work is a powerful marketing tool.
- Become a news source for the media. Journalists and editors are always on the lookout for newsworthy content. You can easily become the go-to source for such content with well-researched, informative content. This could be in the form of press releases, editorial, commentary, and interviews. The nonprofit can also sign up to platforms like Help a Journalist out (HARO). Once you establish a rapport with the media, they will seek you out any time they need information. This helps to build credibility and a solid reputation. You can also ask for links back to your website resulting in more organic traffic.
- Take part in community activities, even if they are outside your scope. Being part of a community cleanup, for example, can land the organization in the media. It also doesn’t hurt to get mentions of your participation from the organizers or VIPs. Best of all, this helps to create community goodwill resulting in more exposure.
The digital space has a lot to offer nonprofits. There are many avenues or platforms for awareness creation. It starts by having a website with relevant, engaging content.
The organization can also take advantage of social media. Public relations helps with third-party endorsement, which is more believable than advertising.
Platforms like Google are free and easy for nonprofits to join. Additionally, they have tons of benefits.
Finally, email marketing continues to be an effective digital marketing tool. Marketers must take the time to learn how to use it well for the best results.