Your nonprofit champions a noble cause that needs attention from the public to get donations.
The best way to get more eyes on your organization is to craft a brand identity and leverage digital channels to market yourself.
That being said, the days of needing to buy a billboard or a full-page newspaper ad to get noticed are over. Digital marketing is the new standard for raising brand awareness, and your nonprofit should leverage the many digital channels at your disposal. All you need to get started is your computer and a nonprofit marketing plan. Let’s explore what digital marketing can do for your nonprofit and which channels are available for nonprofits to use.
The advantages of digital marketing for nonprofits
Before we discuss different digital marketing channels, let’s review what digital marketing can do for your nonprofit. With digital outreach strategies, your organization can:
1. Raise awareness for your mission
The first step in convincing prospective donors that your cause is worth their support is educating them about your mission. With digital marketing, your nonprofit can spread critical information about your initiatives so that your community understands your nonprofit’s purpose. Your digital marketing materials should:
- Stress the urgency of your cause
- Feature beneficiaries and their stories
- Explain what your nonprofit is doing to help
The Internet is the world’s foremost information hub, so it should be your go-to channel to educate people. It can take time for your online content to get substantial viewership, but with access to the nearly 5 billion people logged on every day, you’re bound to reach readers curious about your cause.
2. Engage potential supporters
Once you’ve educated community members about your mission, your job is to convince potential supporters to get involved with your initiatives. Digital marketing allows you to share donation appeals far past your local community and supporter base. For instance, you could acquire a new donor in a different state simply by posting a donation appeal on your social media feed.
Another advantage digital marketing has over traditional tactics, such as print ads or telemarketing, is that it’s easy to integrate content across different channels and streamline the donor journey. Instead of sending a flurry of direct-mail flyers and mail-in gift envelopes, simply link to your website’s donation page in your social media bio. This solution is more user-friendly and convenient for both you and your potential donors, no matter which channel they encounter you on first.
3. Reach beneficiaries
Besides using digital marketing to collect donations, your nonprofit can also advance its mission by connecting with new beneficiaries. By sharing about your organization’s programs and their tangible impact online, people in need of your services can find your nonprofit more easily. Additionally, digital channels help interested parties bypass engagement barriers, such as physical distance or schedule conflicts, by linking directly to your virtual contact information.
4. Connect with other nonprofits and businesses
Your organization thrives off of connections within your community, and that includes like-minded businesses and nonprofits. Many socially responsible businesses partner with nonprofits to make a difference, and digital marketing materials can get you in contact with each other. Likewise, if there’s a nonprofit in your area that has similar goals and target audiences, you could throw a joint fundraiser to engage each others’ supporter bases.
5. Assert thought leadership
People want to support a reputable nonprofit, so establishing your credibility and knowledge is crucial. Informing people about your achievements, sharing the stories of happy beneficiaries and donors, and associating with other nonprofit thought leaders will convince your audience that you know what you’re talking about! Displaying this information is easier online, where you can post links to collaborations, interviews, and milestones.
Types of digital marketing for nonprofits
Now that you understand the main benefits of digital marketing, it’s time to create a marketing plan. To strategize efficiently, it helps to leverage a combination of the digital marketing tools at your disposal, which may include:
- Your website: As the online hub for your nonprofit, a well-designed website should house all of the facts that turn casual web surfers into donors. For instance, a potential donor can browse through your site to assess your credibility, understand your mission, and ultimately make a donation, all from looking at your website’s content.
- Social media: Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were designed to help you connect with like-minded people. Even if you don’t go viral, you can still leverage these sites to access your supporters’ networks, post educational content like infographics, and advertise your fundraisers.
- Google Ad Grants: You can imagine that the most popular website in the world is one of the best places to advertise your nonprofit. And, with Google Ad Grants, you can claim $10,000 of search engine advertising space for free every month. Microsoft offers a similar program for its network of search engines.
- Email: Even if you’re a beginner to digital marketing, you’ve likely had experience with email already. It’s one of the best ways to instantly deliver newsletters and fundraising appeals to your supporters.
- Search engine optimized (SEO) content: Your nonprofit can leverage the search engine results page’s visibility, even without a Google Ad Grant. By using tactics to boost your website’s SEO value, your site can climb the ranks on the search engine results page and get more attention.
The key to running a successful digital marketing campaign through any of these channels is to make data-driven decisions. In fact, NPOInfo lists marketing data as some of the most important metrics a nonprofit should monitor. Before you launch your digital marketing content, ensure your nonprofit CMS and CRM platforms are equipped with reporting tools that can gauge the success of your outreach efforts. Then, use your findings to address your campaign’s weaknesses and make necessary improvements.
Hopefully, you’re excited about the potential benefits that go along with digital marketing. If you need guidance on your strategy, consider working with a nonprofit digital marketing agency. According to Fifty & Fifty, these agencies offer services such as graphic design, online ad campaign management, social media content creation, and more. Whether you hire outside help or venture into digital marketing on your own, create materials with your mission in mind, and you’ll go far!