According to HubSpot Blogs, online marketing is a key component of any marketing mix. After all, potential customers can research and learn about your organization almost anywhere, at any time. Thus, it’s important to have a digital footprint, whether you’re a registered nonprofit or not.
If you’re unfamiliar, online marketing includes doing everything from sending out emails to potential donors to posting on your website to engaging with people on social media. When done well, it can truly be a useful tool for nonprofits, especially in the era of digital transformation.
Here are 10 tips for online marketing for non-profits.
1. Create multiple digital touchpoints
As mentioned above, online potential customers can learn about your organization almost anywhere, at any time. Your website is the most important digital touchpoint, but don’t be afraid to promote and encourage your most engaged audiences to participate in different activities on social media. For example, can you post about upcoming events or demonstrations? Can you create and distribute content regularly? Are you using email marketing to stay in touch with supporters? The objective is to have multiple, redundant ways to communicate with your audience. This will increase the likelihood of someone, somewhere, hearing about your organization.
2. Focus on customer experience
According to HubSpot Blogs, brands that want to thrive in today’s world must pay close attention to the experience their customers have when engaging with the brand. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a minute. What would you expect from a brand that you’re considering giving your money to? What do you think makes a genuine, lasting difference? Does the website feel like it was built with you in mind? Does the email correspondence feel personal? Does the phone call feel like a real conversation? From the outside, would this seem like a marketing organization that truly cares about your patronage? You can increase your odds of scoring points with the audience you want to support your organization by considering how you, as a customer, would feel if you were to engage with them on behalf of your favorite brand. This is especially important for non-profits that typically attract younger audiences, who may feel more inclined to use their phones, tablets, and web browsers than to engage with a brand through a physical organization – remember, content is king!
3. Build trust
According to HubSpot Blogs, people have various concerns when it comes to donating to charities and non-profits. One of the most important things you can do as an organization that wants to be perceived as legitimate is establish and maintain trust. In the case of a nonprofit, this may mean proving that you’re a trusted source of information for those seeking to do good. In the case of a brand, it may mean demonstrating that you’re a reputable entity that can be trusted to keep their donations secure. Establishing and maintaining trust online is far easier said than done, but it’s a crucial element to consider if you want to succeed in your endeavors. Start by showing that you’re willing to put the work in to ensure that your donors’ faith is well placed. For example, can you install and use web tracking software to monitor and review how others are using your website? Can you offer a receipt to prove that you’ve donated what you’ve been asked to donate? How about establishing and maintaining a presence on social media? Do you have an organization email address that recipients can use to contact you? These are all questions that can help you prove to potential donors that you’re a trusted source of information and that their donations will be properly used to help those in need.
4. Use data wisely
According to HubSpot Blogs, organizations that want to effectively utilize online marketing must be meticulous about the data they collect. While it’s crucial to consider how you can use data to your advantage, it’s also important to remember that any data you collect will be tied to something. This means it’s always subject to change, which you must be prepared to adjust your methods to take account of. The more you know about your audience and the effectiveness of your campaigns, the better you’ll be able to use online marketing to grow your organization. For example, do you know which social media platforms your audience prefer? Do you know how to use web analytics to your advantage? These are all questions that can help you to better understand your audience and the effectiveness of your online campaigns. Being able to answer “no” to these questions would indicate that you’re either not yet equipped to use data to your advantage or you’re doing something wrong. Either way, it’s a problem that needs fixing.
5. Measure, measure, measure
According to HubSpot Blogs, in an age of digital transformation, it’s essential that any marketer, non-profit organization included, is familiar with analytics. The better you become at analyzing the data your website, social media, and email marketing generate, the better you’ll be at utilizing these platforms to their full potential and, ultimately, growing your organization.
To establish and maintain credibility as a data-driven marketing organization, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of how your website, social media, and email marketing are performing. This requires you to consider using a tool like Google Analytics to track and analyze your website’s traffic and the effectiveness of your various marketing campaigns. Only then can you determine which strategies are working and which aren’t.
6. Be consistent
According to HubSpot Blogs, digital marketing consistency is key. This means that you must practice the same methods time and time again if you want to see positive results from your efforts. This may mean that you have to try out new tactics and strategies, but you must be willing to put in the work to see the results you’re looking for.
If you want to grow your nonprofit’s online influence, you must be willing to put the work in and be consistent in your approach. It’s crucial to consider how you can utilize data to establish and maintain credibility as a data-driven marketing organization. This requires you to practice and apply the same methods time and time again. In addition to being consistent, you must also be willing to try new things and expand your approach, as long as you understand why you’re trying something in the first place. If you want to be considered a reliable source of information, it’s essential that you prove it through your actions, not just your words.
7. Be patient
According to HubSpot Blogs, one of the biggest mistakes you could make if you want to grow your influence online is to rush into it. If you want to be taken seriously, you must be patient and build your presence slowly. This doesn’t mean you have to sit back and do nothing while others are making strides in their fields. Be a part of the conversation and contribute where you can. This will help you gain credibility and influence as you wait for the right time to come.
If you want to be seen as a competent and influential organization, be patient and wait your turn. It may mean that you have to get involved with other organizations from the onset to ensure that your voice is heard and that your interests are represented. As you wait, be sure to keep up with what is happening in your industry and in other industries that you may be interlinked with. When the time is right, you will be contacted directly by individuals and organizations who see value in your unique offerings. Keep your head up and your eyes open, and be sure to contribute and participate where you can, because, ultimately, your hard work will be worth it in the end.
8. Be creative
According to HubSpot Blogs, being creative and utilizing different methods to reach your audience can be crucial to your success. One method you can utilize is to find unconventional ways to get the word out there about your organization. For example, can you set up a booth at a local farmers’ market to encourage families and individuals to contribute to your cause? Can you write a guest blog post for a leading industry website? Can you design a poster and put it up around your city? These are all ways you can attract individuals and families who might normally turn their noses up at the notion of supporting a charity or non-profit, but who, nonetheless, you can convince to contribute. Finding ways to creatively engage with your audience is a great way to gain a following and make an impression. After all, no one expects a traditional, run-of-the-mill marketing approach from a brand or a company hoping to gain support from the public. A little creativity goes a long way.