As a nonprofit organization, you’re undoubtedly aware that digital marketing plays an important role in driving donations, inspiring volunteers and engaging with your audience online. However, knowing the right tricks and tips for marketing digitally can be challenging.
To make matters more complicated, not all forms of digital marketing are created equal. Some strategies, such as paid advertising and display marketing, can be significantly more effective than others.
Here’s a breakdown of the key marketing metrics that can help you assess the impact of your digital marketing efforts and determine the right course of action for your nonprofit.
PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads
Paid advertising, including pay-per-click (PPC) ads, is one of the most popular digital marketing strategies for non-profits. Essentially, when a person clicks on an ad, they’re presented with content that is relevant to their interests.
PPC ads can be highly effective when used correctly. For example, if you’re searching for a local restaurant in your area, you’ll most likely notice the plethora of ads that appear on the top of the results page.
The trick to using PPC ads effectively is to target the right audience and measure the results of your ad spend. To do this, it’s important to consider using a search engine optimizer to improve your organic search rankings and build a healthy, thriving digital marketing strategy.
Site Visits, Pageviews And Downloads
The three metrics that you need to monitor when using a website or digital platform to market your nonprofit are visits, pageviews and downloads.
Visits are how your website or digital platform is discovered by potential volunteers, donors and customers. When someone lands on your site, they should discover something that interests them and helps them understand what your organization is about.
Pageviews are the amount of content that someone views on your site. You can track the number of pageviews and visits using the Google Analytics API. Additionally, you can use digital marketing platforms, such as ConvertKit, to easily monitor and analyze your key website metrics.
Finally, downloads are the number of times that a person has either downloaded an app from your site or played a song / video from your site. Again, you can use Google Analytics to track and analyze these metrics to understand how much content people are discovering, engaging with and sharing on your behalf.
As you can see, all three of these metrics are significantly tied to the health of your digital marketing strategy. To that end, it’s important to monitor how often people are discovering your content and whether or not that content is prompting them to donate, volunteer or take further action (e.., subscribing to your newsletter or following you on social media).
Social Media (Blog, Facebook, Instagram)
The two most popular social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, can be used to grow and promote your nonprofit. Both platforms offer distinct advantages for nonprofits that want to build a following.
As a general rule, people connect more with brands, businesses and organizations on social media than they do with physical places (e.g., restaurants, theaters, shopping malls).
With that in mind, if you’re using social media to attract donations, volunteers and subscribers, you’ll want to have a presence on these platforms. Having a Facebook page for your nonprofit, for example, can help establish your charity as a reputable organization and allow you to have direct communication with potential donors, volunteers and supporters.
One important thing to keep in mind is that since people are connecting with you on social media, they’re expecting to hear from you. Make sure that you respond to all comments and inquiries on social media. This will help ensure that they continue to find value in your content and that you remain a trusted source for information.
Instagram, the fast-growing social media platform, is another great option for nonprofits. With its emphasis on fast, visual storytelling and unique filters, you’ll find that many nonprofits have benefited from using Instagram to share their stories about their organizations and #metocharity initiatives.
The main advantage of using Instagram is that it’s easy to set up and requires very little maintenance. As a result, many nonprofits choose to use this platform because it’s less demanding than other social media platforms. Additionally, the organic reach on Instagram is highly relevant to your target audience, and, as a result, it can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Email marketing, which can simply be defined as sending promotional material to people via email, is another popular digital marketing strategy among nonprofits.
Optimizing your email marketing can be tricky. Similar to social media, people are connecting with you on email because you’ve done something that they value. Therefore, you may want to consider using email marketing to promote your #metocharity initiative and drive donations, volunteers and subscribers to your organization.
One of the most popular email marketing platforms, MailChimp, makes it easy to design email campaigns and track their performance. Additionally, you can use the platform to segment your audience and set up automated emails based on users’ behaviors and interactions.
There are several advantages to using email marketing to promote your organization. First, you have the opportunity to target your audience with content that is relevant to them. Second, your email list is often considered to be the goldmine of digital marketing. Not only can you use email to communicate with your audience, but you can also share relevant, interesting content with your list on a regular basis.
Similar to paid advertising on search engines and social media, display advertising, which consists of ads that appear on the screen when a user navigates to a certain website or page, can be used to draw attention to a particular product or service.
Since people are accustomed to seeing ads on websites, you may find that display advertising is one of the most effective ways to generate traffic to your website. Additionally, banner ads, which consist of a large image that appears on a website and is often used to promote a particular product or service, can be highly effective.
The main advantage of using display advertising to promote your organization is that it places your ad in front of a captive audience who already has an interest in your product or service. This type of advertising is often considered to be the most effective because it allows you to target your audience and encourage them to take action (e.g., make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, follow you on social media, etc.).
Since people are using mobile devices more and more to access the internet, it’s important to consider using mobile marketing to reach your audience. To do this, you can use email marketing, as discussed above, or build a mobile app that can be used to promote your organization and drive digital marketing metrics.
Depending on how you choose to use mobile marketing, it can be a very effective outreach tool. For example, many charities use mobile marketing apps to stay in touch with their supporters and invite them to events and other ways to give back. Additionally, in a world where people expect to have everything at their fingertips, apps can make a world of difference.
Last but not least, we want to discuss content marketing, which is simply the practice of creating and sharing valuable content that is designed to attract, educate and entertain your audience.
To begin with, if you’ve ever tried to market a product or service without first having a steady stream of engaging content, you’ll know that it’s a difficult task. Since people are becoming more and more accustomed to getting their news online, content marketing for nonprofits can be an effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain credibility with potential donors, volunteers and subscribers.
The main difference between traditional advertising and content marketing is that you’re not trying to sell someone something in exchange for their attention. Instead, you’re providing them with information that they value and want to learn more about. Additionally, you’re establishing yourself as an authoritative source in your industry by demonstrating that you know what you are talking about and can back up your claims with facts and figures.
To create and disseminate high-quality content, you can use an online content marketing platform, such as HubSpot, to easily create and curate articles and press releases for your target audience. Additionally, HubSpot offers a free plan that can be used by nonprofits and other emerging brands to get started.