You likely already know that digital marketing is critical to the success of your nonprofit. After all, with 96% of Gen-Z regularly using the internet, and 71% of millennials’ time spent scrolling through their phones, it’s clear that traditional marketing techniques simply don’t work the same way they did in the past. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, more than 50% of consumers research products or services online before buying offline.
That’s why it’s so critical for your nonprofit to establish an online presence. Not only does this give you the opportunity to connect with potential supporters and donors in a more personal way, but it also shows that you’re taking the initiative to ensure your organization’s success. In this article, we’ll discuss five online marketing strategies that you can use to better engage with potential donors, volunteers, and supporters.
1. Create a Website
If you’re reading this, I assume you already know the importance of having a website. A 2018 survey from the American Institute of Stress found that 80% of Gen-Z visit websites to learn about brands, and 69% visit websites to make online purchases. That means if you don’t have a website, you’re losing out on a massive audience.
Your website doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use a free WordPress.com or similar service to get started. Then, upgrade to a premium plan as soon as you can to take advantage of hosting features and other perks that come with a paid plan. Don’t worry — you can always downgrade at any time.
An important factor in deciding whether or not to host your website yourself is the speed at which you can generate content. While it’s great to have a team of writers and researchers to churn out tons of content, if your website isn’t up to date with the latest news, it’s going to feel somewhat tawdry. Speed is also important for user experience. If loading your website takes longer than five seconds, you’re going to lose a chunk of your audience.
2. Build a Social Media Squad
While we all love a good tumbleweed of a Facebook page with no actual content ever, nothing thrills us more than a good old fashioned Twitter war. Social media isn’t going anywhere, and it’s a great way to get the word out about your organization. But in order to reap the benefits of social media, you need to have a squad of people engaging with potential supporters.
Your social media team might consist of a Facebook profile for your organization, a Twitter account, and a couple of Instagrammers. Within those accounts, you should have a mix of people with different skillsets. A couple of your employees might engage with potential supporters on your behalf, while a freelance graphic designer might help you develop a more professional-looking social media platform.
3. Establish a Blog
Blogs aren’t just for fun these days. They can be pretty powerful when used properly. Since 71% of millennials read blogs before buying a product or service, and 49% of those read them to learn about brands, it’s clear that blogging for your nonprofit is a promising strategy. When thinking about establishing a blog for your organization, consider the type of content you’ll be posting. Naturally, you want to have the option to post articles about current events or topical issues that are of interest to your target audience. However, you also want to have the flexibility to entertain your readers with off-topic posts as well.
In terms of establishing a blog for your organization, you need to do a bit of research into the different platforms. If you’re going to use WordPress, you can outsource your content to an experienced copywriter, who can give you a quality piece that will engage your audience. Don’t forget to connect your blog with your social media accounts so that when you post, your audience can follow your content across different platforms.
4. Start a Podcast
Podcasts aren’t just for fun these days. They can be pretty powerful when used properly. Since podcasts can often times be accessed on your mobile device or computer while you’re driving or working out, you can bet that a lot of people are listening to them. Furthermore, since Millennials and Gen-Z enjoy listening to podcasts, this might be your chance to have long-form content that will keep them engaged for your entire duration.
If you’re considering starting a podcast for your organization, take some time to think about the different platforms you’ll use. Something as simple as an RSS feed for podcasts can be a great way to keep your audience up-to-date with the latest episodes without having to constantly re-listen.
5. Start a YouTube Channel
Over the past few years, TikTok has risen to prominence and now boasts 500 million monthly active users. While TikTok isn’t just for fun these days, either. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 20% of consumers research products or services online before buying offline, and 12% use it to browse product reviews.
If you’re going to develop a YouTube channel for your organization, it’s important to think about the type of content you’ll be posting. You want to have enough variety so that you don’t become predictable with your content, but you also want to have engaging content that will keep your audience coming back for more.
When establishing a YouTube channel for your organization, consider the platforms you’ll use. Will you utilize YouTube Live, or go the more traditional route and use YouTube’s standard video editor?
The important thing to consider with all these platforms is how you plan on using them. Do you want to have a presence across all of them, or will some be sufficient to your needs? Keep in mind that as each platform develops, their algorithms can change, affecting your reach and engagement.
Think of the different ways you can use these online platforms to better engage with your audience. What do you see as the main purpose of your various social media platforms? Do you think a blog will help you establish an identity for your organization? Start a podcast to gain more trust and credibility with your audience? Upload videos to YouTube to increase brand awareness?