The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

Jul 17, 2019 | Digital Marketing, Guides, Social Media

Zoe Allen

by Zoe Allen

Is your nonprofit using the most effective way to access thousands of new donors around the world?

Computer Digital Marketing Nonprofits

How do your reach new supporters, donors and volunteers?

Digital marketing can be used to reach out, share information and encourage donations across the internet. It allows you to reach thousands of people quickly, and often for little-to-no cost. It can be much more effective – as well as much more environmentally friendly – than traditional paper marketing campaigns with flyers or magazine ads.

Digital marketing includes a diverse range of methods, including both organic (or unpaid) and paid marketing techniques. Some key elements include; valuable and well-performing content, search engine optimisation, social media advertising and analytics tracking. 

Below, we break down the different types of digital marketing and how these can be used effectively to increase web traffic and donations.  

Converting your website visitors into donors is just as – if not more – important than getting them to visit your website in the first place. With the large amount of moving pieces in digital marketing, it can be easy to forget that increased donations or volunteers is your goal, not increased web traffic. 

That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have a user-friendly website and donation system when your supporters click through from your ads or social media profiles. The better the site, the more people will stick around. Take a look at our guide to the features of a great nonprofit website to learn more.

Volunteering Marketing Nonprofit

Working Towards a Goal: Using Digital Strategy

Your nonprofit digital marketing efforts should not be random. It’s very important that you have a goal in mind that ties together which platforms you use, how you use them and what content you produce.

Your digital strategy will be a detailed plan of which platforms and opportunities you will use, what content will be posted in each case, the frequency, and how this is going to link to your goals. This allows you to be organised and effective with your content creation and marketing strategy.

Different digital marketing methods may leverage different audiences and types of content, but they should all still work towards the same SMART goals (a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). This allows you to make sure your digital marketing efforts are actually going to get results, and to track your performance using concrete data.

A key point to keep in mind is that it is not effective to try to use every single platform you can in your digital strategy. Experiment with different platforms, strategies and tactics and track their effectiveness a few at a time, rather than trying to do everything at once. 

Read more about developing a digital strategy for your nonprofit on Soft Script.

Your digital marketing shouldn’t be random. Set SMART goals and track your progress as your work towards them.

Inbound Marketing for Nonprofit

Content Creation

Content creation can be one of the easiest ways to get supporters to visit your site. Producing high quality, valuable content for your supporters will attract more website traffic, retain users, and boost your search engine rankings (more on this below).

One of the best ways to access the power of content creation is to use a blog to tell your nonprofit’s stories and encourage supporters to invest – emotionally as well as financially – in your cause. Telling your supporters more about your work is going to make them more likely to not only feel you are a worthy cause to donate to, but also trust that you are going to use their money wisely.

Blog posts that perform well in search engines like Google or Bing are going to generate more traffic to your website, where supporters can both learn that you exist and find out how to donate to you.

You can also promote your blog content on social media to generate more exposure and click-throughs to your website without needing to do any extra work. Keep reading to find out more about promoting your blog with organic social media marketing.

For more, here’s an extensive guide to content marketing on Classy.

Content creation is an effective way to increase web traffic and engage supporters with no ongoing work and very little cost.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to connect to your supporters and drip feed them information about your cause. It allows extended and repeated contact between your nonprofit and your supporters.

It’s key that it’s quick and easy to sign up to your email updates. Some good options for encouraging website visitors to join mailing lists are pop-ups or quick forms embedded into your site.

Your email content is more likely to be effective if it is personalised to the recipient. This article explores how personalised content lines can be more effective, but personalised email content can work well too. There are plenty of email marketing tools available, such as Mailchimp, that make this very simple to do.

Ask subscribers what they want to receive emails about, such as certain projects or events. It is better to deliver your messages to a smaller, more refined group of genuinely interested supporters than to frustrate and waste effort on many uninterested recipients.

You can use your emails to invite supporters to events, update them on your projects, ask for donations in appeals, and thank them for donations to remind them how they made a difference. Your emails should be both visually appealing and easy to read – you want your recipients to stay engaged.

There’s a huge amount of content on how to use email marketing effectively as a nonprofit – this ultimate guide from Campaign Monitor is full of insider tips.

Social Media Marketing for Nonprofit
Hands Volunteering Marketing nonprofit

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of developing your website and content so that they appear high up in search engine results. This is actually the most important part of digital marketing as SEO is one of the most effective ways for people to find your nonprofit and will continue to generate website traffic for free as long as your website is active.

Simply put, the higher up your website ranks for your chosen, relevant keywords, the more likely it is to be visited. More visits will ultimately equal more donations.

Search engine optimisation includes having pages that are deemed reliable and readable by search engines. Topping search results for your keywords will make your website seem more reliable and authoritative – which in turn will make your cause appear more legitimate to potential donors. Make sure the keywords that you are aiming to rank for are actually relevant to your nonprofit, too, as this is becoming an increasingly important factor.

Click here to learn more about the different areas of SEO or read this guide on SEO for nonprofits. SEO can be complicated, but Twenti is here to help you develop a website that actually performs for your cause.

If you already have a website, book a free consultation now to find out how to improve your online presence.

Search Engine Advertising

It’s important to have well-performing content that can be found in search results organically, but using ads in search engines can also be very effective.

Search engine ads will allow your site to appear alongside search engine results on platforms like Google when people search for particular keywords related to your nonprofit – as in the picture below.

Nonprofit SEO Ad Grant advertsing

This might seem like it would be pricey – but not for nonprofits! Google offers $10,000 credit a month to nonprofits through its Google Ad Grant service to allow nonprofits to advertise through Google ads. This is great news for nonprofits needing to get their name out there on a tight budget.

Twenti aims to help nonprofits access the Google Ad Grant by meeting its requirements for an effective website and online donation system. We can guide you to access Google Ad Grants and reach a global audience of thousands, increase traffic to your website and grow your donations.

Click the button below to book a free audit with us and learn if you’re eligible for the Grant.

Nonprofit Marketing Blogging

Organic Social Media Marketing

Like your website, a social media profile can be used to provide important information about your nonprofit and the work you are doing. It is great for building a personal connection between your cause and your supporters by sharing regular updates on your work.

Organic social media marketing simply means having active accounts or profiles on social media platforms and sharing content on them. This should be a mix of your own original content and relevant content reposted from other accounts.

Each different social media platform accesses a different audience and performs best with different content. However, in general, visual content, particularly videos, tends to have higher engagement rates (views, likes and shares) than written forms.

Share your content with hashtags to make sure it is found; it is a great idea to create a hashtag specifically for your nonprofit as well as taking advantage of popular ones such as #givingtuesday. You should also include plenty of links to your articles and websites to make sure that social media followers actually convert into successful donors.

Social media is also an easy way for you to interact with your supporters – they can ask you questions, share your content and leave supportive comments. This interactive aspect of social media means that it is also important that your social media profiles are regularly and actively managed, so that queries don’t go unanswered. Your nonprofit’s interactiveness on social media can go a long way to establishing trust and improving your donor relationships.

As an example of just how effective social media advertising can be, in 2014 millions were raised for the ALS Association in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where thousands of people videoed themselves tipping icy water over their heads to raise awareness and encourage donations.

If your nonprofit could create a ‘challenge’ that goes viral, you can leverage user-generated content to gain huge amounts of exposure for your nonprofit – as each post is shared on personal social media channels – with little-to-no effort or cost.

For more information on the complex world of social media, you can download EveryAction’s Nonprofit Guide to Hacking Social Media.

Social media is great for interacting with your supporters and sharing updates on your nonprofit’s stories.

Social Media Advertising

Once you have established an organic social media presence, you can also use ads and sponsored content to access an audience of thousands who use social media every day. You can either create specific adverts or ‘boost’ or ‘sponsor’ your content to appear to a wider audience.

Since 83% of UK adults now use social media it makes a lot of sense to leverage this huge, diverse audience.

Social media ads can be targeted to only appear to certain groups that would be most likely to support your cause. They can also be charged on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis meaning that you are only charged if someone actually clicks through to your website from your advert, making this a very cost-effective way of bringing visitors to your site.

So, What Now?

Digital marketing is the most effective way to get your nonprofit found by thousands of people across the world, so if you aren’t taking advantage of this amazing tool, you are hugely missing out. It might seem complex and technical, but with advice from our experts, your nonprofit can have a stunning online presence that will lead to an increase in outreach and in donations.

Why not book a free consultation with Twenti to explore how we can help you and your cause?

Ready to reach thousands of new donors online?

£8,000/month of free ad credit?

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