Non Profit Organization Digital Marketing – Getting Started
Non profit organization digital marketing can be a powerful and cost effective tool to increase brand awareness and encourage new donations. However if you don’t fully understand your digital marketing options, it’s impossible to know where to spend your marketing budget.
Our overview of non profit organization digital marketing is designed to clarify the different options open to you.
Non Profit Organization Digital Marketing Overview
1. Website Design
A professional looking website is the very cornerstone of the credibility of your non profit organization in the eyes of the general public. No matter what cause you support or how effective your work is, if a visitor to your website sees poorly designed pages, content with grammatical errors and a hard-to-navigate layout, they are unlikely to trust you with their donation.
It’s a simple fact – as part of your non profit organization digital marketing strategy, your website must be professionally designed to give the right first impression to your visitors.
2. Mobile Websites and Loading Speed
Nowadays more people search online using mobile devices than on desktops. And they are used to plenty of choice – if a website doesn’t display properly on a mobile phone, or takes more than a few seconds to load, the visitor will simply give up. Potential donation lost.
So not only do you need professional designers to help create the visual look of your website, but you also need professional web developers who can optimise the site for mobile devices to ensure it loads quickly.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
3.1 On-Page SEO
If you’re unfamiliar with the term SEO, it means ensuring that your website is optimised for the search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Tech-savvy SEO experts make subtle behind-the-scenes modifications to each web page to tell the search engines exactly what your NFP is all about.
Once the search engines fully understand what you offer, they will list your site higher up in the search results. And this is extremely important – unless your site shows up on page 1 or 2 of the search results, the majority of people won’t ever find you. But if you regularly appear on page 1 of the results for a relevant search term, more and more people are likely to click through to your site.
We recommend professional assistance with your non profit organization on-page SEO if you want to get more traffic to your website.
3.2 Local SEO
Another way to improve your website ranking is to undertake Local SEO. This includes techniques such as listing your NFP on Google My Business (for free), so you show up in Google map results:
You should also ensure that your non profit organization digital marketing includes getting listed on relevant local directories such as Charity Village, and the major citation data aggregators of local business data.
4. Off Page SEO
Search engines take into account other factors to help decide which websites to list on page 1 of the results. When many people share information about an organization online, it is seen as popular and credible. Since the search engines want to show only the best and most relevant websites to their searchers, popular sites with a good reputation are more likely to show on page 1.
By carrying out off page SEO, you can boost the placement of your website in the results. The most important elements are
– social media marketing
– link building
4.1 Social Media Marketing
Just imagine the millions of people who use social media every day. Wouldn’t it be good to tell them about your NFP and encourage them to get involved, to donate, to help in some way?
Social media marketing is an incredibly cost effective way to reach out to your ideal audience. With over 2 billion users per month, Facebook continues to be the biggest social media platform and it’s free to use. Create a branded Facebook page for your non-profit with details of your mission – then post regular updates (with images) about your ongoing activities to engage with your target audience.
Similarly Twitter is an excellent way to increase brand awareness. By regularly sharing your own tweets, images and videos, and retweeting relevant information to your followers, you can create awareness about your NFP digitally.
4.2 Link Building
If lots of people and websites are sharing links to your website, there will be an increased number of “inbound” links – and the search engines place high value on these. However it’s bad practice to seek inbound links from third parties just to boost rankings – the search engines are likely to see through this ruse and it could cause problems.
You need to just let the links build naturally via your “digital PR” activities, such as:
Trying to get write-ups about your NFP in online publications as much as possible – often companies will offer free write ups for non profits as they want to help good causes.
Are there any relevant websites where you could offer to write a guest blog, with a link back to your site?
Who are the influencers in your particular niche? Reach out to them and discover if they will give your non profit online exposure.
Do you attend fairs / exhibitions to spread the word about your cause? If so, you could get a write up on the organizer’s website.
5. Paid Digital Marketing
If your brand awareness is weak, or you want to push a new marketing campaign, paid digital marketing options should be considered.
5.1 Paid Facebook Advertising
Facebook offers sophisticated targeting options to help you get your message in front of the right target market. You can choose an audience based on a wide variety of elements: age, location, interests, job title, employer, interests etc. Then you can create a persuasive, visual advert (images or video) to get your message across succinctly and drive people to your website.
Furthermore Facebook advertising doesn’t have to be very expensive – for around $10 a day, you could easily reach tens of thousands of relevant people in just one week.
5.2 Google Adwords
Google Adwords can be used to get your website listed at the top of page 1 of the results. Certified professionals can set up campaigns using keywords that people may be using when looking for a NFP like yours.
For example, someone who is interested in helping a children’s non profit may search on Google and discover these two results at the top of page 1.
Google Adwords are great to give your NFP a strong online boost, but for the best results, should be run longer term, with a daily budget of at least $10.
6. Nurturing Your Supporters
Another important technique to use in your non profit organization digital marketing is the humble email. You can keep your supporters up to date with personalised emails or fancier e-newsletter designs which update them on all of your news.
You can encourage them to donate, to support an event you are hosting or to volunteer. Whatever you need from them, email is a great way to connect with people who have already been interested enough in your organisation to provide their email address to you.
We hope that this overview of non profit organization digital marketing has clearly laid out the different options available to you, and will help you to create a digital marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and create more supporters.