The fast-paced digital marketing landscape is challenging for every industry, and it can be especially daunting for charities and non-profit organisations.
Marketing for your charity needs to address different issues and target different personas from regular businesses, so your overall strategy needs to be carefully thought out.
The main goals your organisation needs to focus on are building a loyal fan base and raising funds. It is also important that your marketing is transparent so that people can see the difference your cause (and their donations) are making to the world.
Concentrating your marketing on inspirational, emotive storytelling and social proof can be a powerful way to reach these goals. These methods will assist in increasing your follower numbers and encouraging your supporters to become brand evangelists for your cause, spreading awareness virally through their own networks.
With over 1.5 million charities worldwide, competition for support and donations is fierce, and you need to present your unique value proposition clearly to ensure as many people as possible are aware of your cause. Establish a strong brand voice and personality that allows people to connect more deeply with your organisation on an emotional level.
If your non-profit organisation hasn’t yet explored all the marketing and advertising options available online, you might be surprised at what’s on offer to you in Australia from some of the biggest and most trusted online companies – most notably Google, Amazon and YouTube.
Google is well known for its generous donations to charitable causes. They provide a range of marketing options which for non-profit organisations.
With over 3 billion people using Google search every day, this is an excellent opportunity for your organisation to reach donors, volunteers, and supporters across the globe as they are browsing the web.
You can use your Google Grant to fund your AdWords campaigns and drive more traffic to your website through organic search.
Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. For charities, this presents an ideal opportunity to spread the word about your work to a wider network.
YouTube’s Impact Lab for non-profits provides free tools for charitable organisations to connect with a vast, engaged audience of supporters, volunteers and donors.
Video marketing is a powerful way to evoke emotions and create empathy for your cause, with social video generating 1200% more shares than text and static images. Studies have also shown that YouTube videos with a charitable message receive 2.5 times more engagement than other videos.
Amplify your message by using YouTube’s tools to create beautiful, moving videos that increase awareness across this giant, global network.
The world’s biggest retailer offers a way for shoppers to donate 0.5% of their eligible purchases to almost any charity they desire. There are almost one million to choose from.
Since its inception in 2013, AmazonSmile has donated millions of dollars to organisations around the world.
Joining the AmazonSmile programme gives you free access to a global network of potential supporters and the chance to increase your awareness across a diverse audience of consumers.
This service is entirely free for charities that sign up to the scheme. For shoppers, AmazonSmile provides a simple and automatic way to support a charitable organisation at no cost to them. This makes the scheme very attractive for those on both sides of the donations.
As part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you might consider harnessing the power of online influencers on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Statistics show that one in three social influencers are raising awareness of global issues and the charities that seek to address these issues.
More and more charities are recognising the value of the voice of these influencers and their powers of persuasion to shine a light on important causes and drive their strong follower bases to support and donate.
Set up Google alerts to notify you when somebody mentions your organisation online. You can use this opportunity to engage in the conversation on social media, talk about your cause and let people know how they can help you.
If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in place, use these key points as your starting guide:
Creating a detailed picture of the demographics your charity wishes to target will make it easier and more cost-effective for you to focus your content marketing efforts on the goals and objectives that are most important to you.
Decide on the key tactics you will use within your marketing strategy and how you plan to implement these to achieve your goals.
Develop ways that your organisation can measure the results of your marketing efforts so you can reach your objectives.
Ensure your website is optimised for lead generation. It should inform and engage your target audience, capture their minds and hearts and nurture them into donating to your cause.
Email is one of the most powerful tools you can use in your marketing. Make it easy for new supporters to sign up to your list, and provide them with regular email updates that are valuable, interesting, and encourage them to donate.
A blog attached to your website not only informs your readers but improves your SEO and establishes your authority. Regular posts generate new leads and keep your audience informed of news and fundraising campaigns.
Blog posts can be repurposed and the content used in other areas of your marketing, such as social media updates, webinars, and videos.
Content calendars help you to plan and implement your content goals. This makes it easier for everyone involved in your marketing efforts to ensure that content is created across the right platforms at key intervals.
It will ensure content is created in time to promote events, fundraising campaigns, and to tie in with holidays and other important annual dates.
A content calendar can also help you audit your current content to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled or things that need to be updated.
Content is king, but creating bad content will sabotage your best marketing efforts.
Make sure each piece of content you publish is compelling and designed with an end purpose in mind – whether it be to inform, entertain, nurture, or assist with your fundraising efforts.
Content should be created that speaks to people at all stages of their journey with your organisation, from awareness through to donate to your cause.
Use your buyer personas to target the right people in the right places. Cost per click advertising can be expensive, but if it is properly targeted the results in increased revenue can be very rewarding.
This will help you to understand which marketing tactics are working for your organisation and should be focused on to a greater extent.
Analytics also uncover the tactics that aren’t working so well, allowing you to adjust or discard them. This saves both valuable time creating content that isn’t effective, and your advertising dollars.
Marketing techniques are constantly changing and evolving. Strategies that once worked are no longer effective, search and social media algorithms keep altering the way content and advertising is approached, and popular trends come and go.
Trying to keep up with this fast-paced digital environment can be overwhelming, but it is in your best interests to keep an eye on the latest developments and updates that could affect your organisation’s growth and success.
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