You’ve started up a 501c3 non-profit organization to promote the cause you believe in. Now you’ve got to figure out how to raise your visibility and you know the Internet is the place to start. But how? There’s so much to do and so little time in which to do it. We understand. We work with organizations like yours on a daily basis and can offer some concrete, actionable tips about digital marketing for nonprofits.
Start with content
You may have heard the phrase “Content is king” with regard to digital marketing. It's become a cliché, but like many cliches, it’s essentially true. Your website is nothing without good content. Like the following…
Blog Posts: Examples of good blog posts include commentary about current events from the perspective of your organization. Personal stories that connect to your cause are another good example. Whatever you write about, just make sure you update the blog at least once a week or more so people know to come back and visit often for fresh perspectives.
eBooks/White Papers: Content like this should be considered “premium” and people should have to enter a verifiable email address to gain access. Naturally, this means the content will need to be longer and more developed, but it will help you to start building an email or prospect list. This leads to…
Newsletters: Sent directly to your email list, a newsletter done at least once a month is the way you keep your organization and cause at the top of mind for subscribers. The newsletter becomes your venue to talk about what you’ve been doing, what you want to do and where you need your readers’ help.
Videos: Ideal for your social media channels, a video allows your audience to get a personal sense of who you are as an organization, something that will increase their comfort level if a decision about whether to volunteer or donate money comes up. Your video can be about the same topics as your blog posts, just repurposed to a different format and for a potentially different audience.
Speaking of your social media channels…it should go without saying that all of your content needs to be pushed out on any platform you’ve got set up.
Your content is building up your credibility, and that credibility has a specific end—to eventually forge connections in the real world. That means hosting events.
Maybe it’s something as simple as setting up a booth at a local fair or convention. Maybe it’s a dinner with prominent guest speakers that are notable for your cause. Whatever it is, all of your digital channels and content need to be leveraged to help promote your event.
Once you’re at the event, you are then in a position to get leads for volunteers. Have forms ready for people to fill out with space to include all of their contact information and availability. Have your elevator pitch ready—that simple two-minute summation of what volunteering for your cause can do. Just be sure the elevator pitch focuses on why the cause should matter to them, not why it matters to you.
Reaching the next level
The start of this process—creating the content—comes only at the cost of your time or whatever you might pay a freelancer to produce the content. But really leveraging that content effectively requires some advertising. Even if you have a large Facebook community, the reach of your posts is still fairly low unless you pay to boost your Facebook posts. Promoting an event is much more effective if you have a good paid advertising campaign.
That’s money that a lot of nonprofits, even ones that have been well-established for years, don’t just have lying around. Fortunately, Google has stepped up with a grant program that assists organizations like yours.
Google Ad Grants offers qualifying 501c3 organizations a free $10,000 a month in advertising. This doesn’t literally mean they put ten grand into your bank account. But you get the $10K each month as a credit to buy ads on Google’s search platforms. It’s a great way to push out your content, promote your events and otherwise raise awareness of what you do.
periscopeUP currently works with a number of nonprofits helping them secure the grant—which can be a tedious process in itself--and then making sure they get as much out of the grant as possible. Want to pursue this for your organization? Call us today at (443) 475-0787 and we’ll set up an information-gathering call.