The non-profit world is all about helping others or fighting for a worthwhile cause. Working in the non-profit sector, however, presents many marketing and advertising challenges. Staff sizes are small and marketing budgets are often non-existent. Individuals responsible for non-profit marketing need to be resourceful and creative, and always keep their eyes open for free ways to communicate with donors.
Here are five critical guidelines that can help you put free tools to work for you.
1. Write Blogs (with keywords)
Donors, understandably, want to see where their money is going. A weekly three- to five-paragraph blog is a great way to share that information. This can be posted to your organization’s website, social media accounts, in a non-profit marketing newsletter or email, or all the above. If it is sent more frequently than once a week, the people receiving it may start getting weary. Less than weekly, they won’t know to expect it. If it’s longer than three to five paragraphs, the chances of it being read go way down. Make sure to have a content calendar to keep your audience interested and connected.
And note that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not for business blogs only. Non-profits can also benefit tremendously from relevant blog posts. When non-profits create blog posts on a timely basis, they are constantly providing Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search
2. Optimize Social Media
Have a strong presence on all social media platforms that are relevant to your mission. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are essential, and each has a specific function. Posts on LinkedIn can help potential large donors aware of your organization and your valuable services. While you should optimize any images or video you post to each platform, you can easily use free cross-posting tools to schedule and automate posts.
Social media is a channel to use to develop and build relationships with new & existing followers, establish you as a leader within your non-profit community, and can connect people to you brand. Find where your audience is at, but posting regularly on your most followed social media sites will help you stay relevant in your community.
3. Produce or Share Great Content
If you’re able to create videos of either promotional content for your organization, or behind-the-scenes video of your events, great! If you’re not able to do so, sharing content that is relevant to your organization, such as videos that other chapters or similar non-profits produce is a great tool. It helps advance your mission, and by expanding that group’s reach through sharing, you may build a mutually beneficial relationship.
One example of maximizing your content is to take that great video you just created, and re-purpose it into shorter video clips for blog posts, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, and even to share on Twitter, or in a story on Instagram.
4. Manage Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is often overlooked, especially in non-profit marketing. But if marketers don’t pay attention to how they rank when people search relevant terms, they may be leaving money on the table. Tag the individual landing pages on your website, generate fresh content frequently, and post quality backlinks.
Just as a business wants high search rankings to bring in more customers, non-profits are competing against other non-profits and need to appear high on search results to acquire new donors.
5. Keep Your Messaging and Goals Clear
Finally, if you are asking donors for money, you need to be concise and transparent. Whether it’s a Facebook post about an event or drive, or a blog post about adding or renovating a facility, craft a short explanation of what the goal is, and where the money raised will go, or where it came from.
It may seem like an uphill battle, but keep these tips in line to make marketing your mission easier.
When it comes to non-profits, blogging is a must to keep existing and potential donors aware of your organization and the hard work that you do every day. If you don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to write blog content, optimize SEO, or build social media campaigns, you can outsource these efforts to a digital marketing agency like CR Digital Solutions who can craft unique, relevant and engaging content.