16 Marketing Techniques for Nonprofit Organizations

Posted on 12/13/2022 @ 04:48 AM

Marketing techniques for nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations exist in a permanent state of fundraising, constantly looking for ways to grow and maximize their revenues, which can be a challenge with limited budgets. Digital marketing is more obstacle than convenience, which is why nonprofits need to use a diverse set of marketing techniques to ensure their success. Organizations need agile and adaptive strategies for online marketing outlets and other digital tools.

When we talk about marketing for nonprofits, what we’re really talking about is strategy and technique. Both sides of the equation, when used together, can grow your base of members, activists, and donors by creating awareness and fundraising to support your organization’s general operations and programs.

Let’s break marketing techniques down into four categories: social media, email, content, and digital. Each one of these categories has the same goal — to communicate to the audience what your organization is all about.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the more popular strategies given the widespread nature of the medium. As far as building brand awareness and engaging directly with younger audiences online goes, nothing beats social media. You meet your audience on their turf and can recruit activists, find potential volunteers, and even grow your donor base. No matter what, it is crucial to have and maintain consistent messaging across your social media platforms. You want to reinforce your brand.

Using social media marketing techniques can help you reach a diverse national and international audience, too, and increase brand visibility. Here are some techniques for social media marketing:

1. Define your goals

For a successful social media strategy, you need to define your goals and whatever possible outcomes you hope to achieve from your marketing campaign. Social media marketing can drive traffic to websites, enhance user engagement, build brand awareness, and recruit volunteers and donors — any of these could be goals.

2. Post interactive content

It is a good idea to focus your social media strategy around audience engagement. The content created and posted should be varying and always interesting and should be consistent with your social media goals. Interactive content is always popular; try Twitter polls, Facebook surveys, or Instagram.

3. Boost your content posts

You need to share content as often as possible to keep your audience engaged. To reach a larger audience, you can boost your posts to generate more impressions through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter ads. Paid ads can bring attention to your content and extend the reach of your brand to an audience you don’t currently attract.

4. Leverage social media tools

Your organization will accrue more credibility when you engage directly with your audience. Social media marketing allows you to use tools like Live Video and Instagram stories to provide your audience with real-time updates of your organization's activities and to give your audience a sense of participation. Some social media platforms, like Facebook, have their own fundraising and marketing tools for nonprofits. These allow your supporters and followers to support your cause and to tap into a wider pool of potential donors. If your organization qualifies for these fundraising tools, you can link donation stickers from your Instagram Stories to reach a bigger audience. You can use hashtags to spread information, too.

Email Marketing

A significant percentage of the world still relies on email for work, news, or staying connected to friends and family. Marketers use relevant and personalized emails to engage their supporters and increase their interaction with the organization. Email marketing is an effective tool to acquire new donors and to engage with existing donors. If done right, email marketing can be a very effective resource to grow your nonprofit. The following techniques can help reach audience through email marketing:

5. Weekly newsletters: Send a newsletter every week with updated content regarding your organization, volunteer needs, and any interesting data fit to share.

6. Monthly emails: Send monthly emails to your audience with new opportunities and donation needs to keep them in the loop.

7. Email sequencing: Set up email sequences for new donors and new subscribers to thank them for joining your cause, and for their donations. These emails can also include educational info about your organization for new subscribers.

8. Email marketing automation: Save on time and energy while allowing your donations, email list, and donations to grow.

Don’t forget to include calls to action in your emails and to segment your audience into different lists. It’s important that you engage sections of your audience separately. Take a break from a one-size-fits-all approach. Capture as much data as possible about your audience and create segmented email lists. Cater your calls to action accordingly.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a valuable asset for nonprofit organizations. Content marketing can have a great impact in creating awareness, driving traffic to your website, and increasing pageviews and time spent on your site. But with regards to content, it is crucial that what you create is of high quality and adheres to your carefully thought-out content strategy. The following are some techniques for content marketing for nonprofits:

9. Tell your story

Image is everything in digital marketing, so it’s a good idea to have a captivating story about your organization. Using a compelling story as a strategy creates a long-term impact on your audience. People gravitate towards narratives. We like a good story. Make sure your story-driven content has an objective and a target audience.

10. Define your target audience

Nonprofits are unique and have different target audiences. Having a defined target audience helps with content marketing since, without one, you don’t know where to aim. With a target in mind, you can reach everyone in your audience including activists, donors, volunteers, and strategic partners. As all these parties have unique reasons for engaging with your nonprofit, giving them relevant content could go a long way. A good idea is to use impact statements from beneficiaries of programs and services you provide in the community.

11. Diversify your content

There are different content avenues for an effective content marketing strategy. Depending on the content you are publishing, you can make use of tools like videos, charts, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, and photos for your nonprofit marketing.

12. Promote your content through search engine optimization (SEO)

Posting content online isn't enough to generate traffic to your website. You need to strategize when sharing your content across all platforms and channels. To start, have a regular publishing schedule. Use social media and email marketing to help your content rank high for intended users to access easily.

Quality content isn’t enough to have your website appear at the top of Google search results. The optimization process of your content starts before creating the content by conducting keyword research to determine what people are searching for in your niche. This can help address some concerns about your content to create what is most relevant and relatable to your target audience. Do research to create high-ranking content for more engagement.

Digital Marketing

Organizations today are adopting digital marketing as a reliable strategy to attract new donors and create global brand awareness. Digital marketing allows you to build an international reach, which makes it easy to meet potential new donors. Among the key techniques used in digital marketing for nonprofits are:

13. Paid advertising

Since there is no shortage of competition to be seen online, it is a good idea to pay for visibility. If you don’t, you risk being at a significant disadvantage. The pay-per-click marketing technique helps direct traffic to your website, which gives your organization exposure. You can analyze the data gathered using PPC to better understand who your visitors are, what they do on your site, and what interests them.

14. Video and podcasts

Having strong video campaigns can make all the difference in digital marketing. Videos can be used to highlight impact statements from members of your community who have benefited from your nonprofit’s mission. They can be used as commercials to advertise your mission. They can feature your staff members, interviews between your CEO and a writer or activist related to your field, or anything else you can think of — the sky's the limit. And don’t discount the popularity of podcasts. Podcasts are great ways to reach a new audience. If you decide a podcast is right for you, be consistent with your publishing schedule, and spread your episodes across all the popular podcast hosting platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn.

15. Backlinks and influencers

Backlinks are used to improve your website's online authority and extend its reach. For optimal results, use the social sharing icons on social media platforms to establish backlinks. This will improve your website’s reliability and give your organization better relevance on Google. You can work with influencers to help build credibility for your organization, gather more support, and spread brand awareness. Choose influencers who are passionate about your cause. You can create content with them that benefits both parties — they get views and you raise awareness.

16. Retargeting

Most visitors to a website are not motivated to engage or make a donation on their first visit. As such, retargeting can be used to boost the chances of bringing back visitors who bounced away. There are a few tools that can help with this process. Check out Facebook Exchange ads as an example.

In the end, achieving success with any of these marketing techniques comes down to one simple rule: make sure that you choose a set of strategies and techniques that work well together. A comprehensive and holistic marketing strategy can allow you to retain a vast online audience and make sure that your organization succeeds.