Why worry about online marketing
Associations would collect much more from their websites if only they’d clearly state what they are about and how a member can benefit from being affiliated. A new usability studies revealed considerable frustration as potential members visited sites and tried to discern various organizations’ missions and goals—which are key factors in their decisions about whether to give money.
Well-designed association websites are particularly suited for attracting new donors and efficiently supporting small-scale impulse giving. Websites are less effective at sustaining long-term member relationships. For encouraging member loyalty, e-mail newsletters remain the Internet tool of choice.
Identify the purpose of your website
- Recruit new members
- Engage existing members
- Recruit new donors
- Build Community from your existing network
- Get recognition for your organizations good work
- Forge alliances with other groups who share all or part of your mission
What members expect to find on your website
The organization’s mission, goals, objectives, and work.
- How it uses donations and contributions. That is: What are you trying to achieve, and how will you spend my money?
Other website tips
- Include a brief mission statement on the About Us page. Explain what the organization does, how it’s done, and why.
- Clearly explain programs and initiatives.
- Consider using brief (no longer than two minutes), focused, and informative videos to communicate the organization’s work and programs. If possible, include stories about how the organization positively impacted individuals or situations.
- Make it easy for the donor to donate. Give them the data and other resources they seek to educate them quickly so they may determine if your non-profit is a good fit for them.
- Give them multiple options of donating and make sure your online merchant system is easy to understand.
- Is there adequate information to help those you serve? After all, the donors will also be seeking that information to determine if you are indeed properly serving your community sufficiently.
How to incorporate social media into your overall marketing and outreach program
Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, can be a great communication tool for nonprofits. It will help you to spread the word about your cause and build relationships with your supporters.
You know you should connect with your donors through multiple channels, including social media, but how do you really stand out?
Keeping the Conversation Going
Remember that group of people who signed up to receive your newsletter, liked you on Facebook or followed you on Twitter? Don’t just leave them hanging. Now that they’ve expressed interest and (hopefully) you’ve said hello and introduced your organization, strike up a conversation with them beyond your annual appeal or email newsletter.
By forging a relationship with this group, you strengthen your nonprofit’s visibility and reputation while fostering a positive feeling that helps create more loyal donors and active supporters. Along with email, your website and direct mail, social media is another channel for communicating with your donors and telling the story of your work. Use platforms like Facebook and Twitter as tools for continuing the conversation and building a stronger relationship with your supporters.
Facebook: Educate, Excite and Enlist
Facebook is a daily destination for your supporters. Don’t be absent from their routine!
- Post Consistently
- But not too much:
- Use Images
- Encourage Shares, Likes, Comments
- Spark conversation and action:
Twitter: Dive into the Stream
On Twitter, your nonprofit can add value, respond in real-time and be a part of a larger conversation with supporters, like-minded organizations and activists. News updates, event-based information (such as live tweeting key moments from an event) and sharing related resources work well in this format.
Be in the moment: Be timely and current with your updates and always be responsive to direct messages, mentions and replies!
- Offer more: Don’t just repost the same content from your newsletters. Add bonus information, related resources and point them to the rest of the story.
- Be part of the conversation: Social media isn’t meant to be a one-way megaphone. Interact with your followers, answer questions, offer resources and join in with your point of view.
- Listen: Watch for comments about your cause, organization and sector. Use this feedback to inform your outreach.
- Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube: Social + Visual
In a “skim and click” environment, eye-catching photos and engaging videos help your organization stand out. Whether you use Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube or another photo or video service,
Blogging – the cornerstone of social media
Please understand that combined with social media, blog services talk directly to your donors as well as those you serve without editorial filters. Blogs also are the cornerstone of social media – meaning they are the perfect hub for social media campaigns. Also, blogging and content marketing make an effective search engine optimization strategy to generate traffic to your website. No organization should go without having blogging as part of their overall social media marketing plan.
Email Campaigns – Not sexy but they still work
Done correctly, it can improve donor loyalty and encourage repeat donations. Email marketing instantly informs your donors about the latest announcements and events and encourages them to visit your website for more details. Of course, it is also a way to keep your organization’s name in front of them year around instead of just when you are asking something of them.
Mobile Marketing - now a vital part of the integrated marketing mix
Mobile is no longer an add-on to a campaign, and for many it’s increasingly becoming a central focus. Mobile is more than a trend. It’s here to stay. Currently, 1 in 10 visits to websites worldwide are from a mobile device.
Nonprofit leaders wear many hats and are trying ultimately to serve the needs of others. They have a laundry list of why they aren’t interested in mobile.
- “Too expensive” or “We have no money” of course tops the list
- “Too many other priorities” – that’s another
- “If it can’t guarantee an increase in donations today – I can’t consider it”
- “My target demographic isn’t on mobile” – Say What?
Sticking your head in the sand will not change the fact that all organizations – businesses and nonprofits alike – must develop a strategy to integrate this new channel into their existing branding, communications and revenue efforts if they want to remain sustainable in the mid and long term. Creating a mobile app for your organization will vastly improve constituent and donor engagement.
Ways you can use mobile:
- To improve group text messaging campaigns
- Text to donate
- Mobile Donations – impulse donations
- To optimize search engine browsing with key search terms. Mobile browsers are hungry for new content, so jump on the bandwagon now to improve your rank.
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