Digital marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses of varying sizes to grow exponentially by providing an effective and inexpensive way to reach customers in every corner of the world. By capitalizing on the latest technology and trends, digital marketing not only enables global reach but enhances brand awareness and ROI, provides superior customer engagement, and helps establish market authority. There are several reliable and low-cost digital tools at your disposal such as e-mail marketing, social media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and online ads to help your organization achieve it’s goals.

One of the most salient advantages of choosing digital marketing methods over conventional advertising and promotion is it’s cost-effectiveness. Unlike TV, billboards, or print advertising, it is inexpensive, highly targeted, and personalized. Another added advantage is that you can easily track and measure the performance of your online campaigns in real-time. Overall, digital marketing helps to boost business growth by opening up many avenues for you to stay ahead of competition and tap into the global mass marketplace at a relatively affordable price. The same applies if you are running a nonprofit organization, charity, or an NGO.

Like many small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits often don’t have huge capitals to spend on different channels of marketing. As part of their general organizational focus, nonprofits are mainly driven to address a social cause than maximizing profits for the shareholders. Likewise, nonprofits are not looking for ways to resonate with consumers to sell a product or service, rather they strive to attract donors, supporters, and volunteers by creating awareness about their mission and work. A properly planned and well-targeted digital campaign can reach the right audiences and can help a nonprofit increase it’s outreach, traction, and impact.

In this article we look at three highly effective ways nonprofit leaders can leverage the power of digital marketing in 2021 with smaller budgets to reach more people, raise more funds, and achieve more growth:

1. Engage more people with social media

The nonprofit landscape has changed drastically in the last few years. The days when organizations used to rely solely on traditional methods of engaging supporters and raising money from potential donors are over

One of the most important areas where you should focus your attention in 2021 is social media. Creating social media accounts e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, is essentially the first step toward connecting with new donors, engaging supporters, and garnering awareness about your nonprofit brand in the digital world. Once your social media accounts are set up and you’ve built a bit of followership, you can leverage your online presence to achieve key organizational goals, such as raising donations, recruiting volunteers, or building networks. To get the most out of your social media efforts, consider the following tactics:

– Whether you are just starting out as a nonprofit or have already accomplished a few milestones, developing high-quality multimedia content is essential for any successful marketing campaign. While creating content for social media outreach, the core focus should be to showcase your nonprofit’s mission and impact. Using powerful visuals on social media channels in the form of images or graphics can help you appeal to diverse audiences. For example, Instagram is an image-centered social media outlet with almost half of its global users between the ages of 18–29. These young individuals are often very active in giving for different causes and responding proactively to crucial calls-to-actions. For most part, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create eye-catching graphics for your social media engagement. There are plenty of free programs like Canva, Visme and Crello that offer hundreds of free templates.

-If you’re already producing images and graphics to share with your audiences, then you need to go one step further by incorporating video content into your digital marketing mix. Recent surveys suggest that nearly 85% of the businesses use videos to promote their products and services. As a nonprofit, you can strategically employ video content in many different ways to tell compelling stories about your beneficiaries, staff, and impact. Firstly, you can embed a number of short videos about your projects, beneficiaries, and events directly into the pages of your official website. Secondly, you can start you own YouTube channel. Lastly, it has been shown that adding videos in the target e-mails can significantly boost the click-though-rate. The main thing to remember here is to use video content to appeal to your viewers’ strong emotions as it can help connect them with the cause that you are trying to promote.

-Establishing a two-way relationship with your audiences is essential if you are aiming to maximize your impact through social media. This means that you will focus not only on regularly sharing multimedia content through different digital outlets but will have to respond to comments, queries, and direct messages. Since maintaining social media can be a bit hectic sometimes, you can take full advantage of many useful and free tools like BufferHootsuite, and Airtable to schedule your content in advance. Further, you can use the power of hashtags to extend the reach of your messages and conveniently participate in important discussions taking place online. Click here to learn more about how to use the power of hashtags and Twitter to help your nonprofit gain traction.

2. Increase your website traffic

By knowing what interests your audiences can help you create more personalized, engaging, and relevant content to attract more visitors to your website

If you haven’t done it already, then creating a website for your nonprofit organization should be your top priority in 2021. There are a number of profound benefits associated with having a professionally-built, easy-to-use and fast-loading website. For instance, it helps your organization effectively tell a unique story about your work as well as educate others about your mission and goals. It can also function like an online information portal about your organization because often its the first place people normally search for whenever they want to find out more about your past and present activities. Having a professional website also makes it easy for your potential supporters, volunteers, and donors to find out how to best get in touch and get involved.

In case you already have a website, what you need is to build website authority by optimizing it for the search engines. By investing some time and energy into on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO), your website can be ranked at the top in terms of access to anybody, anywhere in the world who is interested in knowing what your nonprofit is all about. This means it will be easier for the donors to find you and you will have better chance to stay competitive against big and famous nonprofits. So, SEO should be a crucial component of your digital marketing strategy as the Internet has already millions of websites, and only the optimized ones have better chance to attract more visitors by standing out from the crowd.

Another hugely effective strategy to build website authority is to gain as many backlinks to your website as possible. For this strategy to work seamlessly, your website would need to have highly informative, useful, and original content that other organizations mention and link back to. Whenever this happens, it sends a positive signal to search engines such as Google resulting in a higher ranking of your website. If you think this strategy requires too much time and effort, you can outsources this task to agencies such as The Upper Ranks and FatJoe that offer many affordable link building plans.

In addition to everything else, you need to pay attention to your website analytics, such as monitoring unique visitors, page views, Click-through rate (CTR), and bounce rate, etc. This helps you analyze the behavior of the visitors to your website and what you need to improve to get more traffic. For example, you can use Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics to track and report website traffic, trends, and performance thereby making it easy for you to identify what needs to be improved and optimized. By knowing what your audience prefers can help you create relevant content and attract more visitors to your website.

3. Attract more donors and supporters

Many tactics used by for-profit businesses to retarget potential customers can also be strategically employed to boost donor acquisition and online fundraising results by nonprofit organizations

In recent years, digital technologies have radically changed the way businesses acquire customers and nonprofits attract donors and supporters. One of the most effective and proven digital marketing methods to covert leads into customers is through what’s called ‘retargeting’. In a nutshell, it’s all about attracting and converting people who previously visited your website and then bounced back without making a purchase. Retargeting is done through browser cookies where visitors either see targeted ads of the products they’ve already shown interest in their feed or they receive direct emails reminding them to visit the website again to make the purchase.

Many tactics used by for-profit businesses to retarget potential customers can also be strategically employed to boost donor acquisition and online fundraising results by nonprofit organizations. It is quite possible that many people who are interested in your work visit your nonprofit website to know more. But, due to some reason these visitors often bounce back without making a donation or responding to a call-to-action. In this scenario, a retargeting campaign can help you to stay top of their minds and even drive many bounced visitors back to your website. In this way, retargeting enables you to have a second chance to make the first impression and engage audiences proactively to stand out from the competition.

Lastly, you need to seriously consider email marketing as it is one of the most personalized forms of communication in the overall digital marketing domain. Every time you compose and deliver a customized message to the target audience in their inbox, you have better chances of receiving a favorable response. It encourages people to take personal interest in your cause whenever you deliver a strong call-to-action or donation request with right information to the right people. To enhance your chances of success, you can take advantage of latest email marketing services such as MailChimp and HubSpot. These platforms are not only perfect solutions for streamlining email marketing campaigns, but also provide email analytics to optimize and evaluate your strategies.

Final Thoughts

The nonprofit landscape has changed drastically in the last few years. The days when organizations used to rely solely on traditional methods of engaging supporters and raising money from potential donors are over. Today, it’s simply not enough to make phone calls, post mails, or market your events. Instead, nonprofits need to be highly innovative in their approach and activities. By making the best use of the latest technology, nonprofits can be way more effective and impactful than before. Whether you are a small or big nonprofit, you can save thousands, boost your brand awareness, increase the number of donors, and promote your causes all day, every day using digital marketing tools and methods. But remember, digital marketing still costs money and takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. Even so, having a strong digital presence ensures greater impact of your nonprofit activities and puts you in a better position to fight for the causes you and your supporters care about!

Thumbnail photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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