You know that being thoughtful and intentional about digital marketing can increase your audience and recognition, which can move your organization forward. We work with nonprofits every day, implementing digital marketing strategies that help build brands and spread the word about their important work. Here are our thoughts on ways to use content, social media, and email to expand your reach.
For Your Content
You write a blog or create other original content, such as resources or infographics, so you can be seen as an expert and the go-to place for information about your particular cause. To achieve this goal, you need keep your content fresh and relevant. This doesn’t means churning out a new blog post every day – you want to balance quality and quantity – but you should set a regular and predictable schedule and stick to it. Having an editorial calendar is key. During quieter times you can prep future posts, so you have content ready when the busy season hits. Writing evergreen content (stories that stay relevant well after their publication date) is another smart strategy. Avoiding mentions of specific times when possible, such as ‘yesterday’ or ‘this week,’ means your blog posts have a longer lifespan.
Pro-tip: To widen your audience, consider cross-posting with another organization. Set up an agreement where you feature content from each other. This will help establish your credibility to a new audience. Plus, driving more people to your site gives them the opportunity to become supporters, volunteers, or donors.
Much of social media reach is now dependent on your organization’s willingness to spend money to boost posts or pay for ads. But there are still steps you can take to create a consistent voice and meaningful presence without a big budget. Make sure that you adapt your approach to each platform. Facebook’s lack of character count means you can tell more of your story in your post, while Twitter requires a shorter description with the goal of getting people to click through to your website. Hashtags are also useful for participating in timely and relevant topics. We suggest taking time to learn which hashtags are used by your peers and which are trending to help you get seen by more people. Respond to questions and comments on your organization’s posts and join relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn where you can contribute your expert knowledge.
Pro-tip: Social media analytics can help guide your strategy. Regardless of which data you review, we recommend collecting and examining the data consistently. You can learn what content and which topics are resonating and build your future posts based on what’s already working. While the built-in analytics for tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a good place to start, social listening platforms can give you even more insight.
We’ve covered a number of email strategies on our blog, from A/B testing, to reengagement, to welcome series. To use these tactics, you need a solid foundation on which to build. Make sure that your email template is branded, mobile responsive, and renders correctly on different clients, browsers, and devices. At the same time, think about ease of use for your team – the simpler your template is to work with the less time consuming it will be to set up and send. We suggest taking the time to map out your email process and identify the right people to write, edit, and send. This helps with pre-scheduled communications such as newsletters and with more urgent and time-sensitive alerts. When your team is already aware of roles, expectations, and deadlines you will be able to build and send email more efficiently.
Pro-tip: Don’t forget the details. Pre-header text that shows up in inboxes next to subject lines should be specific to the message you are sending. And alt-text for pictures and buttons ensures that your message is getting across even if a recipient isn’t seeing your images.
It’s important to think of digital marketing not as an island separate from the rest of your work but as a complementary program that supports everything you do. How you tell your organization’s story and share your success is a critical piece of the puzzle. These suggestions can help get you started, and if you’re ready to put them into action, we’re here to join forces. Let us know how we can work together to take your digital marketing strategies up a notch.