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Digital Marketing: A Perfect Tool for Social Change?

Updated: 2 days ago



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A guide for how an internet marketing company and nonprofit organization can collaborate to bring about social impact and change.


Digital Marketing, AKA Internet Marketing Is...


Internet marketing, synonymous with digital marketing, is one of the most inexpensive ways to promote a nonprofit's cause. This blog is about how any not-for-profit organization can utilize easy-to-use, cost and time-effective digital marketing services for social change.


This article will provide insights into how a not-for-profit can utilize digital marketing tools to reach a broader audience with targeted messages that generate more awareness about their cause through websites, social media pages, and online, offline, or hybrid events.


This post is dedicated to not-for-profit organizations, but all tips, tricks, and tools listed here any local businesses, religious organizations, social clubs, and other organizations of various sorts and sizes may also utilize.


The first section discusses why nonprofit organizations should develop digital marketing strategies by describing benefits, including cost-efficiency and ease of access.


The second will cover various digital media platforms and tools that nonprofits can utilize to increase outreach and amount in donations.

The third and final part will highlight how leaders within nonprofit organizations need to let their voices be heard by attending various media channels.


Section One


Some of the benefits of launching an internet marketing campaign using digital marketing tools are as follows:


Benefits


  • In a case where a not-for-profit organization develops and deploys its internet marketing campaign using in-house staff or volunteers, it can be relatively cost-effective.


  • Not for profits can also reach a broader audience with targeted messages and generate more donations by driving more site visitors.


  • Through internet marketing tools such as blogs, email marketing, social media posts, digital flyers, brochures, and the occasional fundraising events, leaders, staff, members, and volunteers can spread the word about the causes championed by the not-for-profit organization.


  • According to certain studies, charitable organizations employing digital marketing to grow their presence and community outreach attracted more donations than those that did not.


A nonprofit organization can develop its digital marketing campaigns effectively in the following ways:


  • Suppose a company operating in the nonprofit sector decides to hire a provider of internet marketing services. In that case, the internet marketing services provider must understand the organization's goals and let the not-for-profit organization define what a successful campaign would look like from their end. Any campaigns launched internally or via a digital marketing services provider should reflect the goals and objectives of the organization.


  • A nonprofit organization's digital marketing campaign must internally create and publish its websites and social media pages. Alternatively, hiring a digital marketing company to get the job done is also an option.


  • A not-for-profit organization should also generate donations through email marketing campaigns, Facebook posts, Twitter ads, websites, and events, both physical and virtual, or a combination of both known as Hybrid Events.


  • The best practice for developing and deploying an organization's digital marketing campaign involves its leaders, members, and supporters spreading information about its work.


Marketing: To Outsource or Not to Outsource


So, should not-for-profit organizations develop and deploy a digital marketing campaign via internal staff or outsource it to industry experts who will better understand which digital channels would suit the organization's needs best?


First, any organization offering digital marketing services will not be cheap, and neither are both digital and traditional marketers.


A simple Google search will reveal that an average marketing professional can expect to get paid around $75,000 annually in the USA. In comparison, the highest-paid marketers can expect to receive about $200,000 annually.


Given the above payment structures, it is daunting for a nonprofit to consider hiring a professional marketer.


That said, many marketing professionals are more than willing to assist nonprofits on a pro bono basis (like the author of this article), given time permits.


These marketing experts can help not-for-profit entities by developing their digital strategies.


Still, the caveat is that these nonprofits are usually left to implement and deploy these strategies with the help of their members and in-house volunteers without professional oversight.


Nevertheless, there will always come the point in a not-for-profit's life cycle when there is no substitute to hiring a professional marketing expert or a digital marketing services provider who will dedicate their time, knowledge, and experience to growing the organization's volunteers member and donor base.


Here are two specific reasons why not for profits may decide to employ the services of a digital marketing company:


  • Professional online marketing agencies and experts have the necessary knowledge and experience to conduct market research to target membership and donor outreach campaigns effectively.


  • Digital marketing companies furthermore understand how to promote causes championed by not-for-profit organizations starting with research, message development and deployment, branding, materials development (digital flyers and brochures), social media marketing, advertising, and much more.


Therefore, if a not-for-profit has access to a member or volunteer who has the necessary skillset and experience to develop and deploy a marketing campaign as would an internet marketing company, then the organization may stick to in-house campaign development.


If there is a clear lacking, then it would be in the organization's best interests to get professional assistance, even if it is in the form of a marketing business plan offering guidance for best practices.


The Best Digital Tools for Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns


The best digital marketing tools out there for marketing are as follows:


Websites


Websites are one of the best ways for nonprofit organizations to showcase their cause and attract new supporters.


Some nonprofit organizations have very well-designed and functional websites, while others, regrettably, are not so good.


To successfully launch and complete a digital marketing campaign, a not-for-profit needs to design an informative and interactive website.


Such a website should combine compelling text with vibrant graphics and highlight the nonprofit's mission statement for all visitors who land on the site.


Suppose a nonprofit does not want to spend too much money on a website design by hiring a designer - they are not cheap after all.


In that situation, they can quickly construct their own with the help of the following platforms, which do not require any coding knowledge, skills, or prior experience with website design.



The GoDaddy Website Builder, part of the GoDaddy ecosystem, is the first tool not-for-profits should use to build a website using in-house staff or volunteers.


It's easy enough to use that for any creative individual - it is almost intuitive.


GoDaddy Website Builder has all of the features necessary to create a fantastic site to help any nonprofit start growing its online presence and outreach.


A novice website designer can rapidly construct a site in minutes using GoDaddy's drag-and-drop editor or the many templates available on the site.


Plus, GoDaddy Website Builder has SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools that will help direct traffic to the website.


With this powerful digital marketing tool, any organization can attract more supporters and volunteers while staying on top of trends in online marketing.


The GoDaddy ecosystem also has options for purchasing domains, bookkeeping, creating impactful digital content (though, in this case, the author would argue that Canva is a better designing tool), and conducting email marketing, among various features.


Click here for a free account and try building a website on a trial basis.



Charitable organizations looking to use a website designing tool that allows for the ultimate level of customization need to look no further than Webflow.


Webflow is the most powerful and intuitive platform for designing, building, and hosting websites, be they for-profits or not-for-profit organizations.


It has everything a not-for-profit organization needs to design beautiful websites that work on any device.


With over 100 features built-in, it's never been easier or more affordable to make a not-for-profit organization's vision of a great website a reality.


And with a 24/7 support team ready to help any customer every step of the way, Webflow can help all not-for-profit companies with their website design, development, and publishing in no time.


All users can use drag & drop tools to customize layouts without writing a single line of code.


All for-profit and not-for-profit organizations will also gain access to an extensive library of pre-built templates that are fully customizable.


Plus, with real-time collaboration tools, multiple people involved with a not-for-profit organization can work together on projects from any location in the world at any time.


Suppose the not-for-profit organization's objectives involve selling merchandise to generate money for causes. In that case, they can easily do so via the website built using Webflow, as it has an online store builder ready for the user to use.


Webflow has all kinds of great features that give any user competitive advantages.

Many internet marketing companies worldwide are using Webflow to serve their customers. There is no reason a not-for-profit organization cannot do the same and enjoy similar benefits.


Email Marketing Campaigns


Not for profits can use email marketing campaigns to reach out and connect with potential supporters. MailChimp, ConstantContact, or Squarespace are more popular tools available to any organization for sending bulk emails.



Mailchimp is easily the most robust email marketing platform that helps anyone create, send and track emails.


With over 1 million users, MailChimp is considered the world's leading email marketing platform.


MailChimp empowers charitable organizations of all sizes to create unique, engaging communications with their members, volunteers, and donors.


MailChimp can assist them in connecting, growing outreach, boosting website presence, selling merchandise, attracting more contributors while saving time.


Some of the more prominent features of MailChimp include customizable signup forms for a nonprofit organization's website, Facebook, or LinkedIn pages.


MailChimp has easy-to-use ready-made email templates as well.


The platform offers advanced analytics to see how people engage with the content they receive and allows for segmentation tools so any organization can target specific customers with more relevant messages.


MailChimp's automation tools can help turn newsletters subscribers into members, volunteers, or donors.


Reporting tools to measure campaign success come as part of the deal.

Plus, MailChimp has an excellent app for both Android and iOS devices.


Not for profits can use MailChimp's drag-and-drop editor to build beautiful emails in no time at all – even if the person creating the email template doesn't know any coding language.


And just like most of the other tools mentioned in this article, MailChimp made it so that it responds perfectly on any device.


Plus, there are tons of free stock photos available under Creative Commons licensing (so this will not cost, not for profits, a dime).


Sign up for a free account here.



While Squarespace is better known as a website builder, the platform offers an effective email marketing option.


As an email marketing tool, Squarespace allows for-profit and not-for-profit organizations to conduct marketing campaigns by giving any organization an easy way to create, send and track emails.


It's packed with features that make it a popular choice amongst providers of digital marketing services, with users stating that they found the platform both productive and efficient.


The platform can help businesses save time, money, and effort by entering data more efficiently. Squarespace allows not-for-profit organizations to employ a data-driven approach to email marketing, enabling organizations to generate more leads and achieve measurable results without paying too much money.


It's a fantastic way for nonprofits to network with other social organizations and religious institutions while increasing brand recognition and getting more website traffic.


Not for profits can use Squarespace's drag-and-drop editor to quickly build beautiful emails without the requirement for any coding knowledge or designing experience.


With just a few clicks of a mouse, both paid staff or volunteers at not-for-profit organizations can easily add images, videos, audio files, and other content into the campaign.


Squarespace also offers customizable templates, so organizations don't have to start from scratch every time they decide to send one out.


The best part - the campaigner's recipients can receive and read the emails precisely as the campaigner intended on all devices because Squarespace supports responsive design by default.


Click here to sign up for an account!



Envoke is becoming an emerging favorite for many nonprofits and for-profit organizations.


Envoke is an email marketing tool meant for use by not for profits.


Envoke dedicates itself to assisting not-for-profit organizations in growing their communities and fundraising more money through easy, robust solutions that save time and money.


Envoke's intuitive drag-and-drop editor empowers fundraisers to design and deploy beautiful email marketing campaigns without coding knowledge or designing experience.


Plus, Envoke has built-in best practices so users can be sure their messages will always look great on every device – from desktop computers down to smartphones and tablets.


It's honestly a fantastic product designed to assist for-profit organizations and not for profits.


Emails sent using Envoke are sure to receive positive reviews and should be part of the business plan for all businesses.


Social Media Marketing for Non-Profits


Whether an organization is for-profit or not, it becomes a prerequisite for all organizations to have an official Facebook page - regardless of how they may feel about the platform - particularly if an organization wants to have a social media presence that reaches its target audience.



Not-for-profits can use Facebook pages to create and post engaging updates to spread awareness about the cause they champion.


With the help of Facebook advertising, any business organization or nonprofit can ensure their message reaches those who need to see it in their target community.


Online marketing services providers agree that a social impact company can also employ the following strategies to enhance its social media presence via the use of Facebook:


  • Not-for-profits can increase their outreach by adding a "Donate" button on their official Facebook page. The image, text, and link should be easy for visitors, who may become potential members, staff, volunteers, or donors to find. The button should also link to the organization's official website, increasing site visitors and conversion.


  • Not for profits can also increase their social media presence and get more people to come and volunteer by sharing photos of existing staff and volunteers at work - highlighting their positive impact within the local and global community.


  • A not-for-profit can also ask recipients to share stories about how their products or services positively impacted them. This content will encourage existing volunteers while attracting new volunteers to sign up.


  • Not-for-profit organizations can use hashtags such as #inspireyourcommunity or #begooddogood or otherwise to share what inspires them. Using targetted hashtags will help encourage followers and give other people with similar interests a reason to join the community.


  • Nonprofits should use Facebook pages as an educational tool to help those not yet part of its community learn more about the organization and hopefully decide to join.


  • They may also use the page to provide services to those who need assistance.


  • Not-for-profit organizations can harness the power of social media to invite potential members and volunteers by creating events on Facebook. Events will allow existing members, staff, and volunteers to invite their friends, family members, or anyone they believe will contribute to the cause.


  • The founders and lead members of any not-for-profit should encourage each other to showcase their passion for the cause and how they want others to feel about it. A Nonprofit's leadership team can do this via social media posts, blogs, their own personal and company websites, video messages, vlogs, and much more. These should highlight why the member loves volunteering at the not-for-profit organization.



Twitter ads are an excellent way for nonprofits to get their message out and engage with audiences about their services.


All not for profits can create targeted campaigns that will help them reach their target audience and increase awareness of their services.


To make sure the campaign is successful and aligned with the organization's goals, an organization operating in the nonprofit sector must agree on the following:


1) Target Audience: To choose the target audience for a Twitter ad campaign, a not-for-profit must define its purpose and what it wants to accomplish with its outgoing message. They need to think about whom they'll reach - whether it's folks who may become interested in their cause or people who already support it.


2) The message should, in essence, defend a company's reputation while remaining consistent with how other nonprofits use social media for promoting their services.

The pros and cons of Twitter or any marketing tool employed must also be taken into consideration when determining if this is a good fit or not and whether it will help establish trustworthiness among potential volunteers, members, and donors.

Most importantly, the advert should primarily convince people as to the reasons why they would want to follow the account closely.


3) Call-to-Action (CTA): A Twitter advert is useless without a Call to Action. Here are a few examples that a not for profit can utilize:

  • "Donate now to help us provide food and shelter for the homeless."

  • "Come and join our mission!"

  • "Follow us on Twitter for updates on how you can help your community."

  • "Spread the word about our organization by retweeting this message!"


YouTube Videos


YouTube is an excellent way for nonprofit organizations to build an audience and educate them about their cause.


A not-for-benefit organization can easily use YouTube for marketing by providing educational videos on the cause they are serving, building brand awareness, or fundraising without incurring any financial risk.


Creating a YouTube channel for all businesses is free, and It is easy to integrate a Donate Money button into the video description.


YouTube is also one of the top three search engines globally, allowing all businesses the potential to reach 1 billion viewers.


That said, creating and growing a YouTube channel can be a challenging task if you are not familiar with everything that goes into making and uploading a video. Here are a few tools that make it easy for any not-for-profit organization to make videos today and grow one's YouTube channel:



InVideo is an easy-to-use online platform that allows nonprofits and for-profit organizations to create videos in minutes.


It's the perfect solution for any non-profit that wants to make great videos but doesn't have the necessary budget to hire a professional videographer.


A nonprofit entity can use its drag and drop editor, making it fast and straightforward to add text, images, music, transitions, and more into any video.


InVideo also offers customizable templates so you can get started right away with something that fits a not-for-profit's brand perfectly.


Any organization does not have to worry about hosting costs since their plans are unlimited!


And if one ever needs help, one can reach out to one of InVideo's friendly customer service reps, who are usually happy and eager to assist their customers via chat or by phone at no additional cost!


This article created 80% of his videos using InVideo for his YouTube channel 4IR4U - a channel dedicated to educating and promoting the converging technologies that comprise the 4th Industrial Revolution.



However, managing and editing your YouTube channel can be a daunting task, whether one has one channel or multiple ones.


TubeBuddy is the only tool that allows any organization or individual to manage their YouTube channels from one location.


It saves one time and makes it easy for anyone or entity to schedule videos, add comments/notes, edit video thumbnails, upload new videos, and bulk upload videos from other sources like Facebook or Dropbox.


TubeBuddy's system also includes advanced features such as Closed Captions (auto-generated), Multimedia support (uploading MP4 files with closed caption text embedded), and Video Looping, which allows users to loop their uploaded video so they can embed the same video on multiple pages. TubeBuddy even includes an activity dashboard where you can see real-time views of your content in action!


Anyone, be it a charitable organization, a for-profit entity, or simply a creative individual looking to use YouTube to grow an audience base via a YouTube channel, should employ TubeBuddy to increase viewership, increase subscribers, engage with one's community, and reach one's digital marketing goals.


YouTube is the second-largest search engine globally, so it pays to use tools such as TubeBuddy to place oneself ahead of the crowd.



LinkedIn is a powerful tool that charitable organizations can utilize to find and connect with potential supporters, volunteers, and donors.


The beauty of LinkedIn is that it offers a way for charities to inform people within the community about their services and even find those to whom they may offer their services.


Like all other tools mentioned, LinkedIn also helps organizations build a community around its causes by creating official Pages groups, inviting supporters to events, and more.



Pinterest is considered by many to be the third-largest search engine in the world.

It is a visual-heavy social network that allows nonprofit organizations to create and distribute educational content.


It's an easy way for many nonprofits to raise awareness about their cause, reach new audiences, and grow their following.


It is an excellent tool for nonprofits to create boards with specific themes for fundraising campaigns. It acts as an easy way to share information with potential supporters who may support the organization's cause.


Since Pinterest has a visual-heavy online presence, the author of this article would like to recommend Canva - particularly if one does not have the time or skills to create professional-looking designs.


With Canva, anyone or entity can create anything they want with ease. With hundreds of professionally designed templates to get one started, one may quickly generate, modify, and publish designs in a few clicks.


There are no restrictions on what you can accomplish with Canva, whether stickers or professional brochures.


One can use Canva's simple drag-and-drop interface for creating beautiful designs without any graphic design experience. Canva offers free stock images and custom fonts, so it's never been easier to make something unique!


Any volunteer or member working on your non-profit's logo, brochure, or even Pinterest post and who need assistance, honest people who enjoy assisting others in reaching their design goals are ready to help.


Click here to sign up for a free account today with Canva and start designing!


Supplementary Marketing Tools Available for NonProfits


Nonprofits can use social media pages to post their blog updates for free.


Not-for-profit organizations may also use website management applications to modify information, blog articles, and other related material online.


These nonprofit marketing strategies allow charities to reach a broad audience without paying too much money.


However, to ensure a successful marketing campaign, social organizations should supplement a digital marketing campaign with the following:


Content Management Software


Content Management Softwares (CMS) are a vital part of any online marketing strategy, whether for a business or a charity.


They make it easy to publish and manage website content, including articles, blog posts, photos, and videos across various online channels.


Many different types of content management software cater to different needs; therefore, it is crucial for a nonprofit to do some research to figure out which tools would suit their needs in the best possible manner.


But, here is the author's favorite platform that has gained recognition as one of the leading CMS (Content Management Systems) out there:



Buffer makes it easy for all nonprofits to share great content with their audience, engage them, and build lasting relationships and communities.


Buffer is a popular CMS tool businesses can use to publish content across various social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Users can add and share links with their community from around the web or post images straight from their computer or phone camera - all without leaving any browser or app.


The best thing about Buffer is that it offers a charity-friendly plan for nonprofits as of the time of this post's publication.


This plan gives those in the nonprofit sector access to most of the features they need to manage various social media platforms at almost half the usual price.

All businesses can also start with a free account that gives them access to some basic features and the use of three separate channels to convey messages and content to one's growing community.


To get a free account, click here.


Note: These days, most of the platforms mentioned above do allow for content management.


Analytics


Charities need analytics to understand their audience know when and what messages work best for different demographics.


Nonprofits need to determine how many people within a community click on links or donate money from their websites to evaluate whether a campaign is effective before running out of funds.


The resources and tools already mentioned offer in-built analytical solutions, and as such, the author will not provide any new analytical tools.


Donor Management Tools


A donor management software is a digital tool that allows nonprofits and charities to track donors, donations, and offers transparent reporting of relevant details regarding a fundraising campaign.


Using donor management tools helps understand where the organization is financially and which marketing and promotional efforts are the most successful.


The most important feature a donor management software should have is allowing the nonprofit organization to create and store custom donor profiles which will allow the organization to track important information about its donors, such as contact information, addresses, payment details, and other relevant and vital pieces of information.


Donor management software will also allow not-for-profit management to maintain a list of each donor's contributions, measuring the donor's amount and the time and frequency of donations.


Moreover, a not-for-profit organization should select donor management software to accept payments through credit cards, check quickly, or other online mediums - even cryptocurrencies.


Another feature social organizations should look for is sending automated email reminders about upcoming due dates for donations - though this is easily achieved with any of the email marketing tools mentioned above in this article.


Donor management tools make social organizations appear more professional and organized in their work.


Moreover, social organizations should select donor management software to create and share social media posts. This way, not for profits can spread the word about their fundraising campaigns, attract new donors, and provide services to those who need them.


Another feature social organizations should look for in donor management software is sharing their story with others via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Finally, social organizations should select donor management software that offers a customizable dashboard that allows them to keep track of donor social media profiles. Wishing a donor on their birthday or an anniversary goes a long way to encourage them to engage more with the company.


Every social organization would benefit from selecting donor management software that offers these features.


That said, nonprofit organizations should be aware that donor management software hours are usually costly. Therefore, a not-for-profit with limited funding may need to decide between using donor management software or an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheets to keep track of the information mentioned above.

Regardless, any donor management software a not-for-profit decides to purchase should meet its demands.


Still, it's important to consider short- and long-term benefits before making any purchases or commitments.


Donor Sales Funnels


Just having an internet marketing strategy is not enough.


Nonprofit organizations need to have a sales funnel that can take any prospective volunteer, member, or donor through a process called the Sales Funnel - or in this case, a Donor Sales Funnel.


This funnel will lead people not yet associated with the organization to become contributing members of the cause and help get the word out about the various services.


Sales Funnels are a popular marketing technique used by most established businesses and individuals.


Great and successful donor sales can ensure donors keep coming back and contributing to the cause. An example of what a Donor Sales Funnel would look like is as follows:


  • Finding Prospects: A nonprofit must do much work to find prospective donors. It can leverage its existing donor list alongside digital marketing tools and strategies already mentioned in this article to craft an impactful message and deploy it in such a manner that it encourages potential donors to fund their cause.


  • Capturing Leads: For a nonprofit to generate more leads, they need to create a sales funnel where potential donors can enter their contact information in exchange for information regarding the cause the nonprofit organization is championing or following the organization on social media.


  • Lead Conversion: Once a nonprofit has a list of prospects who have opted-in to receive communication, the organization needs to inform them about upcoming events or provide additional content that would match their interests.


  • Repeat Donors: As potential donors become donors, nonprofits need to keep these donors happy by rewarding them for their willingness to give back. Rewards can be anything from formal recognition of their contributions to exclusive content and invitations to the organization's events.


Social Media Presence for Leadership Team


Lastly, but importantly, being a leader in a charitable organization is not just about planning and managing everyday operations. It is also about creating and making opportunities for leaders, members, and volunteers to speak out about the charity.


Charities may accomplish this by developing and posting their blogs, podcasts, webinars, and events (virtual, physical, or hybrid) as platforms from which their leaders can spread awareness of the organization's objectives.


Furthermore, leaders should take time out of their busy schedules to engage in discussions and attend events organized by media houses, personalities, and other similar organizations virtually or in-person to speak about the cause they are championing.


Having key people representing the organization in the public sphere will spread awareness about the individual and the cause they champion. As the person's image grows, so do the charitable organizations and causes they represent. The more success that comes the way of the representatives, the more success comes from the organization.


Organizational support for other social issues can also be demonstrated by hosting conferences, webinars, virtual seminars, or even attending as guests.


Conclusion


So, to recap!


Suppose a nonprofit organization is looking to create new and innovative ways of reaching its target audience to further its goal of serving our fellow living beings.

In that case, digital marketing may be the perfect tool for all not-for-profit organizations.


This article discussed how nonprofits could leverage different platforms and tools to reach an expanded base of volunteers, members, and donors with targeted messages relevant to their mission.


It's worth noting that this article addresses broad concepts and data that both for-profit and nonprofit enterprises can adopt and apply.


Anyone reading this essay should seek the assistance of skilled marketers to establish a more targeted approach and technique suited to serving the needs of one's organization.


"Change is the end goal. Change will not happen without risk." - Maria Sharapova.

This quote aptly summarizes how one must be willing to take risks and embrace uncertainty to make change for good.


If one is looking for a way to reach one's target audience or grow one's donor base through innovative marketing strategies, digital media - which may seem daunting and risky, maybe the perfect tool!


Note: This article was originally published on Linkedin on 27th January 2022.

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