After all, administrative costs, salaries, and outreach expenditure must be planned for and met.
Furthermore, as charities live and breathe based on the strength and exposure of their justified cause, marketing is an essential investment to get right.
But as good charities intend to ensure that the maximum amount of money is placed in the development and support of a given purpose, it’s important to note the value of digital marketing for charities, maximising exposure in the best way, is important to get right.
Thankfully – the advent of the internet and online socialising has allowed organisations of all shapes and sizes to truly outdo themselves in terms of reach. This means that even small non-profit initiatives have a chance to appeal on a truly global stage, accepting donations and using that to generate revenue for their cause.
With the development of additional technologies such as cryptocurrency holdings, charities have even more choice in widening the capabilities through which they are able to accept generous donations.
It’s true to say that in 2022 and beyond, a digital strategy has and will remain the cornerstone of generating exposure and that’s the key to generate more donations and keep loyal donors. In this post, we hope to discuss how digital marketing, and the services provided by digital marketing companies, can help your charity raise funds, increase sponsors, and generate more reach.
Digital marketing is no longer the plucky younger brother of more conventional marketing techniques – it has come to dominate the advertising space and brings in billions of dollars in revenue each year.
During the Covid-19 pandemic up to the present day, digital marketing has increasingly become the most utilised investment space by volume of marketing sold, some estimates suggesting it curated 46% of all ad spend during 2021.
It’s clear to see why, as the general population was placed into tight lockdowns, all of a sudden the main reach of businesses and the avenues of exposure changed drastically.
Charities are in a unique position in that often, their presence and appeals are expected. We do not expect charities to be as predatory as continual business marketing can sometimes be, because we understand our donations are being placed in service of a good cause.
As such, the chance of a charity leveraging the social sphere with attention-grabbing images, targeted outreach, and more is thoroughly heightened by the advent of excellent charity digital marketing techniques.
Digital marketing is also a great way for charities to connect with their audience, as a means of opening up the stories and initiatives a non–profit is focused on solving.
Rather than simply encouraging donations or only providing the human stories behind your charitable initiatives in more conventional marketing, digital methods allow you to provide an easily interacted-with and developing narrative surrounding your efforts. As such, charities and digital marketing efforts go hand-in-hand.
There are many kinds of digital marketing efforts worth using in 2022 and beyond. Some of them may seem separate, but all disciplines work towards a cohesive whole aimed at providing the maximum amount of exposure across their website and social media platforms.
Of these, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and display advertising are known to be the most effective for charities. Let’s have a little look at what each discipline provides:
SEO is the practice of ensuring a website, content and outreach are formatted in such a manner that search engines (like Google) are incentivised to place your website higher in their search return ranking lists, especially in a local context. Content writers, SEO agencies, and web developers work in tandem to ensure best SEO practices are provided. Google is the most used search engine in the world, most SEO practices are primarily focused on ranking on Google but it’s worth noting what your key audiences use as Bing, Yahoo, Baidu are also used but not to the same extent as Google .
Social media has become the benchmark through which our social lives, news consumption, and daily discussions are mediated. Marketing is advantageous here because strong material can be ‘shared’ exponentially between user profiles, providing much more outreach than you would have achieved otherwise. Furthermore, targeting particular demographics is possible.
Content marketing involves the use of stories, images, and formatting to provide emotive incentives for potential donations. Graphic design, content writing, and press releases all fall under this banner.
Email marketing is a great way to keep previous donors in-the-loop, while also providing essential materials through the use of newsletters and ‘sales funnel’ techniques.
By far the most useful technique in the digital marketing space is digital display advertising.
Digital display advertising uses graphics to display promotions as part of website banners, apps, social media timelines, and more to provide an easily-viewable, interesting, and attention-grabbing first exposure to your advertising material.
In tandem with advertising ID tracking, you will be able to provide the maximum visual impact towards would-be donators or volunteers. Once online users click on a display ad, they will be taken to a specific page on a website.
Paid search advertising is the process of bidding for positions so your advert shows above the organic search results for a specific search term. The Google Ad platform is the most popular paid search platform, but other platforms such as Bing and Yahoo are also available. The Google Ad platform is the most popular among charities because of the Google Ad grants that are available for charities. The Google Ad grants give every qualifying charity access to up to £7000 per month to spend on search ads which when combined with display can skyrocket performance.
Charities and businesses have much in common, but the former is often considered more ‘noble’ in its reach and intent.
For this reason, it’s worth trying to ensure that those who are considering donations feel secure in doing so.
While businesses increasingly try to leverage ‘conscious consumerism’ in their advertising outreach, this is the bread and butter for charities and has been for some time.
As such, it’s important to be emotive without relying on histrionic or overtly guilt-based messaging. There are a few key elements that go into the successful advertising of a charity. Below, we will discuss the three components associated with this and how a comprehensive digital strategy can expound on those necessities:
Anyone can empathise intellectually with the aims of a charity, but it’s true to say that if we hope to generate real donations, we need to properly convey the true emotional reality of the cause we’re hoping to aid and demonstrate the action that you want the user to take.
For instance, supporting the construction of wells in impoverished villages abroad requires images of such communities in all their realism, including presenting the challenges and logistical issues that have prevented such issues in the past. Focusing on the human stories, such as a mother trying to provide for her children, helps the issue become less of a ‘statistic’ and more a grounded reality people can understand.
A well thought out marketing strategy that includes the use of digital display advertising and social advertising, can help immediately show these images as well as the call to action associated with them to a much larger audience.
Charities live and die based on the trust they are able to gain from willing donors, who want to see their money used for a good cause. Transparency is the name of the game here, where exact results, exact initiatives, and exact challenges should be discussed.
As part of our display advertising, we can use statistics, figures, and exact case studies to showcase the good work performed by such an initiative. With regularly updating visual material leading to more expansive and detailed reports – you can entice web users into learning more about your programs. These initiatives should always provide the user with the action you wish them to take, whether it be donations, fundraising events, corporate fundraising, volunteering or overall brand awareness.
Charities need to be able to fundraise efficiently and effectively, providing immediate access to donation buttons and support alternatives. Display advertising can easily showcase links, donate buttons and immediate access to volunteer pages, which, in effect, totally removes any artificial barrier between someone’s curiosity and the final execution of the ‘sales funnel,’ as it were.
Those who donate wish to see that their donation has been used for good, and while it is a selfless act, most wish to be recognized in some way for their efforts. A simple ‘thank you’ email can suffice, but ensuring that gratitude remains part of your digital marketing efforts, showcasing the good you’ve performed and the programs that have been supported can entice further spending.
When possible donors know that within a short amount of time, your fundraising drives will be celebrated – they want to feel part of that campaign. Display advertising works wonders here, as showcasing the very real changes, pictures of happy volunteers, and supported individuals can be immediately a visceral image, video, or audio piece that allows a web user to immediately connect with that story. This ensures they become that much more likely to donate once more.
While charities often deal with universal causes that could affect us all (cancer research, for instance, is something almost anyone can empathise with), it’s important to say that sometimes, expanding the outreach and fundraising potential of some charities means knowing and growing their audience.
For instance, not everyone feels as though donating to veterans’ causes is as important as donating to a medical cause. But of course, in some sectors of the population, this is absolutely not the case, both are seen as of equal importance. For some people, donating towards animal causes is the most important focus of their donation efforts. Others might try and donate to one cause a year, while others do their best to split their spending as much as they can.
Digital marketing is useful in that it provides you with real metrics for the targeting of possible demographics. From using advertisement IDs to targeting age groups, liked interests, and more, you can use advertisement platform providers to help leverage your approach for maximum impact.
For instance, a charity devoted to raising the support available to expectant mothers in impoverished communities is most likely to have an emotive affectation in mothers and women in general. Assessing your audience is the best way to try and expand it, which also helps you tailor your narrative in the most effective manner.
Display advertising, as discussed above, is one of the most effective measures for advertising charities. Let’s discuss the benefits in a little more detail:
To get the best out of digital marketing, you need to create content that can be shared at your wish, on the behalf of your supporters.
For instance, keeping social media feeds updated is a sound strategy used by companies and non-profits of every kind. Twitter posts detailing your continued efforts and achievements can help develop a story that other users will “retweet”, showcasing this advertising material to all of their followers in kind.
As such, developing content that begs to be shared, be that emotive, humorous, and most importantly, receptive is key. It’s also important to balance your narrative between the compounding difficulties of a given cause you’re in support of, as well as the gratitude and celebration of achievements that come along with that necessary backing.
As more of the world becomes connected to the internet and the rise of accessibility for smartphones increases, digital marketing has become the most effective method of marketing.
Running a successful digital marketing strategy however require skills, experience and time. As a digital marketing company that has worked with charities, we understand that resources are tight and you may not have the budget to employ an in-house digital marketing team and managing your digital marketing efforts yourself could cause you to lose focus on managing your core business activities.
Let’s explore some reasons why you should consider outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency.
Working with a digital marketing company lets you use their years of industry experience. This expertise comes in the form of a skilled team you can trust to do the heavy lifting for you with best practise in mind and provide new ideas to boost performance.
Your target audience is the people you’ll be displaying your messaging to. Successful marketing is all about engaging the right audiences, and if done effectively, it can increase your donations.
Outsourcing your digital marketing campaigns helps you engage your audience in a more effective manner and convince them to engage with your messaging. You can rely on a digital marketing agency to create buyer personas, identify the best places to find them, craft compelling ads and headlines, and use the right platform to reach your target audience.
While forming an in-house digital marketing team can be more secure for your charity, it could lead to more expense in the long term. By outsourcing your digital marketing, you don’t have to pay salaries, holiday pay and all the other expenses associated with employing more staff.
Outsourcing also saves money on recruitment and training costs. Outsourcing your marketing to a digital marketing firm allows you to engage in the same activities without the expense of rapidly growing your workforce.
As a business owner, you are very familiar with how your charity works, maybe even too familiar which could make you overlook important details that could mean the difference between growth and stagnation. We know marketing is an important investment to get right for any not-for-profit organisation.
Having a fresh set of eyes to look at your charity can spark insightful ideas on new methods of marketing which could make you change the way you think or approach your marketing strategy.
Charitable organisations have their work cut out for them. Not only do they have very specific initiatives that require their attention, but fundraising is a constant concern. Thankfully, with the ability to leverage digital marketing strategies such as digital display advertising, social media, PPC advertising and SEO management, even small charities have the chance to perform better and do more good. Google ad grants are a good way for Google to entice charities to use their platform and we definitely recommend you check out the Ad Search grants available if you haven’t already.
When you adopt these tools into your strategy and use the insights to further enhance performance or adopt new strategies you’re going to see an improvement in fundraising outcomes and insight. From there, you can utilise the best digital marketing channels for your charity as you go on.
If you would like to find out more on how Fluid Ads can help your charity with it’s marketing efforts, contact one of the team today.
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