Owning a non-profit organization is a much tougher job than many would care to believe. You must think about and work on out-of-the-box ideas while working with limited cash flow and tight budgets. However, online marketing offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to spread their word to a massive global audience with little to minimum resources.
Let me ask you a question. What are the similarities between a non-profit organization and an organization that works for profit? Well, you probably would be right. They both need to market their brands in order to seek their consumers’ attention. You need reliable web hosting for non-profit organizations in order to be seen by the world.
In my opinion, one of the biggest problems that any non-profit organization faces is that they’re in such a hurry to execute and flood their digital campaigns all over social media that they neglect extensive planning or appropriate strategies.
If you’re updating your website or social media channels just for “marketing purposes” then you have no idea what you are missing out in terms of successfully running a digital campaign online.
The major aim of any digital marketing campaign is to create awareness amongst consumers, spread your message and attract more consumers. Having a successful digital campaign will allow your non-profit organization to scale while you avail the opportunities available at your disposal.
To get you started, I have curated a list of top eight ways to launch a successful digital campaign for your non-profit organization.
1. Prepare your story
Before you jump onto the bandwagon of launching a digital campaign, you must plan your narrative. Develop your story and build it up in such a manner that it becomes inspirational for your donors and consumers.
This is something you must discuss with your team in order to put your best foot forward. Once you have come up with an inspirational story for your brand, it means the skeleton of your digital campaign is in place, and you can proceed towards strategies and tactics to successfully launch a digital campaign for your non-profit business.
2. Outline your goals
After your base is set with an inspirational story, the next thing you need is to plan your goals for the digital marketing campaign. It means that you must answer a few questions like:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are you trying to tell or sell them?
- Are you launching an online campaign to create awareness within your customers in order to attract new ones?
- Is your online campaign seeking generous contributions in the form of donations?
- Are you looking for new volunteers to aid your non-profit organization?
These are just a few questions that you need to answer before you launch an online marketing campaign. Moreover, it will also allow you to strategize your online campaign by focusing on the aspect you want to cash the most.
3. Draft a marketing plan before the launch
Planning goes a long way. If you understand your business goals and requirements clearly, you will be able to execute a digital campaign flawlessly. Therefore, you must brainstorm and have an effective business plan ready. Identify where your business stands at the moment and how far do you want to take it?
This is where strategic planning comes into play a vital role. If you want your non-profit organization to be successful in the long run, an effective business plan will help you decide what kind of online campaigns your business needs. It will let you quickly look back, and align your marketing tactics to help accomplish your business goals.
4. Draft your first digital marketing campaign
This is where you take your planning on to the next level. The fact about digital marketing is that you will find it evolving, and you must be flexible enough to flow with it. Thence, you must put your pen to paper.
You need to answer yourself questions like which audience will you target? Which social media platforms to use in order to promote your online campaign or create awareness within your customers? Also, are you going to target all social media platforms?
You need to have specific audiences in focus because if you don’t segregate your audience then your digital campaign might fail to establish an impact. When you draft your buyer personas on whom you wish to create an impact on, it will allow you to design a digital strategy and hit right at the bull’s eye.
You will be able to engage better with your audience as now you know them and understand what they want. Also, your respective customers will more likely volunteer or donate for your non-profit organization.
One more thing, setting up a budget is obvious. A non-profit organization has a tight budget. You can always opt for crowdfunding platforms or raise money with digital marketing. Know your limitations and work around them. Set a benchmark and ensure that everybody is on the same page as you. This will allow you to launch a successful digital marketing campaign with ease.
5. Hijack the news
This is a straight forward tip. However, this does not mean you call on reporters and the media on you. There are many other ways to ‘hijack’ the news and spread the word about your online campaign.
Using relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter: It’s an amazing tactic and you can write about various causes or beliefs of your brand. At the same time, interjecting the knowledge of your online campaign within a targeted audience becomes significantly easier. It’s one of the most effective methods to create hype before you launch a marketing campaign for your organization.
6. Start Small, Go Big!
What you need to know is that a digital marketing campaign is not as easy as a walk in the park. Yes, all you want is to launch a marketing campaign that is immediately a success. However, it does not work that way. You are bound to make mistakes, learn and rise up again.
I recommend that you start at a smaller level - organizing smaller online campaigns - and build yourself from there. This will allow you to understand the time and effort required to develop an online campaign. Furthermore, you will be better able to plan business operations.
When you first begin something, it is always better to start with baby steps rather than jump elephant steps and create a whole lot bigger mess for yourself. Since you own a non-profit organization, you will want to work diligently with people around you, mainly because you lack resources.
Always remember, marketing is a process that is continuously changing and evolving. Therefore, make sure that if you are launching a huge online campaign, it must be relevant and able to attract volunteers or donors. Always think about the bigger picture and the future you wish for your non-profit organization.
7. Connect with bloggers
This is by far one of the most effective ways you can market your online campaign. You know that bloggers have an immediate and a strong influence upon their followers. Their blogs are something people read and gain information or choose a place to donate.
Henceforth, search bloggers up who already have written about you or have highlighted you in some of their stories. You can always connect with new bloggers, however, it’s always better to opt for ones relevant to your industry.
Connect with them and allow them to share details about your online campaign with their followers in order for you to spread the word about your online marketing campaign. It will let you launch your campaign without hassle.
These bloggers can highlight your story, share your online campaign to increase awareness. Socializing and cashing the Public Relations (PR) of bloggers can take your digital marketing campaign to a whole new level.
8. Analyze and Track progress
Yes, you are doing everything to get that marketing campaign up and running. However, once in a while, stop, think and analyze what is going on. How you are progressing and what are the things that need more work?
Tracking your own progress is essential in successfully running a digital marketing campaign. Moreover, by maintaining a good followup about the calls for an online marketing campaign, you can effectively generate leads.
What is the total count of inquiries and how many more do you need in order to justify your ROI? You must keep track of each and every single detail in order to ensure your digital marketing campaign is effective, creates an impact and results in a huge success.
This 8-step guide has allowed many non-profit organizations to spread their word and reach a relevant audience in a minimum amount of time. The aforementioned plan covers the bare bones of a digital marketing strategy for non-profit organizations. But it doesn’t end just here.
You can delve much deeper with SEO optimization, paid social media campaigns, online marketing tools, and automation. It will help you set up a funnel to attract potential donations. You can attract, convert and close with minimum effort.
Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out ecommerce store owners, merchants, and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.