In the modern world of smartphones, tablets and computers, marketing trends are quickly shifting towards an all-digital future. It makes sense too — the online platform has greater potential than its traditional counterpart when it comes to reaching an audience with a high likelihood of engagement. Not only is online marketing an excellent way to create brand awareness thanks to its immense reach; it is also effective at moving users further down the marketing funnel. Digital is the new normal for the marketing world and the sooner your organization integrates digital into your overall strategy (if you haven’t already), the greater benefit you will see.
Why Digital Marketing Should Matter To Your Nonprofit
Online advertising provides marketers with measurable data that can show patterns in user behavior. Because of this, ad platforms like Meta and Google Ads can recognize similarities among users who took a desired action and find a larger audience for you who care about the same thing. If you work for a nonprofit in North America, chances are you already have a “full plate” of work every day; chances are you’ve described your position as “wearing many hats” and chances are that resources are slim. At the end of a long week, marketing is one of the last things on your mind.
Why, then, should you care at all about marketing– let alone digital marketing, when there are so many people to help, roofs to build, communities to support, and noble causes to be shared? A better question might be how are you supposed to dedicate time to digital marketing?
Don’t Overthink It (The Investment Is Smaller Than You Think)
As overwhelming as the question sounds, the answer is simple. The impact that digital marketing can have on a nonprofit must be recognized and understood: while achieving your organization’s mission is the ultimate goal, the value of disseminating that mission to the masses is priceless. When charities and nonprofits are able to use digital marketing effectively, they can gather and share more resources that make real differences in their communities. Modern digital marketing tools such as Google Ads, social media, email advertising, and SEO make it easier than ever for nonprofits to be heard and found regardless of how much time they allocate to marketing. Used correctly, online marketing can increase lead generation by as much as 50% and increase general website traffic exponentially. Organizations that add digital elements to their marketing strategy can rest easy knowing that modern tools are spreading the word for them while they focus on what really matters.
Digital Marketing vs Digital Advertising for Nonprofits
Digital marketing refers to the process of creating a plan and strategizing ways to achieve the overall goal: be it creating awareness, generating leads, fundraising, etc. On the other hand, digital advertising is the tactical execution of digital marketing. More specifically, digital advertising refers to the actions one may take to achieve the goals set out in the marketing plan. For nonprofits this execution can come in many forms including the Google Grant, visual Display ads, YouTube video ads, email marketing, SEO optimization and more– each one having its own unique strengths when it comes to the goal they work to achieve.
What Can Digital Marketing For Nonprofits Do Better Than Traditional Marketing?
In the past, marketing involved lots of hope and not enough data. In traditional practices, advertisers put content into the public eye and hoped it would result in people taking the desired action. With no interaction between the time someone sees a traditional ad and converts (if they do at all), it’s difficult to understand the why and the how of the ad’s effectiveness. With digital marketing, the user journey can be followed. Online advertising platforms like Google Ads and Meta Ads are able to measure data that would be impossible to collect through traditional methods. For example, knowing the amount of people who saw your ad versus the amount of people who actually clicked your ad through impression and click metrics can explain a lot about your audience. With digital marketing, the element of hope is slowly disappearing. It’s being replaced instead with data based on key metrics that can determine exactly how well ads are performing, whether your website is achieving your goals, and where improvement is needed.
Not only that, but online marketing and advertising provides measurable data that can show patterns in user behavior. Because of this, ad platforms like Meta and Google Ads can recognize similarities among users who took a desired action and find a larger audience for you who care about the same thing as your nonprofit.
Rethink Your Approach To Nonprofit Marketing
Whether your organization is able to plan out the next six months of marketing strategy or simply create a Google For Nonprofits account for the first time, any step towards a digital strategy will be a huge benefit in the future. Something as simple as an hour of SEO optimization could be the difference between someone finding your organization and scrolling past. When used correctly, digital marketing will allow you to reach more people with less effort — anything with that effect is worth extra consideration.