How about we start with the obvious? What is digital marketing? It refers to the use of the internet to sell services through digital channels like social media. Nonprofits have to go through a narrow path between limited finances and the need to grow.
The goals between profits and nonprofit organizations are different. For service organizations, it’s not about the sales, but service to the community.
The short answer is that service organizations must invest in digital marketing. And, for the same reason as profit organizations. Digital channels have been efficient platforms for reaching goals. They enable you to target your messages to potential donors or stakeholders.
Online marketing channels provide service organizations with regular data on performance. That said, don’t think that digital marketing is a magic bullet. The more money you spend on digital marketing, the better the results will be. But the reality is very different. Because like other marketing efforts, it requires active, intelligent, and dedicated efforts.
Importance of Digital Marketing for Service Organizations
Your organization knows the benefits of having updated techniques for its marketing outlets. After all, the days of making your online marketing a secondary priority are long gone. Many service organizations are now carrying out virtually hosted fundraising campaigns.
What you may not realize is that each of your digital marketing efforts must support the other. Integrated digital marketing helps you to reach and retain a wider audience. So how important is digital marketing for service organizations?
- Getting Listed on Nonprofit Directories
Sadly, not all the money donated to service organizations goes to its intended target. Some of these service organizations don’t spend money well. They give more money to their teams rather than to the people they’re serving.
To make it worse, some organizations are fronts for con artists trying to scam people. Your organization may not be engaging in that. However, people will want to understand that before donating to you. And, a listing in a nonprofit directory will assure them of that.
A listing on sites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar enables you to give to worthy causes. A listing on any of the sites proves the effectiveness of your programs. It also proves your ability to spend money and your transparency as a nonprofit. The more people trust your organization, the more likely they are to donate.
- Measure Performance in Real-Time
One benefit of digital marketing for nonprofits is the ability to track performances. You can do this by processing information through data analytics. Analytics provides service organizations with vital information on their current digital marketing strategy.
You will have evidence that will help you recognize the processes that deliver a good return on investment. Through analytics, you’ll also identify the processes that fail to deliver results. By recognizing the processes that lead to an ROI, you can fine-tune your strategies.
That way, they can adjust their budgets and allocate resources to high-return processes. With the use of analytics as a reference tool, you will be able to deliver higher ROI.
- Easier Communication
What differentiates one organization from another is its unique voice. This voice has to do with how a brand communicates internally and externally. To develop a distinctive voice, your teams have to begin by effectively communicating among themselves and discussing ideas and plans.
Considering that we live in technological times, you must offer innovative communication tools. This will make it easier for teams to collaborate and come up with effective marketing game plans. Connecting teams through intranet software enables them to work together and be creative.
Easier communications can be possible through the existence of websites. In which, digital marketing plays a great role. Through a good marketing strategy, service organizations can create a website that would deliver accurate information and messages to interested donors and volunteers.
A well-developed website will also provide an avenue for all concerned parties to communicate in real-time. This way, the exchange of resources can be done smoothly and efficiently.
- Ranking Higher in Search Engines
To rank higher in search engines, ensure your organization uses SEO. What is SEO? It’s the process of getting pages to rank higher in search engines. It involves making changes to your website’s design. It also involves changes to the content that makes it more attractive to search engines.
If your goal is to raise awareness about online donations, good SEO marketing will get you there.
Note that many internet users don’t click beyond the first page of results. That means that your content will not be found unless you’re listed in the first few pages. Increasing SEO enables you to attract the right audience to your content. It also increases their chances of contributing towards your main goal.
The optimization of SEO takes time, effort, and patience. But, it’s most definitely worth the trouble. The following are reasons why SEO is important for service organizations:
- It raises the awareness of your brand’s mission, work, and stories.
- It helps to boost online donations.
- It strengthens your support network.
And how do you improve SEO to ensure that it’s more beneficial?
- Improve your web page’s loading speed
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
- Correctly format your web-pages
- Use the right keywords.
- Produce high-quality content about your operations.
- Raising Awareness
To help raise awareness among potential donors, nonprofits can use pay-per-click services. PPC marketing provides service organizations with the ability to target potential donors. PPC services cost less compared to traditional advertising.
Web services give you the chance to get in front of donors that are actively looking for an organization like yours. It helps to save you the time and money you’d have used to individually look for donors.
Service organizations need to know how to make their content accessible. You must understand how search engines work and the importance of advertising.
PPC ads are an effective way for you to reach possible donors with their messages. Service organizations aren’t immune from the influence of digital technologies. Digital marketing for nonprofits is essential. Especially when it comes to fundraising through online initiatives.
- A Service Organization Becomes Available 24/7
Unlike a commercial building, the internet never takes breaks. It’s available 24/7. A service organization becomes available day and night. If it has a website and social media accounts. 24/7 availability on the internet comes with the following benefits:
- Potential donors can read about your charitable cause at any time.
- The use of compelling content delivered in various forms is a strong influencer. This can immediately convert interest into donations.
- If a website’s visitors want to donate, integrating a donation system helps to ease the payment.
- Interactivity and Tracking
Digital marketing enables you to communicate with possible donors who see your content. This happens through comments on websites, reviews, and social media posts. It shows that you care about what the visitors on your site say and think.
It makes them feel respected and part of the community you’re building. You get the chance to gather useful information on donors’ reactions and preferences.
Apart from making communication easy, it helps you track prospects’ activities online. Organizations can monitor what ads and types of content have been viewed. This allows you to know which marketing methods are more effective. That way, you can refine and improve your strategy.
- Flexibility and Authority
There are different forms and uses of high-quality digital marketing for service organizations. That includes email marketing, social media posts, and content marketing. Thus, by knowing how to market yourself on digital platforms, you open up a range of possibilities.
With digital marketing comes flexibility. It allows you to test and stop poorly performing campaigns in real-time.
Digital marketing also gives you a chance to comment on issues relating to your industry. That way, you can establish yourself as an authority on such topics. It causes readers to trust you. They get to come back with more information and make the decision to donate.
Digital marketing lets you come off as the industry expert that you are. It instills trust in your charity activities.
- Email Marketing Platform
This is the pillar of any strong digital marketing strategy. That’s because, with an email, you’re able to reach out to supporters and cut through some of the digital clutter.
Whether you are working in your CRM or with a dedicated platform, your email marketing tool should allow you to segment supporters.
This should happen based on shared characteristics. It allows you to create targeted messages that will resonate with your audience. The following are the tips for crafting better email campaigns:
- Personalize messages for every donor. You can do this by including their name in the salutations. Avoid saying “Dear donor” as it comes off as impersonal. Saying “Dear Sharon,” for instance, shows that you took the time to find out their name. And that you’re speaking to them individually.
- Use a mobile-friendly design. Keep in mind that most of your emails will be read on a mobile device. Thus, ensure that prospects won’t be faced with formatting issues in your emails.
- The content must get displayed in a visually appealing way. This should also apply to videos, photos, and infographics. Prospects and donors don’t want to open an email only to find a massive wall of text. Varying content with images boosts the chances of getting your messages read to the end.
Final Take Away
Sustaining a service organization is not easy as operations greatly depend on donations. But with the existence of different advancements in technology today, the possibility of reaching more individuals has been introduced.
Through digital marketing, nonprofits or service organizations can upscale their operations and spread their cause.