As a digital marketing company we could say that online marketing is easy. But it’s not. We do this full time and we’re still learning. After our recent Big Noise seminar, we spoke to charities and non-profits who find that time and money isn’t always a luxury they have to spare.
A lot of inbound and content marketing is driven and optimised towards traditional businesses, often with a vein to “increase impressions”, “improve conversion rates” or “increasing revenues” (blah blah blah marketing). Ultimately charities and non-profits want the same things that businesses do, they just have different names for their goals like “spreading awareness”, “identifying potential donors” and “raising money”.
While the goals of charities aren't too dissimilar to that of a business, the resources, time and ultimately funds are nowhere near the same. Companies like Coca-cola and Apple will have huge teams of people and stacks of money to put towards social media and online marketing, and unfortunately no charity has access to any resources of that scale.
By becoming a bit more social media savvy and by using some of these simple tips and tricks, any charity or non-profit can increase
their revenue erm…raise even more funds.
We’ll kick things off with my favourite; YouTube. YouTube for non-profits is an ‘enriched’ version of your bog standard YouTube channel. ‘Enriched’ basically means that you get extra features like an integrated donation button and call to action overlays on top of the video which help to do all of the enrichen..ing (not a real word but you get where I’m coming from).
While these additions might not seem that significant, it really does make a big difference as straight away it makes it easier to improve engagement and increase donations (literally in one simple click). These are all big wins in anyone’s book. Find out more about YouTube for non-profits.
The Benefits of Video
YouTube and video in general is perfect for self-promotion. If a picture can say a thousand words, then a video is easily worth a million. Videos are entertaining, engaging and by their very nature are awesome for social sharing. There really is no better way to share your organisations message than by making a short (no longer than 2-3 minutes), evocative and memorable video and sharing it around like a packet of HobNobs.
I’m sure some of you may think ‘but video is expensive and complicated’ or ‘I don’t have the time’ We’re not saying you have to create a show stopping, 3D, James Cameron-esque blockbuster. If you own a camera the likelihood is that it probably has a video function, and as far as editing software goes unless you are editing Avatar 2, Windows Movie Maker (FREE) will suit most people’s needs.
If you’re strapped for time and maybe money, it’s definitely worth experimenting with Vine and Instagram Video. Both of these platforms are in their infancy but are starting to look increasingly promising as they gain more and more popularity, they’re also completely FREE.
Without going into too much detail Hootsuite is awesome. You should be using it, if you aren't already! Hootsuite is a tweet aggregator that has cool and nifty (that’s right, I said nifty) features like scheduling and user search built in.
If you’re an organisation engaged in social outreach, you’re pushed for time or you just like to tweet a lot, then Hootsuite is definitely a must. Hootsuite is free if there's only one user but there is a fee for adding multiple admins to an account. Hootsuite does however offer a 20% discount to registered non-profits that meet their selection criteria. Find out more about using Hootsuite in Jon’s handy guide.
Google Ad Grants are the non-profit version of Google AdWords. Google will give your charity or organisation $10,000 (£6,158) to spend solely on PPC advertising. This means that your ‘adverts’ will start appearing in Google search results, just like the ones below.
All you need to do is submit an application to Google stating why your organisation should receive the grant. Google have a wide selection criteria when it comes to approving grants and it’s pretty unlikely that they will reject your application (unless Google disagrees with your organisations political/religious beliefs i.e. you’re a member of the Westborough Baptist Church)
While this may sound like a straight forward process it can take upwards of 5 months from submission for Google to approve your application. Once the application has been approved Google then has the right to disapprove your Adwords campaign if it deems it to be too spammy. If this happens they then deny your grant and you have to re-apply all over again (very time consuming). It is however well worth doing to increase your charities relative visibility in SERPs (search engine results pages). To make sure you create an effective AdWords campaign first time round, take a look at Nic’s handy AdWords top tips.
If your charity isn’t already on Facebook then it definitely should be by the time you've finished reading this article (seriously). It's a great way to spread your message and it has a fairly large audience (fairly large = 1.15 billion users worldwide)
Again if you’re strapped for time and looking to do some outreach, you should be scheduling your posts. It’s surprising how often we take this feature for granted but it is a real time saver, simply click the little clock face in the left hand corner of the status box, schedule the time and date of your post and sit back and relax in the knowledge that all of your posts for the week are sorted (thumbs up for organisation).
While we’re on the subject of Facebook posts, try and avoid uninteresting text posts. If you can, find a free to use image (480 x 480 aspect ratio so that it fills the space) and link to a blog post or article in the image text. By doing this, and using a decent call to action, you’re a lot more likely to stop the monotonous scroll through people's news feeds.
For some more tips and tricks on optimizing your charities Facebook page have a look at this guide to building your presence on Facebook from Facebook.
Hopefully you've found this post handy and helpful if not humorous (it was funny right?...right?). If you have any questions or comments please do get in touch on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or email us using our contact page.