How nonprofit marketing helps you reach your audience and make a difference.
Your nonprofit exists to make a difference and your ability to do so relies upon the reach of your organization. As such, fundraising, program management, and marketing are very closely tied in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit marketing is all about reaching your audience so that you can achieve your mission. But with so many nonprofits vying for attention, it can be tough to know where to start. While CauseLabs has worked with many different types of companies over the years, we have over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. We’ve put together a list of the 5 most important nonprofit marketing strategies.
1. Know your audience
The first step to any successful marketing campaign is to know your audience. In any marketing course or business article you’ll be asked to describe your target audience. You are asked to be specific and list only one user persona. Who are you trying to reach? What are their needs and interests? Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can start to tailor your marketing messages to appeal to them. However, working with nonprofits for over a decade, we know there isn’t just one user persona and this means that all the other strategies need to be developed for a variety of people. We have a separate article about the most common target audiences for nonprofit marketing.
To get to know your audience, you can:
- Conduct surveys and interviews
- Analyze social media data
- Look at website traffic data
- Talk to your current donors and volunteers
2. Create a strong brand
Your brand is what sets you apart from other nonprofits. It is more than your logo and your brand colors. It’s what people think of when they hear your name. Make sure your brand is strong and memorable, and that it reflects the values of your organization.
To create a strong brand, you can:
- Develop a clear mission statement
- Create a strong visual identity
- Tell your story in a compelling way
- Be consistent in your messaging
3. Use social media
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to reach a large audience. You don’t have to tackle every channel like an expert, but it is too large to be ignored. Make sure you’re using social media to share your stories, connect with your supporters, and raise awareness for your cause.
To use social media effectively, you can:
- Create high-quality content
- Be active and engaging
- Use relevant hashtags
- Track your results
4. Create great content
Content is king, and that’s especially true in the world of nonprofit marketing. Make sure you’re creating high-quality content that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. This often includes sharing resources and stories of impact. It can also include content about your events or community involvement. One great way to create engagement is to allow your target audience(s) to see themselves in your content.
To create great content, you can:
- Write blog posts
- Create videos
- Share photos
- Host webinars
5. Measure your results
It’s important to measure the results of your marketing campaigns so you can see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you fine-tune your strategies and make sure you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts. By doing so, you’re also able to adjust your efforts as needed to test and improve your results over time.
To measure your results, you can:
- Track website traffic
- Track social media engagement
- Track email open rates
- Track donation amounts
Want a few more creative strategies? Read this article about nonprofit marketing in the Harvard Business Review. Since we’re a social enterprise and public benefit corporation we’re especially keen on the point to “embrace a unique path to financial sustainability.”
Nonprofit Marketing is a Team Effort
In conclusion, nonprofit marketing is a complex and ever-changing field. Each of these strategies has its own set of resources, strategies, and tactics for implementation. As your nonprofit organization grows you may build a marketing team with team members specializing in one or more of these strategies, or you may hire an external marketing or web agency like CauseLabs to tackle one or more of these focus areas. Take it one step at a time, understanding that it is important, but that it is also a large endeavor. By continuing to take one step forward you can create a successful marketing campaign that will help you reach your audience and make a difference in the world.