The marketing aims for non-profit organisations are often quite different to those of any other business. There’s the tricky requirement of evoking emotion, grabbing attention and capturing hearts and minds – all in a way that makes the public want to give. To say the approach should be multi-faceted would be an understatement, and to achieve results, it’s vital to make the best use of all available marketing techniques and channels.
Here are a few that we think should be top of your list:
Motivation for a visit to a non-profit site is different to that of any other – usually because people want to do good, not buy. It’s crucial, therefore, to make this as easy as possible. However, it would seem that many charities are failing on this front. A recent survey found that non-profit websites are woefully lacking when it comes to user experience (UX), certainly when compared with those of profit-making businesses.
UX is essentially how easily a user can get around your website, whether it’s easy to find what they’re looking for, if pages load, links work, or the navigation is clear. This is important as poor UX results in users abandoning the site out of frustration and not completing a donation. If nothing else, the ‘give now’ element should be clear and simple. UX, therefore, is crucial – ensuring that users stay on site and complete their task.
Clever web design is a must; expert designers can build a site which is responsive all on devices, stands out and effortlessly guides your visitors through to the donation portal. If you do nothing else, you’ve got to get your UX right.
Another element which is important for non-profits is setting goals and objectives. Your marketing strategy really ought to be the first stage in your overall plan, helping you to get the absolute most out of your budget and ensuring all activities are tied to defined, shared goals. These goals need to be realistic, though there’s no reason they can’t be ambitious. As Search Engine Journal writes, getting the balance right is “imperative for team motivation and strategy creation”.
It provides a road map, if you like – a direction which everyone in the team can follow, with stops along the way for monitoring and reviewing. It can seem a daunting prospect, but creating a marketing strategy (especially with the help of some external experts) can increase your chances of meeting expectations, achieving objectives and, ultimately, delivering those results.
As a non-profit, you should be taking full advantage of any free marketing channels, particularly those which can reach thousands upon thousands of people willing to spread the word. Using social media is non-negotiable, quite frankly; it is the most effective way to increase brand awareness, engage followers and raise the profile of a campaign – all encouraging more donations. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are particularly powerful media; you can create trending hashtags, post videos, share information and direct lots of traffic to your site. Better still, you can easily see how well your social campaigns are performing, using a host of analytics tools.
Research claims that there are 2.2 billion active social media users globally, with most accessing the platforms via their mobile phones. This number is growing, with social media account volumes rising by 176 million in the past year alone. Essentially, you have a willing and ready audience at your disposal, so communicate with them!
If you’d like to find out how Pelling could help your business with its marketing activities, please send us an email or call us on 01251 341730.