Online Marketing Tips for Orgs on a Budget

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in ComLead, Integrated Marketing Communication, Managing Not-For-Profit Organizations

Successful marketing campaigns have one major similarity – they all tell a story, and they tell it compellingly. For both nonprofit and for-profit organizations alike, succinctly articulating your organization’s mission and capturing your audience all at the same time is like striking gold.

Large companies and corporations often have the necessary tools and resources to spend on expensive ads, tedious and time consuming direct mail, television and radio spots, and more. But what if you’re a nonprofit organization, maybe even one that’s just starting out, and you have a limited staff and budget to carry out daily tasks let alone initiate a marketing campaign?

The web is an excellent tool to take advantage of, especially for budget-friendly marketing, and it is available right at our fingertips.

Before we discuss online marketing tools, let’s first think about what makes a good story. In a blog post called Good Movements Follow Great Stories, communication expert Andy Goodman gives us some advice on how to craft a powerful message:

  1. Person-oriented – As people, we relate to others. Focus your story about someone individually who has been personally affected by your cause.
  2. Contains Conflict – From childhood fairytales to action packed Blockbuster films, stories that keep your attention have a twist in the plot. Keep your audience on the edge of their seat. Maybe even suggest what the world would be like without your organization, how would things be different?
  3. Plan of Action – What action do want your viewer to take after hearing your story? Are you looking for your audience to make a donation, come to an event you’re having, or just become more knowledgeable about your organization– is this message made clear in your story?

Here are some budget-friendly online marketing tools that every organization should do to promote itself:

  1. Video – They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’ll add that a video is worth a million. Does your website have a video clip on the front page? Videos are a profound way to share your organization’s story with the world and ones that are done right keep the viewer’s attention and motivates them to respond. Check out these emotional and inspiring stories done by Charity: Water.
  1. Optimizing your website – Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tool that every organization should be utilizing, at least to some extent. Hiring a digital marketer to optimize your website could cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. However, there are many ways to improve your organization’s visibility on the web, for free. Below are just a few tips, so take a look at this website for more ideas on how to do this.
  • Research keywords pertinent to your field – Think about what people would search if they wanted to find your site, then place these keywords strategically throughout the content.
  • Tag, you’re it! – Really, make sure you’re constantly tagging related words on your website and blog.
  • Third party endorsements – Get your site out there as much as possible. The more your website is featured on others, the more traffic it will get.
  • Keep content new and fresh – Always update your site with the latest and greatest going on in your org.
  1. Social media – Your organization should minimally have active Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Depending on your target audience, you will want to consider the social media platforms that will work best. While Facebook is by far the most commonly used social media site, it is now geared toward an older audience, whereas Twitter and Instagram are reaching a much younger age demographic.

 This post was centered on what organizations can do online to market itself more effectively. Stay tuned for next week’s blog for cost-conscious tips and tools outside of the World Wide Web!

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