Websites, email marketing, social media… none of this is new to you. You understand the importance of your online presence and how it’s an open door to reaching people you may not be able to reach otherwise. But how can you stay on top of it all when it is constantly evolving? Just when you think you’ve figured it out, a new platform emerges or current digital trends change. Sometimes what we end up doing is throwing content on the web hoping it will reach people, only to be disappointed with the results.
We get it. The ins and outs of digital marketing can be extremely overwhelming, especially when your non-profit has limited resources and funding.
So where do you start? One of the best things you can do for your ministry is to take a step back and evaluate how you are getting your message heard across on the web. Then, you can incorporate a digital marketing plan that will work best with your vision for outreach. We’ve outlined the 5 most important steps that you should take to ensure that your digital marketing efforts create a real impact.
1. Create a strong brand –
Establish a simple description of who you are and what you do. Your ministry may entail a lot more than what you can say in a single sentence or image, but it is important to be able to portray it in such a format for optimal clarity. Your logo should be clean and unique while also expressing your values. You should have a one-liner that communicates the heart of your organization. Keep in mind that the first impression you make online can be limited to so much as a quick glance at your organization’s cover photo, so you have to make sure it makes a lasting impression.
2. Be aware of your audience –
Who are you trying to reach? Your big-picture plan may be to reach a diverse group of people, but it is important to understand that much of your online communication needs to be targeted. Digital marketing works well with demographics, therefore understanding who you want to reach will enable you to understand how to reach them better and create a message tailored to them. Creating content with a target audience in mind works much in the same way as sending greeting cards. You wouldn’t send a “Get Well Soon” card to your niece on her birthday or send a “Thank You For Coming” card to someone that didn’t attend your event. Be attentive and intentional about who it is you are trying to reach and what it is you are saying to them.
3. Define your goals and make them attainable –
It is important to make specific short and long term goals and set deadlines to attaining them. Then you can decide what actions to take in order to get there successfully. If one of your goals, for instance, is to grow your email list, then you should set a specific parameter and deadline to achieving that goal and decide on the best strategy based on those factors. If you decide you want 10 more email addresses by next month, a good solution may be to add a visible sign-up form on your website homepage. If your goal is more aggressive, such as 200 more email addresses by next week, you might consider a paid marketing campaign to give you the boost you need.
4. Give yourself a marketing budget –
Once upon a time, social media and email marketing were effective communication tools on a no-to-low budget. While it is still possible to expand your reach through electronic media with limited funds, the results of your effort will increase significantly if you allocate funds towards this endeavor. When it comes to email marketing, you should be prepared to pay more for your email marketing account (such as MailChimp or Constant Contact) as you increase your database. Additionally, social media advertising, which is just a fancy way of saying you pay to get your posts seen by others outside of your current followers, is a great investment for organizations seeking to grow their impact. Facebook and Instagram ads increase your exposure and cost significantly less than other marketing efforts. A good place to start is to experiment with spending $10 to boost your Facebook status. When your ad ends, look over the Facebook Insights to evaluate the results, then continue to do this until you can build a strategy that works for you.
5. Analyze your progress –
One of the best aspects of digital marketing as opposed to other marketing efforts is that you can track your results almost immediately following your campaign. This is key in building a successful digital marketing plan because you can tailor it based on what has worked for you. Your social media campaigns will usually already come with a way of monitoring your posts, such as Ad Manager, and adding Google Analytics to your website to track the site traffic. It is cost effective— because it is a free Google service— so all you have to do is get it installed and have access to it. We encourage you to look into and use all the features to monitor metrics, compare data, and explore future campaigns based on your reports.
More helpful tips:
- Consider Google AdWords which helps people find you on Google when they search for what you offer
- Create content with SEO and SEM in mind
- Partner with like-minded organizations or individuals to periodically promote on social media
- Create a schedule ahead of time for your electronic activity
Do you have a digital marketing plan for your ministry? Let us help you get started today!