The potential digital marketing offers nonprofits is undeniable. Just look at the 2018 Global Giving Report to understand the need for nonprofits to leverage digital channels to engage today’s donors. A key figure from that research shows that digital communications inspires a whopping 74% of donors to give.
Taking the time to build an effective digital marketing strategy is clearly an investment worth making in 2019. However, it’s not easy. It takes time, experience, and resources. And for some nonprofits, this can be a challenge.
Earlier this year, we conducted our own research, to gain insights into how European nonprofits are using digital marketing today and how they plan to use it in the future. We also learned about the challenges they face and the benefits they’re realising from different channels and tactics. From that, we’ve created the Nonprofit Digital Marketer Report to give nonprofits the opportunity to benchmark performance and strategies, and to learn more about how to address some of the key challenges they’re facing.
Nonprofits are innovating with digital
Nonprofits are thinking ahead and getting more innovative when it comes to how they’re sharing their story and engaging their audience. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are enabling them to do that.
65% of respondents already use video as part of their content mix, making it the most popular form of content used by nonprofits last year, even more than blogs (45%). Not only that, but nearly 30% of those surveyed plan to use live video in 2019 as a cost-effective way to visually showcase their work and the impact they’re having.
The best part is – it doesn’t have to cost much to produce these videos. They can be recorded and distributed by volunteers or employees, even those who are working in the field — giving their constituents a real-time glimpse into your mission’s work.
Getting to grips with paid search
Our research found that only 40% of nonprofits are using paid search as part of their digital marketing mix, and just 17% say that it added value to their mission. Surprising, when you consider that nonprofits can receive up to $10,000 worth of paid advertising free of charge every month from Google. The Google Ads Grant gives eligible nonprofits the opportunity to promote themselves across the Google Adwords network.
Paid search offers nonprofits many benefits beyond fundraising. Remember to think outside the box and get creative when it comes to using the grant. Start small and test different tactics. You don’t need to use it all at once – take time to learn and develop your campaigns as you build confidence on the platform.
Social media continues to add value
Nonprofits have become increasingly social over the past decade, whether growing a dedicated Facebook following or blazing a trail on Instagram. And it may come as no surprise that social media was ranked as the most popular digital marketing channel, with 91% of respondents using it to help them achieve their objectives.
Social media is also one of the least expensive platforms when it comes to advertising, making it a good fit for nonprofits who have limited budgets, and it also ranked highest (61%) for mission value-add compared to other channels.
From Instagram videos to Snapchat stories, Facebook Live to Twitter Q&As, storytelling can take many forms. Each represents a way for your nonprofit to educate a new audience, raise awareness for your cause, and hopefully inspire people to get involved or help raise funds.
Focus on engagement to combat GDPR fallout
There are many digital channels you can use to improve engagement with donors but email still remains hugely important it seems. 56% of respondents said that email added value to their mission in 2017 and 60% plan to use it more in the future.
Unsurprisingly, 33% of nonprofits said that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was their biggest digital marketing challenge in 2018. With GDPR being a data-cleansing exercise for most organisations, nonprofits need to focus on keeping their donor database engaged and inspired with relevant and personalised content tailored to their interest, in order to avoid the dreaded unsubscribe click.
For more insights and tips on digital marketing for nonprofits, download the Nonprofit Digital Marketer Report or view a summary of the key takeaways on the infographic below.
Whether it’s raising urgent funds for natural disaster relief by email, or turning donors into brand ambassadors on social media, digital marketing is helping nonprofits extend their reach, achieve their mission, and most importantly, make a difference.
Download the Nonprofit Digital Marketer Report today and start unleashing the power digital marketing at your nonprofit.