Digital marketing offers endless opportunities, but there’s a reason that agencies like us exist. Knowing how to navigate the digital sphere doesn’t just happen overnight: it takes knowledge, experience and lots and lots of practice. Unfortunately, organisations in the third sector don’t always have the capacity or budget to go about this as comprehensively as multinational brands would – and that’s why today, we’re showing you how to effectively use digital for good.
From Google Ad Grants to YouTube’s Non-profit programme: there’s a host of initiatives out there that help charities market their services without paying the full price. We’ll take a look at each of these, and give you some advice of our own.
Have a strategy in place
Growing digital capacity within any organisation starts with outlining clear goals. What do you want to achieve with improving your website, who do you want to reach with your social media channels and how will your digital activities fit in with your overall marketing strategy? Answering these questions may seem straightforward (it all comes down to raising awareness and funds, right?), but answering them comprehensively is essential to your developing an effective and coherent strategy. Digital marketing comprises many different elements, and knowing how each of these will individually contribute to achieving your overarching goal is paramount.
For an integrated and holistic approach, it’s important that what you do online translates to your offline marketing activities. Rather than being two separate elements of your campaign, they should extend and complement each other as much as possible. This means using the same colour palette, fonts, graphics and tone of voice across all your communications – both online and offline. Great advice on branding, internal communications, storytelling and other digital strategies can be found in the brilliant CharityComms Knowledge Hub.
As your capacity for digital management is likely to be small, we recommend you think carefully about what services can really help you achieve your goal. Think about which social channels will support your mission best: while Instagram is great for subjects that are visually appealing, campaigns centred on current affairs are much more suitable for Twitter. Focus on a select number of platforms, and run them really well. For further advice on smashing specific digital platforms, have a look at any of our guides below:
- 7 ways to take pictures for Instagram
- An idiot’s guide to SEO
- 5 tips to increase retention on your YouTube channel
- 6 steps to effective email marketing for event marketers
Make the most of what’s on offer
Most tech giants offer some sort of pro bono support to charities and non-profit organisations, allowing you to utilise digital services without it eating away your budget. If your organisation hasn’t already, applying for the below programmes will significantly help you increase your digital impact:
- Google Ad Grants
This programme provides charities with $10,000 USD a year to spend on Google’s online advertising tool called Google Ads. Applicants must be in possession of a Google for Nonprofits account, a high-quality website that’s in line with Ad Grants policies and get approved through the pre-qualification process, but as soon as that’s all done you can start reaping the rewards. Getting started is easy with Google’s free training documents, which can be found here.
- YouTube Non-profit
Video is one of the most effective content formats and essential if storytelling is at the heart of your charity. The channel’s Non-profit programme allows you to connect with supporters, volunteers and donors through a range of special features including access to production resources, dedicated technical support and expert advice on content optimisation. Again, this online starter course will help you get the ball rolling.
- Facebook Social Good
Facebook Social Good is an online hub where charities can go for resources, marketing advice and guidance on how to set up a successful company page. Facebook also offers a number of features that help charities to easily raise money through their page at no extra cost and holds a crisis response policy that connects organisations with those in need in times of crisis.
Are you a charity or non-profit organisation looking to increase your digital impact? Then this article should be able to help you on your way. Let us know how you get on – or get in touch with tips and advice that we haven’t covered. We’d love to hear from you!