Online Marketing for Not-For-Profits
Owning a not-for-profit business can be rewarding and challenging all at the same time. Unlike for profit companies that are driven by sales and profit margins, the not for profit is driven by a cause. They are in business to make a difference. However, just like for profit companies, charitable organizations can use the internet to help their business grow.
First it is important to understand that goal of marketing is not always to increase sales. The goal of any marketing campaign is to spread awareness and increase knowledge. In today's world the best way to do this is by building relationships. The more relationships you are able to build the easier it will be for your organization to reach and realize objectives.
Starting with a website, regardless of the type of business you have it is important to have a website. A few years ago you would have had to shell out thousands of dollars to a web designer; today there are tools you can use to create free websites. There are also a few companies that offer free websites to customers that use their hosting services. The only cautionary element here is that you want to work with a company that will design a site for you instead of providing you with a template to customize on your own.
Your website should be professional looking and attractive to visitors. Many people worry about SEO or search engine optimization. While those elements are important, keeping the focus on your website visitors is more important.
Your website should educate your audience on what your not-for-profit does. The cause is working in support of, how you plan on making a difference and how people can help. While you are not selling anything, you do want to encourage people to donate.
This is where content comes in. Content, meaning all material on your site written as well as media, should be well done. If a visitor lands on your website and feels as though your information is incorporating or moving they are going to leave your site. Creating content that is informative, engaging and that motivates the reader to do what you want is important.
Take time to do a little research, not only on your cause, but on your audience as well. Marketing a not-for-profit online is not difficult. You need to take the time to educate your followers and motivate them to take action.