Does your nonprofit know how to effectively use several marketing channels at once? Learn how to win more support with multichannel marketing in this guide by Tim Bandolato for eCardWidget.

Digital marketing has changed the game. Your nonprofit can now reach more people in more places, with lower costs than ever before. 

Previously, print costs and paid advertising put tight nonprofit budgets in a corner, making it difficult to build lasting relationships. Now, by using multiple platforms, your nonprofit can quadruple your reach by meeting donors through their preferred channels and spreading awareness of your cause.

But, knowing how to use each channel can be tricky. That’s why we’ve created this guide to provide you with tips and tricks to get the most out of five different marketing channels. Let’s start with the channel that gets most overlooked—word-of-mouth marketing. 

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Although not traditionally grouped into the digital marketing category, word-of-mouth marketing carries substantial weight. It’s a trusted channel that invites supporters get to know your cause and take action. 

In fact, 88% of people had the highest level of trust in a brand when it was recommended by a friend or family member. This goes for nonprofits, too—many volunteers, beneficiaries, and donors will share how you made them feel with their personal networks. So, how can you leverage word-of-mouth marketing? Here are a few ways: 

  • Recognition and appreciation. Fostering a culture of positivity begins with offering easy ways to shout out the people who make change happen at your organization. This means your nonprofit should continually recognize staff, donors, and volunteers that make your mission a reality. 
  • Community outreach. Get to know your local community beyond your direct beneficiaries. You can do this by hosting community events such as a clean-up day or setting up an informational booth. 
  • Active online presence. Learning about digital marketing strategies will not help your nonprofit unless you consistently put them into practice. This means you’ll want to schedule content and be responsive to digital leads. 

Consistently practicing these strategies will help connect you to your local community and solidify your nonprofit’s name as trustworthy. After all, your local community, current volunteers, and donors are often your biggest advocates. 

Google Ads

The Google Ad Grants program rewards eligible nonprofits with $10,000 worth of free ad credits to use each month. That means your organization could use this program to promote its cause and grow a digital community of supporters who are already searching for you.

Participating nonprofits use the $10,000 to bid on specific keywords that lead to relevant and informative website landing pages. That said, having a refreshed and optimized website is a nonnegotiable to be accepted into the program. To give you a better idea of how a nonprofit might use Google Ad Grants, let’s explore how an animal shelter might use it:

  • To educate the public about its animal rescue services and the need for re-homing animals in the local area.
  • To promote upcoming events such as end-of-year fundraising campaigns.
  • To share animal shelter volunteer information to boost recruitment efforts.
  • To promote advocacy efforts that protect local animal rights.

To set your nonprofit’s application up for success and get the most out of the Google Ad Grants program, you can partner with an agency. These experts will help you allocate your ad credits to yield the highest impressions and conversions possible, letting more people find you faster. 

Social Media 

Did you know that there are 4.76 billion social media users worldwide? The world of social media is bustling with potential supporters who share your nonprofit’s values and can help you achieve your mission. However, breaking through this competitive channel takes thoughtful planning. 

Some best practices to help you cut through the noise include:

  • Identify your audience and choose your platform. Not all platforms reach the same audience. For instance, teens dominate YouTube and TikTok
  • Create an editorial calendar. Schedule your posts ahead of time to ensure you’re posting consistently and offering a variety of quality content to your followers.
  • Post at the right time. Research when your target audience is using their platform the most and automate your posts to go live during that time. 
  • Look for ways to grow your audience. Consider teaming up with a similar nonprofit, community program, or nonprofit influencer to expand your digital audience base. 

Keep an updated and high-quality website to serve as a home base for your social media posts. You can link to blog posts, program updates, and donation forms in your posts so followers can quickly find more information.

Email Marketing

There are 4 billion daily email users and the number is expected to climb to 4.6 billion by 2025. Clearly, people are already using their inboxes, so your nonprofit should engage them through an email marketing campaign! 

Before you get started, make sure you’ve built up a substantial email list through volunteer, donor, and other supporter sign-ups. Regularly sending “thank you” emails is an easy way to do this. As eCardWidget’s donor email guide suggests, it’s best to keep these emails personal and specifically thank the recipient by name for their donation amount (or volunteer time).

Once you’ve built a list of subscribers, here’s how you can kick off your email marketing campaign:

  • Determine the overarching topic or purpose of your campaign. Is it to build more leads to your donation form? Increase blog traffic? Or bring awareness to a new nonprofit program?
  • Outline an email series. Start with the final objective and work backward to determine the number of emails your campaign will have. Keep your final call to action (CTA) in mind to ensure all of your emails usher recipients toward the final goal. 
  • Send your emails to a segmented recipient list. To keep your recipient list clean, share your emails to recipients that would be the most responsive. These could include previous volunteer, event attendees, and donors. 

Keep your emails shorter and full of action-oriented language that motivates your recipients. For instance, CTAs like “donate now” or “join the fight” inspire recipients to get on board to support your cause. 

SMS Outreach

Short message service (SMS) marketing describes the process of sending text messages to promote your nonprofit. 

If you’re looking for a way to reach supporters immediately and inspire quick action, SMS outreach is your best bet. Mogli’s SMS marketing guide offers these strategies to get started with SMS outreach:

  • Thank-you notes. A quick thank-you message can make a big difference following someone’s donation or volunteer time.
  • Surveys. Strengthen your relationshps with supporters by sending over a survey to gather their feedback following a nonprofit event.
  • Advocacy. Rally your supporters to advocate for your cause by casting a vote or joining a march.
  • Reminders. Send text reminders to event guests or volunteers prior to an event. This can help break through busy schedules and up your attendance rates. 

Be sure to follow text opt-in laws as you strategize your SMS outreach, otherwise your organization may risk having to pay a fine for any unsolicited messages. Once a supporter opts in, then you’re safe to personalize your messages by mentioning supporters by name and sending thank-you messages or updates. 

Be sure to keep track of key metrics such as click-through rates, social media shares, and text opt-out rates as you launch and complete your campaigns. This will give you insight into how to best connect with your audience and adjust for future campaigns. Then, you can use these marketing channels successfully to reach new and existing supporters for your cause. 

Tim Badolato is the CEO of an innovative platform for digital employee recognition, donor acknowledgment, business marketing, and nonprofit marketing. He has a passion for using technology to drive positive outcomes for mission-driven businesses and nonprofits.

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