Interactive Fundraising: Getting Into the Inbound Marketing Game
Create remarkable content.
Google loves content and rewards information-rich sites with more traffic. Nearly every organization has a compelling story to tell, as well as passionate supporters. Focus on pulling this content to the surface and putting it on the Web, where people interested in your mission can find it. The content can be text-based; blogs are a great way of creating fresh and interesting content. (If your organization isn’t blogging yet, start today!) Content can also be in the form of short videos, webinars, e-books, tweets, etc.
Content is all around you and happening every day. Bringing it to the Web will help prospective supporters find and then connect with you. The more content you publish and the more pages you create on your Web site, the greater the likelihood people will find you when searching. Not every piece of content will be a viral home run, such as the "Pink Glove Dance” from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon that received more than 8 million views on YouTube, but be creative and create some content that does have this sort of big, viral potential. According to Shah, the bottom line is that there is a direct correlation to the number of pages on your Web site (i.e., the amount of content) and how you rank in Google search and are found by supporters.
Build your social capital.
Building a supporter database is core for just about every nonprofit. It’s important to know addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. The reality is that more people are connecting and communicating on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Organizations should focus significant energy on establishing social connections with their supporters and prospective ones on these social-media sites (just as they do in building their databases).
For example, on Twitter, it’s easy to search by any keyword for the most influential people on the social network, with a site like Twitter Grader. You can follow these people, and in many cases, they will follow you back. Now, you are connected and can begin to develop relationships. When you do this, you will see that some of your supporters are incredibly "connected" with hundreds or even thousands of like-minded "friends" that can help you spread your message. The reason that we all put blood, sweat and tears into maintaining our databases is to help in communicating with interested supporters. Investing time (not money) in establishing similar social connections will help your organization significantly expand its reach.