Inbound Marketing 101 for Nonprofits
The best nonprofit organizations develop and execute their marketing plan with the same level of rigor as any for-profit brand. At the end of the day, we are ultimately trying to sell our cause to people, get them to engage with us, donate to our work and then advocate for our organization. But this is becoming increasingly difficult to accomplish because people are easily distracted by social media and technology.
With the world wide web at their fingertips on their smartphones, why would they need to sit through a TV commercial or read your brochure? Today, people educate themselves very differently. Before they decide to donate to your cause, they learn most, if not all, of what they want to know about your organization online.
How can you help them through their journey? There is an effective marketing strategy that has been gaining momentum in recent years that can serve as an especially powerful tool for nonprofits. Most traditional forms of marketing can get expensive and involve interrupting someone to get their attention. Think about telemarketing or digital pop-up ads.
Instead, HubSpot, a leading marketing platform, teaches the concept of inbound marketing: a cost-effective marketing tactic that uses compelling content to attract people to your organization. With inbound marketing, potential donors find you through various digital channels like social media, blogs and search engines. The carefully crafted content essentially acts like the bait on a hook, drawing people to your organization.
The best thing about inbound marketing is that it works:
- 76 percent of nonprofit marketers are using content marketing.
- Inbound marketing delivers 54 percent more leads than traditional marketing.
This aligns with the results we have seen with our clients when we design and execute an effective inbound marketing strategy.
When inbound is executed intelligently, you can now work to bring donors to your doorstep, rather than having to go to theirs.
This is a game changer in the world of fundraising, allowing nonprofit organizations to work more effectively and efficiently with other like-minded people who care about their cause. You can focus on attracting donors to your organization—by publishing valuable, relevant content through a variety of digital channels and media, and then leading them down a path toward your cause.
Simply put, your prospective donors are the ones that seek you out and begin the conversation.
You are leading your donors on an uninterrupted buying cycle that allows them control of their journey and the ability to make an informed and confident decision to enter a long-lasting relationship. So, how do you make this happen? Here are some common characteristics of compelling content that will help your organization successfully execute this marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing saves everyone involved from that initial (and often awkward) first point-of-contact. No longer are you fighting for the attention of potential donors that may not even be interested in having a discussion. Through the beauty of strategically created content, designed to inspire and move your potential donors, your audience is engaged while you are building trust and credibility for your nonprofit. Take my word for it, it works.
If you’d like to learn more about content marketing or what a HubSpot certified partner agency specializing in nonprofits can do for your organization, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rod Arnold is the founder of Leading Good. As the former chief operating officer of charity: water, Rod helped lead the young organization through a period of tremendous growth. Now he helps other nonprofits grow by applying principles and strategies that are proven to work.