In an ideal world, everyone who visits your website would immediately donate, volunteer and spread the word about the wonderful work you’re doing. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that ideal world, but there are strategies you can employ in your digital space to grow your donor base, increase the number of volunteers and engage people to spread the word.
Content marketing—creating and sharing relevant and valuable content that attracts, educates, motivates and inspires your participants and supporters—enables your organization to use search engine optimization (SEO) to increase your website’s visibility and/or rankings on Internet search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. Organizations that rank high on a search engine are displayed on the first page of results, which greatly increases its chances of attracting visitors and clicks. In a world filled with websites that contain millions of pieces of information, it’s essential to get a high rank on search engines to reach target audiences.
Regularly producing and distributing useful and informative content keeps you in front of prospective donors and supporters and helps increase trust, foster community and grow your nonprofit’s reach, engagement and conversion. Visitors will be more inclined to return to your website, giving you another opportunity to build a relationship with them and, hopefully, convert them into a donor, volunteer and/or advocate.
Content can give your nonprofit organization a voice through blog posts, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or any social media platforms that target your audience. Here are seven ways content can make a difference to your organization:
- Great content helps people find you. Regularly posting high-quality, useful content increases your chance of ranking higher in keyword searches that supporters of your cause use.
- Great content stands out. Telling great stories makes your message and cause more compelling memorable.
- Great content inspires your supporters to share. Creating articles, tip sheets, photography and videos do a better job of persuading people to share your story and cause.
- Great content helps illustrate your impact. Turning your success stories into content puts a human face on your cause, shows donors exactly what their contribution will do and helps you make the case for giving.
- Great content builds authority. Positioning your organization and staff as subject matter experts demonstrates your experience and knowledge. It can also help make you more appealing to reporters who are looking for reliable sources for a story.
- Great content reinforces trust. Sharing stories from a personal and authentic perspective helps you show who you are to your prospective donors, which can boost trust and remove mental roadblocks to giving.
- Great content celebrates your supporters. Using content to show your appreciation to donors and volunteers highlights the fact that they make your work possible and can stimulate repeat giving and involvement.
This is not to say that content marketing or SEO marketing is magic, because it isn’t. It’s a long-term commitment that may not show instant results. People need time to absorb your content and get familiar with your organization.
Like any marketing strategy, it’s important to put measurement systems in place. What, exactly, should you be measuring? What counts is not how many people saw your video or liked your page, but how many clicked through to your website. It’s all about the action. The actions people take after they see your Facebook or Twitter posts, such as reposting, determine if your efforts have been effective.
Using Google Analytics to measure the following items is also a good way to evaluate your impact. The most important things to look for are:
- Uniques: This is the number of unique visitors to your website.
- Visits: How many times people visit your site over a given period.
- Most popular content: What do people read a lot? Where are they spending most of their time?
- How people find you: What keywords lead people to your site?
- Social media referrals: Are people coming to your website from your social media activities?
Creating and distributing shareable, valuable content through multiple channels will help you engage target audiences, drive website traffic and build or cement relationships that compel people to act.
An excellent tool for qualified nonprofit organizations is the Google Grant Ad. The program provides $10,000 USD of in-kind advertising from Google each month to create text-based ads and access to tools to help you build effective campaigns that can display on Google Search when people look for information related to your nonprofit. Get great content to increase your reach and boost your fundraising efforts with our Google Grant Ad package.