As 2019 comes to a close, it is time for nonprofits to begin looking at ways to improve their digital marketing strategies for 2020.
Looking back at the last decade, it is almost disorienting how much digital marketing has changed. With new shifts in technology and social trends on the horizon, nonprofits should be looking at ways to adapt their marketing efforts to keep up. So, to help nonprofits get ready for the new year, we put together a list of ways nonprofits can optimize their digital marketing strategy for 2020.
Look out for Generation Z
Classified as those born 1996 and later, Generation Z is poised to make up roughly 40% of the overall working population by the end of 2020. As the next generation that nonprofits need to begin marketing towards, it’s important to understand Gen Z and how to reach them. Where millennials grew up in a more stable environment, Gen Z grew up in more volatile economic times and were exposed to diverse range issues through the widespread use of technology and social media. They are characterized by a widespread desire to make a change in the world, with 30% of Gen Z having already donated to nonprofit organizations in the past. They much prefer using mobile devices to computers, with 96% of them owning a smartphone. When marketing towards Gen Z, know that they tend to have shorter attention spans, hold a preference for content that tells a story, and have a greater desire for authenticity. This makes social media the perfect platform to reach them. Create concise social media posts that draw attention to compelling stories and emphasize the impact your organization does.
Consider the 2020 Election
The 2020 election is certainly shaping up to be lively and controversial. To get a clear view of what nonprofits can expect and what they can do, we asked Senior Digital Strategist Sarah Symoens for her analysis: “One of the biggest trends you can expect in 2020 will be an increase in political or election-related traffic with the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election. There are positive and negative aspects of that trend. To start with positive, it will help environmental or legal-based nonprofits drive more traffic to policies or bills that could help support their mission. It’s a trendy topic that acts as a marketing channel for bills that some nonprofits have dedicated years to get more awareness for. On the downside, it’s almost completely unpredictable which means that we’ll all have to invest more time into researching before planning for blogs, social posts or paid ads. However, once you find the trendy topic that works for your organization, it has the power to really boost your website traffic, engagement, and support.”
Create New Content
Going into the new year, many nonprofits need to begin using content marketing strategies to expand their organization’s reach. Adding content to your nonprofit’s website will help you better translate your message and relevance to the communities your serve. Your content does not have to be extensive – anything with at least 250-300 words will do. The more landing pages that your organization can create with relevant copy the more organic traffic you will pull in and the better your website will perform if you are using the Google Ad Grant. However, when creating new content, it is important to do so with a strategy. We recommend creating and using an integrated marketing strategy to guide your content creation. Through past experience, we have found that nonprofits that create new content on their website and then advertise it through an integrated marketing strategy tend to be more successful than those who do not. By adopting a more robust content marketing strategy, you can ensure that your nonprofit’s messaging in 2020 is consistent and well advertised across all of your marketing platforms.
Improve Your Online Presence
More than just adding content to their website, nonprofits need to invest more time and resources into their overall online presence. As we enter the new decade it might be time to give your nonprofit’s website a complete overhaul – both in looks and in structure. In the past, we have seen a sharp increase in the quantity and quality of inbound leads after we worked with an organization to update their website. Not only did we improve the aesthetic aspects, but we also worked to improve the website’s structure to better work with the Google Ad Grant, something that many nonprofits using the Ad Grant can benefit from. According to Senior Digital Strategist Tim Tompkins, due to changes in the Google Ad Grant, “Machine learning bidding strategies (Max Conversions, Target CPA) are increasingly becoming the best way to truly maximize the Grant’s benefits. Because of that, having items on pages that can actually qualify as a conversion are more and more important. If there’s no conversion that can be completed, the ad group simply won’t perform.” With 73% of nonprofits making use of the Google Ad Grant, taking the time to not only update your website, but to also adapt it to better fit the Ad Grant is worth the investment. If your nonprofit does not have the capability to do this, consider working with a Google Certified Professional Agency to help make the shift.
Track and Use Marketing Data
While 90% of nonprofits say that they collect data, only 40% are using the data to inform their decision-making. In fact, only 5% of nonprofits use data in every decision that they make. With how many hats nonprofit employees wear, it can seem daunting to track, organize, and interpret the information gathered from your marketing efforts, but it important to do so. Using data can help your organization be more efficient with your digital marketing strategy, allowing you to more readily track failures and successes. Note that your organization needs to be tracking the right kind of data. There is a vast amount of information that can be gathered from your marketing efforts, but tracking anything that does not directly relate to your nonprofit’s goals is useless and a waste of time. Focus on data related to your programs, mission impact, and audience. Track how your programs perform, what all your organization has been able to achieve, and how your audience is reacting to your marketing efforts. Once you have this information, you can use it to adjust your digital marketing strategy to have a more successful approach. In our experience, the more nonprofits use their data, the better their marketing efforts do.