Digital Marketing Strategy Based on Nonprofit Industry
Since its inception, the nonprofit sector has evolved tremendously and grown to include a complex variety of organizations. There are a huge variety of nonprofit organizations throughout the world, all with different missions, audiences, strategies, and more. At Cause Inspired, we have developed a deep understanding of the nonprofit industry, and we know that not all nonprofits require the same types of digital strategies. In this blog, we will break down the nonprofit industry into type-based categories, and detail the ways in which we approach the creation of their digital marketing strategies using the Google Ad Grant.
The Arts and Culture nonprofit industry is one that requires frequent check-ins. At Cause Inspired, we typically begin with campaigns that highlight brand awareness, and any of their upcoming events, exhibitions or exhibits. This helps to drive in new traffic for people looking for museums, public art, and tourist attractions. A lot of art-based nonprofits also have apps. For these clients, our team creates download extensions in their ads to increase the rate of application downloads.
Essentially, the best strategy for these nonprofits is to always build out new ad groups ahead of time (we typically recommend doing this 3-months in advance) so the ads can be optimized before an event gets too close or an exhibition is about to launch.
These organizations help to better serve their community with access to informational resources, crisis relief, and prevention. Ensuring that their resources get more exposure is typically the main goal, in addition to donations (this is especially true for community foundations). We use conversions such as “PDF Downloads” and “Video Watch Time” to influence our bids in the account so we can bid on users who are going to be more likely to engage or interact with their tools. These accounts are designed with campaigns that focus on in-person programs, webinars, and even volunteers.
Typically, environmental nonprofits work to promote healthy and sustainable alternatives that can benefit the quality of life globally. At Cause Inspired, our team is always sure to strategize with clients before a buildout. During this strategy meeting, our team tries to understand what policies the client is most focused on so we can advertise the details of bills/legislation in their account.
Another important strategy for these organizations is to help build brand awareness by informing the general public about positive environmental practices. This includes having articles that discuss recycling, carbon footprints, sustainable agriculture, or whatever their main focus might be. Our team typically recommends writing articles in a “blog” style, as it is usually much easier for a reader to digest. According to Senior Digital Strategist, Sarah Symoens, “the main strategy for these accounts involves working together with the nonprofit client to help fill their content with relevant keywords and phrases, and strong calls to action.
If you’re an animal welfare organization that doesn’t focus on “adoptions” then using the Google Ad Grant without a certified professional can be challenging. Our main focus when building out these accounts is creating awareness-based campaigns that can help users who are looking up research, statistics, or facts about animal welfare find a nonprofit that cares about their same interests. While we’re managing these accounts, it’s important that we keep up to date with animal welfare news because that can cause spikes in search volume. Our team often utilizes their time in the account to research local news in the area of the nonprofit. If any of these nonprofits are featured in the news, we recommend reposting it on their website and social media accounts to help attract more followers.
With that said, prioritizing the goal of increasing social media followers is a great use for the Ad Grant as well. Our team often creates ad extensions for our nonprofit clients that give users calls to action to follow the nonprofit on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube.
A strategy for health and wellness nonprofits depends on the resources they have available onsite. If they have enough content on healthy living or specific disease awareness, we always build out the account to get more traffic to those resources by bidding on keywords related to the specific health cause of the organization. With those ads, we’ll create extensions that have calls to action for a user to sign up for their newsletter or become a member.
When possible, it’s best to use faith-based ad copy for religious organizations because it helps to make their ads stand apart from the rest. For these nonprofits, our team will begin an account buildout with a mix of “standard” ads and “faith-based” ads so they can conduct A/B tests to determine what their users are most interested in, and adapt to what gets the most traction. When managing these accounts, we often suggest content ideas that are related to religious books such as the Bible so that people who are looking up “Biblical Advice/Scriptures/Guidance” can find the nonprofit as a resource and an outlet for social good.
Programming tends to be the focus of most Youth Development nonprofits so we try to make ad groups as ‘micro’ as possible. This just means that we create ad groups for after school programs, Spring programs, educational programs, and any other category we can, instead of combining it all into one ad group. We have found that users often search very broadly when they want to sign their child up for a program. For example, we see a lot of “after school programs” or quick “day camp” searches that convert well. Because of this, our team works to ensure that they are covering all the bases of programming. With that, our team can also use audience targeting to narrow down the audience to users interested in child care or summer camps. That can be helpful to ensure that organizations are not wasting ad spend on users who aren’t even eligible for their programs.
Understanding the differences in nonprofit industries is incredibly important when developing digital marketing strategies. At Cause Inspired, our team of experts is dedicated to making the most of your Google Ad Grant dollars and using our industry knowledge to help you spend your $10,000 monthly grant effectively.