Times are changing. And, the world of online marketing is changing right along with them.
In the olden days, if you wanted to attract a lot of attention for your nonprofit, you had to purchase expensive ads and attend a ton of different conferences and events. You crossed your fingers and toes, hoping for just a few of the people you found to be even slightly interested in your cause. Basically, you had to hunt for potential supporters.
Traditional methods may work in certain situations, but for many, there’s a more effective way—inbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing flips the traditional marketing model on its head. You don’t have to spend money on ads that may or may not work. You don’t have to waste time talking to folks who really don’t care about your cause. Inbound marketing is a way to drive interested people to your website. And, in many cases, these interested people are already looking to act with an organization just like you.
Simply put, instead of going out to find supporters, you build an approach to online marketing that brings these supporters to you.
You’re developing content specifically for your target audience with inbound marketing for nonprofits. What are potential supporters looking for that you provide? What do people want to know about your cause? By answering these questions and others, you’re positioning your nonprofit to become the solution to their problem.
You’re earning people’s attention though. Your content needs to entertain as well as inform. People are in control of the information they receive. You want to give them what they are seeking, and in an engaging way. Enticing them via social media, your blog or email are all great ways to do this.
How Does It Benefit You?
Inbound marketing has the power to boost support for your organization. People take notice of an organization consistently appealing to their specific interests and needs.
By routinely developing targeted high-quality content, you’re establishing your credibility and demonstrating your worth to these people. Continually providing valuable, compelling content works to gain their trust, and can lead to their one day becoming a volunteer or donor.
But, inbound marketing is not just a long-term play. It’s also aimed at capturing those people interested in making a donation or finding a volunteer opportunity right now. If someone is hunting for opportunities to get involved with your cause, inbound marketing is a way to make sure they find you instead of someone else.
When the right people find you, realize you’re providing something of value to them and begin engaging with you, it can mean only good things for your nonprofit.
What Does It Take?
Implementing inbound marketing at your nonprofit is no small feat. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.
You’ll need to get a solid grasp on who your target audience is, what they’re searching for and the types of content they find engaging. Once you’ve got a handle on that, you’ll need to begin producing content (consistently) aimed at meeting their needs and answering their questions. Driving these people to your site requires knowing where they’re hanging out online. Search engine traffic, email, links from other websites and social media are all opportunities to meet people where they are.
Inbound marketing is a big undertaking, but it is well worth the effort. Earning the right people’s attention requires a lot of planning and thoughtful execution of quality content, but when done right, it pays off in the long run.
So, that’s the big picture. Check out our post, Inbound Marketing Tips for Your Nonprofit, for details on how to best implement inbound marketing at your organization.