Why Nonprofit Organizations Need to Use Inbound Marketing

Man holding a red woolen heartInbound marketing can be a nonprofit organization’s secret weapon for growth.

Attention nonprofit organizations: The time for inbound marketing is now.

As nonprofit marketers know, two components separate successful nonprofit organizations from the ones that fall by the wayside:

  • Visibility – People must know who you are and what you do.
  • Loyalty – People must understand the value you provide and view your organization as a positive force that is worth supporting.

And while traditional outbound marketing can work toward these goals, an effective inbound content marketing strategy can push your efforts into overdrive. According to 2016 research, only 25 percent of nonprofit organizations have well-defined and documented content marketing strategies. In our connected world of ecommerce, social media, and digital marketing, we believe the rest of these folks are missing out on something big.

2016-nonprofit-have-content-marketing-strategy A minority of non-profit organizations are using a documented content strategy, as found by the Content Marketing Institute.

Let’s discuss a few ways that inbound marketing can benefit your nonprofit organization.

Improve Traffic and Visibility

A primary goal for nonprofit organizations is visibility. Revenue-building donations only come when people actually know you exist.

But unfortunately, by the nature of the business, nonprofit marketing can be a tough sell. You’re increasing awareness through your efforts, but unlike traditional business, your profits can’t be reapplied to continually scale your marketing outreach. With most proceeds going to your charitable cause, nonprofits need to prioritize marketing channels that are both cost-sustainable and effective.

As it turns out, inbound marketing is the best way to meet these goals. The research shows that inbound marketing is 62 percent cheaper than traditional marketing strategies. And as for its effectiveness, how about generating as much as 15 times more traffic to your site than businesses without it?

Marketing that brings viewers in (instead of seeking them out) is the way the marketing world is moving. In terms of cost and value for better visibility, inbound strategies are a win/win solution.

Using Inbound Marketing to Build Relationships

After getting found, the next challenge facing nonprofit marketers is knowing how to convert those eyes into charitable donations that keep your organization afloat. Of course, this process doesn’t happen overnight. Like any other ecommerce business, building relationships with an audience over time is critical to getting them financially invested in your success. And when you’re a nonprofit organization whose existence relies completely on donor support, relationship-building through educational content and social outreach is essential.

Content marketing excels at relationship building by establishing your authority in a field and helping educate your audience about a given topic, but content marketing through blogging isn’t the only tool that nonprofit marketers can employ.

In our modern age, nonprofits have more ways to engage with audiences than ever before. In particular, social media use is on the rise across all demographics, particularly in the youthful markets most likely to take on activist roles. According to the data, social media outreach ranks as one of the top three most effective marketing tactics for nonprofit organizations.

Think about it—what better way to reach out to your audience than direct contact through a Facebook post or a Twitter retweet? The above nonprofit marketing research found that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were the three most popular social channels that nonprofits can use. And as the number of users of these platforms continues to rise, organizations that leverage effective social media marketing stand to gain plenty in the way of visibility, brand recognition, and audience engagement.

Engage with your audience on social media, give them food for thought, and provide clear ways for them to learn more by visiting your site. You’ll not only increase inbound traffic and diversify your outreach, but you’ll also connect with your users on a more personal level. This showcases the humanity behind your brand—a key component in building support for your cause.

The Time for Inbound is Now

As it turns out, inbound marketing and nonprofit organizations have plenty in common. They’re both dependent on the attention of an engaged audience. They both rely on selling the value of an organization’s expertise. And they both need to consistently build relationships with those who support them. It’s a match made in heaven. Nonprofit organizations should begin working on an inbound marketing strategy as soon as possible to reap the wealth of benefits that are up for grabs.

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