Digital Marketing for Charities
In 2023, there are approximately 168,850 registered charities in England and Wales, all looking to increase donations and raise brand awareness. We live in a time where charities are able to elevate their exposure and engage with more people than ever before. However, even with all the resources available to bolster a charity’s online presence, many charities do not take full advantage of them.
In this article, we will go through some of the most important factors that nonprofits need to consider when embarking on their digital journey, and how using a digital marketing agency can lead a charity to much greater success.
Identify your target audience
As a charity, your target audience is one of the most important factors to consider in your digital strategy. They are your future fundraisers, the people you want to help, your donors and your volunteers. But how do you identify your target audience?
You need to identify exactly the type of person you want to target and whether they are a donor, fundraiser or volunteer. Is a fundraiser someone young or old? Do they have other common interests (beyond your charity)? Are they situated in a particular location? Or do they have children? There are many demographics, interests and categories that audiences can fit within. Determining which suit your target audience is crucial to understand.
If you identify additional characteristics of your donors, fundraisers and volunteers you can target them more effectively.
Build your charity website
For many people, your website is the first impression people have of you as a charity. It should give people a clear indication of:
- Who the charity is
- What the charity does
- How people can support the charity
- Who the charity supports
- How their donations will be used
Put yourself in the mind of the user. Most people scan-read and they want an easy process to get from A to B. If someone has found your website, they may be looking to donate. Is there a clear journey of how to do that on your website and is that process simple? If they want to fundraise for you, are there easy-to-read steps to follow?
A website that gives a clear path for donors and fundraisers should always be a priority for charities. Also, volunteers should have plenty of information on how they can help and how their assistance will help your charity achieve your goals.
Other things to consider for a good website are:
- Clear call to actions
- Good use of essential keywords
Google Ad Grants
A Google Ad Grant provides nonprofit organisations with $10,000 a month to spend on their Google advertising, in the form of Google Ads.
A digital marketing agency will use their expertise to manage your Google Ads Grant and ensure that you get the most out of your advertising campaigns. This means creating ads for your charity based on what people are searching for, in order to drive the right people to your website.
Ads appear at the top of the search engine results pages; often in positions 1, 2 and 3; above any organic results. Being in those positions means that click-through rates (the number of people who see your ads vs. the number of people who click them) are much higher than results lower down the page. Statistics show that click-through rates for an organic position one result can be as high as 43.32%. In position 10, this falls to around 3%. Ensuring visibility at the top of page one of the search engine results pages (SERPs) can make a huge difference, and Google Ad Grants - if managed well - can quickly boost visibility when ranking organically is a far longer process.
A fully optimised Google Ad Grant account provides endless benefits to a charity. Some of these benefits include:
- Driving traffic to your website and donation pages
- Reaching more people when you are holding events or fundraisers
- Directing people to specific pages of your website
- Increasing brand awareness
We often find that charities are squandering their Google Ads Grant. They’ve set one up because they know they should have one; then abandoned it because they don’t have the time or the know-how to manage it effectively. A fully-optimised account can bring in regular donations and ensure that the Grant is being used in the best possible way. At Beyond Your Brand, we have a wealth of experience in working with charities and managing Google Ad Grants and we would be delighted to work with your charity.
SEO for charities
Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be hugely beneficial to a charity and enable them to maximise their online visibility and impact. Whilst a Google Ad Grant focuses on paid search ads, SEO is the art of ensuring organic pages rank higher in search engines to increase traffic to a website.
By effectively optimising their website and online content, charities will rank higher on search engines which increases visibility. This makes it easier to attract new volunteers, fundraisers and donors, and increases brand awareness too.
Visibility is key for people who are searching to support a charity, yet are unsure what charity to support. For example, if someone wants to run a half marathon, they will search for ‘half marathon near me’ or ‘half marathon in Oxford’. They may be unaware of your charity and the good work it does, however, by participating in your event, they will learn about your charity and potentially want to help raise money in the future.
A digital marketing agency will put together an SEO strategy to help you with content ideas, popular keywords and improvements to your website. This will give the user the best possible experience when they arrive at your website as well as help your website appear on SERPs for your targeted keywords.
Social media for charities
Social media offers a relevant and engaging platform for charities to use to reach their target audience. There are many different ways that you can leverage social media to elevate your cause. Some of these are:
- Share your achievements. Tell people what an amazing fundraising event you had or share a picture of your annual report
- Share real-life stories of people whose lives have been positively impacted by your charity
- Use images and videos. The human brain processes images quicker than text and therefore we are more drawn to visuals than the written word
- Create a powerful engagement. Actively reply to comments and messages to highlight your presence in the community
Top tip: 85% of all videos on Facebook are watched with the sound off so if you use videos, make sure you add subtitles
In 2020, there were 4 billion global email users and this is set to increase to 4.6 billion users by 2025. With so many people communicating via email, it is hardly surprising that organisations use email marketing to increase engagement with their target audience.
Email marketing presents a powerful avenue for enhancing online visibility and engagement and offers a direct line of communication with supporters.
It also means that people are not immediately being asked to make a donation, but they are interested in the charity and would like further information. This then creates the opportunity to share regular updates about the charity’s mission, successes and impact which deepens the connection between supporter and charity.
Email marketing as part of an SEO strategy will strengthen the charity's online presence as well as nurture a community of supporters who over time will become more invested in furthering the cause.
Digital strategy for charities
A digital strategy for charities is a comprehensive plan that pulls together digital technologies and online platforms to achieve the goals of the charity and optimise its engagement.
It will ensure that an organisation develops a strong online presence using a user-friendly website and active social media activity.
With a well-planned digital marketing strategy, charities can connect with their supporters and donors and raise their brand awareness to create a positive and lasting impact on the people they help.
Beyond Your Brand is a digital marketing agency with a difference. We look beyond the marketing towards creating something truly special for your organisation, that resonates with your target audience in order to drive results; whatever the goals may be.
When it comes to charities, we know our stuff. As a charity digital marketing agency, we are:
- A Google Partner
- Professional and friendly
We work tirelessly to understand your charitable goals and continuously optimise your campaigns so you are getting the most for your money.