Do you need to raise more awareness for your organization online, but don’t have the time?
There’s good news for you.
These days it’s possible for a single nonprofit marketer to do the same amount of work that used to take a small team.
That’s because there are powerful, easy-to-use digital marketing tools that can accomplish hours and hours worth of manual work with just a few clicks — things like managing multiple social media channels, sending out member communications, and designing marketing materials.
After speaking with a dozen small nonprofits, I put together a list of the top five nonprofit digital marketing tools I’ve seen used most effectively. Under each tool, I’ll show you what it does, how much it costs, and how to use its best features.
- Use it to: Save time managing your organization’s social channels.
- Cost: Free entry-level version, Pro version starts at $19/month (50% off for nonprofits!).
I know of one nonprofit that struggled to promote their activities on social media. With everything on the Executive Director’s to-do list, she found that writing posts for the organization’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn channels was often put on the backburner.
But after she was introduced to Hootsuite, a popular social media management tool, she found it was much easier to monitor, manage, and post on the organization’s social channels.
Hootsuite is a tool that allows you (or anyone you work with) to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ anytime you like. Their “freemium” version makes juggling multiple social channels simpler — which leaves you more time to actually engage with your audience. It’s simple to toggle back and forth between your organization’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other accounts with Hootsuite’s tab system, so you can get an at-a-glance view of what’s going on across different platforms. You can also easily create analytics reports showing off basic metrics to see how well your social posts are resonating with your followers (track things like the number of readers who click your links, how many people like or retweet you, etc.).
- Use it to: Convert website visitors into newsletter subscribers. You can also send marketing messages via text message.
- Cost: Free 14-day trial with plans starting at $25/month.
I’ve seen small nonprofits use LeadPages to turn hundreds of website visitors into newsletter subscribers. That’s because LeadPages makes it easy to create beautiful landing pages.
A landing pages is a single web page that asks website visitors to take an action like subscribe, donate, or join.
Here’s how it works.
Say your goal is to increase email subscribers.
The best way to ask someone to give you their email is to give them something in return. For example, imagine you have a downloadable guide on your website. You could give this guide away in exchange for a website visitor’s email. Here is how LeadPages helps make that happen:
- Use LeadPages to create a popup message on your website to let your visitors know about your free guide.
- The popup will take them to your landing page (created with a LeadPages). This landing page offers your guide in return for the visitor’s name and email address.
- Once the visitor submits their information, LeadPages automatically emails them the guide and then records their contact information in your database. Now you have a new email subscriber.
You can use this same process to ask for donations, gain new members, or whatever else you’d like.
If you’re interested in setting this up on your website, LeadPages has a number of great templates ready for you to use. One of my favourites is a targeted donation page that’s ready for any nonprofit to replicate.
Another unique feature LeadPages offers is the ability to message your supporters with personalized text messages. They call this feature LeadDigits. The best way to use this feature is to text your supporters with links encouraging them to donate to your fundraiser, sign up to volunteer, or subscribe to your email newsletter.
- Use it to: help increase the chance a new person finds your website on the internet.
- Cost: Free.
Do you sometimes feel like your nonprofit website is invisible? That no one can find you?
Many nonprofits use a free keyword tool by WordStream to help them rank higher in Google searches. Ranking higher in Google helps more people stumble across your website, which increases the amount of people interested in your organization.
Here’s how it works:
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WordStream tells you know which phrases people are searching for on Google that may be related to your nonprofit (these phrases are called, “keywords”). You can then reflect those phrases in your website copy and blog posts. The more you talk about the things people are searching for, the better chance you have that Google will include your website higher in its rankings.
Here’s an example:
If you’re a Chess Club, you may want people searching for chess-related topics to find your website. To discover the most popular chess-related topics, type “chess” into WordStream’s keyword tool. WordStream will return the 10 most searched keywords related to chess. Here they are:
Now you can go through your web pages and blog posts to make sure you’re talking about the most popular chess-related topics people are searching for in Google. Doing so will increase your chances that your website appears in the rankings when someone searches for those topics.
Another way to increase website traffic from these keywords is to write helpful, comprehensive guides on them, such as:
- “The Best Places to Play Chess Online”
- “What the Different Chess Pieces Are Worth”
- “How to Play Chess: Tips from a Master”
- “The 10 Ten Most Beautiful Chess Sets“
If you find keyword research interesting, SEOBook.org has many more tips in their incredibly comprehensive guide on nonprofit Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Use it to: Easily design images without any graphic design experience.
- Cost: Free.
Great images can more than double how many people like and share your social promotions. But if you’re like most small nonprofits who can’t afford the services of a graphic designer, Canva is the next best thing.
Canva is a free graphic design tool that lets anyone create beautiful, engaging images just like the pros.
You can use Canva to create any sort of image for your social channels (like that Facebook cover photo you’ve been meaning to change out), blog graphics, logos, flyers, posters, or anything else you can dream up.
- Use it to: Check your copy for grammar mistakes, typos, spelling errors, and overly complex sentences.
- Cost: Free, with premium features.
Have you ever pressed send on an important email, only to feel your heart to skip a beat when you noticed that glaring spelling mistake?
Whether you’re writing an email, creating copy for marketing materials, or drafting social media posts, Grammarly can help you make a great impression by automatically catching and correcting any mistakes. After all, studies show that typos and spelling errors can cut online sales in half. Whatever kind of communication that goes out, error-free copy reflects positively on your organization so that readers aren’t discouraged from contributing or otherwise supporting your nonprofit.
Grammarly works by highlighting your mistakes in whatever document you’re working on (Word, Google, an email, Facebook post, etc.) and suggesting corrections like in the example below.
You can also upgrade your account to unlock more features, which will check your sentence structure, writing style, and more.
With Grammarly, you’ll always make a great first impression with any marketing communication.
And there you have it, five of the top nonprofit digital marketing tools I’ve seen used most effectively at small nonprofits. It’s my hope that one or two of these tools will be useful for your organization.
All the best with promoting your nonprofit online!
This post originally appeared on the Wild Apricot blog.