Inbound Marketing Blog

Pocket Guide: Inbound Marketing For Non-Profits


Non-profit marketing strategies don't always hit the headlines. 

That's largely because when most people think marketing, they think big, glossy expensive ads that charities just can't afford. But the beauty of Inbound Marketing is that it hasn't got the huge upfront costs of outbound marketing, you can see how effective it is and tailor your content and program to your different customers needs. Read on to find out more about how Inbound is great for non-profit. 

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing raises awareness about an organisation through creating compelling content, optimising it for search and pulling people towards your organisation, where they naturally want to be. The main channels of distribution are social media accounts, a blog page on your website and optimising your content for search engine results. Not only have the channels of distribution changed, the message has changed to. Instead of trying to sell and push products onto customers (like traditionally outbound marketing), Inbound educates and attracts customers in with engaging and compelling content.


So what makes it great for non-profit?


It's less expensive: Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.

And arguably more effective: 54% more leads are generated by inbound than by outbound.


And the other benefits?

Inbound means you don't have to pay the hefty costs of outbound campaigns. Instead you can increase traffic to your site by blogging, sharing it on social media and then getting your followers/fans to share it further - spreading the word further.

Inbound marketing can help your non-profit connect on a meaningful level with donors on their terms, making them more willing to commit time and resources to your mission.

People often engage with charities for personal and emotional reasons. They do not want to be bombarded with aggressive and upsetting outbound marketing campaigns. Allow them to learn from you and approach you when they feel ready.

We know that money is always tight for non-profits as you want to generate as much money as possible for the cause, so we can understand that a completely new marketing concept can be daunting especially if your company isn't familiar with it. So we've compiled a handy lists of ideas to get you started and combated some myths to reassure you Inbound is great for non-profit.


Reach your Audience on Social Media

Many people argue that non-profits don't need to use social media as their target audience are not interacting on social platforms. But research from two companies show that your target audience is on-line and active. StayClassy (a company providing software for non-profits) sampled 50,000 of their online fund-raisers and found fund-raisers who are 40 years of age or older raise more on average than fund-raisers between 20 and 40 years old. Pingdom Royal (a web monitoring company) found that 29% of social media users are between the ages of 45 and 64.

This shows that your target age and demographic are interacting online including sharing content and raising donations. While it might not be all of your audience it can make up a large proportion so it’s important that you optimise your social media channels.

But remember to think about your target audience and be strategic about which channels you use to inform your audience. Here's out guide to the different Social Media channels if you need some extra help.

Social media is a great way to promote your content, engage in conversations, highlight key community members and let people know about your organisations progress and events.


Unlock you Content Dungeon:

Many companies often worry that they can't produce any content as they don't have the time and they have nothing to write about.

Inbound is all about storytelling and engaging with your audience - so it's perfect for non-profits.

Non-profits need to give the consumer a reason to care. Content – relevant, humanizing content – can do that.

So encourage everyone in the office to think of different blogs and get people writing one piece of content once a week/every two weeks.

Also if you don't have lots of time then reach out to volunteers or case studies to write about their experiences in short-form content. It helps add a personal touch and can help your audience engage more if they feel someone went through the same situation. You can manage this by setting up a simple style guide for all of them to follow to keep your content coherent.


But if you are struggling here are some Content ideas:

  • Updates surrounding the problems happening that you're trying to solve and your accomplishments
  • Tips and tricks for helping the cause
  • Progress your non-profit is making
  • Behind the scenes
  • Preview / Post-views of events (successful fund-raisers)
  • Case Studies
  • Volunteer Opportunities and available programs

How to allocate resources:

For Inbound to be most effective you need to make sure all your features are interacting together (website, content, social media, search optimisation and email) work together to raise awareness.

Money's such a precious resource for non-profits and Inbound can be seen as a substantial investment both in time and money. But with Inbound you can measure and track your results and easily work out and maximise your ROI. This means you can adapt and tailor your campaign and it will be more effective than traditional outbound marketing by helping raise awareness and traffic to your site.


So Inbound has so many benefits for non-profits and is a great way to raise awareness of your organisation, its cause, accomplishments and opportunities to get involved. Inbound works for non-profits because it attracts customers in who want to engage with them helping create a more relevant audience that are more likely to turn into supporters, donators and volunteers.

Topics: Social Media, Inbound Marketing, ROI



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