by: Lindsay Denton, Copywriter
Well into 2021, the hope for a better future shines ahead. However, these tumultuous circumstances have already had a tremendous impact on the world. Between the general public’s strained finances and a substantive lifestyle change, nonprofits can only expect challenges
as the globe recovers. One such challenge has remained constant when fundraising in any way; visibility. Indeed, marketing of any kind, including for nonprofits, hinges on visibility and communicating a message to large audiences. But in this new era, how may nonprofits face this persistent, renewed challenge? Let us devote this article to finding out how a nonprofit can boost its visibility.
Visibility In The Digital Age
A substantive factor that contextualizes this challenge is none other than digitization. Long gone are the days when fundraising relied on word of mouth, and simple local outreach sufficed. The internet has since achieved massive global penetration, becoming a household asset. In turn, mobile devices have surged, now overtaking desktops in search engine queries.
What this development has led to is a very different, very digital audience. Audiences are increasingly tech-savvy, increasingly engaged, and increasingly preoccupied with ethics – as data from the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer
shows. As such, a nonprofit can’t boost its visibility through methods of old, at the very least not reliably. There are new factors to consider, from one’s projected identity to outreach style and tone.Ways for A Nonprofit To Boost Visibility
However, such concerns also present new opportunities. From engaging in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to segmenting audiences
through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, options abound. Tried-and-tested methods and practices, in tandem with such technological assets, can help any nonprofit boost its visibility substantially. For the sake of text economy, let us highlight 5, arguably among the most notable, such options.
Learn and practice SEO, or hire an expert.
First and foremost, SEO lends itself perfectly to landing page optimization toward visibility. While nonprofits will not exclusively rely on landing pages, they remain a valuable asset toward a robust online presence.
As the name suggests, SEO seeks to optimize content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). To do so, it follows a set of over 200 search engine criteria, which include:
? Website loading speed and responsiveness
? Website mobile-friendliness
? Image optimization
? Keyword density
? Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA)
? Security certificates
? Engagement signals
Understandably, SEO’s primary advantage arguably lies in increased organic – and, in turn, referral -traffic. Where paid advertising campaigns ensure targeted, inorganic traffic, or more traffic through social media, SEO works toward those coveted SERPs.
Notably, however, SEO does see changes as algorithms change over time. The most notable such examples over the past decade should be Google’s Panda, penguin, and Mockingbird updates. Therefore, while learning it and adhering to it may be less costly, professional help may be essential for long-term efforts. You may thus choose the best option for your needs
– but SEO should remain high on your list in either case.
Embrace Social Media
On the subject of one’s digital presence, social media offer a nigh imperative asset themselves. When such platforms offer massive audiences, they can provide an equally lucrative way for a nonprofit to boost its visibility. Whether it raises funds through crowdfunding or peer-to-peer fundraising, one can hardly deny the sheer amount of possibilities they bring.
Among a wealth of options, one may consider the largest social media platforms to engage in social media marketing on.
- Facebook. By far the most popular, and populated, social media channel today, Facebook boasts an impressive 2.8 billion monthly active users. At the same time, it provides marketers with excellent tools like the Lookalike Audience tool for enhanced targeting accuracy.
- Twitter. Another massively popular platform, Twitter currently has 330 million monthly active users. Due to its bite-sized posts, in part imposed by the 280-character limit, it sees considerable engagement, especially by younger audiences.
- YouTube. Finally, the media juggernaut that is YouTube offers a much more visual-focused avenue for social media marketing. While not a social media platform per se, it too boasts an impressive 2 billion monthly active users. For this reason, nonprofits can boost their visibility through it – and perhaps even monetize their channel in the process.
Social media marketing is by no means a passing trend either, as data shows. Forbes’s Jacqueline Tabas has written an excellent article on this subject
, which should offer some invaluable insights.
Reach Out To The Media
Finally, in terms of marketing approaches, traditional and local media is not to be ignored. Granted, social media marketing and email marketing can boast much better return on investment (ROI). But regardless of that possibility, traditional media still offers a spotlight that nonprofits may best not ignore.
Many tend to overlook the fact that news networks and papers may seek to project an ethical identity themselves. That may very well translate to covering initiatives, NGO actions, and nonprofit initiatives. In this regard, simply asking for coverage can benefit both parties. Thus, you may consider asking for local news network coverage or donated ad space in local newspapers for publicity. All media present opportunities for a nonprofit to boost its visibility, starting from the local level.
Diversify Yourself From Your Peers
Marketing aside, a typical challenge when trying to lead the conversation around any cause is, frankly, presenting uniqueness. What applies to general marketing applies to nonprofit awareness campaigns; what do you offer that your peers don’t?
Projecting a unique identity and diversifying oneself comes with no shortcuts. Only self-reflection and improvement can lead to this outcome. What is crucial to note, however, is that this projected identity needs to be consistent; every channel must reflect it. Contemporary audiences truly value authenticity, so branding inconsistency can cost dearly.
Collaborate Or Merge With Other Nonprofits
Finally, as more nonprofits overlap in scope and area of operations, there is a final, frequently underexplored, option to consider. That is, collaborating or merging with other nonprofits.
Indeed, a strategic alliance can come a long way toward ensuring efficiency and, in turn, visibility. It is not uncommon, for example, that a nonprofit may assimilate another for mutual benefit. Complete dissolutions and mergers may not need to enter the discussion immediately, but they too may present opportunities to grow. But in both cases, if diversification from one’s peers remains a challenge, collaborations may reveal a different course of action.