Nonprofit marketing is the process of motivating people to do or believe something, such as donate time or money, make a purchase, change a behavior or belief, take an action, or become more aware of an organization or issue.
Like for-profit businesses, most non-profit marketers seek to increase awareness and perception of their organization or cause, persuade people to believe or do something, and use their resources effectively.
While not all of the tactics that companies use to market themselves will work for nonprofits, the main principles of marketing apply to both sectors. Here are the top three marketing components that every organization should use.
Many businesses, especially brick-and-mortar stores, do 25-30% of their business in the final two months of the year, then go through a serious sales slump in January and February. But if you stay focused on your customers’ needs, you can use the holidays to build a loyal customer base that supports you all year-round.
Here are three “Don’ts” to help you increase sales during the holidays–and beyond.
“I don’t know what to do with LinkedIn,” my clients and colleagues say when I suggest it. Although LinkedIn’s always been a useful way for me to keep up with and expand my network, I admit that up until now, it hasn’t offered much to users who aren’t actively job hunting, recruiting, or seeking new clients.
LinkedIn is about to launch a promising redesign, however, with an improved news feed and some snazzy messaging and meeting scheduling capabilities. With over 130+ million users in the United States (and at least 25 percent of them logging in regularly), LinkedIn deserves to be part of your marketing toolkit.
Here are my suggestions about what to do with LinkedIn.
One of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your website is to get your business or nonprofit listed on web-based directories and listings services. There are thousands of online directories out there. The most important ones are published by search engine companies and social media sites, but pay attention to the local and industry-specific directories too. In most cases, the only thing it will cost is a little of your time.
It use to be easy to answer the question, “Should I advertise my business on Facebook?” When Business/Organization Pages started in 2007, promoting your business or organization was free and easy. Anything you posted had a good chance in showing up on the news feeds of your fans and followers. Today, the likelihood that your post will show up in a Fan’s feed (your organic, or unpaid, “reach”) is pretty small, unless you advertise.
More than 25 percent of small businesses don’t have a website. And that doesn’t even include the millions of businesses with old sites that look dated, aren’t “optimized” to read easily on a cell phone, and rank poorly in Google searches. If you don’t have an up-to-date site, you’re basically encouraging potential customers to go to another business that does.
While I urge you to hire an experienced web designer if you can, there are so many easy and inexpensive–even free—tools for doing it yourself that there are no more excuses for not having a current site. Yup, you can create a good-looking website without having any technical skills or knowing a lick of code. In fact, there are so many resources out there that the hardest thing about creating your own site may be choosing which tool to use.
Ready to get started? Here’s our guide for DIY Websites.
Many small businesses and nonprofits don’t have a marketing plan because they don’t think they need one, don’t have the time to create it, or don’t know how. But creating a plan doesn’t have to take a lot of time–in fact, it can save you time, because you’ll stop doing things that aren’t meeting your goals (hello, Facebook!).
Here’s a simple example of a sales and marketing plan.